A River Runs Through It
June 2, 2006 11:43 PM
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.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Sometime in the late 1980s: B ramp is under construction. Not yet built: Target Center, I-394 and the A ramp.
Scoreboard in profile against the skyline
Walkway construction is progressing
Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?
View from the batter's eye seats
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows
Looking across the plaza toward the main ticket area.
This is the back of the Cisco Field scoreboard, showing video to folks out on the plaza.
Knothole non-view #2
Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007
Seat logos in place
Griffith Stadium (notch visible in lower photo at far left)
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
Another classic space in the making above the Hrbek gate.
Gate 34 Puckett
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
Dramatic night-time lighting.
Door to the visitor's clubhouse.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
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.)
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.
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
You have to wonder just what happened here. Will it remain forever embedded in cement?
The circulation ramp on the north now has its louver framing.
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures