Twins ask judge to declare Metrodome lease void

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins asked a Hennepin County district judge on Monday to rule that the team isn't obliged to play in the Metrodome after this season.

"This thing is stone-cold dead," Twins lawyer Roger Magnuson told judge Charles Porter Jr., referring to a 1998-2003 agreement for the team to play in the dome.

However, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which runs the Metrodome, said the Twins have a legal agreement to remain in the Metrodome until a new ballpark is built.

Porter said he'll rule in two weeks, but an appeal is expected no matter which side prevails.

The Twins contend they have no long-term agreement to play in the 24-year-old Metrodome and have operated there on a year-to-year basis since the 2004 season.

Corey Ayling, the lawyer for the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, said the team has acted as if it were a long-term tenant and has essentially operated under a 1998 agreement that ran through 2003.

"Conduct and actions speak a lot louder than words," Ayling told the judge. "They have accepted all these checks and they behaved exactly as if this agreement had been signed."