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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)
Integrating the administration building was really a great idea. Actually, there will be more things inside than just offices, but that will probably be some sweet space.
The glorious Gate 34
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
This is the left field pavilion in the original concept model. The restaurant pictured to its right has been moved, and the seating area has been extended at least one full section toward center.
Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America
This is where the main ticket office will be.
Typical standing room crowd which started early and lasted the entire game.
The view out Gate 6 "Oliva".
Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof
Showing more of the context for the louvers.
Just lighted panels... *sigh*
Sure would be nice to cover that metal grid with more wooden louvers, eh?
Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Workers against green
You can get a hand-carved sandwich, or ice cream while pondering the career of Julio Becquer.
An alternate route into downtown. (Click to get an interactive map.)
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.
The lot within the lot.
The LRT station, sitting in a brand new urban canyon, takes shape.
For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.
Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...
Here is the most recent outfield configuration, captured from the animation video. We probably shouldn't make too much of the logos seen on the scoreboard: Best Buy, Dairy Queen, Target, Pepsi, Dodge and Qwest...
The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.