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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
Twins president Dave St. Peter presents his list of fan suggestions to the Ballpark Authority
The parking bay structure is now clearly visible
Circulation building with construction team on top
These tracks actually travel beneath the admin building and come out on the other side
Rich Pogin (left) and Bruce Lambrecht (Source: Skyway News)
Flag poles, fencing, main entrance gates
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
Looking for some detail
There must be millions of details needing tending
Night games are much preferred by the players at Target Field. You can see why.
The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
Looking up Seventh Street to the west
Here's a closer look.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
The original Candlestick Park
Big board, as viewed from section 327, row 9.
Our cantilever friends will be happy to learn that there will be sections with views like this in the new stadium.
Main ticket window area
The Metrodome hot dog vendor. (Source: RP)
Puckett atrium menu part 1
Click on this photo to see what it looked like on this spot 101 years ago (I'm not kidding)
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
This view is from the roof of a warehouse which stood where the A ramp is today. The HERC is now located where the tracks turned north (toward the top).
I still counted 11 flag poles...
The scoreboard also towers over the LRT tracks, which now are functional (though not open) all the way to the park -- and beyond!
Click to enlarge.
A photo taken as my meter ran out.
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)