Editorial: Albert Lea benefits from Twins stadium

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 22, 2006

The new Twins stadium is scheduled to open in 2010 in downtown Minneapolis. It will be paid for largely by a Hennepin County sales tax and owner Carl Pohlad.

This is good for Albert Lea. We don’t pay any taxes for the stadium, yet we will benefit. Iowans heading north on Interstate 35 to see the Twins and other pro sports in the Twin Cities often stop in Albert Lea for fuel, snacks and other goodies. Every purchase adds to our city’s coffers.

Indeed, our city is a convenient place to stop. It’s easier to get off and on the freeway here than Clear Lake or Owatonna, and, if you’re driving from Des Moines, Ames, Fort Dodge and many other Iowa cities, Albert Lea is a nice halfway point. Freeway business must be good because two more trucks stops are being constructed near the junction of County Road 46 and I-35.

With no major pro sports teams in Iowa, sports fans there primarily follow pro sports in other states. A state poll in 2000 found the Minnesota Vikings were the most-followed NFL team in Iowa. With the AAA Iowa Cubs playing ball in Des Moines, we would assume the Chicago Cubs are the most popular baseball team in Iowa &045; but the two-time World Series champs Minnesota Twins can’t be far behind.

We look forward to next year’s legislative session, and we hope a decent solution can be found for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.