Return to Index Mission Statement Stadium Situation Articles about the Twins' quest for a new park Why the Twins need a new park Concerns about a new Twins park Thoughts about the Twins and the stadium issue Save the Twins poll Twins links Contact Webmaster Save the Minnesota Twins is dedicated to keeping baseball 
in Minnesota by helping the Twins build a new stadium.
home > articles > article

Twins: Kiss 'em Good-bye?
House Adjourns for Good After Killing Bill
by Kevin Featherly

ST. PAUL, Minn. Updated 10:41 p.m. November 13, 1997

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, they say. Tonight, she sang, loudly.

If you're a fan of the Minnesota Twins, it's not looking good for you.

The Minnesota House, by a substantial 84-47 margin, shot down a bill to finance a stadium for the Twins that would have traded community ownership of the team for a state-funded ballpark.

Then they adjourned. For good.

It is the death knell to the team, according to Rep. Loren Jennings, DFL-Harris, an author of the defeated bill. Speaking to WCCO-Radio tonight, he said there is no Plan B.

"The citizens of Minnesota saw baseball die, professional baseball die, on Nov. 13, 1997," Jennings said in an interview with WCCO-Radio's Eric Eskola. "The question is, Eric, will you live long enough to see it when it comes back?"

The Senate adjourned earlier in the evening without casting a vote on their version of the bill. But they had intended to come back to work in the morning to try again. The House's decision to give up the ghost effectively decides the issue for the entire Legislature.

At this point, the only hope for keeping the Twins in Minnesota seems to be for Gov. Arne Carlson to declare yet another special legislative session -- it would be the fourth of the year. He could call lawmakers back a final time to hammer out a proposal to keep the team here before the Twins are sold and move to the East Coast.

But he would have to do so quickly enough for the Legislature to meet, figure out a plan and pass it, all by Nov. 30. That, the Twins have said, is the "drop-dead date" on which they will sell the team to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver unless a stadium funding plan is passed.

However, WCCO-TV reported at 10 p.m. tonight, the governor's chief of staff says Carlson will not call the Legislature back to work again this year.

Another vague possibility is that the the Twins' self-declared Nov. 30 deadline could be waived and the issue tackled again next year, during the regular legislative session in the spring. In debates tonight, Rep. Dee Long suggested that the deadline was an artificial one, and that it may not be a real deadline at all.

The Twins insist it is. So now, the issue is squarely in the hands of Twins owner Carl Pohlad.

But team officials told WCCO-TV tonight they are out of luck, out of time, and late next year, almost certainly out of town.

"Forty-seven votes," mused a dejected Twins team President Jerry Bell. "For a team that's been donated to the state, for a stadium that's clearly paid 100 percent with user fees. And if that's all the votes you can get, there comes a time when you have to admit ... that it's over."

Asked directly whether the Twins are now moving to North Carolina, Bell would only say, "No comment," WCCO-TV's Pat Kessler reported.

WCCO-Radio reported at 7 p.m. tonight that the state Senate had recessed until 9 a.m. Friday, insuring that they would not pitch in with their part of the issue's resolution Thursday night.

However, the House's position is now abundantly clear.

The House could've decided to pick up the issue again tomorrow morning, but refused.

Now, barring the governor's successful intervention, the issue is dead and the Twins appear on their way to becoming an historical footnote.