ST. PAUL (AP) -- Lawmakers pushing for a new baseball stadium have decided to generally stick with the financing proposal crafted by a Ventura administration official earlier this year.
"We went in different directions for a while, but now we are back to the governor's plan," said Sen. Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, co-chairman of the stadium conference committee. "We will have a bill."
The bill was passed by the House earlier this session. With modifications, the $330 million proposal will receive the Legislature's final up or down vote sometime between now and Monday.
Although team officials were heavily involved in exploring financial alternatives with the state, Johnson said they were excluded from a private meeting Thursday between conferees and members of the governor's administration. That's when final decisions were made on what to put before legislators, he said.
The Twins will be eager to see how much cash will be demanded of the team. The House bill called for a $165 million down payment from the club. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that the requirement for up-front money will be less than that but more than $100 million, citing two people close to the deal.
The Twins argued that a compromise is needed because owner Carl Pohlad is committed to selling the team, and a new owner couldn't afford to buy the club and make a huge down payment on a stadium.
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