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Atlanta Perspective

November 16, 2013 4:19 PM

Wow, this, from Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogger Jay Bookman, is brutal, and brutally honest:

...trying to assess a proposed stadium deal through the eyes of a loyal fan is a big mistake, because that loyalty is not returned by baseball ownership. They see it as strictly a business proposition, and if a community doesn't approach it the same way, they'll lose badly. ...

Since 2006, the value of the Minnesota Twins franchise has increased by 167 percent, which is roughly three times as fast as that of the Braves. ...

Fans would like to hope that with new stadiums and soaring team values and revenues, grateful team owners would at least be able to expand their payrolls, bring in more free agents and field more competitive teams to watch and root on. But no, it doesn't work that way. ...

As for the teams with new stadiums, the Twins finished 27 games off their division lead this season... They're making a LOT more money, but they're not putting a dime of it on the field. As I noted earlier, the Twins have almost doubled their operating revenue since 2006 and have also more than doubled the value of their franchise, thanks to the generosity of Minnesota taxpayers in giving them that new stadium. But over the past seven years, their annual player payroll has risen a whopping 3.8 percent. And no, that's not 3.8 percent a year, that's total. Revenue is up $100 million since 2006; player payroll is up a whopping $2.8 million. ...

I've been a big baseball fan ever since I can remember, and I'm fully invested in the game's romance, beauty and lore. And of course the baseball industry, the football industry and basketball industry have every right to monetize the excitement and passion that their products excite in their fans. That's what they're selling, and they're good at it.

However, at a time when we're firing teachers and slashing food stamps and refusing to invest in basic transportation infrastructure, there's something morally wrong about using that same excitement as a means of transferring taxpayer dollars into the pockets of billionaires. I don't blame the Braves and Falcons and other teams for doing it -- again, to them it's just business. I blame the rest of us for letting our skewed sense of priorities be manipulated to our own detriment. Like Dan Uggla, we see that 0-2 slider coming low and away, and we flail at it every time.

This is nothing new, I realize. But when you sum it up in a couple of paragraphs (without any local sentimentality getting in the way), it's completely brutal.

Allow me to pair it with this excerpt from another post I never quite finished, this time from May of 2010, tentatively titled Just Do It? Will We Ever Build Another Stadium? (Answer: Yep.):

With the 2010 legislative session now just an odorous memory, and its fiscal entrails left to rot across our declining state for another year, we can now note that -- surprise! -- there is not yet a plan to build a new stadium for our beloved sports brethren, the Vikings.

It's just one of the many mistakes made by our elected leaders (including, especially, the Smirking Governor with delusional Presidential aspirations), but maybe not for the reasons we always hear.

Let me start with the end of the story: There absolutely will be a new Vikings stadium. It's just a matter of where, when, and how it will get paid for. And just so you don't think I'm being coy, it will be here, though I'm only willing to give the Metrodome site a 60% chance of landing it.

You may wonder just how we can know this, given that the Vikings appear hapless, nobody is lining up to pay for anything, and no politician will even touch the subject without being granted some form of immunity behind closed doors (what with politics looking ever more like some cheesy reality TV show).

So, how can we be so sure that it will happen? Because it always does, that's why. Always, always, always.

Oh, there will certainly much gnashing of teeth, and there will be tense votes in various committees and other assembled bodies. There will be polls, and protests, and maybe even boycotts or tears at meetings. There will be extended exasperation, which already includes unspoken threats, broken promises, creative ideas hastily dispatched, and all those other trappings.

But it will get done, and potentially next year, with the end of the Vikings Metrodome lease looming. Or not. It doesn't actually have to be next year. Lease extensions are a routine occurrence, especially if there are positive portents on the horizon. In fact, the goal next year may not even be to get the deal done, but just to make some progress and get an extension signed.

That would be a foolhardy strategy, of course, because every year of delay costs real money, but politicians have occasionally been known to follow foolhardy strategies.

You're probably still skeptical. I mean, we all know that everybody hates stadiums, and nobody wants to pay for them, and they represent a huge waste of money that just makes rich people richer and takes money away from schools and services and poor people and the hungry and infirmed and is generally a plaque upon our society (to be scraped off at regular intervals by a professional). Stadiums are, after all, just playgrounds for millionaires and billionaires and couldn't we just buy some more books and maybe pencils and paper for our classrooms?

We also know that the economic arguments have been debunked over and over, and that the civic pride argument is pretty vaporous.

But here's another thing that we also know: We always do it, and we've been doing it for thousands of years. And I'm going to offer myself up as the poster child for this anachronism. Personally, I agree with all those arguments about the other important ways to spend government dollars. But I also know it's going to happen, so let's just get it done as soon as possible -- before it ends up costing a billion dollars (or more).

Oh, the times we are living in... I like to think that someday people will look back and curse our folly, but I'm not quite that optimistic about human nature. We are likely not witnessing the end of the public financing of major sports facilities, but just the beginning of a new era when the 20-year-old facility looks like a dinosaur, and governments line up to encourage the churning.


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vikings stadium analysis anytime soon? curious to see what you have to say rick, is it something you plan on posting, just politely asking

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 8:56 PM by longtimelistener Highlight this comment 1

Yes, absolutely! It's a long, detailed article, nearing completion...

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 8:59 PM by Rick 2

thank you glad to hear it

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 9:04 PM by longtimelistener Highlight this comment 3

Proposed name change to StadiuMagic?? Lol

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 08:50 AM by luke Highlight this comment 4

Looks like the twins might be interested in pitcher Bronson Arroyo oh boy.

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 10:35 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 5

The Twins need some middle class players on their roster. Adding a veteran starter like Arroyo, who can give you a couple of steady, healthy, solid 200+ inning seasons, would help stabilize the rotation. There isn't an ace available, and overpaying guys like Ricky Nolasco doesn't make a ton of sense. So get Arroyo and a cheap upside guy (I like Hughes, who could be decent outside of Yankee Stadium and the AL East, but I'd take a Scott Baker reunion). Then hope Meyers develops quickly, Gibson shows something, and Worley remembers how to pitch and forgo that third dessert.

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 09:27 AM by BR Highlight this comment 6

Strib Vikings Update (Friday meeting, stadium costs), click name for link.

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM by tk Highlight this comment 7

A few Metrodome items are already up for bid including the right field baggy and the pitchers mound. Info is available via

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 1:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 8

Guess what children...Star Tribune announces ground breaking for USBS to be Tuesday Dec 3. Hallelujah.

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 3:39 PM by luke Highlight this comment 9

Twins make a trade with the pirates and get pitcher kris johnson. We will see how this works out.

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 10

A video about the future of the NFL stadium experience.

Will the Vikings do anything inventive? I doubt it. A power cord between every other seat would be awesome.

The on-field technology would have little to do with the stadium building, but if they are smart they will do something innovative in the seats.

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 11

There's a mind-blowing statistic in the middle of that video: Only 7% of NFL fans have ever been inside an NFL stadium. It's going to take a while to digest that one...

And, at the end of the video, a question is asked which invites introspection: "But how can the league use all this technology to take better care of its most prized asset..."

Its money? Its TV contracts? That 7% of fans?

(The asset mentioned somehow rings false.)

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 11:29 AM by Rick 12

Two things come to mind about the 7% figure. One, of the 93% of fans who haven't been to an NFL stadium, how many actually live in an NFL market? It would be more interesting to know how many fans have been or not been to a game and actually live in a metro area with an NFL team. The other concerns the need to convey an atmosphere to TV viewers.

The fans watching at home, some likely without realizing it, value the fans at the game who create the atmosphere. A fan who watches from his or her living room and sees the fans going nuts at Lambeau, Soldier Field, the Superdome, and even the Dome is taking that in as part of the overall experience. TV fans want to hear the noise and see folks in jerseys and facepaint having a blast. An NFL game played in front of 8,000 fans in a 68,000 seat stadium would be dead by comparison to the experience as we know it and consequently less interesting to the TV audience. Would anyone be as interested in NFL games if the stadiums were empty and/or silent?

For the NFL to succeed on the terms defined by and for it, it must have full houses. It needs to have its "studio audience" as part of the overall production in the manner, to some extent, of SNL or American Idol. To get full houses, its teams must provide game attending fans with increasing comfort, convenience, technology, and other amenities. Maybe the stadium fans aren't the most prized asset. That's TV viewing fans or at least those in Nielsen homes. However, the stadium fan is a vital part of the overall product.

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 13

Yes, the notion of stadium as TV studio and crowd as audience is relevant to the discussion, though it does suggest that perhaps fans who come to the game should be paid scale like extras on a movie set. That would be around $100 each plus $12 to cover food. For a 60K-seat stadium, that would cost teams $6.7 million per game, which actually isn't all that bad when you think about it ($53M per year, less than either the offense or defense). The TV contracts would easily cover that. It would be just another payroll expense.

OK, back to reality...

But you're right that the big question is how you define "NFL fan" -- which you have to do to make it possible to calculate such a number. Most obvious would probably be the overall size of the TV audience, but that could easily be inflated. There are certainly plenty of people who pass the time watching football on Sunday afternoons who would never consider actually going to a game or buying a jersey or spending any money on the sport at all. Should these people count as "NFL fans"? If that's how it is calculated, the 93% figure is likely substantially inflated.

Next, I wonder how many actual people attend games in person over the course of a season. Last year the Vikings drew 485K in attendance, but many of the same people came to every game. I'm not sure how (or if) you can get at the actual number of people, but it's probably half that number or less. In that way, it's possible that even the 7% figure is significantly inflated.

In short, I'm not really sure what that statistic means at all.

But if you're an NFL executive, and you really think that the 7% number represents an opportunity -- money left on the table, if you will -- then you have two choices: lower ticket prices or more seats (or some combination of the two). When you're operating at near capacity anyway, lowering ticket prices would be a tough sell, even though it might pay off in increased merchandise sales (the idea being that people only buy a jersey once, and more actual people coming through the stadium represents an opportunity to sell more jerseys). That would also argue toward deemphasizing season ticket sales, another tough sell.

Increased capacity, as mentioned in the video, would have to provide something that fans can't get at home (and be priced accordingly). That's a tall order given the size of these facilities and the already-significant distance from the action in the cheapest seats. (I hardly think that adding a beach, as the video shows, is likely to change things very much, though it would give the cameras something interesting to shoot when returning from commercials. Again with those cameras...)

So I realize that, despite waxing and waning periods of interest, and at least a few years of rabid fandom, I'm one of those who has never set foot in an NFL stadium on gameday. Part of that is cost and availability of tickets, and part of that is a sense that you miss most of the good stuff when you're at the stadium (which depends on how you define "the good stuff").

I also realize that, if you're defining "NFL fan" by the TV audience, I'm not even in that group this year. Though it hasn't really been intentional, I haven't watched a single play from scrimmage this year (though I accidentally heard the Hail Mary play at the end of the Cowboys game on the radio).

So do people like me really represent an opportunity that some NFL executive should be pursuing? Probably.

But what would that pursuit look like?

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM by Rick 14

The Gophers football team is the cover story on right now. Awaiting the sun to melt and it to start raining blood. The ax will stay right where it belongs - in Madison.

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 2:15 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 15

Interesting that it was Jerry Jones who allegedly quoted that "7%" stat. When you consider his very own palace - where PSL seats comprise a vast majority of available seats, and range in price from ~$10,000 to a jaw-dropping $150,000 - it's not difficult to see why only 7% of all NFL fans have recently set foot in a stadium.

And yet those PSLs sell, and will continue to sell, league-wide. The horse is out of the barn when it comes to who can currently attend NFL games, and who will be able to in the future. No offense Rick, but I don't think "people like [you]" are going to be pursued anytime soon. Future venues will be smaller, and that means ownership will simply market to a smaller number of wealthier people.

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 3:42 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 16

And I actually agree (with no offense taken). I'm never again going to be the NFL's target market, though at one time I certainly was. They probably left a reasonable amount of money on the table with me by making it either impossible or undesirable to attend games back when I was really engaged (1973-2001).

But the video indicates that increasing that 7% is a goal, and that it might be done using a combination of technology and stadium design -- both subjects which certainly grab my attention.

Basically, improving that number means finding the rabid fans who don't go to games and figuring out how to get them to go (after first making it actually possible). And that's the real question: What would that process look like, especially as far as it concerns the stadium design?

(Personally, to get me back, the NFL would have to basically eliminate the entire culture which has grown up around the game in the past decade. After reading this -- heck, even before reading it -- I don't think that's very likely.)

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 4:03 PM by Rick 17

I'm one of the infrequent fans. I go to a game every couple of years. I've taken my now teenage son to a few preseason games (buying very cheap tix on the secondary market). We have tix to the last Dome game this year. But I've never-owned season tickets.

More to the point, I've never wanted to own season tickets. Frankly, for many reasons, I don't enjoy watching live NFL games nearly as much as baseball. They're expensive. TV dominates the game, governing its tempo and feel. (Dad, why are the players just standing around? They're waiting for the commercials to end. Oh. What commercials? The ones people on tv are watching.) It's often artificially noisy. And the fans are extra obnoxious, which is annoying even when they're my team's fans.

Some of that can't be "improved." It's what it is. But I think at-the-game experience could be much better - more interactive, more engaging. That's a topic worthy of another post, probably!

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 09:25 AM by BR Highlight this comment 18

I'm making a call. The Atlanta Hawks will announce plans for a new arena next year. Atlanta should have a city motto: Where stadiums go to die after only 15 years.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 09:54 AM by gus munger Highlight this comment 19

This new Vikings stadium project has more snags than a pair of Miley Cyrus pantyhose after a Saturday night bender in L.A.

Does "old" always have to equate to "historic"? I never envisioned the Strib building as the latter.


Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 20

It seems like the whole Vikings stadium village project is a long row of dominos, and if one falls the entire deal collapses with it.


Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 21

It's a race to get shovels in the ground. Once that happens (ceremonially on December 3, and realistically shortly thereafter), it'll be much harder to stop...

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:14 AM by Rick 22

I am a Vikings season ticket holder and have attended most Vikings home games since the mid 1980s, having assumed control over long held family tickets. The few misses have been due to special circumstances and never more than once per season. I find the live NFL experience to be much more interesting and exciting than watching on TV. Obviously it's a more expensive way of watching the game. The inconveniences, such as lines, crowds, traffic, parking, the lack of TV replays, and fellow fans with bad manners, are undeniable. That the Metrodome sits far below present standards for an NFL stadium in most respects magnifies those problems.
However, being at the game and being able to see the game in person while interacting with so many diehard fans more than makes up for those hassles. The noise and energy from the crowd along with the overall collective experience simply can’t be duplicated at home, no matter how big the TV or how many guests you have, or at a sports bar. When I watch road games at home, I feel a certain disengagement that can’t be fully overcome. The NFL’s goal, which will hopefully be seen through, to improve the live fan’s experience sounds great to me. I want superfast Wi-Fi, massive and multiple video boards, better concessions, and the like. My deep hope is the Vikings and HKS will think not only about the present, but also the future, something the 49ers are doing at their new stadium by putting a good amount of money into ensuring easier implementation of technology that hasn’t been invented yet.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 23

Back when TF was still being designed, I once asked DSP about whether the Twins would consider design elements that might make future revenue innovations a little easier to implement.

He mumbled something about trying to build the best stadium possible, while giving me a look that was somewhere between "Why would we do that?" and "You must be f-ing nuts."

Needless to say, I never brought it up again. And the more I thought about it, the more impossible the idea sounded.

If they had any inkling of what a future enhancement might be, they'd implement it now. Most significant innovations require changes the nature of which are simply impossible to anticipate, plan for, or even guess at until the idea has actually been hatched. (Can you imagine trying to build Camden Yards as "wifi ready" 10 years before anybody would have known what they meant? Or how about justifying the cost of running conduit big enough to support eight broadcast teams, three of which are HD video, back in the days when there were only two radio teams broadcasting games?)

Ultimately, I came to consider the whole idea "f-ing nuts" and concluded that DSP was justified in looking at me that way. Anybody who claims that they are future-proofing a facility is blowing smoke.

This isn't to say that the 49ers are wasting money. That money may very well be wisely spent, and they may one day laud whoever made "Innovation X" possible (or even easier) years later. And the designers of the Vikings stadium would do well to look at trends in the pipeline which haven't been fully implemented yet. (As an example, power receptacles at each seat isn't as crazy as it sounds. And even if you don't put them in now, running conduit for them is probably a reasonable expense.)

But I'm reminded of a time in the 80s when I worked in a corporate office. At one point we switched from a completely manual environment to an automated one and had to run miles of new power and data cable through the walls and existing conduits of rental office space which hadn't been either designed or built out with that possibility in mind (it had been designed for POTS cabling only).

We ran into places where our new cabling went in seamlessly, and we jokingly patted ourselves on the back for having been so "visionary" for having made it so easy on ourselves when we designed the space. And we also ran into places where doing what we needed to do was quite literally impossible without structural changes which in turn involved tons of expense and even opening lease renegotiations with our landlord, for which we jokingly cursed our former selves for not having anticipated better when we selected the space.

The lesson was, build for today, and expect that things will change. And when they do, make the best of it.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM by Rick 24

By the way, I thought the "announcement" (if you can call it that) of the December 3 groundbreaking ceremony was telling. It was slipped into a press briefing on a different subject (the GMP negotiations), almost as if they didn't want anybody to notice.

I suspect that it will be a very different affair from the big party the Twins held in the Rapid Park lot (which, as you'll recall, was delayed for a very different reason).

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM by Rick 25

I think most tech advancements will be wireless, so "running conduit" won't be necessary. Instead, I think they need to think about individual comfort (skinny plastic seats? no good) and group interactions - club spaces and viewing areas, etc. That's where being modular in design could pay off for future innovations.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM by BR Highlight this comment 26

Also, to Jorge's point about better concessions: that whole process needs to be redesigned. You should not have to waste time standing in line and missing the game to buy food. Automate the ordering system so it can be done from your seat, even ahead of time; bill it to your account/ticket/credit card; and have pick up stations that move much faster. For ritzier club areas, obviously, they should have food delivery staff.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM by BR Highlight this comment 27

Well Rick...I don't think you were totally off the rail with your question to DSP.
You're right in "build for today and expect things will change".

I think I see where you were coming from in your question to DSP...what I got out of your question is design elements that would make any future upgrades, whatever they may be, easier to they don't have to spend an arm and a leg in renovations and other changes to make way for future enhancements. Make the change as easy as possible.

Build for today while making room for tomorrow.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 6:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 28

If there was anything to be innovative about, it would probably be energy consumption/sources. Considering it will be open during the winter months, energy efficient heat will be a necessity in the future.

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 29

I don't the histotical value to the Strib building. Is it historical because Sid spent many of his younger days roaming the corridors of it?

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 30

BR, that concession process exists today in some stadiums. I know it is in Xcel for Wild games. I can't remember if it's in any of the others.


Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:50 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 31

Historical in its architectural style.

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 05:26 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 32

The Vikings have increased their contribution towards the new stadium by $26,400,000 so that several features on the chopping block can be retained. The team will now bring $503,400,000 instead of $477,000,000. The state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis will bring $498,000,000. The total project is priced at $1,001,400,000 instead of $975,000,000. The team now contributes 50.3% instead of 48.9%. The public contribution goes from 51.1% to 49.7%. The Vikings are also relinquishing $15,000,000 from gameday revenues for further improvements to TCF Bank Stadium that will outlast the team's stay.

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 33

Vikings raise their "contribution" by $41.1 million to the stadium project

The Vikings offered $41.4 million more to preserve the stadium’s design and high-tech features.

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 09:47 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 34

Zygi reaches into his pocket a little bit more....

...oh who am I kidding. He made a call to someone to find a way to increase revenue in the next five years by ~$41 million.

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 35

The pressure is really on. They're worried that if they don't get started building before the new city council takes office and the next Legislature convenes, something will torpedo the project...

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM by Rick 36

Looks like they're going to make it:

John Wood, of Mortenson Construction, said that fences will go up around the Metrodome parking lot on Monday, and crews will start peeling away the asphalt on Tuesday. “We should be starting to pour concrete in the early part of January,” Wood said.

(From MPR.)

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM by Rick 37

Given that Betsy Hodges, one of the more vocal anti-stadium members of city council is now Mayor of Minneapolis and in a position to have a bigger voice should the issue of killing the project catch fire, I can hardly blame the MSFA and the Vikings for being in a hurry to get going. The need to complete the stadium in time for the 2016 season is also a matter of concern.

I'm willing to say the location is not great, the exterior design is odd to put it kindly, and the e-tab funding mechanism was as realistic as a handful of magic beans. However, if this stadium deal gets run off the road, something I honestly don't see happening, I'm not prepared to sit in the Metrodome for seasons on end while the team and politicians play more ego games as they work towards a new deal that would be years in the making and certainly not any less expensive.

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 38

I am not surprised Zygs dug further into his gold-plated wallet for enhancements to USBS. The Wild added $45 million from their pockets to enhance Xcel and the Twinkies put forth more of their own cash for TF.

If they are putting up fences on Monday...yippee. I think I will have to take my lunch breaks down by the Dumpty and see if I can get some snaps of construction when it really gets moving

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 10:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 39

If the Vikings make the playoffs, demolition and construction will be delayed by up to three weeks.


Posted on November 23, 2013 at 07:20 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 40

If the Vikings make the playoffs this is proof positive that God does exist.

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 41

If the Vikings make the playoffs this is verifiable proof that God in fact exists.

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 42

Take a look at this new image of the site plan for the Ryan development. Notice anything changed?

That park on the left has been encroached upon by another building! Sneaky bastards. If it gets built, this development will likely look nothing like those fantastic original concept drawings. It's a damn shame.

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM by Rick 43

Sorry for the double comments. Damn phone...slow wifi. But what is that building? Everything else is defined, except for that building.
And west and east towers...for what?
And I am surprised there is no skyway connection from the ramp to USBS.

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 5:51 PM by luke Highlight this comment 44

How do I unblock someone I blocked by accident. No matter how many times I click the person icon with the green checkmark he stays blocked.

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 45 something is up with that. I noticed the same thing

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM by luke Highlight this comment 46

That building is an apartment building. They say it is to help hide the jail on that end of the development. It will be short enough that it does not block the clock tower. You should notice that there is also now open space on the north side of the Wells Fargo buildings. That missing residential has moved to a later stage.

I also notice that both roads are back. The original had both Park and Portland closed and the existing ramp as part of the park. Now the existing ramp stays.

Lots of changes...

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 10:26 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 47

Any word on one of those little models with the fancy LED lights, etc. being made for the new Vikes stadium? It looks like the TF one was unveiled 2-5 months into construction (depending on which date you want to use as the actual construction beginning). So perhaps it is still in the works.

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 48

Dee-Pee- There is a model being made, I believe I saw it in progress on Urban MSP's website. I, too would like to see it again. I saw the picture of it in progress about a month ago.

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 49

Haven't been following the stadium design, is there any designs that aren't just concepts?

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 10:18 PM by tk Highlight this comment 50


The iceberg looking pointy design is not a concept. It is the design they are building.

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 10:59 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 51

Where do you get the models of Target Field?

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 52

The Twins have signed free-agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco supposedly dont know if thats a good thing or not

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 5:44 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 53

Let me guess, Nolasco is a 'pitch to contact' guy?

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 07:18 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 54

Well, one more step to becoming the AA team we aspire to be. We're not even AAA status anymore.

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 08:34 AM by luke Highlight this comment 55

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful major league baseball is again being played outdoors in Minnesota and in a beautiful ballpark. That is especially important when the team is as horrendous as the Twins have been the last three years. On a related note, what in perdition is the person who bought it going to do with The Baggie??

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 09:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 56

Do we know who bought it? It could be used as a rain tarp, maybe...its got tons of holes in it though...

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 09:52 AM by luke Highlight this comment 57

This is insane. Washington Nationals ballpark related.. Why ruin a good thing?

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 10:57 AM by gus munger Highlight this comment 58

Just like us, I am glad they didn't put a roof on Nationals Park

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 6:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 59

Hey Rick, I was just reading your post Football Place Nuts & Bolts and a thought ensued: do you think the Vikings will chip in to have the vinyl seat backs mounted on ALL the bleacher seats, to make them a little more marketable? Or will it just be a game of chance, and some people will just sit in the ones paid for by Gopher fans? And those things are professionally mounted, I can't imagine they'll take them out after the Gopher game and put them back in the Minday after the Vikings game. Just a thought.

Posted on November 30, 2013 at 08:57 AM by I AM Brian Griffin (aka luke) Highlight this comment 60

Have they said what will happen with the Metrodome seats?

Posted on November 30, 2013 at 2:06 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 61

I didn't think Nolasco was a bad acquisition, though it might be pricey. And now Hughes; at least they seem serious about the starting pitching.

Posted on December 1, 2013 at 09:21 AM by robin Highlight this comment 62

Groundbreaking for USBS to be Tuesday, kiddos.
Are you as psyched as I am??
I bet our fearless leader Rick will be there, taking pictures and giving us the first post of BPM-Vikings Edition

Posted on December 1, 2013 at 7:19 PM by I AM Brian Griffin (aka luke) Highlight this comment 63

Duffman, I believe the Metrodome seats will be sold in part as collectibles although some of them may be reused by smaller arenas or minor league stadiums. Considering that many are about thirty years old, they've held up remarkably well.

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 11:20 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 64

The picture right now on the front page of StarTribune looks more like a funeral than a ceremonial ground-breaking.

Fitting, I suppose.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 65

I can't quite put a finger on why I just don't feel the same "magic" of all of the Vikes' stadium ceremonies. Is it because the TF is still quite fresh in my mind? Is it because I am more of a baseball fan even though I watch/follow/route for the Purple? It just seems all so...forced this go around.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 66

Season Ticket relocation begins today, and runs through Thursday, for my category of one of the pair of seats I have anyway (non LC, 40 game).

Does anyone have access today? I am curious what selection looks like. My specific window isn't until Thursday mid day.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 67

I agree with you DeePee. I think it is because the change from the dome to TF was much greater than the change from the Dome to Dome II. Going to TF was going from an indoor venue designed for football to an outdoor venue in the warehouse district that was designed for baseball. Today they broke ground on a domed football venue to replace a domed football venue in the same location. It's exciting, but not the same rush as I experienced when TF was built.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM by terry Highlight this comment 68


Our relocation time is later today. Oddly early for us, as we only have a 20 game package (4 seats). If I get the chance, I'll look at availability generally when I'm on and post later.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:46 PM by BR Highlight this comment 69

JCTwins- 12:30 was my selection time today for full season ticket options. The site shows green areas available for full season options only. So lots of red areas throughout the ballpark. Lots of green this season in the lower & mid rows of Home Plate Box areas. A few spots in the lower rows (9-15) of Field Box on first base side. More spots on lower rows of Field Box on third base side (6-13). Plenty of green in the lower rows of the Upper Deck. Tough call for me today as there was row 5 1st base side open or row 2 on the 3rd base side. Last year I had row 6 1st base side so I went with the row 2 on 3rd base to be closer to the action, get some sun, and switch up the view. I found there to be more openings this year than last year. Good luck with your selection!

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM by StillNotMendoza Highlight this comment 70

Had my "opportunity" at 12:39 - 20 game plan. Nothing available that could be considered an improvement.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 71

All those photos of Zygi grinning on the Strib site make it look like a greed-fest -- except for the one of lonely old Bud Grant sitting by himself inside the tent.

But getting shovels in the ground is all they needed to do, and now it has happened.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 2:20 PM by Rick 72


Posted on December 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 73

hm... I was having trouble posting...

Anyone notice any changes in the new photos the Vikes put out today?

The link says "Final Version" yet I am sure there will still be changes along the way.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 74

These various levels of access make me wonder if they've changed the way they prioritize upgrades.

Thanks for the comments, I'd be interested in hearing what anyone else is seeing as their time comes up.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 75

The "final version" I think is what we're going to get. There's no time to make wild exterior changes now. The only thing I suppose that will change is interior aesthetics: i.e. a bigger video board perhaps? I don't know, for the size of seems small to me. And yes, I know that fact was mentioned in a way earlier post (probably five months ago).

Ultimately, it's better than what we have now. Finally, something to get excited about: a new sports facility going up in the TC's that will change our skyline.

I'm excited and looking forward to the construction phase.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 4:50 PM by I AM Brian Griffin (aka luke) Highlight this comment 76

Well, I just went through the seat relocation process. Nothing better available for me. However, I just realized that the seats I was hoping to upgrade to (last year and this year) in the cheap but better Field View sections (306/307, low rows) are not available in 20 game plans. There are some seats available there in the 40 game plans, but they aren't there in the 20 game plans. For 40 game plans, there were plenty in the upper rows of the lower deck, last 2 or 3 sections down the lines. There were also plenty of Home Plate view available in 40 and 20 game packs, even in the first 5 rows. For full season, there were sets of 4 in rows 12 and 13 section 118 - very nice seats. Just fyi.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 4:52 PM by BR Highlight this comment 77

CSG Mike- I noticed that the new rendering showing the West end pivot doors had eliminated that silly looking 3 seating row halfway up the door openings that looked a lot like what Cowboys Stadium has. To further clarify, the rows looked like they floated above the doors. I could be wrong, but that 's what it looked like to me. I did'nt notice any other changes but I bet there are some.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 7:37 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 78

Those rows look like they're still there to me.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 8:41 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 79

I also see those rows as still there.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 9:28 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 80

Tom D, I agree with Winona Mike. I think they are still there. I believe they have said that there will be two full concourses. Full meaning completely connected circles. I would love to see overhead views of each level.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:32 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 81

The stadium has nine levels, and three of those feature a complete oval around (although one of those is the service or "Event" level, which is not accessible to fans).

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:38 PM by Rick 82

What you are seeing in the rendering inside the doors is actually a walkway with standing room that connects the two sides of the upper concourse.

The design does feature very small sections extending toward the field from that walkway. Each section has either four standard rows or two standard rows and an accessible seating area. These are not actually visible in the rendering.

These little sections start in front of that walkway, and extend almost all the way across the south sideline, and will likely look a lot like the 200-level small sections at TF which extend down from the upper concourse.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:47 PM by Rick 83

I've just spent some more time with the design, and realized the full degree to which most of the seats in the new stadium will be considerably worse than those in the Metrodome. Those that aren't worse actually turn out to be about the same as the Dome in terms of view and proximity to the field.

Not that this is any surprise, but the real differences are in the amenities offered to the wealthiest fans. These will be considerably better than at the Dome. And there will be a much wider variety of seating types and views.

But unless you're among the wealthiest fans, you are probably going to hate this stadium. In fact, I'm willing to bet that plenty of fans in the upper reaches will be jonesing for the Dome after the first few games. Hell, they may even be jonesing for TCFBS -- which has considerably better seating than the new stadium in almost every direction.

This is definitely turning into a "be careful what you wish for" moment all around...

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:25 AM by Rick 84

Rick, what makes the upper seats worse? I am sure many fans in the upper deck will love the new wider concourse, more bathrooms, etc that are promised.

I know you have stated that you rarely attend NFL games. I am in the same boat where I rarely go (1-2 games a year usually on free/friends tickets). I dislike sitting in the upper deck for just about any professional sport. The experience is better on tv unless you're close to the action. I still think the new stadium will be filled and loved by many.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 07:00 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 85

CSG Mike- I think what Rick is trying to explain is that the difference between viewing a game in the upper deck at TCF Bank Stadium to say, Gillette Stadium is very dramatically different. At TCF you are pretty close to the field and feel connected to the game, but at Gillette Stadium and many others you might as well be on the moon- you are so far away and so high up you feel pretty disconnected to the game action. Rick- if I am off base please say so.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 07:53 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 86

Surprised nobody has posted this yet:

Morneau reported to be signing with Rockies, AJ P with the Red Sox and Joe Nathan with the Tigers. Hitting in that mountain air could be just the thing to get Morneau back to a power hitter.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 09:08 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 87

I doubt Morneau will be complaining about the "Atmosphere Light" in Coors Field the way he complained about the dimensions and wall heights at Target Field.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 09:11 AM by terry Highlight this comment 88

Tom D, that would make sense. I still think that the majority of the people that go to NFL games will be very happy with the new stadium as the overall experience will be better. Do we know how the upper/lower seating copacity is split and if the ratio is drastically different than what is at the dome?

As far as free agents go... Wow yesterday was a busy day on the hot stove! Lots of new homes for above average players. The two that shocked me the most were Ellsbury going to NYY with 7yr/$150ish and Salty going to MIA for 3yr/$21. I am surprised that the Twins couldn't match or beat that offer. Looks like we will have Pinto as our everyday C. Ug. :(

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 09:21 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 89

The seats at the new Vikings stadium will indeed be farther away. Fans, at least most with whom I've spoken, are pretty realistic about this eventuality. Based on the size and configuration of other NFL stadiums built over the past fifteen or so years, it's just a fact of life. The trade off are the modern conveniences you get in return at the new stadium. More and bigger restrooms. Better concession options with more points of sale. A large and modern video board. Wifi. More and better concourse TVs. Wider concourses used by few fans. Easier exterior circulation. Easier access at entry gates. Plus, there's the added bonus of having the stadium situation solved for a few decades.

Rick, I say this with the utmost respect. If you have a chance to see either of the final two Vikings games at the Metrodome (Eagles on 12/15 or Lions on 12/29), take it. When comparing the new venue to the old, it's impossible to do so properly without experiencing the status quo. Apart from having good, football appropriate sightlines, I strongly argue that the venue is much more inconvenient and uncomfortable for Vikings fans than it ever was for Twins fans due to having so many more people in a building unable to cope with 44,000 fans let alone 54,000 or 64,000.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 09:57 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 90

By the way, Rick my encouragement to attend a Vikings game this month is based on me remembering, possibly incorrectly, that you'd never done so in the past. Forgive me if that's not the case.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 91

I like Justin, but concerned he will never be the player he was. I think the Rockies overpaid and his signing was more a reflection that the Rockies never had a post-Helton plan. However, I certainly hope Coors Field is good for him.

On another note, looks like we will have pricing info for All Star game events in the next week or two. Word is that the Twins wanted to release it by Thanksgiving, but MLB said no. Expect prices to be more in line with Kansas City in 2012 than at Citi Field last year which would seem to indicate a $300-$1000 or so range.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 92

I used to have Vikings tickets in section 214 and there were concession stands, usually with long lines, on either side of the entrance to our section. The restrooms were just beyond those concession stands; to get to them one had to push his way through those lines. The problem was usually compounded by beer vendors and mobile carts further clogging the narrow concourse. I directed a lot of naughty words under my breath to the architect who designed that place.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM by terry Highlight this comment 93

Nothing available for upgrade on the Twins site. I kept my same seats from last year.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM by terry Highlight this comment 94

I just read the USA Today Sports Weekly and one of the writers said that Ricky Nolasco was in his opinion a below average pitcher. The Twins just signed him for 49 million dollars for a few years-anyway my question is what do you guys know about him? I realize premium pitchers are expensive and hard to come by, but will this new guy be a good addition or a flop like Worley was?

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 95

Rick, I read your site quite a bit and have enjoyed it quite a bit over the years. Loved it during the target field build phase, but it's becoming harder and harder to come back. -hey chimein everyone tell me that I don't have to come here blah blah blah. I don't know what it is but something about your tone whenever you bring up the Vikings stadium. This last piece about how Viking fans are going to hate the new stadium when we have just barely turned the first shovel of dirt. This from a guy who last attended a game when? Just about every single comment you've made from funding to design has been pretty negative. I think maybe you said something about the exterior and being somewhat pleased about that but I could be wrong.

I believe that you have stated that the time was now to build a stadium for the Vikes. I think you've stated that we should do it. But it just seems to me that had this stadium been put where you had wanted it to go, and had Opat rode in on his white horse and put this thing on the FM site that we would be reading entirely different comments from you.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM by moda Highlight this comment 96

He is one of those workhorse/innings-eater type of pitchers from what I have read.

In 2013, he started 33 games and pitched 199.1 innings and was 13-11 while playing for the Marlins and Dodgers

In comparison, Correira went 185.1 innings in 31 starts and Pelfrey pitched 152.2 innings in 29 starts. Both Correira and Pelfrey led the Twins with 101 strikeouts.

Nolasco 13-11

hits - 195
HR - 17
SO - 165
BB - 46
ERA - 3.70
WHIP - 1.21

Basically he sounds like a solid #2 or #3 guy on a great team and will be a #1 or #2 guy on a team like the Twins. His numbers might be skewed a bit playing in the NL as well as a very bad Marlins team.

He was definitely overpaid, but that is the nature of today's free agency, especially when you are desperate for starting pitching.

Just don't be surprised if he doesn't turn out very well but you can't say the Pohlad's are being cheap this year.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 97


It's true that I've never been to a Vikings game in person. However, I've been to lots of sold out Twins games and plenty of Gopher games at the Dome. I also was there for that first ever Timberwolves game and a handful of other sold out events. Its limitations are certainly well known, and I have lots of first-hand experience with them. No doubt about that.

I would never argue for keeping the Dome when a new stadium is possible. I'm glad there will be a new stadium and that the franchise is safe here (which it always was, by the way).

But the design documents -- which are publicly available -- give me a pit in my stomach. It's going to be fine. It's going to be nice. Everybody's going to go ga-ga -- for a while. But, and I really do hate to say this -- and please, this is not about football versus baseball or us versus them or Pohlads versus Wilfs or "TF is so much better" or any crap like that -- some parts of this design really seem to suck, especially for people without gobs and gobs of money at their disposal. There's just no way around it.

A large number of people are going to pay a whole lot of money for sh!tty seats. And they will have absolutely no access to the amenities which represent real advancements, reserved for the "rattle your jewelry" crowd.

It will certainly be a modern facility, and that by itself is something. But it's really nothing much more than that. Maybe that's enough. But when it comes to the seating bowl -- arguably the most important part of the design -- all of the seats/sightlines are basically either the same as or worse than those at the Dome. And the exterior circulation, as currently designed, is completely horrible -- way worse than what we have now (which is itself pretty terrible). They started with one foot in a hole by selecting that location, but nothing in the current design mitigates the natural disadvantages.

I know that the Vikes are just doing here what all the other NFL teams are doing elsewhere, but I don't have to like it. And I fear that this design really does have the potential to make people look back at the Dome with fondness -- no small feat there. And with TCFBS just across the river, and after watching the Vikings play there for a couple of years, some of this will be glaringly obvious on day one.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM by Rick 98


If you don't want to hear my opinion, fine. But if you want me to just roll over and go ga-ga because "this is just so cool" and "everybody thinks so", I can't do it. The one thing I can bring to this audience is honesty with my opinions, based on the knowledge I've gained over roughly 15 years of serious stadium and city-planning study. I won't apologize for saying things you don't like -- as long as they are honest and justified.

And while I'm happy to have whatever conversation you like, I'm not going to rehash anything here. My opinions are well-known to everybody. I've been pretty straight-forward and I think they are justified. If I'm wrong, so be it. I hope that's how it works out.

Truth is, 10 years after the new stadium opens most people won't accurately remember the Metrodome anyway. So it's sort of a who-cares issue, I guess.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM by Rick 99

One more thing: I am always open to contrary opinions. I reconsider my thinking all the time, and do change my mind. I can be convinced. I accept when I'm proven wrong. Happens all the time. If you have a contrary view, I want to hear it, and I'm willing to discuss it. But I need solid justification...

Oh, and I forgot to include a link to the design documents for those who want to have their own look. (These PDFs are huge, but very detailed.) Unfortunately, I've lost track of the exterior plan by Oslund. If somebody has that link, please provide it.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM by Rick 100

Briefly, there were 2 aisle seats in row 2 of either 109 or 110, can't remember which. Those were a good deal for someone who could afford it. I wasn't in there long. All the good Dugout Box seats were unavailable. Row 3 in 121 was still there when I left (tuesday).

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM by robin Highlight this comment 101

These comments about STH upgrades make me wonder if the mass exodus didn't happen, or if they are manipulating inventory to make it look more sold out than it is. I don't get why they would do that, making me think it must be the former.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 1:26 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 102

" --- make me wonder if the mass exodus didn't happen, or if they are manipulating inventory --- "

I was looking to improve to 207 from 206 in any of the four plans. The only place where ANYTHING was available was right where I already am. BULLSHIT!!!!!

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 2:03 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 103

I was also hoping to move from 206 to 207. I've participated in the seat relocation every year since TF opened and there was less seat availability this year than in any previous year.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 2:23 PM by terry Highlight this comment 104

Am I the only one who thinks there are serious pedestrian traffic flow problems at TCFBS? The place wasn't close to full any of the 3 games I've gone to, but you could hardly move at halftime. A problem with the one concourse approach??

If the new Vikes stadium successfully handles concourse traffic, bathrooms, and concession stand issues, people will be satisfied and put up with nosebleed seats. That's what the jumbotron is for, anyway...

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM by BR Highlight this comment 105

The traffic flow is an issue at specific moments (like halftime as you note), but most of the time it's not a thing. Wisconsin was the worst, but that had everything to do with folks trying to get out of the wind. In any case, I'm sure it's entirely due to the single concourse.

Recently I've wondered to myself if any of the 15 million the Vikes set aside for TCFBS upgrades would include adding in bathrooms (& concessions?) the to spaces reserved for them on the upper deck. I've always assumed no as it wasn't in any of the preliminary agreements and because traffic flow isn't an issue during most of the game.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 106

I appreciate the response Rick. I won't argue with any of your opinions. It's what you think. No one else has to agree or disagree. It's there for us to absorb and mull over.

The only quibble I have is this. A sold out Twins or Timberwolves game can't be properly compared to a sold Vikings game, nor can most Gopher games not against Iowa or Wisconsin, because the sheer volume of people in that building is so different as is the pattern of crowd movement and behavior.

The Timberwolves never put more than about 35,000 in that building. The Twins, postseason aside, rarely scaled the original 55,000 capacity or later the reduced 46,000 capacity. Past about 1984, most Gopher games against non Iowa or Wisconsin opponents were lucky to reach 50,000. The extra people in the Dome for Vikings games put a tremendous strain on that facility in a way that can't really be understood unless directly experienced. The best description is that the breathing room, small as it may be, you could find at other events (open seats, large areas of relatively less congested concourses, shorter lines for entry, food, and especially restrooms) isn't there.

I honestly feel that when comparing the Dome to the new stadium on a football basis, understanding the new from a fan's perspective can't be accomplished without first experiencing the old directly. That's why I think the final comparison you make will mean more to us and you if you grab one of these last two Vikings games to feel it first hand. Just an opinion.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 5:26 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 107

On a related matter, Google Maps street view now enables you to walk around inside certain buildings. One of the few stadiums you can tour is the HKS designed Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

At the risk of adding more fuel to the fire of negativity towards the new Vikings Stadium, it's not all that impressive in certain ways. The concourses have an unfinished look to them with exposed pipes, girders, and so on. That the stadium cost $781,000,000 in 2013 inflation adjusted dollars with a good portion going to the retractable roof while the Vikings stadium will have upwards of $1,000,000,000 and no such mechanism is a bit heartening at least.

Here's your chance to judge for yourself.

Lucas Oil Field - Google Maps Street View of Interior

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 108

Rick, question: do you think those small rows exist to allow for the expandable seating used for Super Bowls/Final Fours, etc? You had mentiond Cowboys Stadium has rows like that in the end zone, whereby they can put the extra seating.

You probably have a better idea of the schematics than I do, will the new stadium be similar to the U of Phoenix Stadium where 90%+ of the seats are on the sidelines, thus those sections actually go much higher than your typical seating bowl in a stadium, and if thats the case, where the seats will be higher up, is that why you say the seats in the new stadium will be worse than the Dome? Even though the Vikings claim the lower bowl, aka the expensive seats, will be the closest seats to the sideline of any of the current NFL stadiums?

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 6:44 PM by I AM Brian Griffin (aka luke) Highlight this comment 109

Now, here's something cool.

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:47 PM by Rick 110

Rick, the link just takes me back to this same page.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 12:09 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 111

That link should take you to the demolition/construction animation on the Vikings web site...

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 09:07 AM by Rick 112

It is very cool to see the stadium tear down and construction process laid out in this video. It is not quite like the transition from Busch 2 to 3 but similar. At one point there will be 3 tower cranes on site. That shows how massive of a complex this is going to be!

In other stadium news... They released updated/final renderings of the Saints Lowertown Ballpark design. link in my name. I like it. I look forward to taking in some games in Lowertown. I think it will be a great boost for St Paul.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 113

You say that there are all these terrible things with such shitty seating, horrible circulation and everything else but I'm not seeing anything to quantify that. Moving 60k people in and out of a building sucks no matter what. But having larger concourses seems to at least adress much of that right off the bat. Are there any numbers to quantify the throughput of entryways in comparison to the Dome? I very much LOVE to hear your opinion when it is more than "fans will be unhappy because they will have shitty seats". I don't think I asked you to give a "This is so cool ga ga opinion either". What a crappy and imature response. Your opinions and in depth analysis that you put in on TF was awesome and your questions and concerns were always intriguing to read... because you put a lot more time and effort into it. Maybe you just don't care to take this stadium on and I shouldn't look to you for the same level of informative analysis. If your opinion is just a casual one where you don't really give any in depth knowledge to support it then that is my fault for attributing more weight to it than it deserves. Apologies. As of yet I havent' seen anything from you to show me where this thing is going to be so..... bad. that is, other than a "Trust me I've looked at the plans".

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:15 AM by moda Highlight this comment 114

I have tried to post the link numerous times, but my posts are not posting to the site due to the hyperlink.

Anyway, there is a stadium construction webcam up and running on the Vikings website.

Just go to the new stadium section and you will see webcam.

Should be fun to watch the progress!

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:38 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 115

Now that I can view the STH upgrade system, I have no doubt that there is some kind of manipulation going on.

There are openings in Dugout 15, but none in 16? No way. I can't figure out what the strategy would be, but they are definitely holding some seats back from STH selection.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 116

First of all, I'm not saying this is going to be a terrible stadium. Nothing of the sort. (In fact, I think I said just the opposite above.)

But I did say, or at least meant to say, that (and here I will be as precise as I can to avoid any misunderstanding) the sightlines in the seating bowl at the new stadium are roughly either the same as, or worse than, those at the Metrodome.

What I did not say, but will now for completeness, is that at the very front of the lower bowl, the sightlines appear to be better because the seats are closer to field level.

What I did not say explicitly, but meant to imply, is that the same is roughly true in a comparison between the new stadium and TCFBS. That is, the sightlines in the seating bowl at the new stadium will all be roughly equivalent to or worse than those at TCFBS.

These observations are based on the distance of the upper decks from the field both vertically and horizontally (available in the public design documents). At this point it's not possible to compare the rake (steepness of the seating grade), which also is a factor in sightlines, without doing a whole bunch more math that I haven't done yet. That will have to wait.

From my consideration of the sightlines in the seating bowl, my conclusions are that:

A) The most distant seats at the new stadium are considerably farther from the field than those at either the Metrodome or TCFBS.

B) Many seats in the new stadium will be farther from the field than the worst seats at the Metrodome.

C) Even these seats are likely to be more expensive than the worst seats at the Metrodome.

From these three things, I conclude that there is a risk that fans will be disappointed, and the Metrodome will compare favorably to the new stadium. It's not a certainty that fans will be disappointed because, as has been mentioned, the giant video boards provide an offset. (When I said that some people may "hate" the new stadium because of their bad seats, I was using hyperbole, and it was probably excessive. My bad.)

For comparison purposes only, I have mentioned that the most distant seats at Target Field are considerably closer to the field than many of the seats in the Metrodome -- and here I'm only considering the seats which were actually available for baseball games at the Dome, and not those which were covered in the upper deck.

In fact, the top of the View Level in the main grandstand at Target Field is almost exactly the same horizontal distance from the field as the Metrodome, while being only somewhat higher. But even this does not change the fact that most seats at Target Field are, in fact, closer to the playing field -- and therefore better -- than the equivalent areas at the Metrodome. Higher prices are somewhat easier to swallow when this is the case. And I offer this piece of information only for reference, and to indicate why there was no equivalent disappointment when the Twins moved.

As for the interior circulation, I'm still studying it. (There is one large circulation ramp and a bunch of escalators. Probably just fine.)

The exterior issues are largely related to city planning, and far too big for this space. (Some of that hinges on the Ryan development, which itself hinges on the naming agreement.)

Somebody up above said that this project doesn't have quite the same luster as TF, with which I would have to agree. This one feels forced, in a lot of ways.

But none of that is to say this will be a bad stadium. I don't think it will be bad at all. But realistic expectations are important...

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 12:11 PM by Rick 117

Mike (aka Mike),

Create a password and your links will go through.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM by Rick 118

The new drawings of the Saints ballpark show that a few things may have changed here and there (though I haven't been able to actually pick anything out yet), but the design is essentially what we've already seen.

Frankly, I think it's a minimalist masterpiece.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM by Rick 119

I think Target Field had a glossier feel to it because the struggle to make it happen was different and people had very optimistic feelings about watching outdoor baseball on a sunny July night in 80 degree weather. The Vikings stadium is meant to be much more functional and less of a destination. A lot of fans go to Target Field to eat, drink, and be with friends and family with the game taking a backseat, especially with the Twins playing so poorly of late. Vikings fans are certainly there to eat, drink, and hang out, but the game itself is central to the affair. Reusing the Metrodome site also makes it seem less new. I think feelings will perk up as the new stadium's construction continues.

Regarding seat distances, I'm one of those upper deck fans who will be pushed higher. I'm resigned to that fate and take it as part and parcel to the deal. This is the case at all new NFL stadiums and fans elsewhere have dealt with it while not looking back. Although having winning teams, bar the post Manning/Pre Luck season, since entering Lucas Oil Stadium has certainly made Colts fans more fond of the venue, I don't hear much nostalgia for the Hoosier Dome. That latter stadium was a virtual clone of the Metrodome only worse if possible. I went there for the 1997 Final Four and couldn't believe the place had aluminum benches instead of chairback seats on the upper deck.

The Hoosier Dome

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 120

"A lot of fans go to Target Field to eat, drink, and be with friends and family with the game taking a backseat --- "

How many is "a lot"? I go to TF to see the game. Period. And, I think "a lot" of others do the same.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 4:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 121

There is a huge difference sightline wise in viewing a football game compared to baseball. Football the center of activity moves all over the 100 yard field. Baseball for the most part is centered on the 60 feet between home plate and the pitchers mound. If your at field level behind home plate at Target Field you have fantastic seats. If your at field level on the 50 yard line in any football stadium, you have terrible seats (sideline standing players and staff block your view).

The other big difference between football/baseball viewing is player match-ups. On a given play the football my never be thrown to a receiver but the cornerback/receiver match-up can still be interesting to watch. Basically, you can focus on a given player in football and still observe entertaining action even if the football never comes near them. For me, this is the biggest advantage to being at a football game versus watching on TV. Well that, and you can watch the cheerleaders if you want too!

In short, the good seats in baseball are always the good seats. In football the good seats are dependent on the line of scrimmage. In baseball being closer is always better, in football being closer isn't always good.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:06 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 122

"A lot" may be an exaggeration on my part. However, the amount of people at Target Field who go to eat, walk around, enjoy the weather, and socialize with their companions while the game goes by in the background is great enough that you don't have to look too hard to notice it, especially at weekend games. When the Twins are out of the race early as was the case in each of the past three seasons, you end up with a situation in which fans just aren't as invested in the outcomes of games, even if they still cheer in the moment.

In less than three weeks, the Twins will play as many regular season games as the Vikes will in an entire season. Because of that, despite a down season like this one, there's an intensity at even late in the year Vikings games that doesn't exist nearly as frequently at Twins games even in good times. The types who pour back booze at the tailgate or bar and follow it up with a half dozen more beers in the Dome at Vikings games have generally have a greater connection to the on field action than the equivalent species at Twins games who hit Keiran's and then the Captain's Deck at the game. I'm a Vikings season ticket holder who hits enough Twins games to have seen this first hand.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 123

People go to Target Field to eat? Please name me one. Not three, just one.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 124

Ben, for a lot of people the ballpark experience includes getting the hot dogs and the pretzels and the Cuban sandwiches and so on as much as it does the game. Even if many are in their seats and in tune with the game, and I'll admit that the majority of fans probably are, there's still a good sized group that is there for more than just baseball.

My wife is a teacher and also the group leader for school's annual Twins group ticket night. They push it hard and get a pretty good turn out each year, as many as 350 in the first year of Target Field, a bit less the past few years, but still healthy. I can assure you from sitting with that group, that a sizeable amount of those people wouldn't be there if just sitting around and watching baseball was all there was to it. The group, even in a down season at Target Field, has never gone as low as at the Dome with winning teams. Eating the ballpark treats is part of the deal for them.

Otherwise, when the weather gets nice in late May and into summer, take a walk around Target Field at midgame and look at the number of people standing around in various spots, walking around or just socializing in their seats. Look at the lines for a lot of the specialty foods. You'll see it. This isn't meant to denigrate Twins fans (I am one) in order to put over Vikings fans (there's a higher number of knuckleheads at the latter). It's just an observation on my part of which I'm quite confident has merit.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:56 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 125

Indeed. Folks who go to the circus do things while there besides just watching the circus. BUT, watching the circus is why they went.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 126

I don't think I'm willing to accept any fundamental differences between fans of one sport over another and why they attend games. If there are 40,000 fans at a game, there are 40,000 different sets of priorities. And I'm a little skeptical about distant seats being more valuable for some sports than others. (Some people are fascinated by how major league fielders position themselves prior to each pitch.)

So I'm sticking with this: As a general rule, seats which are farther from the field of play are less valuable. I think this is borne out by how they are priced. And while I accept Dave's point about sideline football seats being undesirable in some ways, the truth is that many fans would kill to be there, if only to look at the asses of the players and feel like they are part of the action rather than watching it. That's why those seats are crazy expensive.

But I think Jorge hit on all that matters with this quote:

"I'm one of those upper deck fans who will be pushed higher. I'm resigned to that fate and take it as part and parcel to the deal. This is the case at all new NFL stadiums and fans elsewhere have dealt with it while not looking back."

If the fans don't care, then it's a complete non-issue. And it appears that Jorge is not the only fan out there who doesn't care how far away he sits as long as he's there.

I know that feeling, so I can relate.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 9:32 PM by Rick 127

You also have to remember this is another dual purpose stadium. When you put football and baseball in the same stadium theres going to be A compromise somewhere as to how the seating area is laid out.

It would have been interesting to see what the stadium would have looked like if it was designed as A football only layout.

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:16 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 128

I concur some NFL fans would enjoy field level player ass watching seats.

But from a purely game viewing angle, higher up is better for football. This is why all NFL teams have a coaches booth high up so those coaches can view the plays as they unfold. This allows them to analyze what is working and what is not and make appropriate adjustments. You can't do that from the sideline or lower seating levels because you can't see the plays unfold. Even if you were right on the sideline with no one in front of you. There's just too many players in close proximity thus blocking your view. You need an overhead perspective to see the entire play.

For baseball it's totally different. You can see everything perfectly fine at field level.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 12:53 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 129

Well...I am not sure the Vikings "compromised" on the baseball issue with this place. Baseball was an afterthought times 12. Baseball will look worse in this place than it did at the Dome. Which is doesn't belong in a stadium designed for football. We...have had this discussion.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 06:06 AM by luke Highlight this comment 130

the truth is that many fans would kill to be there, if only to look at the asses of the players and feel like they are part of the action rather than watching it.

A fact borne out by the existence of the "Field-Level Suites," at most new stadiums, and planned for the Vikings new stadium. I'm sure these suites were a main point of contention on the part of Vikings ownership with regard to the baseball seating - with the retractable seats eliminating the possibility of Field Level Suites on that side.

Still, someone is going to have to explain to me the allure of the Field Level Suite. The view of the game from such a location seems, to me, horrendous. Seems like it's simply a way to show off how much money you have, and for NFL teams to cater to as many of those fans as possible.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 09:48 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 131

I like seating that is above field level for both baseball and football. My Twins seats are in the 200 level. The best seats are in the LC level behind the plate, but those are too rich for my spending habits. The 200 level is the next best thing. There are times when the crowd in the lower bowl reacts excitedly to a fly ball while those in the upper levels remain quiet because we can see sooner than those below that the ball is going to be caught. Football, as one poster noted, requires simultaneous viewing of widely disparate parts of the field so higher is helpful, but the question is how high is too high.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM by terry Highlight this comment 132

Nolasco is a much better pitcher than his stats indicate. I think the contract is a bit high, but I think he will surprise to the upside at Target Field.

As for the Twins manipulating inventory during relocation, I am skeptical of that. I only looked in HPB, but there were an awful lot of availability in the single digit rows and even more if someone wanted a set of 3 when I could first log in and view the seats. I missed a nice row 4 or 5 pair by about 30 seconds and ended up moving from 117 row 9 to 119 row 7.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 133

I remember going to the first or second preseason game of the year in 1982 at the then brand new Metrodome, a game which if I remember correctly Ahmad Rashad caught a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter and we won. Anyway our seats were in the very last row right next to the giant air vents at the very top of the stadium and I had to use my Dad's binoculars too see the action. If I did not use them the players looked like ants-the field was just too far away. And in comparison last year I got to watch a game at TCF Bank Stadium in the suite level which is just above the current upper deck and the sightlines were fantastic-the action was not to far away at all. I agree with Rick and others- if you are to far away from the field it is just not great for viewing any kind of sport.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 134

There weren't any field level seats back at Met Stadium, but you could stand behind the chain link fence in left field and watch the game from there. It wasn't official standing room -- you had to sort of climb around some beams to get there -- but we often spent some time there when returning from the rest rooms.

To this kid, it was always a great thrill to be standing basically on the playing field and seeing the game the way a distant left fielder might. You couldn't see much of anything, but it sure was cool just to be so close.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM by Rick 135

JFH - you must be happy to see Morneau joining the Rockies and reuniting with Cuddyer? I am hoping to road trip to Denver to catch the Twins play at Coors Field July 11-13 than we will come back to Minnesota just in time for the All Star Game.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 1:09 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 136

Here's an interesting post about the Metrodome chairs. In short, it will cost $48 per seat to remove them in a manner allowing them to be used elsewhere.

This led to two thoughts:

1. What do you suppose is the likelihood of fans trashing the place after the game on December 29? (What happened after the last game at Met Stadium is the stuff of legend.)

2. Though I didn't think I would, now I'd kind of like to be there to see whatever does happen. Anybody out there interested in some company at that final game?

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM by Rick 137

Vikings fans aren't likely to trash the place after the game for several reasons. One, as rowdy as Vikings fans can get, you rarely see actual crime at the games apart from public drunkeness and the odd fight. Even then, as much as people discuss it, such incidents are actually fairly rare. Concerts and sporting events back in the 1970s and early 1980s were a different atmosphere with a greater sense of danger and anti-authoritarianism along with security that didn't develop the skills to stop trouble. You never see the kind of destructive field storming like the last game at the Met or the Tigers winning the World Series in 1984, or the near riot that accompanied the Rolling Stones concert at the St. Paul Civic Center in either 1976 or 1978. It's just a more peaceful era, if you can believe it. Two, the sort of tools you'd need to make off with seats, fixtures, and signage would never make it through the metal detectors at the gates. Three, security already is high and will be even higher that day. If you're going to see a riot or mass destruction, my take is you'll be disappointed.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 138

I should have added that NOW you never see destructive field storming. Missed putting in that vital word.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 5:38 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 139

No matter what they tell the fans in the last game at the dome you know people are gonna try and take something from that place just to be A part of the atmosphere.

I also agree the vikings didnt compromise in terms of the stadium design the stadium authority did. Its also seems clear vikings would like to be the only ones with some type of rooftop naming rights ad on it. Anything that gets done with the stadium needs to be agreed upon by both sides so it will be interesting what happens as the stadium gets built.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 140

Jorge, you really don't think there will be a scene at the HHH Dumpty on Dec 29 like there was at the Met in 1981? Maybe not as bad as '81 (I've seen the video, it was a crazy scene), but I wouldn't be surprised if a few seats, a railing, a section sign or two leave the premises after the final :00. It won't be used for anything afterwards...all that's left is to tear the damn place down. Why not just help the demolition crew

It has always amazed me that we don't implode our sports facilities around here. We tear them down brick by brick. I.E. the Dump (good reason, they're working on the other end of the tarmac), the Civic Center, Memorial Stadium (there was good reason, the Aquatic Center was built in the middle of it). The ONE time we did implode a sports facility (Met Center), it was a colossal failure. After 50-some thousand pounds of explosives, there were still three walls standing. I'll never forget watching that implosion on TV and seeing that most of it was still standing. And they had to tear it down brick by brick anyway. Poetic justice.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 8:01 PM by I AM Brian Griffin (aka luke) Highlight this comment 141

Mike - send me an email and I'll get you great seats - mine. 6 rows behind visiting dugout. Will miss too much of All Star week if we watch the entire series at Coors. I really hate the MLB scheduler who put the Teins in Denver just before the All Star break.

(It will be nice to see Justin here, especially if he can regain some of his prior form and not be so helpless against lefties)

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 9:14 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 142

Field level suites are for wooing clients and looking up the cheerleaders' skirts.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 9:39 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 143

A minor act of vandalism or two? Sure. Mass destruction and an effective riot like the last game at the Met? No way.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:59 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 144

I'm pretty sure that security will be considerably larger than usual, so I certainly wouldn't expect a riot or even anything other than petty thievery.

But I have to admit that I'd be surprised if there were no vandalism at all.

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 11:10 PM by Rick 145

Anyone else get "selected" for free Twinsfest tix?

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 11:17 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 146

Here is what I received yesterday:

Thank you for registering for the opportunity to receive two complimentary tickets to TwinsFest 2014 being held at Target Field this January. Not surprisingly, interest in this opportunity was very high among you and your fellow Season Ticket Holders. Unfortunately, your entry was not selected for this complimentary ticket offer during the random draw process.

Exclusive TwinsFest Presale is Tuesday, December 10th.
As a reminder, you will soon have the opportunity to purchase TwinsFest tickets as part of an exclusive presale being held next Tuesday, December 10. This is your chance to purchase a maximum of 12 tickets. Watch your email on Monday, December 9 for details TwinsFest
regarding this exclusive limited-inventory presale!

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 08:27 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 147

I was at that last game at the Met in '81. The tools that people were carrying in would never be allowed inside today. But that doesn't mean there is no likelihood of destructive behavior. A few years ago rowdy Iowa fans stormed the field at the Dome and overwhelmed security. Remember the knuckleheads who tried to get a goalpost upright out the revolving doors? The Dec. 29 game shouldn't end in a riot like the one in '81 at the Met, but there will be some liquid-fueled, face-painted types who will try to cause trouble.

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 09:00 AM by terry Highlight this comment 148

What did the field schematics of Target Field look like?

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 09:38 AM by gus munger Highlight this comment 149

I also got declined for Twinsfest. I guess two LC seats and a 40 game package aren't enough to get a $10 freebie.

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 09:39 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 150

I would guess that there are going to be more small "mementos" taken from the Dome. I have a bolt from a seat from the last Twins game. :)

It's sad to see that they think it will be $48 a seat... I would have taken a seat back to put next to my LC seat back.

Anyone go to the clubhouse sale today?

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 151

I got rejected for free Twinsfest tix, as did a buddy of mine, but my lady got two for Friday night. I'll be at the dome for the Dec 29th finale and will be searching for opportunities to grab something to remember the place.

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM by jp Highlight this comment 152

I saw some posts regarding riots/destruction of stadiums on last day of use. I was at the last game at Metropolitan stadium when I was 10( we were sitting in endzone where 3rd base bleachers would be for Twins games) and I remember my dad was worried peopel behind us were ripping up the bleachers and handing them down and throwing them onto field. Also I was at last( they will always be North to me)Stars game vs Chicago and peopel were chanting "CRESENT WRENCH-CRESCENT WRENCH" and could only get seat backs off- The scoreboard and PA announcements were imploring fans not to destroy the place and reminding us Norm Green didnt own the Met. Was also reminding us that there was upcoming events so please do not destroy place (there was some sort of wild west rodeo event scheduled the next week) - Most of my row the seatbacks were missing- feel sory for whoever attended the rodeo and sat in my row.

Posted on December 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 153

I also got denied for Twins fest, full season ticket holder, 4 tickets, sec 214... Seems odd they are allowing us to buy 12, but couldnt find a way to give us STH some for free...

OH WAIT, it is not odd at all, it is as expected... I am renewed for this year, and am regretting it every day.

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 4:50 PM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 154

Dear Ben,

This time-saving benefit allows Season Ticket Holders the opportunity to pre-purchase a selection of some of the promotional items given away at Twins games. Receive some of the most coveted game-day giveaways! These game day "giveaway" items are mailed twice during the season directly to your home or business so you don't have to wait in line at the gate or miss out on a popular item.

This year's collection is $75.50 per order and will feature approximately nine items* such as a bat, jersey, caps - and three 2014 Bobbleheads! Simply click on the red button below and place your order. Guaranteed "Giveaway" is a benefit reserved for Twins Season Ticket Holders.

*Important to note: The 2014 giveaway schedule is not yet finalized and is subject to change. Orders cannot be accepted after the December 15th deadline.

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 155

Rick, regarding that chain link fence under the left field bleachers, my memories are consistent with yours. You could basically wander freely down there and you were walking on bare dirt as I remember. But you were not far from the left fielder and it was a cool perspective.

I had a memory of harrassing Mickey Mantle from that spot during a game. He played until 1968 so I would have been 9 at the time. But your post caused me to check the records and it looks like Mantle only played first base in 67 and 68, so it must have been some other Yankee we were harassing.

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 156

Tom Tresh, perhaps?

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 03:36 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 157

I remember seeing Mantle play at the Met in '65 and by that time he was playing left rather than center.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 07:10 AM by terry Highlight this comment 158

Correction: with the help of Retrosheet, I have concluded I saw Mantle at the Met on August 26, 1966.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM by terry Highlight this comment 159

I was right the first time; it was 1965.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM by terry Highlight this comment 160

Here's something for those following Vikings stadium financing. He chides the writers of the actual report (linked in the piece) for lousy English, but I found it to be quite clear, if a little dense and filled with fiscal-ese.

Bottom line, there is no financing plan in place to cover the stadium bonds after fiscal 2015. That discussion will have to begin again at the Legislature.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM by Rick 161

I love that we have access to enough information to pinpoint those dates that otherwise would have evaporated into the ether in the absence of a ticket stub. Heck, most of my 1980s-era Twins stubs have gone blank, the ink completely faded away.

But by using the various sites, I was able to actually pinpoint the day, 35 years earlier, when I took pictures on Photo Day at the Met. There's something cool about that.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM by Rick 162

Glad to see I'm not the only nerd who gets excited by such things Rick. I love finding the games I went to as a child and looking at the minor details, e.g. who were the umpires? What was the attendance and the time of the game?

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM by terry Highlight this comment 163

It's funny how times and standards change. The 2013 Twins drew 2,477,644 and it was treated as a disaster. In 1974, the season of the Photo Day linked by Rick, the Twins drew 662,401, worst in the American League, worst in Twins history in a non strike year, and second worst in the NL behind only the Giants. The attendance for 2013 would have been best in the AL in 1974 by nearly 1,000,000 fans and second best in the majors behind only the Dodgers which was the only club to top the 2,000,000 mark that year apart from the Reds. Nearly a third of MLB clubs failed to even cross the 1,000,000 mark.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 164

I had a buddy years back who used to save every ticket stub from every Twins game he went to. He usually wrote the score, winning pitcher and whomever hit HRs on the stub.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 165

I have every ticket stub from every game I've been to. And most also have a scorecard. Is this unusual in some way?

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 5:03 PM by Rick 166

I think it is, Rick, but it's pretty neat. I'm a Twins fan, but the ticket stubs always end up in the trash. But I also live by the motto that if I haven't used it in a year, I don't need it around (outside of photos).

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 5:41 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 167

I started keeping stubs from Twins Games around 2003 or so when I was in High School. I think I've only lost 1 since then and have around 40-50 stubs. I keep concert tickets and other stubs too in different soda cups from the Metrodome. I also started checking in on the MLB app too once i got a smartphone a couple of years ago, which is nice because you can put in your seat location and also you can go back and look at the game particulars.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM by grizzly adams Highlight this comment 168

If you love baseball you keep things from it thats not odd. The only things I have are the game programs from important games like the last football game I went to at the old met those were the days.

Heard theres going to be no tailgating at the superbowl. You spend all that money on A ticket to the game and you cant even tailgait darn whats up with that.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 169

Not only that, you won’t be able to take a cab or limo to the game either. You won’t be permitted to park somewhere else and walk to the game; your only choices will be to park in the stadium lot (~$40), or ride one of the shuttle buses planned for the event ($51). I’m sure it has everything to do with money, but the NFL will tell us it has everything to do with security. Even so, I can’t believe well-heeled fat-cats won’t be able to have their stretch drop them off in some VIP lot next to the stadium.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 170

Rick - I like to get the scorecard from the games I go to. They're cheaper than the program (and if I want, my CubFoods location sells the bi-monthly Twins magazine/program).
I wonder if the Twins might go the route of the Wild and Wolves, go to either of those games, I believe they just hand them out at the door or you can get them free at the novelty stands. I think the Twins magazine is $5.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 9:56 PM by luke Highlight this comment 171

The Vikes still sell a full scale program that includes both content unique to the team and national content produced by the NFL. However, they also give out a smaller, free program along the lines do the Wild and Timberwolves that is placed on all seats.

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 12:07 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 172

The Timberwolves only print a few thousand of the free programs, though. After they're gone, you can try to find the scoresheets they create on gameday or buy a yearbook. Of course, few people keep score at a basketball game.

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 08:58 AM by BR Highlight this comment 173

Kare 11 news sports segment just reports that MLB will make bowling over the catcher illegal next season. My personal opinion is that is fine with me, if a close play at the plate-well make a nice slide. I think the news segment said they are doing to prevent concussions.

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 174

Interesting Tom. Thanks!

That got me thinking about my most infamous trip to Chicago for a Twins/Sox game. It was in 2004 (pretty sure), the weekend that Torii took out the ChiSox catcher to score a run on Friday night. I went the next night w/ a Sox fan buddy. We were sitting in the upper deck & I noticed there was considerable anger in the Sox fanbase about the play.

Every time Torii came up to bat I stood up and applauded (note: I'm 6'9" and had a red Twins shirt on). I was 22 and thought that sort of trolling was a good idea. I had a beer & coins tossed at me and later in the game a woman at the end of the row walked over, told me she was an off duty Chicago police officer, and informed me that if I didn't sit down and stay seated she'd get me stuck in lockup for the weekend (FWIW, I was sober). My friend hustled me out in the 7th when the Twins went up big. I thought he didn't want to witness the end of the loss but in retrospect I realize he wanted to make sure I didn't get jumped by a gang of Sox bums on the way out.

Never change Chicago, never change.

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 175

I went to the Google to see if I had the right year and what did I find? A story about the catcher from that game (Jamie Burke) and the fact that he got a concussion on the play.

So yea, probably a good move MLB.

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 176

I didn't know the Wolves just printed limited quantity. I also haven't been to a game in a couple years. Seemed like the last one I went to, there was plentiful supply, matter of fact I even took a couple extra copies that were at a novelty stand. Of course, attendance was waayyy down last time I went ;).

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 177

Ahh, Chicago cops. Some things never change.

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 07:12 AM by terry Highlight this comment 178

Even though the Twolves print a limited number of programs and distribute most at the entry gates, a few still are placed at novelty stands. If you come in late and go to the right stand, you can get your hands on one.

I attended a White Sox-Twins game in Chicago back in 1993. The rivarly was not so heated back then which made for a more relaxed atmosphere. My buddies and I engaged in some trash talk with a group of locals. Garbage got tossed at me along with more than a few taunts after a ball got by Kirby in the outfield right after some major mouthing off about how great he was in comparison to any White Sox players. Taking the medicine with a dose of good humor and without complaint earned me some street cred. My buddies and I sat with those same White Sox fans afterwards to have some beer, talk baseball, and swap stories. It was a nice night. However, by most accounts, things have become much rougher in recent seasons.

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 179

Congrats to Ron Coomer for getting the Chicago Cubs radio analyst job!

He has always been one of my favorite Twins analysts on FS North and a great fill-in for Bert in the booth throughout the season.

That just means we will get more Laudner and Smalley I guess.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 08:06 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 180

Where's Jim Kaat? I thought I heard some time ago that he might fill in for Bert now and then.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 08:27 AM by Rick 181

Jim Kaat is an analyst on MLB Network games on a frequent basis. He hasn't worked on a regular basis for a club since retiring from the Yankees crew after 2006. His late wife was very ill at the time and I believe Jim wanted to free up his schedule. Since her death, he has done the MLB Network games, has been a fill in for the Yankees, has filled in for TBS, and I think has done the odd game on Fox. He'd probably be available if the Twins wanted him.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 10:12 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 182

Oh no.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM by luke Highlight this comment 183

Jason Kubel signs a minor league deal with the Twins.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM by terry Highlight this comment 184

That was my "oh no" link at 183 terry
My second "oh no" link is above: Montreal wants MLB back.
The good news is that the Montreal study "cites Minnesotas Target Field as a model ballpark"

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 185

The links are "below" with my it was "above" when I was typing it :).

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 3:24 PM by luke Highlight this comment 186

Indoor baseball is always a bad idea, but I think it is an especially bad idea in northern climes with our long winters. More so than people in warm climes, we want to be outside during the summer. I attended a game at old Jarry Park in Montreal and the crowd was very enthusiastic. I've always thought moving indoors was a huge mistake by the Expos, possibly the mistake that ultimately led the team to Washington.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM by terry Highlight this comment 187

I agree terry. Their attendance wasn't terrific either. They probably averaged less people per game at Stade de Olympique than the Twins generally averaged at the Dome (for the most part).
And the Expos had a plan for a new ballpark (Labatt Park) but it was never more than just a proposal and a few renderings.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 188

All Star pricing came out. Strips range in cost from $401 to $991 (dugout box) to $1416 (Champions Club tier 1). That's in line with KC, maybe a bit more. STH presale will be April 15-17.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM by BR Highlight this comment 189

Twinsfest tix still available, even for Sat. session. But you better hurry - going FAST!

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 5:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 190

BR where did you find the ASG pricing info? I haven't received any emails and I can't find it anywhere online.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM by jp Highlight this comment 191

As a STH, I got letters today about ASG. I didn't have time to read my 40 game package letter, so not sure what it said. I'll know on Monday.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 192

Like jctwins, I got a letter that outlined the ASG info.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM by BR Highlight this comment 193

Huh, I got it too. Who woulda thunk paper mail would've beaten the internet to a stor?

Crazy thing about this pricing structure, my season tix are in the LF bleachers, cost $20 per game, and are going for $586 per strip. My fiancé's parents are in the home plate terrace and pay $30 per seat, but strips in their section are "only" $536. I suppose this is due to the premium payed for OF seats during the HR Derby but grandstand seats are among the lowest at $426, and plenty of balls from the LH sluggers will be landing there.

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 01:00 AM by jp Highlight this comment 194

story, not stor

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 01:00 AM by jp Highlight this comment 195

I didn't get my letter yet - can anyone tell me strip costs for HPB and LC?

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 9:01 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 196

LC $891

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM by Sandy Highlight this comment 197

HPB $791

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM by Sandy Highlight this comment 198

Thanks Sandy.

I'm not sure what you all think, but these prices are lower than I expected.

(MLB gave the Twins price options for each seating level. Maybe the club felt bad for us suffering through the last 3 years and through us a bone by picking the lower priced options in most/all of the levels)

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 06:30 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 199

I am a bit surprised at the LC strip price Sandy quoted. I figured LC would probably demand $1000/strip or so. I (though I shouldn't be) am amazed how much ticket prices for ASG have gone up since the last appearance here in 1985. I believe tickets for the HR Derby that year (the HR Derby debut) were $25.

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 07:49 AM by luke Highlight this comment 200

Strib article on ASG prices. Clicky.

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM by luke Highlight this comment 201

JFH-How confident are you in the seat "guarantee" for LC? I haven't heard anything to the contrary, but have gathered from past posts here that it may not be the slam dunk we originally thought.

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 202

So anyone who is not a season ticket holder can enter a drawing for a chance to purchase a ticket. I dunno withe all the season ticket holders and the anount the mlb needs im guessin my chances of getting a ticket are slim hehe.

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 203

jctwibs - My letter states specifically I will be able to buy my specific LC seats. This is consistent with a comment from Twins front office personnel who told me they had told/asked MLB to "leave the Legends Club seats alone".

The letter does not make the same statement about HPB seat locations, but I know that it is a top priority to avoid moving full season plan holders from their locations.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 03:04 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 204

Leroy - if this is like most recent years, chances of you being able to buy are better than you think. There will be the early general public lottery as already announced.

Then sometime in June, I suspect we will see a less-publicized sale that will be offered first to existing STHs and then everyone to sell off any remaining inventory or hold backs that are no longer required. This has happened in recent years, including last year at Shea.

I suspect not as many Twins STH are buying ASG strips as you think, just because the FTE numbers are down. If this were 2010 or 11, it might have been a different story.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 03:10 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 205

Does anyone know how many actual STH accounts the Twins have? That 19,000 figure is full season ticket "equivalencies," which I think adds up all the part-time plan holders and tells you how many seats are bought through STH plans for each game.

I don't think I've ever seen how many people own 40 game and 20 game plans. That's significant here, because all STH accounts can buy ASG strips, and the part-time holders obviously aren't buying the same seat.

So if there are, for example, 4,000 full season ticket accounts, and 6,000 40 game accounts, and 10,000 20 game accounts, with each account averaging about 2 tickets bought per account, that gets you to 19,000 STH equivalencies. If each account buys 2 ASG strips, that'd be 8,000+12,000+20,000=40,000. That's a sellout, with no tickets remaining for the general public.

Those account numbers could be way off, which is why having the real numbers would be nice. But if nearly every STH account buys 2 ASG strips, I think the pickings leftover could be pretty slim.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 09:57 AM by BR Highlight this comment 206

i have a group of 4 for my season ticket group, and we will have 4 strips to the ASG, everyone is not going to want to go to everything due to price, so we are trying to figure out what face value will be on each event. Any idea if the strips will include a price on the ticket?

Either way, what do you think a fair cost would be for HR Derby and ASG? and do you think the Sunday Futures game holds any real value? lets say our strips cost $500, would a logical break down be $250 for ASG, $200 for HR Derby and $50 for Sunday events?

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 207

I think the Future's Game holds real value. My 14 yo son is pretty excited about going to it - more than the HR Derby, actually. I think you're proposed breakdown is also fair. Once full STHs get their tix, you'll see all events on Stubhub. That will give you an idea of what the market thinks the relative values are for each event.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM by BR Highlight this comment 208

Each event will have a ticket price on them. The strip cost is the sum of those prices + face value of the ASG program.

If I can find my stubs from a few years ago, I could give you an idea, but there is more of a difference between the HR Derby and ASG than you list.

As for FTEs, I don't think any club publishes their breakdown.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 8:00 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 209

I also agree that the Futures Game / Celebrity softball is quite entertaining. For me, much more so than the HR derby. But when I went to the ASG in Phoenix, people couldn't give the Sunday tickets away and a couple days before the event great seats were selling for a fraction of face value.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 210

New home for the Athletics? Team owner reportedly not on board.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 8:55 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 211

It's more likely that the Twins would rebuild the Metrodone and move back there than it is the A's would move to that site. Just not going to happen.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 212

Anyone that doesn't understand that the top row of the lower seating bowl is WAY better than the first row of the lower seating bowl on the sides of the football field jsut shouldn't be commenting on sightlines for a football game. The top half of the lower bowl and the first 10-15 rows of the upper bowl if you are between the 20 yard lines are the better seats. People that buy the front row of the lower bowl are idiots that don't plan on seeing much of the game.

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 09:48 AM by moda Highlight this comment 213

It would be a radical design, but I wonder why no one has ever built a significant overhang to lift the front rows of fans up and bring them closer to the field. Picture the RF overhang at Target field, maybe 10 feet higher, running the length of the opposing team's sideline, just feet from their players. Wouldn't that create an awesome, intimidating home field advantage? Fans almost literally breathing down the opposing team's collective necks. You could put temporary seating underneath it for special events, or design "mancave suites" in the underspace.

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM by BR Highlight this comment 214

I have no idea how to post pictures here...but in the Twins' 1997 RR ballpark design, out in left field were two grandstands, probably 25 feet up, they were separated by a 15-foot gap which if the ball had gone between that gap, would have hit the LF wall and still would have been considered in play. And those grandstands hung out...maybe 8 feet over LF. It would have been an awesome feature had that ballpark come to fruition. But I digress, I am plant happy with what we ended up with.

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 215

Clicky my name for a good pic of what I was talking about. Wish I could post the pic as a post, but the link will have to do.

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 216

Does anybody have experience with the secondary market in previous all star games? I'm probably going to buy two strips, but there is a chance I will be out of town and won't be able to go. Is there any chance I won't be able to unload them for at least face value? I think even the cheapest ones at $400 is a lot of money for an over-hyped event; I'm worried that people will come to their senses and just watch on tv.

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 09:20 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 217

The Allstar games are usually snooze fests! But the homerun hitting contests are to die for! LOL! Maybe you can hear Chris Beerman shout back back back back in person??

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM by Twinkfan Highlight this comment 218

Anticipating that guys like Sano and Buxton will be playing, I would think the Futures Game might be a good draw this year.

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM by terry Highlight this comment 219

I haven't had any experience with it Clark, but from people I've talked to we are all planning on buying on the secondary market. We will try to get it through the lottery, but if we can't then we'd plan on buying the tickets on that secondary market.

We were thinking we would have to pay around 300-400 for a ticket just to the all-star game. If you were selling your whole strip at $400 I know that I would jump at that for one seat and I know others that would too.

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 11:27 AM by Schda Highlight this comment 220

Well, it should be interesting to see what happens when PROFESSIONALS hit HRs out of TF. Lord knows our hometown boys can't do it, or so they say...LOL

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 8:40 PM by luke Highlight this comment 221

According to the twitter account for the Braves new stadium, Atl reps are in town looking at TF and getting inspiration for their new digs.

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 9:52 PM by jp Highlight this comment 222

Clark - in 2011 people ended up dumping tickets for less than face value of the strips, in some cases significantly less. I sat 7 rows behind home plate for a fraction of what it should have cost me.

If you have to resell your tickets, do it before July. Otherwise, plan to lose money and be glad if you don't. Also, the less expensive your seating area, the better the pricing generally holds up. Selling anything during All Star Week itself is a total crapshoot as a seller - the sheer volume of sellers makes it difficult to stand out. I went to Phoenix with decent upper deck seats and traded up a few times so I was in the second row behind home plate for Sun, 12 rows behind the ondeck circle for HR and amazing seats for the ASG itself.

(Yes, I realize Arizona was a tougher resell market than most in recent years. But I know from following both the Angels and Mets in the last few years that the generalities are generally correct).

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 01:29 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 223

Also - when reselling strips remember that few will value Sunday even at face value. Only a few areas of the park will command face plus for the HR derby. On the secondary market, most people are looking for primarily the ASG itself.

If you are selling, April and May seem to be the best months. If buying, wait as close to ASW as possible.

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 01:36 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 224

Reports that the Twins have come to terms with Kurt Suzuki.

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM by terry Highlight this comment 225

One of my duties is being the sports columnist for Volume One magazine over in Eau Claire, which is sort of a smaller-market version of City Pages (I'm a guest contributor -- my "day job" is as a DJ/new media overseer at a group of radio stations in Eau Claire). My latest column is a farewell of sorts to the Metrodome, kind of explaining to the readers why the Dome is being replaced and putting the whole in context to western Wisconsin readers. Click my username and read it if you're interested.

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM by hofflalu Highlight this comment 226

Great article, hofflalu!

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 227

Interesting piece on NPR yesterday about public share of sports stadiums. They especially highlight the Braves' situation.

Posted on December 21, 2013 at 07:30 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 228

Thanks for all tips. Will buy cheapest I can get and hope the value holds up if I have to dump them!

Posted on December 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 229

I'm tired of winter and snow. Even though our club has lost 90+ games in the last three years, I just want baseball back. TF to be open again. Sunsets past 7pm. Is that too much to ask?

Posted on December 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 230

We have now passed the winter solstice and the days are getting longer (not that you can tell). And today I got an e-mail from the Twins announcing the dates for the STH pre-sale of spring training tickets and opening day tickets. So hang in there Luke; this too shall pass - in about five months!

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM by terry Highlight this comment 231

That's good to know terry :)

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 6:10 PM by luke Highlight this comment 232

Great footage of the last game at the met. Clicky.

Posted on December 24, 2013 at 09:33 AM by moda Highlight this comment 233

I was at that last game at the Met. Temperature was in single digits if I remember right which contributed to the crowd's well-lubricated condition.

Posted on December 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM by terry Highlight this comment 234

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday's to all you fine people in internet land! May the new year bring us not just an All Star game, but also a full season of fun, and competitive baseball!

Posted on December 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM by jp Highlight this comment 235

#MerryChristmas and #HappyNewYear to all the BPMers. Stay warm and safe today :)

Posted on December 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 236

A good opportunity to go to the Dome a final time this Saturday morning for those who are not going to the Vikings game the following day.

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 08:57 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 237

I believe I had heard of a Viking STH exclusive event at the Dome Saturday as well? Can anyone confirm or deny?

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM by luke Highlight this comment 238

They do. I'm unable to make it, but it will entail photos on the field, lockerroom tours, and so forth.

The team and the Dome are planning heavy security and a zero tolerance policy towards fans trying to leave with looted mementos from the game on Sunday. The 1981 anarchy at the Met came down in part to it being a different era in terms of the fanbase and behavior at public events (things were WAY rowdier in general at 1970s concerts and sporting events), the fact that fans came in with tools that would never make it through the doors now, the deteriorating condition of the Met making it easier to disengage nailed down items, and the Met and Vikes taking a standpoint that protecting people was more important than protecting property only to find that the former was undermined by inattention to the latter.

I expect some minor vandalism on Sunday, but not a repeat of the destruction. Of all the stadiums to close over the past twenty years, I can't recall anything like what happened the Met occurring, even in places like New York or Philly. Looking back in time, the mass destruction that accompanied the closure of Philadelphia's Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium) in 1970 was probably worse than at the Met and Yankee Stadium's pre renovation closure in 1973 saw plenty of the old park go home with fans albeit in a relatively peaceful manner.

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 2:21 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 239

There was one stadium destruction incident over the past twenty years, but it was a unique instance. Browns fans spent a good chunk of the team's last game in 1995, prior to their 1999 revival in a new stadium, taking out their anger of the team moving to Baltimore and hatred of Browns owner Art Modell on Cleveland Stadium. Lots of vandalism occurred. Some seats were taken away as souvenirs, but many more were broken in anger, with in one case an entire row being dislodged, passed down the stands, and dumped on the field in protest. Obviously this was a team leaving, at the time it was thought for good, not one moving to a shiny new home.

Thinking about it, the final games at Forbes Field in 1970 and the Giants' last game at the Polo Grounds in 1957 were followed by looting. I can't recall if Crosley Field had similar happenings. Ebbets Field closed minus any significant incidents.

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 2:30 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 240

You make a good point Jorge that failing to protect property undermined security's intention of protecting people in the 1981 fan riot. As we left the stadium, my mother was nearly clobbered by a length of wooden bleacher being carried away crazily by a well-oiled souvenir hunter.

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM by terry Highlight this comment 241

Does anyone think the Vikings will have a stadium-cleaning sale much like the Twins did when they vacated the Dome?
Of course, the Twins sale featured a lot of promotional items cleaned out from the marketing department - the NFL doesn't do a lot of promo giveaways like MLB seems to rely on, so maybe there wouldn't be that much to clean out. Banners and things will probably be retained by the team for future use or put up for sale by the MSFA.

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 6:32 PM by luke Highlight this comment 242

It's possible although the Vikings base is really Winter Park as opposed to the Twins having their offices at the Dome. So the Vikes have far less to get rid of as opposed to the Twins. In fact, unless there are some items of specific interest, I'd expect most of it to get junked.

In other news, a contractor has emerged to remove the seats at the Dome. The proposed pricing is reasonable and they plan to specially deliver specific seats if ordered. I want my Vikings seats, so this is great news.

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 10:57 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 243

Jorge, details?

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM by tk Highlight this comment 244

Here is the link about the metronome seats.

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 1:01 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 245

Damn auto correct on my iPad. Always changes Metrodome to metronome... Not for long.

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 246

The pricing for the Metrodome seats is less than I'd have expected, honestly. Seats from Veterans Stadium sold for a significantly higher amount. In that case there wasn't a race to get the seats out and tear down the stadium. Philly fans also had more of an attachment to the place. The contractor/dealer, which has much more experience with public seating, removed about 55,000 seats from the venue.

My great hope is that this Albrecht Signage company understands what it's getting into and can fulfill demand. I and others want whole seats with the arm rests and tip up mechanisms in tact. It would be hugely disappointing if they just try to sell the seat backs or bottoms. I know of a guy who somehow got four seats from Met Center (the old school kind, one green, one gold, one white, and one black when they came out for the 1991 or so renovation). It's a nice conversation piece for his basement. Dome seats wouldn't be that cool, but they'd be fun to have.

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 1:54 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 247

Jorge didn't they just re-upholster the Met Center seats? I didn't think they replaced them, like they did at Target Center. I remember what a sad day it was when the multicolored seats at Met Center were changed to that God-awful maroon. Was it true that the multi colored seats existed to create the illusion of a bigger crowd for TV when the arena wasn't as full (I.e. 1989-1990 seasons)? And somehow I seem to remember that the set for The Sports Show with Dark Star, Mike Max, Hartman and Reusse had a riser set of eight multi-colored Met Center seats that I believe were taken out to make room for the faux upper level suites at the Met.

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 248

Anybody watching the Gophers' game? That no-fumble call in the 1st qtr, which the review official of course reversed, makes you wonder what the hell those idiots on the field were watching. They got reversed on that one, but there was no review available for the critical "personal foul" penalty in the final few minutes on the Minnesota offensive lineman. That determined the game.

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 8:37 PM by terry Highlight this comment 249

It seems like it would be far cheaper to replace several thousand arena seats than to go to the trouble of re-upholstering them. re-selling the old seats would go a long way toward paying for the replacement seats.

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 9:36 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 250

I don't know Winona...linked to my name is a Met Center site which has a massive photo gallery. About halfway through, you see Seat 9 from Row 13 with the maroon upholstery, but you can definitely see signs of rust and dents on the seat bottom, and the "9" on the seat looks rusted over. In theory you're right, it would be much cheaper to do a replacement, but I'm not sure they did, now having looked at this.

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 1:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 251

The guy with the seats is a third circle kind of friend. I know him, but only see him with others we have in common. Anyway, I put a trail back to him to find out about the seats. It turns out they weren't the fixed seats, but rather the multi colored, padded folding chairs that would go on the floor for things like concerts and ringside at wrestling. That's not nearly as cool as what I'd thought, but is still cool nonetheless.

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 252

Farewell Metrodome. You were ... utilitarian. That's the closest to a compliment I can come.

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 253

Yes, utilitarian. And egalitarian, for that matter.

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 12:18 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 254

I'm torn. I am sad to see it go because of the 30 years of history for the Vikings, Twins, Gophers, and everything else. At the same time I am excited to see the Vikings get somewhere new... I LOVE Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium.

I am trying to decide on getting a seat... Or not.

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 255

Where's the Metrodome boulder these days.

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 256

At the US Bank branch in Plymouth. Corner of Lancaster Ln N and Pilgrim Ln N. Southwest of the highway 9 exit on HC 169.

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 4:41 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 257

Someone got a few free seat backs from the Dome...

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 258

With the Vikings and Lions having nothing to play for but pride and draft position, the Metrodome's last stand was a muted affair with a relatively peaceful crowd. I saw a few ejections during the game, more than at any game this season, but not for any apparent rowdiness. Security was visibly higher. A lot will be made of the yellow jacketed personnel ringing the field in the second half, but the concourses also had more guards, ushers, and cops. Things that could be taken, like signage outside the section entrances with instructions, were put away early. Stairwells from the upper to lower deck were cordoned off following halftime in an obvious move to keep potential field stormers from getting downstairs.

After the game, the Vikes had a ceremony to close the Metrodome. My buddy and I lasted about thirty seconds. It was shaping up to be one of interminably boring ceremonies the Twins are infamous for inflicting on fans at all special occasions. You know the drill. Sub Paul Allen for Dick Bremer, then replace the usual Twins legends with Vikings equivalents. Add in a video package or two and you have the whole package. I have zero patience for when the Twins run these things and not even the Dome's finale could get me to sit through a Vikings version.

Some minor vandalism, and failed attempts, occurred, but nothing huge. A few tries at taking banners were foiled by security. I saw on Twitter that four seat backs from one of the lower endzone sections were taken out, but further Tweets stated that someone trying to leave with such items was arrested. Was it the same person? That's not possible to say. I saw someone walk out with a cup holder, but that's about it.

Anyway, farewell Metrodome. Some good times and big moments took place there along with some frustrating moments too. It'll be odd to see it go, but I'm happy the Twins, Gophers, and now Vikings have and will have homes they and their fans deserve.

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 4:53 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 259

You know, we all got a taste of a Metrodome-less skyline after the big deflation in 2010, albeit the structure was still there. But its going to be strange for a guy like me who has only known the skyline with the Metrodome in it to see nothing there in a few months.
I know the demolition will be in phases, but how long is the demolition expected to take?

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 6:29 PM by luke Highlight this comment 260

Well so long Metrodome, thanks for the '87 and '91 Twins. Other than that..

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 6:45 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 261

i've been working all day on an elegy for the Metrodome, and it's pretty much ready to post. But our power went out shortly after 8:00 PM, and I have to wait until it comes back on before posting.

Using my last tiny bit of stored power to post this comment...

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM by Rick 262

Oh, man. B-r-r-r-r-r.... Power...finally...restored...

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 08:32 AM by Rick 263

Because of the way the dome's seats were bolted to the vertical surface behind each seat, rather than to the floor, it will be interesting to see what fans come up with to make them useful. Bolting them to the sheetrock in your rec room is probably not a good idea.

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM by terry Highlight this comment 264

There are companies who resell stadium seats that sell individually an apparatus to which seats like the Dome's can be bolted, rendering them suitable for sitting in while still moveable around a room. Bolting them to a wall, which someone will no doubt attempt, is not recommended.

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 265

This page was last modified on November 16, 2013.

"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.

The big glove will go on that circle. Note the gap between the plaza and the ramp. That's 394 you can see through there.

Carew atrium menu part 2

A seating bowl comes into focus. Note that the netting has been installed on the foul pole. (Field Box)

This looks up Sixth Street from Hennepin. Just imagine what this will look like during a night game!

I don't know if the back side is also a test for materials, but it could be a hint of how the exposed steel supports will be finished. Or it could just be to hold up the stone.

Lots of self-portraits were taken here after the final out.

Killebrew taught, "Always make your autograph legible, boys."

Wind veil install from across Seventh

Heaters over standing room (the backs of the retired number circles visible above)

Viewed from up Sixth Street, the tip of the canopy looks like the claw of some gigantic crustacean!

Large staircases, a staple of recent Populous (nee HOK) projects, are all over the place.

This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.

This will be a bar/restaurant.

Yep, that's real grass down there, son.

Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.

The stunning curtains, which skillfully evoke the architecture, keep the atrium from getting too hot in the late afternoon sun, simultaneously hiding the HERC.

Sure would be nice to cover that metal grid with more wooden louvers, eh?

The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)

Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)

Marquette looking south

Just up the foul line, it looks like the base of the wall in foul territory on the right side.

Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P

Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)

Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.

That's some scary-ass scaffolding, if you ask me.

Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.

Mary Larson (left), a music teacher from Maple Grove, was a TwinsFest SSB winner and got to sing the anthem before the game.

Believe it or not, the actual outfield wall will be about where this fence is now!

Here's what they do in April at Comerica Park

Staircase view


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

Complete Bibliography

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