Meet the Ballpark Authority
June 22, 2006 1:25 AM
In the news this week, the city has appointed former City Council member Joan Campbell as their representative to the new Ballpark Authority. Yesterday, Hennepin County announced their two appointees: retiring Republican state representative Barb Sykora from Excelsior and the very-well-connected Steve Cramer, who is also a former City Council member.
Two more members will be named soon (probably tomorrow) by the governor.
The Ballpark Authority is something of an odd duck, being a political body and yet also a construction manager. You'll note that all of the appointees so far are politicians first, and not necessarily ballpark experts. But they have the authority to hire people to take care of the nitty gritty. The text of the law places no limits on how big their organization can be, just saying they have the authority to hire whomever it takes to get the job done.
And the job includes everything from buying the land, to negotiating contracts with entities as varied as the team, the construction companies and the various governmental bodies which will be involved. Eventually, they will be the official "owners" of the ballpark and responsible for its everyday operations.
But their first big task will be to hire an architect.
I asked Dave St. Peter about this process, wondering how they feel about having someone else -- a public body, no less -- deciding who will design their park. He seemed unconcerned, saying, "It's a public facility, and the public should have something to say about the design." He also noted that the Twins will have a liason to the authority and expect to have "something to say" about the architect, but are happy playing within the rules of the bill.
So I looked at the "rules of the bill" and found this odd clause, the purpose of which is a bit unclear:
The authority may contract for materials, supplies, and equipment ... except that the authority, with the consent of the county, may employ or contract with persons, firms, or corporations to perform one or more or all of the functions of architect, engineer, or construction manager with respect to all or any part of the ballpark and public infrastructure. Alternatively, at the request of the team and with the consent of the county, the authority shall authorize the team to provide for the design and construction of the ballpark and related public infrastructure, subject to terms of this act.
This sounds like the team could request control for themselves, and the county and Ballpark Authority could grant it if they want. One wonders if this isn't what will ultimately take place.
Anyway, it's too early to say much about the members of this committee. Biographical information is tough to come by. City Pages ran a fine story about Joan Campbell's departure from the City Council in 2001. Cramer is mentioned in passing in another City Pages story about Bassett Creek which, as I noted a couple of weeks ago, runs directly beneath the ballpark site. Cramer also can be found associated with many big development deals in the city when he worked as director of the MCDA. I can't find much of interest on Sykora beyond her official legislature page.
I will certainly try to contact all of them for initial thoughts about the project. In addition to being a Big Development Deal, my hope is that they realize this is also a ballpark -- that is, a building being built within a special culture. In that way it differs substantially from everything else they may have done.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
In case you don't know, that's Earl Battey.
This was on BPM night. Nice neon, but I'm still waiting to see the homer show.
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
Emergency access viewed in context
The Puckett Atrium
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Which way to the skyway? Really??
8:22 PM The sun has caused glare in the webcam, but you can still see the reflection affecting the upper deck behind home plate.
A flurry of action in front of the dugout before the game (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
Looking across the plaza toward the main ticket area.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
The Northstar circulation building is starting to take shape.
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.
The mounds have grown seating supports
Two train stations
Plaza overview from the A ramp
B ramp glimpse
This looks like a Twins Pub, but is actually the scoreboard operations.
Poles through the gap
Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)
Inspecting the delivery
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.
The french fry lights were on!
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!
Heaters over standing room (the backs of the retired number circles visible above)
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
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