CHARLOTTE (May 14, 1998 - 10:14 EDT) -- A decision is coming soon on
whether the Minnesota Twins will pack up and move to North Carolina, a
team spokesman says.
Dave St. Peter said Wednesday that Twins owner Carl Pohlad will soon
decide either to find a way to keep the team in Minnesota, or sell it to
Don Beaver and support its move to North Carolina.
"The answers will be coming relatively soon," he said. "I've
been wrong before, but all my indications are that it will happen."
Last October, Pohlad and Beaver signed a letter of intent on the team's
sale, but the letter of intent expired March 31 without any progress made.
On May 5, voters in Forsyth and Guilford counties rejected a proposal
to levy food and stadium seat taxes to help pay for a $210 million stadium
in the Triad. Since then, Charlotte leaders have begun exploring ways to
finance a ballpark to host a major league baseball club.
St. Peter said while Pohlad and Beaver continue their talks, Pohlad
is "not waiting for any one piece to fall in place," such as
a stadium deal in Charlotte, before a sale becomes final.
Sports consultant Max Muhleman is finishing up a Charlotte feasibility
study scheduled to be released Monday.
Mike Veeck met Wednesday with Twins financial adviser Bob Starkey to
find out whether he can buy part of the team or become sole owner. Veeck
is the son of former Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck.
Afterward, Veeck said he does not think the team is actively for sale
to anyone, although he said the Twins will listen to offers. Starkey said
it was an "exploratory" meeting.
Minneapolis lawyer Clark Griffith last year offered $86 million in cash
for the team. Pohlad said the offer doesn't compare with the deal with
Beaver, reportedly worth about $140 million.