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ST. PAUL, MN-Although the ballpark bill only allows for a $330-million “roof ready” stadium, Minnesota Twins officials would like to put a retractable roof on any new stadium right from the start. Twins president Jerry Bell said in radio interviews that a roof on a new Twins stadium would add from $80 million to $120 million in costs.

The variance relates to whether the ballpark is fully air conditioned and heated. Bell wants the ballpark to be ready for cold weather in April and rain throughout the year–especially given many Twins fans travel from rural Minnesota or surrounding states to come to the ballgames, and should be assured they will see a game.

One possibility is a lease arrangement with a contractor, which would increase the annual cost to the Twins.

Bell made his wishes known even before Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura signed the bill. The bill would have the state of Minnesota issue the bonds to pay for the facility, which would be repaid by the Twins and local restaurant and lodging taxes in the host city.

Under the bill, the Twins must make a $120-million down payment and pay $10 million a year in rent. Meanwhile, St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly says he wants to start negotiating a deal with the Twins. He also wants assurances from the team that it would build aballpark in St. Paul if his voters pass a referendum to help fund it.

The bill left out Hennepin County as a possible bidder for the stadium, and Minneapolis officials say they can’t help finance a new stadium on their own.

Last week, the St. Paul city council unanimously adopted a resolution that pegs the Sept. 10 primary election or Nov. 5 general election as preferred referendum dates. A spokeswoman for Mayor Randy Kelly says timing hasn’t been discussed since theLegislature voted on the bill.

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