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.
This looks from the base of the stairs, behind the big pillars, toward the street.
Target HQ main entrance. Ballpark resemblance? (Inset.)
Here's the view of the entrance ramp to 394. Looks like they are painting...
Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)
I love views like this. They show just how much Target Field shimmers. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Shh. Don't tell those people working behind the ticket windows about these automated ticketing machines (underneath the plaza stairs)
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
The Guthrie Theater's Wurtele Thrust Stage seating
Click to enlarge.
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)
Click to enlarge.
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.
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
That group was working on something very carefully, but I couldn't tell just what it was.
The same section seen from Target Center. Yep, looks like bridge supports.
Looking from near the entry doors toward the center, the atrium is just visible at the far right.
Note that the sign in the background will NOT be changed because "Twins Way" doesn't extend this far north.
Dramatic night-time lighting.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
Seventh Street windows
Selling exactly what they say they're selling.
Twins in HD on the big board
These tracks actually travel beneath the admin building and come out on the other side
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
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
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Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures