MINNEAPOLIS -- The new ballpark authority is set and the Twins are ready to go. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced his final two selections for the five-person ballpark authority on Friday -- John Wade and Michael Vekich. Wade has been the president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce since 2002. Vekich is the CEO of Vekich Associates, an independent accounting and management advisors firm, and chairman and president of Skyline Displays, an Eagan-based manufacturer of modular trade show displays.
The authority will oversee construction of the ballpark and eventually the facility itself. Twins president Dave St. Peter has often said the formation and the work of the committee is essential to the project. "This is work that really, I guess, is the development of the infrastructure in regards to the group of folks who will work with the baseball team to make decisions regarding the budget, the design of the ballpark and also some of the elements around the ballpark," he said. "That's critical work that's being done now that we anticipate will be a very smooth, efficient process for both the public sector and the baseball team." Hennepin County appointed two members to the new ballpark authority on Tuesday. Steve Cramer, a former Minneapolis City Council member, was pegged to chair the authority. Rep. Barb Sykora (R-Excelsior), who is not seeking reelection this fall, was also selected. Last week, the Minneapolis City Council named a former member, Joan Campbell, to the authority. "This is a partnership between the Hennepin County and the Minnesota Twins," St. Peter said. "We continue to work in partnership to build a ballpark and to work together to provide this wonderful amenity in downtown Minneapolis." St. Peter said he's not sure how frequently the team and the ballpark authority will meet or communicate, but he's excited for the upcoming weeks and months. "I think we view them all as great appointees and we look forward to working with them," he said.
Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.