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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Branding on the plaza
That's Tony Oliva checking out ballpark construction from the roof of Target Center.
Concrete molds are being removed!
Dome, what have you taken from us?
Now, why is there horse shit on the street next to Target Field? (I saw it in two places. Mounted police maybe?)
The Pantheon (with inset of the magic eye)
The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Fenway has posts. Target Field does not. But...
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction
Best view available from the "B" ramp.
Ben took this picture of me (carrying my mostly useless camera) and Twins rep Chris Iles down by the admin building
Wrigley Field. Paradise? Not from these seats.
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.
The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)
What a great sight!
The sign reads, "Mortenson Radio Channels".
This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
The HERC side, viewed from Fifth Street.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.
Here is a close-up of those funny little islands of seats (HRP View).
Wood-backed seats viewed through gate 6
The Pro Shop
Emergency access as viewed from outside the ballpark
Justin Morneau, mobbed after a game-winning homer on June 9
Finished product (Field Terrace)
For those who have never seen it up close, that's what it looks like when steam comes out of the HERC plant.