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Report: Pohlad Working On Dome Lease
Newspaper Source Says Twins Owner Will Try To Keep Team In Minn. For Next Two Years

MINNEAPOLIS, Posted 3:08 p.m. July 19, 1998 -- Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad plans to work out a lease that will keep his team playing at the Metrodome for the next two years, according to a report published Sunday.

The Star Tribune cited an unnamed source close to Pohlad, who said Pohlad would work out the lease in the hope of finding a way to build a new baseball stadium.

On Friday, Pohlad and team president Jerry Bell met with Henry Savelkoul and Bill Lester of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which operates the Metrodome.

"They are working very hard," Pohlad said of the commission. "We are working very hard, too, and are hopeful that something can happen. But they can only go so far."

The Twins and the commission are scheduled for a 9 a.m. settlement hearing Monday before Hennepin County District Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum. The commission has filed a lawsuit trying to block the Twins from exercising an escape clause that would let them out of their Metrodome lease after this season.

The commission has offered to drop the lawsuit and help the Twins make more money for up to four years if they agree to look for a local buyer. A new owner would have to commit to playing in the Metrodome through 2005.

Meanwhile, the Saint Paul Pioneer Press reported Sunday that some investors from Charlotte, N.C., met with Pohlad on Thursday. Officials in Charlotte have given the Twins until early August to decide whether they will move there for 1999.

It has been believed the Twins would play in a minor league ballpark in Fort Mills, S.C., if they left with the intention of eventually playing in Charlotte. But the Pioneer Press reported that the Charlotte group seriously would consider moving the Twins to Salt Lake City, home of the team's Class AAA minor league club, for next season and possibly longer while a major league ballpark could be built in Charlotte.