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Sometimes It Snows In...March

March 31, 2008 10:39 PM

Currier & Ives

Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)

Yes, there will be moaning and uninformed gnashing of teeth.

"Oh my gawd! No roof? In Minnesota? Are you crazy?"

Well, I'm not going to have this conversation again (Jay Weiner had something informative to say about it today as well).

Rick's mom

That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)

A) There won't be a roof.
B) We're GLAD that there won't be a roof.
C) We sincerely hope there never will be a roof (unless they can figure out something cool and nearly invisible like that marvel Tampa Bay wants to build).

Slogging through the snow tonight was something of a pain, it's true. But I hated the Metrodome every bit as much tonight as I ever have. Though the seats were free (thank you Target), they were in row 25 of the upper deck, on an aisle. We missed 20 or 30 pitches due to vendors (not a single one of which was selling hot dogs, by the way) and other folk going up and down the aisles. We missed another 15 to 20 while standing up to let people come and go in front of us. I am not exaggerating.

So, how will the recipe be different in the new park? Start with wider aisles. Then add shorter rows. Mix in sections with less vertical rows. Then top with more concession stands (I won't have to wait for Halley's Hot Dog vendor to come around).

But while I'm on the subject, just why the hell aren't there more in-seat hot dog vendors? For every hot dog vendor there must be five cotton candy vendors, four peanut/Cracker Jack vendors, and three soda and/or Frosty Malt vendors. Of course, I know why there are more beer vendors, but can the profit margins be that much different? I mean, I'm much more likely to buy beer if I've just finished a hot dog. This does not seem like rocket surgery.

Ancient clapping hands graphic

Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).

Then again, I'm studying the economics of pricing right now (which means you better get your old Betamax tapes transferred to DVD now before I figure out how to change my prices to make you want to pay more) and these decisions are made very carefully and scientifically.

It's just that I can't figure it out. I want a damn hot dog. Why do cotton candy lovers have it so easy and hot dog lovers not? On a night like tonight I'm simply not willing to fight the crowds, stand in line for a half hour, miss at least a whole inning, just to get one.

Maybe that means that I don't really want a hot dog as much as I think I do. It's very spooky how economics gurus explain my motivations and reasoning versus my behavior (see this book for some of the basics).

OK, back to ballparks for a minute. I noticed a couple of prominent logos which we haven't mentioned before as potential naming rights purchasers. One is everywhere: Cambria. I know, they might not be big enough. But they are definitely long-time Twins fans. The other name has the largest single advertisement in the Dome, though they don't exactly fit all the criteria we've been given: Dodge.

Best Buy logos

I didn't see 3M anywhere. Though they make sense as a possible partner, you'd think they'd already have at least some presence there if they were interested in advertising through sports sponsorship. On the other hand, Best Buy is sort of threaded through many parts of the park. Their ads are not large, but they are very visible to TV cameras. I didn't see General Mills anywhere, but I did see a few small ads for Dairy Queen. Target was represented, but not in a very large fashion.

If I had to predict right this minute, I think I'd change from my original prediction (Wells Fargo) to either Best Buy or Target. At one time I took some photos of Best Buy headquarters in Bloomington under the premise that the ballpark design echoed some of those buildings. But when I did the actual comparison I couldn't find any similarities at all. I did find similarities with the Target headquarters, but will we really have a Target Field across the freeway from Target Center? That can't be ruled out. (In fact, the domain "" was registered last September to one of those proxy "hide the identity of the real owner" services. Meanwhile, two Best Buy-related domains are registered to someone named Derek Pettis in Blaine. Anybody know who this is?)

The game? Oh, it was a good one as I'm sure you know.

Torii returns

It had some emotion, but managed to avoid over sentimentality. Torii was loudly cheered in his first at bat, but uniformly booed when he stepped to the plate in the ninth. And the cheers for Joe Nathan, who took the deal he was offered to stay with the team he loves, were loud and long, then positively deafening when he whiffed his buddy.

I try to focus on ballparks because I'm not nearly the baseball analyst of other bloggers out there. But tonight's game was a really incredible way to start the season. Victoria will tell you that I've been a bit glum about this season. She has only been a Twins fan since 2001, so she has no idea of the many underachieving teams we've all been subjected to by this franchise. She is utterly incapable of imagining the potential for a drift (or plummet) into mediocrity.

Nothing I've read in this year's Baseball Prospectus gives much reason to hope for great things from this incarnation. But tonight's game was fun to watch, and my spirits were definitely lifted. Carlos Gomez obviously loves to play this game. He was out shagging fly balls -- with gusto, no less -- after the game, for goodness sake!

That's the kind of guy I want to see run out onto that grass on opening day 2010.

161 to go!


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Awesome that they have a countdown to the new park! Great call.

Isn't that only until 2009 though? (Unfortunately), I think they have to add another 162 games for next season...THEN it'll be 2010, right?

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 12:50 AM by Excited Highlight this comment 1

That's the countdown of HOME games.

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 01:00 AM by Rick 2

He was out shagging flies after the game because it was their first opportunity to practice in night conditions with the roof. Gladden said last week that you should expect to see a majority of the newbies (Monroe, Young, Gomez, Everett, Harris, Lamb, and Tolbert) out there after games this first week.

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 01:51 AM by ML Highlight this comment 3

Great work as always Rick! I happened to be sitting in section 115, Row 22, and I was on an aisle seat too. Those seats in the corner are nice, but when the fans/vendors are standing/kneeling in the aisle blocking your view, it's very irritating and frustrating! I realize a lot of fans may have been running late due to the weather, but I think fans (not all fans, but a few)need some etiquette on attending games! (A great topic for future discussion relating to ballparks and ballgames: BALLPARK ETIQUETTE!!) Is it that hard to wait every three outs or every half-inning to get up or come back to your seat? Don't get up in the middle of an inning or at-bat for gods sake! I know it can be difficult for the ushers to hold back the crowd an entire half-inning as the aisles are very narrow and the sections are very large compared to what the new ballpark will offer. A majority of those problems should be resolved come 2010 in the new ballpark with increased concessions, increased restrooms, OPEN concourses, wider aisles, short rows, and thus smaller sized sections.

I totally agree with the lack of hot dog vendor! I noticed several vendors selling cookies and milk for the first time, which is a nice addition for a family with children.

On another side note, was anyone else at opening day who was annoyed by those people in bright green neon shirts taking pictures of fans? Its definitely a nice idea and something new, but its very annoying when those people are bouncing from row to row and section to section seeking to take pictures of the fans.

I love the countdown to the new ballpark!! That will be fun to watch and follow over the next couple of years!

As for advertising, I noticed how the outfield walls had less advertising on them this year than in previous years (in particular, along the left field wall).

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 02:12 AM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 4

I liked seeing a mostly clean blue leftfield wall last night. The ads in the dome always look kinda tacky and overdone. Best Buy tacked all over the dugout is a bit much. The new venue provides the opportunity for creative placement and use of ads for corporate partners. I like seeing some hometown marker, like a newspaper or media outlet prominently displayed or incorporated into the scoreboard. Baltimore Sun and camden yards comes to mind or the Arizona Republic in phoenix park. (I don't even know if they're still part of those park's scoreboards, but I remember them when they opened.)

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 08:20 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 5

since the flagpole from the met will be in the new park, what kind of an icon memorializing the dome will be in the new park? how about the old LD amber light-board?

coming to 'the cities' from my northern minnesota hometown in the 80s was a treat and i remember the novelty of the scoreboard. my dad said 'wow! look at how BIG that scoreboard is! it's a technological MARVEL!' i recall thinking 'yeah, but it's frickin' ugly...' he'd respond, 'yeah, but look how BIG it is?!'

for many, that butt-ugly light board is nostalgic and would be a nice relic to save from the dome.

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 10:38 AM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 6

I saw my first ever Cargill commercial during the Twins game, although I might have seen one before but just never realized it. Think we should read anything into that?

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 12:11 PM by twinlves Highlight this comment 7

has this ever been talked about? i would have to assume it has. how is minnesota going to have an open air stadium especially in april when you still have snow on the ground? is the plan to have no games there until may?

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 4:31 PM by brad Highlight this comment 8

brad - are you really that dense or just trying to flame? please don't ask such stupid questions. get educated on this whole subject/debate and the twin cities climate in april before spewing the first words that pop into your head.

first, rarely is there significant snow actually on the ground in april in minneapolis (yesterday was a big anomoly when you look at historical data). second, have you noticed how quickly the snow is melting today from all surfaces with the sun's angle being so high? that combined with the heating function there are putting into the new field surface and they could easily play a game today with no problems of snow on the playing surface.

peace out buddy.....keep shooting for the stars......

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 5:08 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 9


Click any one of the links at the top of the article. There you will find one of my three previous articles on the subject of weather and the roof.

The subject has long been discussed and, as far as I'm concerned, settled.

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 5:21 PM by Rick 10

there's no such thing as a dumb question, brad; just dumb people who answer dumb questions with dumb answers.

don't get discouraged, brad. betaband is back on his meds.

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 8:00 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 11

Countdown of home games? Guess the Twins have no playoff plans for the next two years! :D

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 8:14 PM by ThePuck Highlight this comment 12

yeahklye - you got me! how did you know? they raised the price of my prescription again so i am off the meds for a couple weeks.

seriously, though i don't think your buddy brad really needs a baby sitter (unless that is your role here). all i told him to do was a little research (which rick has made easily available for all at the top of the page) before spouting off.

and yes, there are certainly "dumb" questions. and plenty of "dumb" people too. let's not be so passive aggressive and try to sugar coat everything. it just waters the debate down too much.

party on....

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 10:43 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 13

Do we have to save something from the dome. I know that its usually done from an old stadium to the new but in this case do we need to bother. Hey maybe we could save the subway hit it here sign I dont think anybody has hit a ball into the hole yet one person came close. Or maybe you could save the seat where the longest homerun in the dome was hit ahh wait I dont think the new ballpark is big enough for that. You know Maybe the ball park only needs the old met flagpole since I dont think much from the dome is interesting enough to put in the new one.

Posted on April 2, 2008 at 12:39 AM by Baseball fan Highlight this comment 14

well being as how i hate the twins and hope they lose all the time, i thought i would ask about the ballpark and snow. oh yeah, im not from minny mouse either. thank goodness. thats why i ask. oye, twins fans are anal.

Posted on April 2, 2008 at 09:02 AM by brad Highlight this comment 15

I think it would be neat to somehow incorporate the old glass from behind homeplate where Bob Casey sat for many, many years. Make a makeshift "rat hole" or whatever you want to call that small area behind homeplate where Bob called games for many years. You could also put the glass into one of the restaurants or something and use as part of a booth or two in one of the restaurants/clubs. Just an idea...but we did look at Bob behind homeplate for many years sitting back in that small area behind the glass behind homeplate. The Twins could also make a makeshift PA Announcer booth and let fans/kids talk into one of the old microphones to get the feel for what its like to be a PA announcer.

Posted on April 2, 2008 at 12:44 PM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 16

brad - thanks for being a giant douche bag. stay classy buddy, stay classy.

hope you are having a good time over in wisky d!ck....

this is why yeahklye doesn't need to worry about sticking up for flamers like youself when i give them a hard time. you obviously proved my point that there are dumb questions and even more dumb people.

Posted on April 2, 2008 at 8:29 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 17

Best Buy Headquarters are not in Bloomington, it's in Richfield.

Posted on April 3, 2008 at 09:41 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 18

click here for the pride of the Twins media department...midwest creativity at its finest.

Posted on September 22, 2008 at 2:13 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 19

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."

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Bruce Lambrecht on the roof of the Minikahda building.

Plaza seating installation

A scene repeated about a BILLION times each game

Pawlenty makes it official!

This gate opens onto Seventh Street from the circulation ramps, but it appears to actually be an entrance gate, rather than an exit gate. It has something of a Bat Cave feel about it because it's not a gate proper, but an area of louvers that will swing in, virtually disappearing when closed...

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Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007

Roped off for the LRT crowd

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Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)

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Purple flowers above Second Avenue

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