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April 21, 2004
We want our Twins TV!
The strangest things affect elected officials' decisions on whether to subsidize sports stadiums: Minnesota legislators are reporting being bombarded by calls from constituents angered by the Twins' lack of a deal with local cable and satellite TV carriers, which has made telecasts largely unavailable to Twin Cities viewers. (The Twins have been demanding that cable operators pay them more than even the Yankees get in cable rights fees for their new premium channel.)
"It's been said to me more than once: 'Keep your powder dry on the stadium until they resolve the issue of putting them back on TV,'" says Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson. "I would expect the Twins want to cut the best deal, but I think it doesn't serve [stadium] negotiations well while this issue is still in the balance."
If we're Twins owner Carl Pohlad, we'd gladly cough up a few million dollars in TV rights fees for a shot at $300 million or so in public stadium subsidies. But then, no one's ever accused Pohlad of being able to think beyond the quick buck.