Axios Twin Cities

Newsletter branding image

🏃‍➡️ The weekend is in sight! One more day. You got this.

  • Partly sunny most of the day with a chance of rain this evening. High of 44.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Twin Cities members Bob Martin and Keith Woodward!

Today's newsletter is 923 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Glen Taylor declares Wolves, Lynx 'no longer for sale'

Marc Lore, Alex Rodriguez, and Glen Taylor … In a photo that definitely wasn't taken yesterday. Photo: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor said yesterday that Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore missed the deadline to acquire control of the team and declared the Lynx and Wolves "are no longer for sale."

Why it matters: It's a dramatic turn of events as fans have been anticipating new ownership for nearly three years.

Yes, but: A-Rod and Lore say they're still planning to close on the team once they get NBA approval.

Catch up quick: Taylor struck a deal with Lore and Rodriguez back in 2021 that gave the two business partners a series of deadlines to make payments to acquire 80% of the team.

  • Their last payment, of $600 million, was due on Wednesday.
  • The two minority owners had struck a deal with private equity giant The Carlyle Group to help make the final payment, but that deal fell apart this month.
  • They found a new partner and submitted paperwork to the NBA, according to The Athletic.

What they're saying: In a statement yesterday, Taylor said Lore and Rodriguez did not meet certain circumstances to get an extension. A source close to the deal said they failed to meet certain contractual obligations in between exercising their last option and closing on the team.

The other side: Rodriguez and Lore disputed that characterization in a statement sent to Axios' Dan Primack, calling Taylor's comments "an unfortunate case of seller's remorse."

  • "We have fulfilled our obligations, have all necessary funding, and are fully committed to closing our purchase of the team as soon as the NBA completes its approval process," the statement read.

What we're watching: The Athletic, citing league sources, reported that the purchase agreement calls for mediation and arbitration to resolve such disputes.

Taylor, 82, said he will continue to work with Rodriguez and Lore — who own nearly 40% of the team — "to ensure our teams have the necessary resources to compete at the highest levels on and off the court."

Between the lines: Taylor had agreed to sell the team at a $1.5 billion valuation back in 2021. Forbes now values the Wolves at $2.5 billion.

Full story

2. Zoom in: ⛹️ The on-court playoff push

Anthony Edwards has stepped up in the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

While ownership drama brews off the court, the actual Timberwolves basketball team has a crucial final 10 games starting tonight.

Why it matters: How they play over this stretch will decide their playoff seeding and opponent. The higher their seed, the longer they'll keep home-court advantage in the playoffs.

State of play: The Wolves are 50-22 and in a tight three-way battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets for the Western Conference's best record.

  • They play Denver two more times, including tonight in the Mile High City. A win puts them in first place.

Yes, but: No matter their seeding, Minnesota will have a tough first-round opponent thanks to a stacked conference.

  • They could be matched up with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns, or Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks.

Between the lines: Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, and Kyle Anderson have elevated their play with Karl-Anthony Towns out with a meniscus tear.

  • The team's chances still vastly improve if KAT comes back. He will be reevaluated around April 9, according to the team. Playoffs begin April 20.

Share this story

3. The Spoon: ⛷️ Bonus skiing

A snow grooming machine prepares a run at Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area in Dresser, Wisconsin; just west of Taylors Falls, Minn. Photo courtesy of Trollhaugen

⛷️ After a rough winter, two local ski areas — Buck Hill and Trollhaugen — announced plans to capitalize on this week's snow by briefly reopening their runs today and tomorrow, according to their websites.

⚖️ LGBTQ+ advocates fear the case of a sperm donor who sued for paternity of the daughter he helped a lesbian couple conceive could set troubling precedents in Minnesota family law cases. (Star Tribune)

🎓 Minnesota's latest high school graduation rate failed to include hundreds of Minneapolis and St. Paul students. (Star Tribune)

✉️ Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined 13 other states asking weapons maker Glock, Inc., to preserve all evidence related to a "switch" that makes their pistols automatic weapons. (KARE 11)

⛽️ Holiday locations are beginning to become Circle K stores, marking the end of another Minnesota-born gas station brand. (MPR News)

4. 🙏 Good Friday, bad church attendance

Share of adults who say they never or rarely attend religious services
Data: Household Pulse Survey. Note: Adults who say they never attend or attend less than once a year. Map: Alice Feng/Axios

In Minnesota, 52% of adults never or seldom attend church or religious services, compared to the national average of 49%, per a new Axios analysis of Household Pulse Survey data.

Why it matters: More than three-quarters of Americans say religion's role in public life is shrinking, per a recent Pew Research Center survey — the highest level since 2001.

By the numbers: Another 12% of Minnesotans go between one and three times per year.

  • That would include the true "submarine" Christians who only "surface" at Christmas or Easter — which is Sunday.

The other side: About 20% of Minnesotans go at least 12 times per year, which is also on par with the national average.

Go deeper

Sponsored event listings

Stay booked and busy

📅 Upcoming events around the city.

SPRING JAM 2024 at Parking Lot 37 on April 20: Complete with free carnival rides, student-run activities, and live music. Spring Jam is the perfect welcome party for warm weather. Food trucks will be available for purchase and beer will be available for purchase to those 21+ with valid I.D.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

5. 🎨 Hot Home puts the 'art' in apartment

Photo by Isaiah Rustad

This dreamy third floor unit in a historic Minneapolis mansion comes with a panorama of painted murals.

The latest: Listed for $1,750/month, the 1 bedroom/1 bathroom unit is inside Stevens Square's George R. Newell House located at 1818 LaSalle Avenue.

Why we love it: Artist and former resident Susan Lynn painted floor-to-ceiling masterpieces, with angelic human forms on the ceiling and Twin Cities landmarks like the Como Conservatory and State Capitol across the walls.

  • Fellow former resident and journalist Zac Farber dove into the history of the unit, which was once used as the mansion's ballroom, in a 2020 Southwest Journal article.

Interested parties can contact leasing agent Chloe Crosby via the Facebook Marketplace listing, Crosby confirmed to Axios.

Take a look inside

🥪 Kyle scarfed down a delicious turkey sandwich with brie and cranberry chutney (the "T-Chut") from the St. Paul Cheese Shop.

🐰 Nick is hiding Easter eggs in the snow because this is Minnesota.

🏝️ Torey is off today.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Patricia Guadalupe.