You might say these former Senators have become a big hit as part of the Midwest sports scene. The Minnesota Twins Baseball Club owns and operates a professional baseball franchise that traces its root to 1901 when Ban Johnson started the Washington Senators. A charter member of the American League, the Major League Baseball team moved to Minneapolis in 1960. It boasts six American League pennants and three World Series championships (the last in 1991). The team's roster has featured such Hall of Fame players as Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, and Kirby Puckett. The Twins play host at Target Field in the Twin Cities. The family of CEO James Pohlad has owned the Twins since 1984.
Like most other professional sports teams, the Twins generate revenue primarily through broadcasting rights fees, ticket sales, and merchandising. The franchise struggled for years, however, playing at the aging Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome due to its lack of luxury suites and the uninviting environs for baseball. The baseball team was also hindered by the fact that it shared the facility with the Minnesota Vikings football team.
Moving into the new Target Field in 2010, the team hopes to reap additional sponsorship revenue and fan interest. The 40,000-seat facility cost more than $520 million to build. The Twins organization provided about $130 million for construction, while the state of Minnesota paid the rest. The Twins agreed to a 30-year lease as part of the funding agreement. The team later struck a key partnership with department store giant Target in 2008 when the retailer agreed to a 25-year naming rights deal.
Family patriarch and billionaire Carl Pohlad died early in 2009, leaving his son, James, in charge of the Twins franchise and other businesses. The clan had a significant stake in PepsiAmericas, a soft drink bottling business that was acquired by PepsiCo early in 2010.
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