A stadium-funding plan proposed last week by Gov. Jesse Ventura was endorsed
Tuesday by Twins President Jerry Bell, and the chief House sponsor of a stadium
bill said he plans to scrap his plan and adopt much of the governor's.
``The more we have checked this, the more it looks like Lsomething we can
work with,'' Bell said, adding that, in some ways, it is the best funding plan
he has seen. ``At least it gives us the revenue we try to achieve in a new
Under Ventura's plan, the state would fund a $330 million stadium by selling
taxable revenue bonds at an estimated 6.5 percent.
The Twins would be required to provide $165 million as a nonreturnable gift
that would be invested. Income from that amount would earn an estimated 8.5
percent interest, generating about one-half the annual interest payments on the
The Twins would be responsible for an additional $10 million a year to
service the total debt, estimated at $21.5 million a year during the 30 years of
Bell said the team would need help -- a ``city partner,'' he called it -- to
service the debt or come up with part of the initial $165-million gift.
``I think the form it takes would be subject to the negotiations with the
city when you sign the lease,'' he said.
St. Paul and Hennepin County leaders have testified that they are willing to
raise more than $15 million annually to try to win a new stadium in their
The proposed sources have ranged from car rental surcharges to downtown or
citywide taxes on liquor, restaurant food, hotels and entertainment.
The House bill, sponsored Rep. Harry Mares, R-White Bear Lake, calls for $25
million a year on statewide newspaper and magazine subscription sales and local
taxes on bar and restaurant food.
On Tuesday, Mares said he intends to amend his bill ``along the lines of the
governor's proposal'' when it is heard today in the House Ways and Means
Mares said he wants to be sure that bonds can be sold at 6.5 percent interest
and that they can generate an average of 8.5 percent annually. That is central
to the governor's plan: borrowing at a lower-than-conventional rate and earning
enough to pay most of the debt service and accumulate enough to pay off the
principal at the end of 30 years.
House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, said he expects the full House to vote
on the Mares stadium bill Friday.