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.
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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Reverse stairway view
The county of my birth!
(Click to enlarge greatly)
This is what will count as a knothole (actually, it's a gated entrance)
Work going on under the steel.
Looking back toward the doorway into the club
Lots of people are doing it.
Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).
This is the actual entrance for Gate 6. Notice how close the seating will be. The back row of the lower deck will be mere inches beyond that inner support post.
I think this promenade over the railroad tracks needs a name. How about the Halsey Hall Promenade? (Please do not throw cigar butts onto the tracks!)
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
Condiments! (complete with faux limestone on the cart -- nice touch)
The walkway under construction in the parking lot just outside the loading dock.
Circulation building with construction team on top
You write the caption...
Sometime in the late 1980s: B ramp is under construction. Not yet built: Target Center, I-394 and the A ramp.
Did you notice the flowers?
Suite level view
Another view of the escalator, which apparently comes preassembled!
More flowers, more pennants.
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.
Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.
This little item stands just to the south of the site, where the volleyball courts used to be. It has to be related to exterior finishing elements, which means this is the first glimpse of the actual stone to be used. Very buttery.
Trees now line Seventh Street
Gate 6 Oliva, with the 573 Club looming large over it (I wonder how Tony feels about that)