May 28, 2006 1:00 AM
Let the sun shine in, indeed!
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...
Some baseball legends (and Ron Coomer)
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Bird's-eye view of the trees
Items promoting the Twins 2014 All-Star Game bid. I got to bring one of these buckets home, and Noah got his first-ever taste of Cracker Jacks.
Larry DiVito, mowing
I know these are giants bats with hops growing inside, but... Hmm...
One of those funny little sections above the entrance stairs
As mentioned earlier, one of the best climate-controlled views of construction is from the 7th floor elevator lobby in the A ramp. (That's Noah getting his first glimpse of the new ballpark.)
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
Larry DiVito, mowing
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
Nuts on Clark (a couple blocks north of Wrigley Field)
This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.
Hit gap, win suit!
Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)
Bronze glove delivered (awaiting installation) with Met flag pole horizontal behind the gate
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)
Click to see the full-size image.
This is the Suite Level. There are multiple suites between each pillar, and there will be seating on the area in front of the suites which currently looks like it could be a walkway.
Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
Path of quick escape.
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
Did you notice the flowers?
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
The entrances are all the way around on the other side.
A great view from the balcony outside the Metropolitan Club
A recent view of the Bud deck in progress
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures