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NC Moves One Step Closer to the Major Leagues

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RALEIGH — Major league baseball is striking out in Minnesota, and potential NorthCarolina owners are on deck. The Minnesota Twins are one step closer torelocating to the Tar Heel state.

It's tough to stay away from baseball cliches when a deal like this ison the line. Let's put it this way, it's the bottom of the ninth for fansof the Minnesota Twins. While the game is not over, it would take a lastsecond homerun in Minnesota for the Twins not to move to North Carolina.

Don Beaver is eager, eager to draw major league baseball to NorthCarolina, in particular, to move the Twins to the Triad. And, theMinnesota legislature is helping out.

Thursday, the Minnesota House voted against funding a new stadium for theTwins. Friday morning the state Senate adjourned, basically acceptingthe fact that the Twins are leaving town. Beaver and his ownership groupexpect to move forward to purchase the team at the end of this month.

Beaver says his letter of intent goes into effect November 30th. At thattime, he will submit the move proposal to Major League Baseball forapproval.

If all goes well, the team would play two years in the "Knights Castle,"the Triple-A stadium in Charlotte. The team would then move to a newstadium built between Greensboro and Winston-Salem, if and only if theadditional taxes to build that stadium are approved by voters.

But with the Hornets, the Hurricanes and the Panthers already pawing forfans and corporate money, what would be the secret of baseball's success?

Beaver believes after the honeymoon period, the team is bond to win overthe fans.

If Triad voters turn down a tax increase to pay for a new stadium, Beaver says there is a possibility Knight's stadium in Charlotte could be expandedto support a major league team. That would mean a permanent move to Charlotte.

There are still a lot of "ifs" here, the biggest is if the Governor ofMinnesota calls back lawmakers before November 30th. Will Minnesota keepthe Twins? We'll keep watching.