Stadium Welfare: More Baseball Bashing


When baseball players aren't using steroids, their bosses are robbing polite Minnesotans of millions so that they can have nice new locker rooms in which to use the aforementioned steroids. A new ballpark is being built for the 2007 season of the Minnesota Twins at the low, low price of $522 million:

On Monday, an additional 0.15 percent sales tax—3 cents per $20 purchase—kicks in. Over time, it is expected to generate enough money to pay for three-quarters of the stadium.

Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, who helped steer the stadium plan through the Legislature, said he hears complaints "from time to time" about the new tax. The county won permission to enact it without a voter referendum.

"I'd imagine there are people who are going to see that appear on sales receipts and continue to gripe about it," Opat said.

Legislation limited the county's spending on infrastructure to $90 million, so they're also planning court action to condemn some of the properties on the site of the proposed ballpark or take them with eminent domain:

"It's going to be a challenge. We're not in this to pay any price," Opat said. "The land needs to be purchased at a fair and not unreasonable price because the public is in for a defined amount and that's as far as we go."