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T-Wolves owner will get involved with Twins stadium

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has begun discussions with legislative leaders in hopes of getting a stadium built and keeping the Minnesota Twins. He also says he intends to buy a piece of the team, a published report says. Taylor said he will ask legislative leaders Friday if his participation in the stadium process and an ownership stake in the team would make a difference.

Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe said Friday he has had many conversations with Taylor, a former Senate minority leader, over the last few weeks, and encouraged him to discuss his interest in the team with other legislative leaders.

Moe said he thought Taylor's close association with lawmakers might improve chances of passing a stadium bill when the Legislature convenes in a special session Thursday.

"I don't know whether or not it will make a difference ... (but) the present owners are obviously having a hard time selling it," he said.

But Taylor said he isn't sure if his involvement will make a difference. So far, lawmakers haven't been able to agree on a public funding source for a ballpark.

Twins owner Carl Pohlad has a deal to sell the team to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver if the Legislature doesn't agree by Nov. 30 to build a stadium.

Taylor said that as part of any role in ballpark negotiations, he would insist that Pohlad relinquish operating control of the Twins, although not all his stock in the American League franchise.

"I think I have to be in a position to have the authority if I would be doing the negotiations," Taylor told the Star Tribune. "Yes, I would have to have some ownership, but not 51 percent."

Taylor said he already has discussed a partnership with Minneapolis publisher and lawyer Vance Opperman, who did not immediately return a telephone call Friday.

Pohlad declined to comment Thursday night but confirmed to the Star Tribune that he had met with Taylor on Wednesday, and said, "if that's what Glen told you, then write it."