BallparkMagic.com
Next game at Target Field: Royals at Twins
Playoff Challenge    Archive    Target Field History    Theme:

The Bleak Midwinter

A Peek at CHS Field

January 7, 2015 4:33 PM

The car thermometer read -2° when I pulled into the Farmer's Market in downtown St. Paul on Sunday morning. Alas, there were no fresh melons available.

As I left the safety of the still-cold and still-running car, a brutal wind burned my ears through my hat, and my fingers through my gloves. Normally, I'd go with a bare finger on the shutter release, but not today. Normally, I'd take a little time to walk around and find the right spot to shoot from, maybe try out a few different places, take a few test shots, or even just stand and look for a while. Not today.

Despite my haste, it was clear that something interesting is emerging from the Lowertown tundra, shaped vaguely like a ballpark:

Now, I say "vaguely" because, well, we really have to take their word for it. From this vantage point, indeed from any vantage point I could find, it doesn't look much like a gathering place at all. In fact, it has the somewhat off-putting odor of "parking ramp" (or it is "motel"?) about it. Only the light standards, and the banners on the construction fence, indicate that something more interesting might happen within its boundaries.

I don't intend that as a criticism -- yet.

Ballparks can and should be distinctive. Avoiding cliches in ballpark design is the current style -- almost to the point that it's becoming a new cliche all on its own. Still, I very much like the idea of a "minimalist" approach.

And it's still hard to tell what this will finally look like. There's no facade to speak of on this building yet. It still looks mostly like a construction site. The finishing touches are everything in a project like this, and those are all still in the future -- though it's hard to see just where they will put a facade...

But using the word "minimalist" almost understates it. From the streets nearby, there is almost nothing to this building. I'm reminded a little of the Civil Engineering building at the U -- a rather large building, only a small portion of which is visible above ground.

With the playing field recessed and completely out of view from anywhere outside the ballpark (and I do mean anywhere, as you will see below), this looks, from any street in the neighborhood, to be a one-story structure, and just barely that. Half a block away, I took this picture, which shows just how low-slung the whole thing is:

It almost feels like you could jump up to the roof from the sidewalk!

From the north, across at least 20 lanes of traffic, you get only this:

Given the low profile, I immediately hatched dreams of rooftop excursions on the nearby warehouses for photos, but those will have to wait until the Siberian winds have subsided. (Someday I will recount my harrowing experience on the roof of Butler Square in order to get a shot for my forthcoming book. In a few words: flat roof, no railings, plus the desperate need to get right up to the edge.)

With visions of a modern Coogan's Bluff dancing in my head, I thought for sure I'd get something more significant from up on Mounds Boulevard. But no dice.

Clearly, the design is intended to prevent any and all peeks into the ballpark. This isn't really much of a surprise since the days of genuine knotholes went out with Lyndon Johnson. I'm confident that arrangements have already been made with nearby rooftop owners to prevent any wildcat bleachers from springing up -- while also suspecting that there aren't many good vantages to be had up there anyway.

Having said all that, I'm actually still pretty excited about this nifty little ballpark, which appears to fit snugly into the downtown St. Paul landscape in a way very reminiscent of ballparks of yore (and our own such yard in Minneapolis).

I look forward to hopping on a Green Line train for opening day.

*** UPDATE ***

After this post went up, I got a message from David, who works in the building where I took one of the photos above. He sent along some views of the park when you could still see inside it from his building. Look! Grass!

Maybe I'll have a rooftop view for you when the weather warms and before the first pitch flies.

Comments


To utilized enhanced comment features, please enable cookies in your browser.

Thanks Rick. I'm pretty excited to check the new ballpark out.

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 11:24 PM by FD Highlight this comment 1

For what it's worth, when I was driving home from the Vikings-Bears game in the early evening a couple Sundays ago, I looked up while winding through I-94 to see what I could see, and for the first time saw the light standards. Granted, it's the first time I've driven that stretch since September, but still, to see even a hint of something stadium-esque, even in the dark, was actually kind of exciting. A ballpark was sprouting along an Interstate in another city.

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 1:11 PM by hofflalu Highlight this comment 2

I'm still skeptical about the overall look and feel of the place. It just looks weird to me. I'm all for unique features in stadiums and ballparks but this one seems to break the proverbial mold.
Days like today when the snow just doesn't stop makes me wish I had a bottle to grab some of that nice September air at the Season Finale last year so I could take it out. Now.

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 3:54 PM by luke Highlight this comment 3

Those light poles and standards don't look to be more than 110 feet high. The 13 light poles at Midway were way taller. I wonder if this ballpark is being built a little cheap. I hope the players can see fly balls during night games, but it does not look promising. On a different note-my dad said he would go to game with me this year at the new park, so that will be fun. I bet we will all chime in about the new park once we visit it.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 08:07 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 4

Being able to see fly balls during night games is probably something they have figured in.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 09:55 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 5

I went to a night game at Fort Meyers last spring and could really tell the difference between Major League quality lighting and Class A quality lighting. I did lose one high pop-up that got above the lights and if I remember right the fielder did as well.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 10:59 AM by terry Highlight this comment 6

I'm sure we will all enjoy the new Saints ballpark, but unfortunately the intrinsic quality of Midway cannot be transplanted. ..... Train.

TTH

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 11:00 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 7

What is the status of tailgating for CHS Field? That was a huge part of the Midway Stadium experience.

Posted on January 11, 2015 at 6:12 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 8

I just added an update to the post above with some pictures that were sent to me by David in LT. He works adjacent to CHS Field.

Posted on January 12, 2015 at 3:26 PM by Rick 9

Trivia ? for you guys-what is higher for 2015 so far? The average daily temperature or the number of win totals COMBINED for MN Wild, Timberwolves, Mens Gophers Basketball, Mens Gophers hockey, Gophers football (Bowl game was Jan 1)?

Posted on January 12, 2015 at 4:12 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 10

I don't know what y'all think, but Clicky for a walkthru of the new..."stadium" in Fatlanta. I still say the outside looks weird. Driving by, no one would know that it's supposed to be a stadium.
Exterior aesthetics aside, inside looks pretty nice.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the main scoreboard being a ring around the roof structure. Looks like there will be at least one auxiliary video board in a normal location, however.
I think our US Bank Stadium will be better than the new place in Fatlanta.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 1:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 11

Am I the only one that reads the comments that can pick out Luke before the first sentence is up?

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 3:23 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 12

STFU JoJo...lol. it's a public service.
We talk other things than 4 consecutive 90+ loss seasons around here.
Now, what if TTH had posted the walkthru, huh? Would you have given him the same riot act?

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 3:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 13

No disrespect Luke, I just find it funny that a feed came across my facebook for FSN about Minnesota sports a few weeks back, and this crazy wild tangent came across about mn sports teams always underachieving and I was like, "that sounds like a luke thing" and a guy named luke posted it, not sure if it was you, but, maybe it is just a Luke thing.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 4:45 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 14

Probably wasn't me, buddy.
Lots of people named Luke in this state.
And what you're speaking of, that would not a "tangent" about MN sports teams underachieving. No that's called..."reality". Uffda was going the right direction in comment 10.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 4:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 15

Luke most of us enjoy your posts. If we give you a little ribbing, it is for most of us done in good faith.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:02 PM by terry Highlight this comment 16

The "y'all" gave it away for me.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:53 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 17

Good to know Terry.
Winona Mike, hard to believe, I know, but us Southerners use that expression ALOT. Even in our writing.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 05:36 AM by luke Highlight this comment 18

Don't get your panties in a knot Luke, I'm just playing too!

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 08:02 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 19

Falcons new stadium looks pretty cool. The only problem is that it is still in Atlanta - not my favorite city that I have been to (My favorites? Chicago and surprisingly, albeit on a smaller scale.....Portland, Maine). The scoreboard is pretty cool; but I wonder if the sun, at certain angles, would make it tough to see.

82 days until real baseball, 89 to the home opener. We can do this!

PS I start throwing to varsity players in a week, my 8th graders first practice is in about 70 days. After the last two springs, I think we are due for an early one!

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 11:53 AM by ole Highlight this comment 20

82 days. Just around the corner.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 1:07 PM by luke Highlight this comment 21

Thanks for the 82 day reminder, I needed that. Sick of cold, sick of snow, sick of work, just looking forward to baseball season.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 3:49 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 22

I think putting the scoreboard in the roof ring above the field of Atlanta's new stadium will be a major error that the Falcons will regret and which result in a number of lawsuits and corrective measures to fix. It seems too high and the viewing angles appear to be at best awkward and at worst obstructed from some vantage points. Maybe I'm totally off, but every photo of that unique scoreboard screams at me that this is trouble waiting to happen.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 9:09 PM by jorge Highlight this comment 23

my thoughts exactly.

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 05:42 AM by luke Highlight this comment 24

I'm looking at the roof mechanics and see eight pie-shaped pieces that MUST move simultaneously in order to open or close that hole in the roof. Should the motor on just one of those segments fail, the entire system looks like it's bound to fail.

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 9:13 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 25

I'm looking at something that resembles more of a fancy moon roof than some retractable stadium covering. Is it really worth all the money it will cost in order to just have a rather smallish, round opening in your ceiling?

And I agree that they will have to rethink the placement of those video boards or they'll come to regret it. Perhaps if they angle them just right, they will be watchable from the seating bowl, but people will still have to crane their necks...

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 10:16 PM by Rick 26

The stadium is under construction now. If the Falcons are going to make a change, it will need to happen fast.

If you look at the round opening of the stadium like a cup, the problem is the video board is placed in the interior, where the liquid would go, instead of the exterior. If a fix is deployed, the path may be to extend a ring downward with the video content on the outside to ensure better views.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 09:24 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 27

Personally I didn't really see a problem with placement of the screens, based on the renderings in that animation. They showed several different vantage points, and made sure to "pan up" with each one to demonstrate the views of the screen. I have to think that this was looked at pretty extensively with 3D rendering/testing before finalizing the design, let alone starting construction.

There may be some neck craning, but it can't be any worse than patrons in the front rows of Dallas' stadium. The images of players/coaches on its sidelines looking damn-near straight up to try and catch the replays are common.

I do agree with the opinions about the retractable roof. I've said it before here - retractable roofs in football stadiums, as they've mostly been executed thus far, are a silly waste of a great deal of money.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 4:13 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 28

Anyone heading out to Twinsfest this weekend??

I was wondering if anyone went last year and checked out the "yard sale" they had on the club level?

We went last year (on Saturday) and got there mid morning, probably about 10:30am and there was not much of the "good stuff" remaining at the yard sale. Apparently they have all kinds of authentic and game-used gear but we didn't see much, if anything, last year by the time we got there.

The grab bags were also sold out by the time we reached that area. They have been sold out the last two years now, so I want to get there early for one this year. Trying to get some of those All Star bobbleheads or bats that they usually put in the grab bags.

Does anyone know if they re-stock the yard sale items each day? And if they do, they must just re-stock it each morning? Same with the grab bags, they must have a limited number for each day?

It's not going to be easy for me, but I need to find a way to get there earlier this year. Perhaps, Friday night would probably be the best bet but that does not work with my schedule.

Would also like to try the clubhouse tour. Skipped that last year due to the mile-long line.

Either way, looking forward to another year at Twinsfest! Hopefully they took good notes last year and improved some of the logistics and things for the second year at Target Field.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 2:40 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 29

I wonder if the plans are to move TwinsFest back to the new stadium in 2017 to ease some of the crowd issues (of course the new place will have a baseball config). Bring back some of the games for the kiddos, etc.
I imagine Twins Fest has been cut way back since the move to TF.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 3:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 30

After going for several years in a row, we skipped TwinsFest last year. And we have no plans to go this year.

Partly, that's about the state of the franchise. But it's also about an event that only has a few interesting things to do, and all of them have mile-long lines. Life is too short.

For those high-demand attractions, I sure wish they would take a page from museums and distribute tickets with a specific time printed on them...

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 3:13 PM by Rick 31

I think the Twins are going to keep it at Target Field. They talked several times how they like the new "intimacy" of the event that Target Field brings. But most importantly, they can control the revenues. Much more revenue generated for the Twins by keeping it at Target Field. At the end of the day, its still a business decision/revenue generator regardless of the "community fund fundraising" stuff we hear about.

January 2018 would probably be off limits due to Super Bowl LII prep anyway. If anything, I could see them expand Twinsfest to include parts of Target Center once the renovations are completed in a few years.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 3:14 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 32

I could see it moving to the new Vikings stadium in 2017. This weekend is an open weekend between the conference championship and the Super Bowl.

This would allow Twins Fest to take place, even if the Vikings were playing in the playoffs.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 8:45 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 33

I think Mike is right about SB LII. the NFL requires use of the stadium like three weeks before the game for prep work.
It's one of the stipulations in the big list of demands they had during the bid process.
Does anyone remember what they did in 1992? The Super Bowl that year was January 26. MOA was still eight months from Grand opening. And I think they were still building the Mpls Convention Center.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 9:17 PM by luke Highlight this comment 34

I dont know but I think the Convention Center was built by then-I believe the old auditorium was torn down in 1989 so it should have been done 3 years later. my dad worked Super Bowl for the MPD. The only events I remember was they did a big ice palace and the ongoing Taste of the NFL began w/ the Super Bowl in Mpls. As far as venues used I know another venue that is commonly used for large functions is the Milwaukee Road Depot Train Shed-but that wasnt around in 1992 either. I mean it was around but I believe it was still abandoned. Target Center would have been availible

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 12:39 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 35

I just happened to Google TwinsFest 1992, and there was a ticket stub from the event on ebay.
it was at the Dome, just a couple weeks after the Super Bowl departed. The ticket was dated February 7.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 12:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 36

Minneapolis Auditorium hosted its final events in early February of 1988. It was torn down not long afterwards. From an exhibitor's standpoint, the Convention Center that replaced it makes about million times more sense, but I enjoyed things like the Sportsman's Show at the old building because its many nooks and crannies made for a more interesting atmosphere. You'd turn a corner and have no idea what might await you.

If the new Vikings stadium is off the table for Twins Fest, then the Convention Center would be a more sensible venue than Target Field. I get the Twins' desire to have the event on its home turf, but this limits both attendance and the scope of an event that I agree with Rick is currently somewhat lacking. They need the floor space and the unity of having most of the exhibits and activities concentrated in one big room with the fans.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 1:01 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 37

I agree Jorge,

As with any Fanfest or convention, it's so nice to have everything concentrated in one area.

That was a big adjustment last year having so many things spread out amongst the service level, club level and suite level.

It would be much different if the main concourse was heated/enclosed, but that is not the case.

As I said in a previous post, I will be very curious to see if the Twins learned anything from last year's event and made any adjustments to help with the crowd control and traffic flow throughout Target Field during Twinsfest. Particular, the card show/memorabilia/collectors stuff down in the service level corridor. It was very dark and crowded down there last year and hopefully the Twins made some adjustments there such as limiting the vendors to one side of the corridor and/or adding more lighting. They also could hand out wristbands for clubhouse tours and other things to avoid having to wait in long lines and wasting so much time. This would be a brilliant idea and would let fans make better use of their time. They do it for some of the autographs, so why not do it for the clubhouse tours or other popular events?

I don't think limiting attendance was a major issue. The only day that would sell out is probably Saturday and there has been no announcements regarding a Saturday sellout this year. The $20 ticket price may have a lot to deal with the attendance as well. Can't say many fans are thrilled having to pay $20.00 for Twinfest. Another season ticket holder benefit taken away...but that is a whole different issue for another day.

I remember the days when Twinsfest admission was $10 or less and it included a free upper club ticket to ANY game.

My dad and I would always go up on Friday night when they would launch single game ticket sales and get our single game tickets for the season.

Now they have only home opener tickets on sale in conjunction with Twinsfest, why not just make all single game tickets available like you used to?

Based on last year's Twinsfest, they could do so many things to improve Twinsfest at Target Field, let's hope they did their homework and made some changes for the better.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 1:45 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 38

Sorry to break off-topic.
I checked the Vikes stadium Webcam today. On the aerial view canera, if you zoom in, you can see the supports going in for the video board on the east end. I hadn't noticed that before today.

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 1:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 39

Surprised to see that nobody has mentioned the Cubs delays in getting the bleachers rebuilt. Left field won't open until at least May 11, and right field until late May. They also indicated that the ballpark may not have wireless service the entire season. (clink)

No word on whether all that curing concrete will keep balls from flying out on to Waveland Avenue...

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 11:33 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 40

The Wrigley upgrade project is an interesting one. You can follow it here:

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/wrigley-field-renovations

I'm glad to see that they are preserving the existing (original?) outfield wall, and incorporating it into the new construction.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 11:46 AM by Rick 41

If you're going to TF for TF, apparently you can buy a jar of Domepourri: A selection of bits and pieces of the now demolished Disgrace on Puckett Place.
small jar is $5. Large jar is $15.
To save Winona some sanity, click for link.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 8:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 42

Two tix for Sat. TF. Attached to an e-mail. Up for grabs.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 10:57 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 43

That Domepourri looks pretty cool, still debating whether I should go this weekend or not. If I go I'd end up picking some up.

Ben, how much were you looking for on the tickets?

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 08:04 AM by schda Highlight this comment 44

I'm a bit torn about the changes to Wrigley Field. On one hand the structure needed some updating and if this move preserves the park in the long run, it's worth it. My trip to Fenway Park in 2010 involved sitting in the newish upper deck that was effectively built upon the roof of the lower grandstand. That part of Fenway didn't seem to damage the ballpark's integrity and provided better facilities than are generally available to fans there. Fenway's renovation was tastefully executed. That said, with regard to Wrigley Field, I can't help but feel some sadness over the orginal bleachers coming down and wonder if the new video board that will block the view from some rooftops (and views of the rooftops) will hurt the ambiance. Then again, I remember when the rooftops featured lucky residents with lawnchairs and coolers instead of being effectively somewhat tacky skyboxes. For what it's worth, a friend from Chicago who is a Cubs season ticket holder thinks of Wrigley Field, his home park since childhood, as a dump in need of even greater renovation and looks jealously at Target Field when he visits. The video board fulfills a major want on his part.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:37 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 45

Here is a link to a very early video (September 2013) rendering of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. It has some slight differences in its proposed design compared to what's going up now and was seen in the more recent video. Among other things, the roof opening seems much bigger. It makes the position of the video board, which seems angled more downward, much more sensible compared to the ultimately chosen design.

Early Video Rendering of the Atlanta Falcons' New Stadium

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:47 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 46

I was once in the "Wrigley is a gem" crowd, but now I'm firmly in the "Wrigley is a dump" crowd.

The trick in the renovation will be to maintain the general ambiance, while updating pretty much everything. Maintaining the outfield wall just as it was is a pretty good first step toward that. In the grandstand, they can do whatever they want as long as they maintain the same deck heights -- which is a critical component of the ambiance. Regrettably, there will still be lots of seats with lousy sightlines, but that's the trade-off.

I have no sentimentality toward those bleachers. It was a pit out there, and very uncomfortable. I say, good riddance. And I hope they at least put in bleachers with backs on them this time.

I haven't been to Fenway for about 10 years, but people say that renovation succeeded because it did those two things: ambiance plus updating. Truth is, much of the Wrigley ambiance has always been related to a lack of invasive advertising. That will, no doubt, change now...

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:53 AM by Rick 47

Jorge,

I was one of those "lucky residents with lawnchairs and coolers" during the 1981 and 1982 seasons. I shared an apartment on Sheffield Avenue and was frequently up on the roof with that minimal equipment. If you look at the pictures of the renovations in the link Rick posted above, you can see the balcony outside my bedroom window in picture 10/32.

My favorite memory of that era was opening day 1982. It had snowed the night before, and they were barely able to clear the field. There was plenty of snow left in the stands and, of course, our rooftop. So we amused ourselves by lobbing snowballs into the bleachers and a full snowball fight broke out. At one point the cops used a megaphone to tell the rooftop people to cut it out. So everyone started pelting the cops with snowballs instead.

This was the season Ferguson Jenkins returned to the Cubs, and he took the mound that day. It was also Ryne Sandberg's debut as a Cub that day.

If you click on the link in this point you can read the NYT account of that game.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 12:22 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 48

Just saw that Safeco in Seattle is the first MLB stadium to go LED with its lights. I imagine all will eventually follow. Apparently the Houston Texans' NRG Stadium and the Arizona Cardinals' University of Phoenix Stadium have it already as does the Staples Center. See link.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 1:19 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 49

Fyi about the Wrigley bleachers. They were actually tore down and rebuilt once already. It was around 2004 and was done to add more seating.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 1:23 PM by j2k Highlight this comment 50

schda --- just need your e-mail.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 2:20 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 51

Ben, email is djscherr at gmail

Thanks!

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 2:34 PM by schda Highlight this comment 52

And the Vikings have ponied up extra cash to install LEDs at USBank Stadium as well.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 3:18 PM by luke Highlight this comment 53

I recall the bleacher construction from a few years ago, but that was more of an expansion of what was there as opposed to a wholesale teardown/rebuild as is the case now. They don't expect any of the bleachers to open until mid May with the rest not until the end of the month and maybe later. This is a different animal.

As far as the Wrigley as a dump argument goes, major renovation goes back to when Tribune still planned to own the team long term. I recall plans as far back as 2002-03 that would have radically changed the place, good in some ways and bad in others. Then there was a prolonged period of the team being on the block followed by the Ricketts family buying the Cubs and Wrigley Field and coming up with a new master renovation plan. Time elapsed as they haggled with the city of Chicago over the plans, which also involved some development outside the park.

In the case of both Tribune and the Ricketts family, Wrigley Field received little more than the occasional touch up and to some extent it felt like the park was deliberately allowed to go to seed in order to justify a renovation that would involve the park expanding beyond its longtime footprint and would thus need city approval on many levels. When the now former owners of the Red Sox wanted to build a new Fenway Park next to the long time one, they similarly neglected maintenance and left much more for the current owners to do after taking over and deciding not to build new.

The bleachers were largely uncomfortable, but if you went in with a good attitude and found the right spot, could be okay. My guess is the new bleachers will lack backs. Wrigley has good seats and bad. My advice to all who may attend games there is NEVER buy seats in the 200 level under any circumstances. Most of those seats are way in the back of the lower deck and suffer from a lack of sunlight and the tunnel vision effect from the luxury box overhang. If you can't spring for the really good seats, take the 400 level, or even the 500s if you can handle some minor obstructions.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 4:39 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 54

Neglecting an existing facility to leverage a new one is a tried and true method. See Met Stadium, Comiskey Park and Memorial Stadium. Memorial Stadium was of the same vintage as many of the great college football venues that were kept up to date, e.g. Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 8:26 PM by terry Highlight this comment 55

And now Ernie Banks passes! RIP Mr. Cub!

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:38 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 56

Went to the USBS site yesterday.
Pictures.
Click link.

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 2:02 PM by luke Highlight this comment 57

Cool pictures. Thanks for posting them.

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 3:13 PM by j2k Highlight this comment 58

Sure thing.
Tried to take my time to get better focused shots.

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 4:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 59

So, what are everybody's thoughts on the new Commissioner?
Good, bad? Indifferent? "Wait and see"??

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 11:29 AM by luke Highlight this comment 60

The construction of the Vikes' stadium has been very interesting to follow from an engineering standpoint, especially since the additional interior webcams were added. The coordination of the roof's assembly with completion of the concrete skeleton of the stadium has presented some unique engineering "puzzles."

As they progress with the main center spine truss and the large "Queen's Post" trusses coming off of it, we can start to get an idea of how the indoor space will feel. I do wonder if any of the upper deck seats at the East end will have any obstructed views as a result of the massive diagonal support strut. Their view of the playing field may be intact, but it seems a good portion of their overall 180 degree field of vision will be dominated by that strut.

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 11:38 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 61

There will be "not a bad seat in the house." The Twins got away with that whopper - why not the Vikes?

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 12:36 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 62

OK...but my question had more to do with mere architectural curiosity than claims of marketing conspiracy or false advertising.

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 4:36 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 63

I think there are bound to be some obstructed view seats because of that center truss. Many of the new stadiums: UOP Stadium, LOS Stadium, etc have two supporting trusses on either side, whereas ours just has the center one.
In looking at one of the conceptual photos for the baseball configuration, it seems that seats in the uppermost levels closest to the truss will to some degree have that in their way.
That may explain why some of the more recent concept photos (i.e. for the Final Four bid) have a much larger video screen on the west side of the stadium.
The west side of the stadium is the more open side...having the gigantic glass curtain ("oh the (bird)manity") I don't think the truss will be much of an issue on that side.

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 4:59 PM by luke Highlight this comment 64

I have a hunch, Luke, that obstructed view seating in the far reaches of the stadium won't be a problem for Gopher baseball crowds.

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 7:57 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 65

True, Winona. But the conceptual drawing I referred to is the only one (that I know of) that shows that side of the stadium to guesstimate whether there would be issues with obstructed seating. All the others look to the west side (that faces downtown), that really won't have any obstructed view.

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 8:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 66

I must have missed this, or if somebody could clarify .... on the link to the Twins online shop for authentic caps, it shows a cap with a white front panel and another with a red front panel and lists the white one as "authentic home", not "alternate" as the new caps with the gold bordering are listed. It lists the red one as "authentic road" and not alternate. Is this just a misprint or was there a decision to wear these more regularly?

TTH

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 08:31 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 67

Twins to announce "Weekend Warrior" thirteen game ST plans.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 09:53 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 68

TTH. The key words are on field, those are the caps they'll wear.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 10:54 AM by j2k Highlight this comment 69

Aaaaaaaaah.....so "authentic" really doesn't really amount to much then, kinda like "Twins way".

TTH

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 12:18 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 70

I'm really, really, REALLLY trying to like the new Twins uniforms, though I never really cared for the old. It's never a good thing when your real jersey could be confused with a giveaway jersey day at the ballpark, probably brought to you by Dairy Queen.

TTH

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 12:26 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 71

I'm with you TTH.
To me they look like Little League jerseys.
I don't see a "wow" factor with them.
I had a thought: why not instead of the "Twins" on the front, how about just the "TC" on the left side? the Tigers, Yankees, Cubs, White Sox, Reds, just to name a few have had jerseys like that for decades. you know what they say: "less is more".

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 1:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 72

The Weekend Warrior deal looks interesting.
gives fans a chance to buy all Friday, Saturday or Sunday games thru the season. I just saw an email for it.
Not sure if they allow a mix and match of weekend games (I think they already have a mix-and-match weekend pack don't they?).

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 1:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 73

After getting to see the new jerseys up close this weekend (thanks to Ben for the tickets) by getting to play Fan Feud with Casey Fien I thought they drop shadow jerseys looked pretty good. I still think the cream pin stripes are probably the greatest ever the Twins have worn, but I'm not unhappy with the new jerseys. Then again I liked the blue jerseys as well and I know some of you aren't huge fans of those either.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 2:13 PM by schda Highlight this comment 74

No mix and match. You get all 13 Friday, Saturday or Sunday games. It also notes the ticket exchange program is not available for these packages. Locations are in the Field Box and Home Run Porch Terrace. Participation in some of the Sweet Spot promotions as well as the 10% off concessions is included. (clink)

I'm not aware of any mix and match weekend package.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 2:06 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 75

I misspoke about the mix-and-match. I meant to say that they have a weekend package that contains a mix of Fri Sat and Sun games. Not sure if that one contains access to some Sweet Spot stuff like the Warrior one does.
it's something I definitely have to look into.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 3:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 76

Re: TwinsFest, I was underwhelmed. The congestion at the elevators was the worst, especially in the service level. I'm happy to get the baseball infusion to hold me over until opening day, but I'm glad I got group organizer comp tickets. $40 for my nephew and I to attend would've been steep.

Re: New uniforms, they aren't offensive. They also aren't great. Rather than just ditching the pinstripes to do something different, I wish the Twins had taken the opportunity to seek out a whole new visual identity. The '87 wordmark is pretty tired, but I'm guessing they don't want the expense involved with a new visual program (i.e., scoreboard lettering, etc.)

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 3:46 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 77

I haven't been to Twins Fest in many years. Unless your goal is the autographs or to get first dibs in the years when single game tickets went on sale there before anywhere else, there is very much a "Once you see it, you've seen it vibe". Granted the event has certain limitations and those are even more pronounced with the event being at Target Field, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to go annually.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 5:07 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 78

They finally get a less than 20 game STH package out there and they botch it (imo). What's the point of offering it in only two sections? Why charge more than the regular, median STH price per ticket for those sections (basically, you pay more per ticket and hence a kind of "penalty" for only buying a 13 game package instead of 20. Greedy. And dumb.) Why not offer a companion weekday package?

I just don't think the Twins marketing department gets it. At all.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 5:11 PM by BR Highlight this comment 79

Rick:
To your point about Fenway/Wrigley, I've been to Fenway about 6-8x over the past 10 years. The improvements are tangible - much more fun game day experience, and far more varied seating options. The place still suffers from obstructed views and poor sightlines, Literally half the seating is significantly flawed in some way, and sadly, the prices for those seats do not reflect their flaws. I'm very happy to have TF and not Fenway as my park to watch a dozen games in every year.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 5:22 PM by BR Highlight this comment 80

We went to Twinsfest at TF for the first time this weekend. Our four year old had a great time. If you have a kid, and the goal is to "go to the ballpark", have a chance at seeing TC Bear (we couldn't find him, but the Target animals were a substitute), and get your face painted, a balloon animal, and play a couple of games, then it was a success.

My expectations were very low, but it's fun to see the players in a more natural element. My wife even enjoyed that aspect of it.

Mauer was in the Champions Club calling BINGO numbers, which was entertaining.

It is also a nice chance to see the clubhouse and Champion's club.

We enjoyed it because it was a day out of the house, and the tickets were comped with our Season Tickets.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 08:31 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 81

The Twins have resumed giving Season Ticket Holders complimentary Twinsfest tickets??

As far as autographs, they are a joke at Twinsfest. Lines are always way too long and they usually have to cut off the lines for any of the popular players. Unfortunately, they discontinued the Autograph Party, so Twinfest is your only real option these days for autographs.

I personally like to get autographs on the Winter Caravan tours, the lines and crowds are much smaller. Also keep your eyes and ears open for player appearances throughout the year.

Kent Hrbek was signing at the Grand Opening at a new Menards store last year in Rochester and there was literally no line. You could have him sign two items free of charge. He actually signed a couple extra items for us as well since there was no line.

Jack Morris was signing one night at Smalley's a few years ago (2010 or 2011) and there was not one person in line. We walked right in and had him sign some 1991 World Series items. Even took some pictures and chatted for a few minutes.

Best Buy and other corporate sponsors have a lot of player appearances throughout the year as well.

I have gotten some good Tony Oliva and Bert Blyleven autographs on the Winter Caravan tour over the years. No way would I wait in those long lines at Twinfest and then pay $35 on top of that.

Had a chance to get Molitor this year on the caravan but the schedule just didn't work out.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 09:02 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 82

Tony Oliva was at the grand open for Dick's Sporting Goods in Maple Grove a few years ago. My son and I had just stopped in not knowing about the event. There was nobody in line so we bought a ball and had him sign it and spent a few minutes just talking to him. What a great opportunity that was.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 83

I don't remember the details Mike, but I think now that I think about it I submitted to be in a random draw for Twinsfest tickets. I have a full season package in LC, so I have no idea if either of those variables is a factor.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:23 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 84

My comps, too, were a random draw for group organizers. Definitely not like the dome years when they were freebies.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 1:06 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 85

Tony Oliva is one of the most gracious and personable human beings you will ever meet. The Twins have had one or two klunkers over the years, e.g. Mr. Knoblauch, but for the most part the players for this franchise have been friendly and outgoing, e.g. Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Tony Oliva, Julio Becquer and scores of others.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 1:14 PM by terry Highlight this comment 86

I agree Terry. The Ernie Banks was Mr Cub, and nationally known. If Tony O had been able to avoid his injuries and shortened career he would have been in the HOF and gotten far more national attention. Tony O is Mr Twin and a real gem. It's a shame the HOF is missing out on him.

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 3:19 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 87

Three quiet days here. That hasn't happened in awhile.

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 08:26 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 88

Construction for the Atlanta Braves' new stadium, SunTrust Park has begun. It's pretty crazy when you think about it. The team announced in November of 2013 that it wanted to build a new ballpark in suburban Cobb County. County Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the public's share of the funding in May of 2014. Now the ballpark is going up. Compare the speed and relative ease of getting this stadium off the ground to nearly every other over the past twenty to thirty years.

Early Construction Photos of Atlanta Braves' New Stadium

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 10:53 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 89

Thanks for the link Jorge!

Still hard to believe Atlanta is building two new stadiums for the Braves and Falcons.

Considering the Georgia Dome opened in 1992 and Turner Field opened in 1997 (originally built for the 1996 Olympics).

I would have taken the Georgia Dome for the Vikings and Turner Field for the Twins any day over the Metrodome. Pretty amazing the Metrodome lasted as long as it did in Minneapolis.

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 12:52 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 90


Blaze of Orange

October 31, 2014 4:28 PM

Whatever you think of the final disposition, the 2014 season went out in a memorable blaze of orange. Best game of the year? You could make that argument. Even if not the best, second likely to another which took place in the past three weeks. This was not the year to wonder why it's called the Fall Classic.

Continue reading this article


Let's Play Seven!

October 29, 2014 12:08 AM

Drop everything. This is what we live for.

Until the second inning of tonight's game six, I was prepared to take my kids to a Halloween party tomorrow night. It's a really good one, too, that we've been to in several previous years. But we won't be going this year.

Continue reading this article


Inventory

September 29, 2014 12:23 PM

Continue reading this article


Twinshine

July 16, 2014 1:47 AM

Yes, Jeter. Of course. It was his night, and deservedly so. Even I, whose mother hates Derek Jeter, cheered for him. It was only the second time I've ever done so (the other being when I visited the original Yankee Stadium and pretended to be a Bomber fan for exactly one game). And tonight it felt weird and wrong and right and inevitable and necessary and splendid all at the same time.

Continue reading this article


Earlier Articles




"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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of the main entrance. This is what you'll see as you enter by coming down Sixth Street.



For those who have never seen it up close, that's what it looks like when steam comes out of the HERC plant.






B ramp glimpse



I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.



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.



A view straight on of the Pro Shop area and ticket windows (just barely visible). The piers you see beneath the plaza are already almost completed (see final photo).



Limestone facing and flowers on the right field overhang



Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)















Serious home dugout work in progress.



Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.









The official ballpark development area






Looking up Fifth, with LRT tracks and B ramp at left






Section 117, Row WC (applies to all the back rows under the Legends Club seating)



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



Walkway connection






A whole bunch of guys working on something.



Gate 3 "Killebrew"



Center field seating



Of the players up there, only Bert does not have a gate with his number (28) on it at Target Field. You know, there is that door underneath the skywalk on Seventh Street between gates 14 and 29...









Knothole non-view #1






Emergency access as viewed from outside the ballpark



Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.






Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction



A truck is leaving the HERC plant. Here you can see the proximity to the promenade. For the record, the truck drove right by me and I smelled nothing...



This looks from the base of the stairs, behind the big pillars, toward the street.



Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.



The connection from the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue. You can now see where the little grassy area and franchise history board will be (the triangular area in the foreground).



This view, through a B ramp window, won't last forever.



At the other end of the bridge, the configuration of the tracks has become clear.



I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.



The plaza as viewed from across the park. The right field overhang section will be built just in from where the plaza supports are.









The LRT station, sitting in a brand new urban canyon, takes shape.






Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)


Glossary

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
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(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
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

BallparkMagic™  •  3300 Bloomington Avenue  •  Minneapolis, MN 55407  •  (612) 392-3104
This is a fan site and in no way affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Ballpark Authority, or Major League Baseball.
Unless otherwise noted, this page and all of its contents are Copyright © 2001-2010 BallparkMagic/Lowell (Rick) Prescott.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission. Privacy Notice