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Session 2004

Session 2004: Stadium Issues

Struck out. Fumbled. Dropped the ball. Pick your sports metaphor. Despite early session optimism and major commitments from several communities, the Legislature failed to vote on any bills to build new stadiums for the Twins or Vikings. The Twins have been seeking public funding toward a new ballpark for about a decade and the Vikings got into the stadium game not long after. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a past critic of stadium plans, offered his own this year. But it was a casualty of the dysfunction of the session. Leaders called a stadium "dessert" that couldn't be voted on until meat-and-potatoes issues such as the deficit and bonding were decided, and they never were.

The top Senate Republican criticized Gov. Tim Pawlenty's stadium commission Wednesday for ruling out expanded gambling as a funding source for new Twins and Vikings stadiums. (02/11/2004)
Gov. Pawlenty's stadium screening committee met again Thursday. They are expected to provide a report to the governor on Monday, advising him on site and finance options for new Twins and Vikings stadiums. ( 01/30/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Stadium Screening Committee has approved a final set of recommendations for building new facilities for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. The panel is recommending a mix of new or increased local taxes to be supplemented with dollars from the teams and fans. The committee will prepare a final draft to present to the governor on Monday. Minnesota Public Radio's Michael Khoo discusses the issue on MPR's All Things Considered. (01/29/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Stadium Screening Committee is due to make its recommendation to the Legislature on Feb., 2. The committee has narrowed down the options for a new Vikings stadium to sites in Eden Prairie and Blaine. If the Blaine site is chosen, that city and Anoka County would contribute up to $240 million toward the cost of the stadium. <I>Morning Edition</I> host Cathy Wurzer talked with Steve Novak, Anoka County division manager for government service and the county's lead person on the stadium project. (01/26/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Stadium Screening Committee has pared a list of competing proposals down to four contenders: two each for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. As expected, committee members selected locations in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul as possible sites for a Twins ballpark. Blaine and Eden Prairie are the two possibilities for the Vikings. But other crucial parameters, such as how the state might assist ballpark financing, remain controversial. And state officials and the two teams clearly disagree about how to proceed on that front. (01/22/2004)
Gov. Pawlenty's stadium screening committee started winnowing down the list of stadium plans Monday. Ten written proposals made the first cut, and sixteen were tossed out. The committee will spend the next two days scrutinizing the 10 proposals, and could take pieces from various plans to come up with a recommendation for the governor. (01/19/2004)
As policymakers and state officials pore over the details of 26 stadium ideas submitted Thursday, one thread emerges bright and clear -- aside from the plans that call for new gambling revenues, all the major proposals rely heavily on increased tax dollars to build new homes for the Twins and Vikings. And, as in past years, convincing lawmakers, citizens, and businesses to accept new taxes won't be an easy sell. (01/16/2004)
The deadline to submit proposals to Gov. Pawlenty's stadium screening committee was 4 p.m. Thursday. The Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota football team are all seeking new homes. ( 01/16/2004)
More than two dozen cities, counties, and private citizens have pitched their ballpark solutions to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Stadium Screening Committee. The governor solicited outside input to help him decide what role -- if any -- the state might play in financing new facilities for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. The plans cover a range of sites across the metropolitan area, and offer funding options from local taxes to state dollars to casino revenues. (01/16/2004)
The Twins, Vikings and Gophers presented their dreams of new fields to a governor's stadium committee on Tuesday, each making pitches soaked in the nostalgia and optimism of sport as they began a new year's hunt for public dollars. (01/07/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty set up a stadium screening committee to assist him in making a professional stadium proposal for the 2004 legislative session. The committee's first meeting is Tuesday. ( 12/08/2003)
University of Minnesota officials on Monday predicted an on-campus football stadium would cost $220 million to build, but the school's president said he's prepared to do it without a $35 million pledge from an alumnus. (12/08/2003)