BEST GADFLY Minneapolis 2001 - Minnesotans for Major League Baseball
Last summer the Minneapolis City Council appointed a 17-member committee to study the feasibility of a privately financed new baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins. In early March the committee published its conclusion: It can be done. The group envisions an affordable "compact urban ballpark" inspired by classic venues such as Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston rather than the "retro" behemoths preferred by today's major-league owners, and favors a funding scheme modeled after the San Francisco Giants' successful strategy for building that team's new Pacific Bell Park. Of course, as committee members were devoting hours of their free time to thinking "out of the box," the Twins assembled their own group, Minnesotans for Major League Baseball, which tapped out its own report that recommended--surprise!--a bigger (and therefore costlier and less fan-friendly) "retro" ballpark, and--surprise!--a significant public subsidy. The Twins' plan went straight to the state Legislature, where it got a somewhat chilly reception. The citizens' committee report, though, didn't enjoy such a public airing. More's the pity.