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

Panel To Decide Fate of Twins' Lease
Five Representatives to Determine if Twins Have to Stay

MINNEAPOLIS, Posted 1:54 p.m. January 31, 1998 -- The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission and the Minnesota Twins have agreed to let a five-person panel evaluate whether the team can cancel it's lease and leave the Metrodome and Minnesota. Former Hennepin District Judge Robert Bowen will head the panel, which will include two commission officials and two team representatives. Bowen will cast the tie-breaking vote on the validity of the lease.

The two commission representatives in the mediation will be commission Chairman Henry Savelkoul and Bill Lester, the commission's executive director. The team's representatives are supposed to be Twins President Jerry Bell and Terry Ryan, the general manager.

Bowen, who retired as a judge in 1988, said the mediation is tentatively scheduled to begin March 3. Roger Magnuson, a lawyer for the Twins, predicted it will take only one day.

Last October, Twins officials announced the team had met two criteria for breaking the lease -- sagging attendance that was less than 80 percent of the American League average, and three years of financial losses.

In late November, the Sports Facilities Commission began asserting in a series of letters to the Twins that the team had not yet the conditions of the escape clause and is bound to keep playing in the Metrodome until the lease expires in 2012.

The key issue is whether the 1994-95 baseball strike is responsible for both the attendance slump and the financial losses.

But results of the mediation, including Bowen's conclusions about what role the strike played, will not be binding on either the commission or the Twins. Either side still will have the option of taking the dispute to court.