A day after signing a letter of intent to sell the Minnesota Twins to a North Carolina group, owner Carl Pohlad put out a plea Saturday for help building a ballpark to keep the baseball team in town.
“I feel very emotional about this because nobody wants to keep baseball in Minnesota more than I do,” Pohlad said. “There’s no way this town should be without baseball.”
But Pohlad has signed a letter of intent that would move the team to North Carolina if the Legislature refuses to agree to build a publicly financed stadium before Nov. 30.
Pohlad gave no indication of what he might contribute to the stadium, which he said any new owner would need because the team is losing money in the Metrodome and cannot compete.
The contract signed with a group led by businessman Don Beaver requires that a stadium be part of the plans even if a new local buyer is found for the team. The Twins acknowledge the deal with Beaver is aimed at state lawmakers.
“It is orchestrated to put pressure on the Legislature,” said Bob Pohlad, Pohlad’s son, who attended a Metrodome news conference, along with team president Jerry Bell.
Lawmakers, however, have been skeptical of the deal.
“They want to keep baseball in Minnesota if somebody else pays for it,” said Rep. Phil Krinkie, R-Shoreview. “There’s no question he’s holding a gun to our heads, saying it’s up to the Legislature. No, Mr. Pohlad.”