Finally, something interesting about our new ballpark site: it sits on top of a river!
OK, maybe 'river' is a strong word. It's actually Bassett Creek, and it runs directly beneath the Rapid Park lot. Maps differ on exactly where it flows, but all agree it goes through there somewhere on its way to the river.
Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)
Some history is in order. Bassett Creek begins at Medicine Lake, and is open to the air for most of its journey to the Mississippi River, including a large stretch which flows through Theodore Wirth Park.
In Minneapolis' early days, the creek flowed unchecked to the river, and this was a source of more or less constant problems as the area became more and more populated. Ultimately, it ran through heavily-populated residential areas. But it became something of an open sewer which had a tendency to flood easily and fill houses with all sorts of noxious debris.
Sometime early in the 20th century, a decision was made to divert the stream into a tunnel (actually two) so that the surrounding land could be developed. Ever since, the creek has continued to run and exit to the river through two culverts.
The north channel is the smaller of the two, and exits to the river just below the Plymouth Avenue bridge. This is the one which is actually visible to patrons of the Acme Comedy Club, located at 708 N 1st St. (There is a viewing area which actually looks down onto the running water!) It is also the channel which was brought back to the surface where it flows through the Sumner Fields rebuilding project.
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
The south channel is the main channel through which the bulk of the water still flows, and this is the channel beneath Rapid Park. How this complicates the building of a stadium is anybody's guess. I discovered it in one of the Urban Ballpark documents regarding the need for Environmental Impact Statements, so it must be well known to the people involved.
City Pages did a cover story history of the creek a few years ago when the Sumner Fields reconstruction began. They correctly note that people began to regret burying the creek almost as soon as the project was completed, and even today there are those who would love to see it returned to the surface where it would, no doubt, increase property values substantially.
How about a stream running past our outfield fence? Or maybe underneath the grandstand but visible through a glass floor. Far-fetched, perhaps, but just the type of amenity which could become a signature.
"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.
First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right
Door to the visitor's clubhouse.
Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.
The plaza as seen from the B ramp.
Click to see the full-size image.
Hit gap, win suit!
I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
Location for automated ticket machines
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
The main concourse.
A true fan out in the bleachers
Another B ramp glimpse (don't loiter here!)
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Here's another view up Sixth Street toward where the plaza will meet First Avenue (it will hug Target Center all the way).
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
Evidence of a food court behind the seating above the batter's eye
I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?
Guthrie Theater (original design colors)
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
Main ticket window area
Photo by Jared Wieseler
Seville's certainly will benefit from 81 games a year played about a block away! (When I walked by on this day, the place looked deserted, but I stand corrected!)