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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The Target Field grass, it turns out, will be green. (This is a photo representing the concept of grass only. The actual Target Field grass apparently will not contain dirt patches, weeds, or dandelions. Imagine that -- if you can!)
Detail at Gate 6
The brick has been tinted where the circulation ramp meets the admin building.
Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.
Puckett atrium chef stand menu
How many times did we water down our field as kids? More times than we played games, that's for sure!
Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.
I meant to include this shot the other day. It's the new LRT bridge being built next to the remaining half of the Fifth Street bridge. The new half is almost TWICE the width of the portion torn down. And the other end runs right into a HERC administration building! (Click to see the view from nearly the same spot about 85 years ago.)
Then you turn around to this!
Here is a close-up of those funny little islands of seats (HRP View).
All that's left is to add wood! (Seventh Street circulation ramp.)
Target Plaza in model form
Looking up Sixth Street, now barricaded for plaza extension.
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
JohnW provides this shot of a construction barricade on First Avenue
The shade of the canopy gives way to a brief shaft of light. It would do the same again a short while later when the sun passed through that tiny open sliver between the View and Terrace levels.
The first passengers are about to arrive, but the switch is set for the wrong track (those guys walked all the way out to correct it)
A spot that's always full!
A mass of rebar and complicated cable runs ready for a pour.
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the plaza
A view into the Legend's Club
September 23, 2007
This is the Carew gate covered in plastic.
Because of the scale, it's sometimes hard to realize that there are actual guys down there doing the tough work! Here they are getting ready to pour a footing.