Kahn urges Twins buyout instead of House proposal

Although building the Minnesota Twins a new baseball park may be a bad investment, buying the team may be something to consider, says University-area Rep. Phyllis Kahn.
Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced a bill earlier this session that would allow the State Board of Investment to buy the Twins for $100 million, then sell shares of the team to interested people in the community.
The bill passed the State Government Finance Division unanimously Friday and will have a hearing before the Government Operations Committee today, where Kahn is the chairwoman.
Kahn said her bill is better than the recent House version. The House Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs Committee passed a stadium bill April 9th after the Twins re-worked the deal. Detractors of the House bill are upset that the committee was asked to reconsider a bill they had killed a week earlier.
“This is a better investment for the state,” Kahn said.
Twins owner Carl Pohlad has said that the current home of the Twins, the Metrodome, is no longer viable for Major League Baseball and a new home must be built. Kahn said that buying the Twins takes away the threat of the Twins moving if a new ballpark is not built.
“The first thing you do is remove the blackmail issue from the Twins,” Kahn said. “Then, the public will be involved in the discussion.”
Kahn readily admits that it will be an uphill climb for her bill. Gov. Arne Carlson and Pohlad both oppose the legislation. In addition, the sale of the Twins must be approved by a three-fourths majority of the other 27 Major League teams.
— Chris Vetter