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State Panel Charged With Studying Stadium Financing Options

ST. PAUL (AP) -- An 18-member state panel charged with studying stadium financing options could begin meeting within a few weeks, officials in the Legislature and Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration said Monday.

The slate of panelists should be determined soon. Leaders in the House and

Senate and Ventura each will name six members.

The task force will prepare recommendations for the 2002 Legislature on how to address stadium concerns of the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. The University of Minnesota's athletic needs also will be studied.

All sides say they're going in not knowing what to expect.

"There's no predictable outcome and nobody's going to be held to the outcome," said Vic Moore, the chief aide to Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, DFL-Erskine. "It's purely advisory."

John Wodele, Ventura's spokesman, said stadium talk is not high on the governor's agenda, but "he understands the need to address it."

"There' s no expectation that it would necessarily arrive us at construction, " Wodele said.

When House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, first outlined the task force's objectives in July, he said the panel's recommendations could range from advocating no state action, encouraging private funding or pushing for bills that include some state help.

Moore said the task force should conclude its work in time to issue a report before the 2002 Legislature convenes Jan. 29.