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.
It was in and then quickly out of his glove. You gotta make that play.
Preparations underway (Field View)
A recent view of the Bud deck in progress
A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.
I don't think this will remain a knothole, but the view is pretty cool.
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.
Two train stations
A portrait of the 573 Club.
This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.
An arch under construction.
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
Poles through the gap
This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.
Shh. Don't tell those people working behind the ticket windows about these automated ticketing machines (underneath the plaza stairs)
Met Stadium on May 17, 1975 (Twins vs. Brewers featuring Hank Aaron)
A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...
Another B ramp glimpse (don't loiter here!)
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
A trailer village has sprung up to the south.
Location for automated ticket machines
The brown grass was left over from the first attempt at groundbreaking (canceled after the 35W bridge collapse)
Open house skeptics
I set up my late inning "office" at the drink rail behind section 206
The green in question (click for very large version)
"text-align: left; font-size: .6em;">The suite mock-up
Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.