Sometimes It Snows In...March
March 31, 2008 10:39 PM
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).
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.
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.
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 "TargetField.com" 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.
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.
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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 3044 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
The green in question (click for very large version)
There's the opening through which the groundskeeping equipment will emerge (and disappear).
Flag poles, fencing, main entrance gates
Lots of people are doing it.
Gate 29 Carew (note the walkway above open to the street where you can shout down at your lost friends to tell them where to meet you)
Work in progress.
Love the lighted, translucent panel
The lot within the lot.
A view into the Legend's Club
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
The view from our seats. I took this picture while standing, and the railing would prove mildly problematic when I sat down -- but not as much as my scorecard, which I always seemed to be holding right in Vic's view of the plate (she told me so).
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
Click to see the full-size image.
I could gaze at this streetscape all day. It isn't perfect, but as a model for Minneapolis, I love it. (Except the Biff, of course. Click to enlarge.)
Looking the other direction, again from Ford Centre, you can see what's going on over the tracks. This will be a public promenade.
Oh no! Beach ball! But click to enlarge so you can see the wide range of expressions on people's faces. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
Look at all that blank space. Canvas! (What should go on those walls? A giant schedule perhaps?)
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.
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