Our permanent cloud cover is now to be lifted, and we'll once again need some sun screen. Ahh.
Pawlenty makes it official!
If you're like me, you've been dreaming of this day since sometime in 1982. I remember the moment well: I stepped through the revolving door, popped my ears, looked out into the concrete oval filled with uniformly blue chairs, and immediately began to long for my distant but sun-soaked bleacher seat at Met Stadium.
After pining away for a domed stadium for the better part of the 70s, I couldn't believe what had actually been built. How could anything with so much potential get so screwed up? (This is a theme I'll return to since I would hate to see the same thing happen now.)
In the intervening decades, I've made longing for outdoor baseball -- and hating the Metrodome -- something of its own pastime. My friends have even developed it into something of a ritual. Just prior to stepping through the pressurized doors, we look at each other and say, "What a great day for outdoor baseball!" This is followed by a smack to the forehead, and extensive shaking of heads.
The upside of Dome-hating is that desire for sunshine has led me on numerous occasions to other baseball cities. I've visited some of the greats, and some of the newer not-so-greats. I've developed quite a collection of photographs and ballpark-related books, and done a whole lot of dreaming. I've known for years just how I thought the Twins' new home should look.
Now that the dream is on its way to reality, I'm not really sure yet just how to give up my pastime. So I'm doing the only thing I can think of: writing emails and starting this web site. It's a little bit of therapy, a little bit of fantasy, and a little bit of organization so that the fans get something to say about our new home.
Yes, it's our home. Players and owners will come and go, but we and our children and their children will be going to this park for a long time. So I want to love it. I don't want a copy of Camden Yards. I don't want a watered down Coors Field or SBC (or whatever it's called now). I don't even want a Fenway or a Wrigley or a Tiger Stadium -- except in the sense that it must be unique, comfortable, distinctive, and definitely ours.. We'll be calling this place home for a long time, so let's make sure it lives up to our expectations.
The Twins and Hennepin County seem open to suggestions, and I'd love it if this site could become a repository for the best ideas. (I've already enjoyed an email exchange with Twins president Dave St. Peter, who seemed very open to input. More on this in the next couple of days.) Once construction starts, I'll keep a photographic record of the progress, posted here for all to see.
There's so much to say, and I don't know exactly where to begin. So I'll start tomorrow by talking a little about the timeline as it stands right now, then introduce the ballpark site and why it could be a pretty great place to put a park (plus a few things to watch out for).
Please note that you'll be able to leave comments, but I want to get going, and that code isn't quite ready yet...
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Here's the view of the entrance ramp to 394. Looks like they are painting...
Wrigley Field viewed while approaching on foot from the northwest
Suite level view
Rooftop scaffolding, for the wind veil installation?
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
One half of those windows are well-used.
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...
I love this view of the Basilica.
This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.
Just lighted panels... *sigh*
The Pro Shop.
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.
A detail from the above image shows that the section signage is now in place
OK, people are definitely riding their bikes to games! (Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy MBA)
The spruced up triangle really doesn't show much connection with the ballpark.
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
Citi Field as viewed from Shea.
Larry DiVito, mowing
Also from the B ramp entrance off of Third, a look up at the tiny crack between ballpark and parking ramp
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
Click to see the full-size image.
You can't get there from here.
From the Downtown Council's 2025 Plan, a Metrodome "Revelopment" and a strong indication of where they think a new Vikings stadium should go.
Thanks for all the hard work out there, Cold Safety-Line Dudes. (I'm glad that my job does not require safety lines...)
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
If you want, you can ask those folks how the game is going -- and even get a little bit of info from the big screen (Grandstand)
Lower deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
A scene repeated about a BILLION times each game
Here are some less intrusive things things you can actually get at the ballpark.