Last reviewed October 2012
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This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to Minnesota legislators.
It is designed to provide an introduction to the topic, directing the user to a variety of sources, and is not intended to be exhaustive.
The issues surrounding financing and constructing baseball stadiums have fueled political debates in Minnesota for many years. With the construction of Target Field, the Twins will play
outdoor baseball for the first time since they left Met Stadium to play in the Metrodome.
This brief timeline is intended to be a starting point for researching the history of baseball and baseball stadiums in Minnesota.
1884: Professional baseball begins in Minnesota with minor league teams in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Stillwater joining the Northwestern League. Rules are changed to allow overhanded pitching. The Minneapolis
Browns' ball park is at the corner of Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street.
1889-early 1896: Minneapolis plays their games at Athletic Park, a tiny facility in downtown Minneapolis, behind the West Hotel.
1896: The Minneapolis team (now called the Millers to honor the city's flour milling industry) move to Nicollet Park.
1897: The St. Paul Apostles (later the Saints) play their weekday games at a ball park just to the southwest of Dale Street and
University Avenue and to placate residents complaints, their Sunday games at Lexington Park, a mile west off the corner of Lexington and
1954: 164 acres of farm land in Bloomington is chosen as the site for a major league stadium in the Twin Cities. It appears the Metropolitan
Sports Area Commission is officially established by an ownership and operations agreement between Minneapolis and Bloomington entered into
on August 13th.
1955: Ground breaking ceremonies are held June 20th at the Metropolitan Stadium. The Millers play their last game at Nicollet Park on
September 28th, beating the Rochester Red Wings in game 7 to win their first Junior World Series championship.
1956: The Minneapolis Millers open Metropolitan Stadium on April 24th against the Wichita Braves. The seating
capacity is about 18,200.
1957: The St. Paul Saints (of the American Association, not the Northern League) open Midway Stadium on April 25 with a day-night doubleheader against the Wichita braves.
1958: In September, Minneapolis approves $9 million in general obligation bonds to expand the seating capacity to 41,000, if a major league
team is signed by January 1, 1959.
1960: Minneapolis approves $8.5 million in bonds to expand Metropolitan Stadium.
1961: The Twins (formerly the Washington Senators) arrive in Minnesota.
1973: The Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce Stadium Task Force is created in October. The St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Stadium Study Task Force is also created.
1976-1977: Stadium politics dominate the State Legislature. Governor Wendell Anderson instructs the State Planning Agency to examine stadium proposals. They issue A Report on Sport Stadium Proposals in 1976. Stadium proposals
include remodeling Metropolitan Stadium, expansion
of the University of Minnesota's Memorial Stadium, building a recessed stadium in Lakeville, building a $28 million open air stadium, or
construction of a $126 million multi-purpose domed stadium.
1977: Governor Rudy Perpich announces support for a covered stadium. The Minnesota Legislature passes and Governor Rudy Perpich signs
Laws of Minnesota 1977, chapter 89. It creates the
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) and includes financing provisions for sports facilities
in the metropolitan area. The legislation doesn't specify a site but it does state that no public money may be used to purchase the land that
the stadium will be built on. Employees of the Metropolitan Sports Area Commission are transferred to the MSFC. A seven county Twin Cities
Metropolitan Area liquor tax is collected from 1977-1979.
1978: A district judge finds the public debt portion of the bill passed in 1977 unconstitutional since it was not passed by
the House and Senate with at least 60% of the votes. Land on the eastern edge of downtown Minneapolis is purchased, late in the year,
for approximately $14.5 million which is raised by Twin Cities businesses.
In December, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) votes 4-3 for a domed multipurpose
facility on this site.
1979: The Minnesota Legislature passes and Governor Al Quie
signs Laws of Minnesota 1979, chapter 203 which modifies
the 1977 law. They also repeal the seven county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area liquor tax with the passage of
Laws of Minnesota 1979, chapter 26.
The Metropolitan Council issues public revenue bonds backed by the City of
Minneapolis. In addition Minneapolis adopts a 3% liquor sales tax and hotel/motel accomodations tax to assist with stadium operations.
Ground is broken for the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in December. The stadium will be shared by the
Minnesota Twins baseball team, Minnesota Vikings football team, and the University of Minnesota college football team.
1981: The Twins play their last game at Met Stadium September 30, losing 5-2 to the Kansas City Royals.
1982: The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is completed in April at an approximate cost of $55 million for construction costs.
The full cost of the stadium is almost $124 million with the inclusion of nonconstruction costs. The Twins play their first regular
season game in the Metrodome on April 6, losing to the Seattle Mariners 11-7.
1984: Minneapolis lowers its 3% liquor sales tax and hotel/motel accomodations tax to 2%. This is the last year the tax is utilized.
1985: Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington is demolished.
1987: The Twins win their first world championship, beating the St. Louis Cardinals.
1989: The H.H.H. Metrodome Retractable Roof Study is completed.
1991: The Twins win their second World Series against the Atlanta Braves.
1993: The current inception of the St. Paul Saints was formed in the Northern League, one of several independent minor leagues not affiliated with Major League Baseball.
The Advisory Task Force on Professional Sports in Minnesota releases its
Final Report on January 31. A nonbinding professional
sport stadium construction referendum is discussed by the Minnesota Legislature in
HF 2974/SF 2464.
1997: Eleven bills are introduced in the Minnesota Legislature regarding a new professional baseball stadium
and a special session is called to debate the issue. Nothing passes. A joint bipartisan stadium task force is formed.
Baseball stadium bills introduced in the 1997-1998 session include the following
House files and
The Minnesota Legislature also introduces
HF 107/SF 111.
The bills transfer the ownership of the Metrodome to the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins. The bills do not pass. The
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) releases
Analysis of Stadium Options.
1998: Twins owner Carl Pohlad attempts to sell team to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver.
Charlotte voters reject a new stadium. Stadium bills that are introduced in Minnesota fail to pass.
1999: The legislature proposes
Senate File 801/
House File 87 to create public ownership of the Twins, but nothing passes. Minneapolis and St. Paul generate competing proposals to build a professional baseball stadium. A St. Paul referendum on the issue fails on November 2, 1999.
2000: New Ball Park Inc., a group of downtown Minneapolis business leaders, works to find private money to finance a ballpark. The Twins announce the creation of Minnesotans for Major League Baseball, a citizen committee to address keeping the franchise permanently in Minnesota.
2001: The Minnesota Legislature and Governor Jesse Ventura create an 18-member Stadium Task Force
(report and minutes) that prepares
recommendations for the 2002 Legislature to address stadium concerns of the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, and
the University of Minnesota. Baseball stadium bills introduced in the 2001-2002 session include the following
House files and
2002: The existence of the Twins is threatened by Major League Baseball contraction plans. The legislature passes House File 2214, providing state financing for a $330 million stadium in St. Paul. The Twins turn down St. Paul's plan.
2003: Governor Pawlenty sets up a Stadium Screening Committee to provide
information, analysis and advice in making a professional stadium proposal for the legislative session in 2004.
Baseball stadium bills introduced in the 2003-2004 session include the following
2004: The Stadium Screening Committee
(television archives) issues a
final report to Governor Tim Pawlenty recommending action be taken in
2004 for a ballpark and football stadium. Stadium bills that are
introduced (Senate File 3062 and
Senate File 2536) do not pass.
2005: Stadium bills are introduced but fail to pass. Debate focuses on a stadium in Hennepin County and if the proposed
sales tax should be exempted from the referendum requirement. Baseball stadium bills introduced in the 2005-2006 session
include the following
House files and
2006: Funding is established for a new Twins stadium, with House File 2480/
Senate File 2297 receiving numerous hearings. Whether to include a Hennepin County sales tax without a referendum continues to be a focus of the stadium discussions. The final version of the bill includes a 0.15 percent sales tax in Hennepin County that will generate the county's $392 million contribution
to the $522 million, 42,000 seat stadium located in Minneapolis' Warehouse District.
House File 2480 passes and becomes
Laws of Minnesota 2006,
Chapter 257. The law diverts a portion of the money raised by the Hennepin County sales tax to county youth activities and libraries. Also included is a provision that the Twins' nickname, logo, colors, records and trophies would become property of the state
of Minnesota should the team ever move to another city.
2007: The groundbreaking for the new ballpark takes place on August 30, 2007, which will forever be remembered as the day outdoor Major League Baseball returned to Minnesota.
2008-2009: Construction proceeds on Target Field.
2009: The St. Paul Saints began a push to build a new stadium in downtown Saint Paul. The proposed 7,500 seat stadium would be located in the Lowertown neighborhood.
The city of Saint Paul requested $25 million dollars in its 2010 bonding wish list to the Minnesota Legislature.
2010: The new Target Field opens with a two-game exhibition series against
the St. Louis Cardinals on April 2 and April 3. Forbes magazine reports that the value of the Twins has increased 14% to $405 million since
their move to Target Field.
2012: St. Paul receives a $25 million economic development grant to help finance a ballpark for the St. Paul Saints on September 13.
The following day Ryan Construction is named contractor for the project. In October,
the Minnesota Taxpayer's League filed a lawsuit to stop the plans, alleging the contract was improperly awarded.
SIGNIFICANT BOOKS AND REPORTS:
Advancing Arts and Athletics: Planning and Funding Arts and Sports in Minnesota.
St. Paul: Minnesota Planning, 1998. (GV430.M6 M566 1998) (This is the report of Governor Carlson's Task Force on Sports Facilities.)
Analysis of Stadium Alternatives. St. Paul: Real Estate Research Corporation, 1974. (GV415.R42)
Analysis of Stadium Options. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, 1997. (GV416.T9 A53 1997)
Berg, Steve. Target Field: The New Home of the Minnesota Twins. Minneapolis: MBI Publishing, 2010. (GV416.T37 B47 2010)
C-17 Report to the Mayor and City Council.
Minneapolis: New Ballpark Citizens Committee, 2001. (GV416.M6 C17 2001)
Caught Stealing: Debunking
the Economic Case for D.C. Baseball. CATO Institute. 2004. (Vertical File S 148.2)
Economic Impact Report: Minnesota Twins and a Proposed New Ballpark. Minneapolis: Arthur Andersen: Minnesota Wins, 1997. (GV875.M6 E36 1997)
Final Report of the Minnesota Stadiums Task Force. St. Paul: Minnesota Stadiums Task Force, January 25, 2002.
Klobuchar, Amy. Uncovering the Dome: Was The Public Interest Served in Minnesota's 10-Year Political Brawl Over the Metrodome? Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1982. (GV416 .M6 K45 1982)
Levin, Richard C., George J. Mitchell, Paul A. Volcker, and George F. Will.
Report of the Independent Members of the Commissioner's Blue Ribbon Panel on Baseball Economics. New York: Major League Baseball, 2000. (GV875.A1 R37 2000)
The Met, 1956-1981. Minnesota, 1981?. (GV416.B65 M47)
Metrodome: Backgrounder. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, 1995. (GV416.M6 M38 1995)
Minnesota Ballpark Authority. Annual Report. Minneapolis: Minnesota Ballpark Authority, 2009. (GV417.T37 M564)
Minnesota Ballpark Authority. Annual Financial Report. Minneapolis: Minnesota Ballpark Authority, 2009. (GV416.M6 M565)
Minnesota Ballpark Authority. Ballpark Budget Project Overview. Minneapolis: Minnesota Ballpark Authority, April 2010.
Minnesota Stadium and Arena History. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2010.
Minnesota Twins. Presentation to Legislative Study Committee. Minneapolis: Minnesota Twins, July 24, 1997. (GV875.M6 P74 1997)
Minnesota Twins/Hennepin County New Ballpark Summary 2005. (GV413 .M56 2005)
The Minnesota Urban Ballpark Final Environmental Impact Statement: Hennepin County, 2007. (GV416 .M564 2007)
Poitras, Marc and Lawrence Hadley. Do New Major League Baseball Parks Pay for Themselves? Dayton, OH: University of Dayton, 2003. (GV716 .D63 2003)
Procedures Relating to an Evaluation of the Source of Financial Information Included by the Minnesota Twins in its Report, Management's Discussion and Analysis. Minneapolis?: Coopers & Lybrand, 1996. (GV875.M6 P76 1996)
Report of the Committee. Minnesota: Minnesotans for Major League Baseball, 2001. (GV875 .M6 M54 2001)
Response to Information Requests from the Stadium Task Force and Additional Background Information. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, 1997. (GV416.M6 R47 1997)
Rippel, Joel A. (with forewords by Harmon Killebrew and Sid Hartman) 75 Memorable Moments in Minnesota Sports. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2003. (GV584.M65 R56 2003)
Shape the Solution: Keep Minnesota Major League: Resource Guide for the Minnesota Stadium Task Force. Minneapolis: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, 2001. (GV416.M6 S53 2001)
Squeeze Play: The Campaign for a New Twins Stadium. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Department of Speech Communications, Minnesota Public Advocacy Research Team, 1998. (GV416.M6 S68 1998)
Stadium Discussion Points. St. Paul: Minnesota Senate, Office of Senate Counsel and Research, 1997. (GV415 .M33 1997)
Stadium Screening Committee Report to Governor Tim Pawlenty. Minnesota: Stadium Screening Committee, 2004. (GV415 .S73 2004)
Thornley, Stew. Baseball in Minnesota: the definitive history. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society
Press, 2006. (GV863 .M6 T46 2006)
Weiner, Jay. Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. (GV716.W43 2000)
Zimbalist, Andrew S. May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004. (GV880 .Z58 2004)
Anderson Jr., G.R. "The New Twins Park: A Big Roadblock at Home Plate." City Pages, February 7, 2007.
Gee, David. "The Business of Baseball." Minnesota Business, April 2010, p. 24-28.
Gilyard, Burl. "Ballpark Figures: How the Twins Stadium Deal Stacks Up." Corporate Report, March 1998, p. 28-36.
Goldstein, Tom. "Ballpark Frankness." City Pages, September 8, 1999, p. 14-20.
Gordon, Jack. "The Coolest Ballpark in America." Twin Cities Business,
March 2010, p.32-7.
Grow, Doug. "A Change of Heart: After All My Pohlad-bashing Days, It's Time to Praise Them for the Twins Stadium 'Extras'." MinnPost, September 8, 2009.
Hebensperger, Ron. "Squeeze Play: The Stadium." Perspectives, Winter 1998, p. 4-9.
Hennepin County and Twins Baseball Club Ballpark Proposal and
Principles of Agreement, 2006.
House Research Act Summary of the 2006 bill "for construction and operation of a new Major League ballpark in Minneapolis."
Jacobson, Don. "The Starting 9: The Nine People that Made Target Field Possible." Twin Cities Business, March 2010, p. 38-43.
Johnson, Charles. How Major League Baseball Came to Minnesota, 1982. (Vertical File S 148.2)
Kostouros, John. "Take Us Out of the Ballgame." Minnesota Law and Politics, June 1998, p. 34.
Langdon, Philip. "Minnesota's Ballpark: Urban Yet Not Retro " New Urban News, October/November 2010, p. 1, 6-7.
Mack, Linda. "A Walk to the Park." Architecture Minnesota, November/December 2007, p. 42-47.
Mador, Jessica and Brandt Williams. "Twins Get the Keys to Target Field". MPR NewsQ, January 4, 2010.
Meland, Christa. "Is Target Field on Target?"
Twin Cities Business, October 2010.
Orrick, Dave. "St. Paul Pitches New Ballpark for Saints." St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 11, 2009.
Platt, Adam. "Every Night is Opening Night" Twin Cities Business, July 2012, p. 38-43. This article discusses the history of the St. Paul Saints and recent efforts to secure a new stadium.
Reusse, Patrick. "Time to Bag the Dome: As a Baseball Venue, the Metrodome has Struck Out." Twin Cities Business Monthly, July 2000, p. 132-133.
Skobrug, John W. "A Decade of Research on Sports Stadiums." Budget & Tax News, Feb. 2005, p. 10-11.
"Stadium Wars: Back from the Dead." City Pages, May 11, 2005.
Tanick, Marshall H. "Play Ball: 50 Years of Twins Litigation Lore." Bench&Bar of Minnesota, April 2010, p. 16-19.
"Twins Stadium Financing". Money Matters, August 13, 1997.
"Value of Twins Takes Healthy Leap". Star Tribune, April 8, 2010.
Vomhof, Jr. John. "Twins Ballpark Builders Not Hitting Diversity Goals." Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, March 7, 2008, p. 1, 41.
Weiner, Jay. "How We Can Have Our Big-League Ballpark and Afford it Too."
Minnesota Law & Politics, May 2000, p. 26-28.
Weiner, Jay. "Why Do Vikings Want a Stadium? Twins Know." MinnPost, March 24, 2011.
Weiner, Jay. "Target Field: Economic Impact is Years -- and Dreams -- Away." MinnPost,
April 9, 2010.
Weiner, Jay. "Target Field: The House That Jerry Bell Willed to Completion."
MinnPost, April 1, 2010.
SIGNIFICANT INTERNET RESOURCES:
Minnesota Ballpark Authority - A public body that was created by the 2006 Legislature to oversee the construction and operation of Target Field.
Target Field information and Minnesota Twins history, including a history of the Metrodome.
About the Metrodome by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.
ADDITIONAL LIBRARY RESOURCES:
For historical information, check the following codes in the Newspaper Clipping File and the Vertical
S148.2 (Sports - Baseball), S150 (Stadiums)
For additional reports at the Legislative Reference Library, use this
Library catalog search:
For further information on sports facilities, see
Financing Professional Sports Facilities.
GROUPS INVOLVED WITH THIS ISSUE: