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Bay Ball, Part 2

Of Diamonds and Disappearance

June 8, 2011 2:31 AM

There's some life in these Twins after all! When you gain five games in five days, it starts to look like nothing's impossible. And in baseball, as we know, anything is indeed possible until the final out.

Later this month, our boys will head back to the San Francisco Bay, and today we'll continue looking at what they (and their traveling fans) will find. Win Twins!

When the game begins, the best ballparks simply disappear.

OK, here's the original first sentence I wrote for this article:

For seeing a game, AT&T was clearly superior to the Coliseum, and not by a small amount.

It's the conventional wisdom, right? And it's just plain obvious, right?

But then I tried to put flesh out that statement, and dug back into my experiences for evidence to support the conclusion, and I ran into trouble.

You see, I remembered that founding principle of BallparkMagic:

The park must respect the game.

Once the game starts, the ballpark should disappear. It should be a non-factor to the game being played, and never a distraction.

Well, both of these ballparks actually do that quite nicely.

A good ballpark is friendly to the fans, never getting in the way of their enjoyment of the game.

Both of these ballparks also do that quite nicely.

Contrast them, for example, with the Metrodome, which did not disappear (roof, speakers, turf, folded-up football seats), and was relentlessly unfriendly to the fans (closed and cramped concourses, long rows, torturous seat angles, troughs).

And contrast them with Target Field, which gets the fan experience mostly right (concourses remain overly cramped, rest rooms poorly designed), but won't quite disappear (perceived reductions in offense) until the team gets over their fear of the place. (For the record, TF is almost exactly neutral in all measures so far in 2011. The Twins' offensive dip is not specific to TF.)

Diehard A's fan Tessie, setting up before the game

A great ballpark, in addition to these two fundamental principles, also provides a beautiful and unique setting in which to enjoy a beautiful sport.

Beauty is the ultimate subjective quality, but in the case of these two particular parks, one is decidedly more beautiful to all but the most diehard A's fans. (As Tessie put it to me while setting up her tailgating equipment, "We love this place because it's the home of the A's.") Let's face it, a ballpark by the San Francisco Bay is going to be nearly impossible to best.

I think that's where my gut reaction came from. But when you get right down to it, the Coliseum was a perfectly fine place to see a game, and it actually had some advantages in the above basic criteria, by virtue of not being crammed into its site. (Who would've thought that a compact ballpark might have some inherent downsides?)

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of criteria for evaluating a ballpark. But it does get at the essence from the perspective of a fan of the game. So let's say this: At a minimum, a good baseball experience can be had at either facility.

Now, let me fill in some of the blanks.

Distractions

There is distinct potential for distraction at AT&T Park. It comes in a variety of forms, but the foremost is always on display, acting like a beacon, or the Pied Piper, to every kid in the place: The Coca-Cola Fan Lot.

I did not fully realize until I got there that the signature focal point of AT&T Park actually contains the twisty slides, and that they anchor a very large play area which also features a miniature diamond and a few other baseball-themed distractions.

The place was a buzzing hive of activity, and it looked like everybody was having a lot of fun, but I have to say that it's really nothing special. Beyond the slides (which are just slides after all), the other attractions (Build-a-Bear, photo booth, pitch speed) are pretty ho-hum.

The mock diamond looks like a miniature of the ballpark, but I doubt that kids will be able to fully appreciate some of the detailing. Whoever designed and detailed it probably had at least as much fun as the kids who play there.

Long-time readers will know that I'm sort of neutral toward play areas in ballparks. On the one hand, I'm bringing my kids to a baseball game because I want them to experience a baseball game. Play areas are a dime a dozen, and I'm not interested in spending a lot of money on tickets and food only to do something we could do somewhere else for free. (Nor am I interested in giving away a few innings of my own baseball experience.)

Truman looking in for the sign.

On the other hand, I know that kids have trouble staying engaged with the game until a certain age. Introducing a kid to baseball, one of the greatest things a grown-up can do, involves giving them some exposure to it, explaining a little bit here and there, but allowing that it will take some time to fully engage. It's important to get the three-year-old to a game (Truman will see his first before the season is out), but acknowledge that he can't sit through the whole thing. In that way, a play area distraction can be a good thing.

Ultimately, I'm completely content that Target Field does not include a play area (though I can't believe it will stay that way for very long). And I found that the play area in San Francisco was kind of a nuisance, especially to people sitting out in those gawd-awful backless bleachers in left field. Haven't they suffered enough?

And my impression was that it's there for the folks who didn't really come for a baseball experience, but rather some baseball entertainment. Just avoid it, don't sit near it, don't let your kids see it (good luck with that!), and it won't bother you.

In Oakland, there is also a "Fun Zone", but you probably won't be tempted to take your kids there during a game.

The Fun Zone/Rescue Area in Oakland during the second inning

It made me laugh -- not a single kid in sight -- but it may be the perfect ballpark play area. It provides a little fun for the very young, and would be a complete bore to any kid old enough to appreciate why you came to the ballpark in the first place. Plus, any sane adult will want to get the hell out of it and back to the game as fast as possible. (The lame, non-baseball-themed rides are 50 cents -- quarters only! -- and you have to buy tokens for the batting cage or pitch speed booth. Cheap bastards. But hey, they're really doing you a favor.)

The other primary distraction in San Francisco is the beauty of the view beyond the outfield wall. It would be easy to gape for a moment at the scenery and then realize you'd missed half an inning. I never saw any evidence of that actually happening to anyone else, though it sure happened to me a few times. (I wasn't actually there to watch the game anyway.) While I wouldn't describe the crowd as "hanging on every pitch," I would definitely call them "engaged and generally tracking with the game."

A lovely view, blocked

The view in Oakland, of course, is also quite lovely, and quite blocked by the gigantic football pavilion. That may account for one very noticeable difference between the parks: the Oakland crowd genuinely did hang on every pitch, even as the night got colder, and the home team got less and less likely to pull out a victory. The 12,000 fans on hand made enough noise for 40,000, and were all totally into a losing contest until the very last out.

It's another backward advantage of bad decision-making: the place is so ugly -- no, not ugly, but undistinguished -- that it really can't serve as a distraction. Again, if you're there, you're forced into watching the game.

Extrapolate the difference and you get one of the sad truths about modern professional baseball: There are plenty of people who come out to these new ballparks with only a passing interest in the product on the field. Where attendance gains have been made in the past decade, they've been at the expense of loyalty, and primarily by providing distractions rather than actually selling the game of baseball -- which was a successful strategy for almost a century. (I think Target Field actually avoided the worst of that, by the way.)

It has to be added to the list of demerits for the Commissioner, whose tenure, though flecked with dollar signs, may ultimately have diluted the game completely from source of passion into just another entertainment option. That can work for a while, and has, but it's shallow. Passion, when properly rewarded, lasts a whole lot longer. (Note to MLB/Fox executives: Passionate fans will watch a sport's championship series even if they don't care about the teams which are playing. Is that passionate audience for baseball growing or shrinking? Relying on the strategy of getting a big market team to the World Series every year for the sake of ratings will ultimately kill the sport.)

Give those folks in the backless bleachers by the play area in San Francisco some credit: They are there because they care about the game. I can't imagine any other reason why someone would sit there. You can't see the bay, and it's not even all that much cheaper, though at least the view for a diehard is still pretty sweet.

Fair Ball?

Another key factor in terms of disappearance is how the field plays. This is more subtle, of course, but thankfully can be measured in real statistics.

The two fields are very different, though I was surprised to find that they weren't as divergent statistically as you might think.

The quirks of the Giants' home are generally not excessive. The configuration of the right field wall, specifically the famous jog it takes in right-center, is curious because it looks pretty arbitrary.

The inclusion of gates on that wall, on the other hand, is definitely not arbitrary, and very welcome because of what it affords fans -- the very rare glimpse of real major league baseball for free.

One of my favorite places ever to watch a game was from behind the chain link left field fence back at the Met. The knothole area at AT&T duplicates this experience nicely -- and for anyone who happens by on the bayside promenade! (Well, it was a pretty busy place, so you can't just "happen by". But with a little patience, you can get a free treat.)

Foul territory is what stands out as a major difference between the two parks. Oakland is famous for having the largest in the majors. San Francisco is among the smallest, and configured very much like Target Field. This naturally pushes Oakland toward the pitchers and SF toward the hitters, but the effect isn't as great as you might think. Statistically, both parks rank consistently near the middle of the pack (i.e. neutral) in many measures.

Bay Area Park Factors
(Less than 1.0 favors  pitchers , greater than 1.0 favors  hitters , extremes are bolded)
San Francisco Oakland
Runs HR H 2B 3B BB Runs HR H 2B 3B BB
0.94 0.89 0.97 0.98 0.84 0.99 2010 0.96 0.70 0.92 0.90 1.47 0.99
1.05 0.97 1.01 1.02 1.11 0.86 2009 0.97 0.93 0.95 0.90 1.13 0.97
1.05 0.99 1.01 1.13 1.88 1.03 2008 0.92 0.99 0.96 0.95 0.54 0.97
0.99 0.81 1.11 1.06 1.36 0.92 2007 0.83 0.79 0.87 0.79 1.26 1.06
0.99 0.68 0.97 1.08 1.05 0.99 2006 0.92 0.85 0.98 1.07 0.93 0.90

For example, look at triples. In three of the past five years, the two parks were essentially tied. In the other two years, they were at opposite ends of the spectrum -- but flipped positions. Oakland was the extreme triples park in 2010, while it was AT&T in 2008.

The SF batter's eye

The effect of the foul territory is probably most seen in the "hits" column, where AT&T is essentially neutral, and Oakland, while close to neutral, always leans a little toward the pitchers. But in terms of home runs, both parks lean toward the pitchers, despite very different outfield designs.

The biggest difference is seen in doubles, where AT&T slightly favors the hitters, and Oakland generously rewards the pitchers. That may also be due to hitters in SF getting one extra pitch every now and then because a foul ball made it into the stands. It may also have something to do with the configuration of the corners, ground rule doubles being potentially more likely in the claustrophobic corners of AT&T Park. (This is just a hunch. Unfortunately, I can't find a statistic to back this up.)

Oakland batter's eye

Twins fans have now become sensitized to the hitting backgrounds, and both of these parks feature uneven surfaces and distinct shadows, while still seeming relatively inoffensive. The major difference I can see between these and Target Field is that they're both green (TF is now jet black). I have to say that this is further evidence that the Twins have become overly sensitive to something which really shouldn't be an issue.

I'm not really an expert on park factors, and I seriously wonder about their usefulness in evaluating the "fairness" of ballparks. Theoretically they are independent of the actual personnel because they measure how the same players perform in different locations. But it can still come down to certain players being more comfortable in certain parks for reasons unknown -- including small sample size. (Remember Jacque Jones' mysterious ability to hit home runs at Kauffman?)

With the exception of Oakland's foul territory, and the arbitrary jog in SF, neither of these parks has excessive quirks. For that reason, I consider that they both pass the test of basically disappearing for the players once the game begins. (For reference, Fenway just cannot pass this test. Doesn't make it any less of a classic, of course.)

The Seated Fan

My short trip did not afford me the opportunity to measure a few things which I think go into determining the overall fan comfort level.

Specifically, I'd prefer to measure a few seat widths, experience legroom at various points, gauge the presence of in-seat vendors, row widths, seat angles, distance to rest rooms, lines at rest rooms and concessions, etc.

So I don't have much hard data with which to evaluate fan comfort, but I can make a few anecdotal observations.

First, the problems with distant seating in the concrete donuts are legion and well-documented. The best I can say about the Coliseum in this regard is that it wasn't too bad out there (not like my experiences at Busch II and Shea, which were both horrible), and the seats are actually pretty cheap.

Where the circle reaches maximum distance from the action

With the worst of the worst upper deck seats covered by a permanent tarp, unless you're stuck out where the circle bows the farthest away from the field, you'll find that the sightlines are perfectly acceptable. All the seats do actually face the action (more or less), and I found lots to like in the lower deck seating for a surprisingly large area beyond the infield.

AT&T is all about intimacy, of course. Overall, the configuration of the lower deck of the main grandstand felt almost identical to Target Field. (Yes, in some ways we got a cookie-cutter ballpark, but at least it's the good kind.)

The upper deck is configured a bit differently, without the split at the upper concourse, and with some very crazy configurations of stairs. The views of the field, however, are also nearly identical to TF.

Where AT&T wanders from fan friendliness a bit is in its main concourse. For one thing, it's not entirely open to the action.

Main concourse, AT&T Park

Now, as we've learned at Target Field, the open concourse isn't all it's cracked up to be. It does not, for example, always afford a view of the game while getting a beverage. Nor does it make it possible to rush over when you hear the crowd roar and get immediately reconnected to what's going on.

But TF's fully-open concourse does reinforce the connection between a fan's presence and the action on the field. You can always at least see some grass, and it serves as a constant reminder that you're at a baseball game. This is welcome, and noticeably counteracts the notion of baseball as generic entertainment.

At AT&T, when you wander into the main concourse, you largely leave the baseball experience in progress and enter a sort of food-court-like experience. At the extreme ends, near the foul poles, sections which would otherwise be open to the action are packed with very large (and mostly opaque) portable concession stands. In one large segment behind home plate you are cut off from the action completely (with only the occasional TV screen to check up on things).

At the back of the lower deck, a short flight up to the middle deck

Additionally, the main concourse seems to wander a bit -- a little like someone's fantasy of San Francisco's streets. It's not that you'll get lost, but there are points where the game feels pretty far away.

On the good side, this means that the concourses were never overly busy. People seemed more likely to stay in their seats and there wasn't nearly as much of a rush to get to the concourse between innings.

Oakland's main concourse is something of a hybrid. It can best be described as partially open. At some sections you can see right out onto the field (often with "No Standing" painted on the floor). At others, a separator has been erected to provide a modest barrier.

One interesting feature is that the main concourse serves both the lower deck and the middle deck. In fact, it's just a few steps up to the first row of the middle deck. This is a function of the gates actually entering at about the halfway point of the stadium's total height (like the Metrodome). The field is actually well below the elevation of the parking lot in a mostly successful effort to deal with unpleasant wind currents.

Ignoring the sign, and separated from the field by a snow fence.

The Coliseum has a bad reputation by virtue of being a relic from the superstadium past. But it's nowhere near as fan-unfriendly as the Metrodome.

As previously mentioned, the absolute worst seats are not needed and sit unused. Despite being unsightly, this is actually a pretty good decision. Both the lower and middle decks offer reasonable views of the field, and in no way sour the baseball experience.

The elephant in the Coliseum room is, of course, Mount Davis. It closes off the donut in most unfortunate fashion, its most regrettable feature being a blatant disrespect for the rest of the seating bowl. One can easily imagine the designer of that pavilion being told that one day the entire stadium would be rebuilt, so the existing deck heights could be safely ignored. How else could you explain the absurdly high altitude seating out there? (Here I'm reminded of Griffith Stadium, where decks were comically mismatched across expansion construction.)

I'll talk more about Mount Davis when I get to the details of the Coliseum. Much like the kid zone in San Francisco, it may be hard to ignore, but it will only distract you if you let it.

Finally, it should be noted that superstadiums, because of the steeper rake of the seating in the lower deck, often avoid some obstruction problems which can crop up in the newer, compact urban ballparks.

Even if these seats were full, no need to bob and weave.

Target Field, as an example, has some problems in this area. I've heard many reports of areas in the lower deck where bobbing around the head in front of you is an issue. When this happens, it's usually about the rake, though it can also be about the horizontal distance between rows. (I have wondered whether some compromises needed to be made in this area in order to fit enough rows into the lower bowl. But I can't prove it. There's a complicated formula for calculating all the sightline variables, but I won't burden you with it right now.)

As I say, I didn't have the opportunity to do detailed measurements, but the lower seating in San Francisco looked so much like Target Field that I would be surprised if there aren't similar areas of head interference.

By contrast, I was able to try out plenty of seats in Oakland and never found it to be an issue. There you drop a lot farther from the back of the lower deck to its first row, something I noticed as I descended from the main concourse to –- gasp! -– a horizontal circulation aisle (can you say "selicant", or should I say, "full size spare"?).

I wanted to just grab a spot to watch an inning or so, and didn't want to be in anyone's way. Luckily, with the park only about 1/3 full (if that), open seats were plentiful. But I hate sitting down directly in front of someone, primarily because I generally hate it when someone sits directly in front of me without considering whether they are in my way.

In-seat vendors love the horizontal circulation aisle. (And this guy was particularly charming, and a complete ham, too.)

I wound up finding a seat in front of a couple of guys talking about Jesse Crain (who was on in relief for the Sox, and managed to pick off an inherited runner on first). We struck up a brief conversation, and as I turned around, it was easily clear that I would not be in their way, nor even close. (In nearly-sold-out SF, such a test was not possible.)

This is not news, but there are a lot of different ways to configure seating, and Populous has settled on one way, while other architects have tried others. One lesson I take away from the Coliseum is that it got some things very right in its design, and some things very wrong. The rake of the seating in the lower bowl is really quite good.

So, while it may be economically obsolete, there may actually be things to learn from it in terms of fan comfort.

AT&T has no horizontal circulation in the lower deck, of course, except at the very back, and then only in spots. In contrast, and unlike TF, there is a circulation aisle in front of the various stairways which head up to the very top. It serves the same purpose as the open upper concourse does here, but is probably nominally more congested after games.

The upper concourse was also very quiet during the game, leading me to believe that there are sufficient in-seat vendors up there as well. This is certainly an annoyance at Target Field, where it still seems like the hot dog vendors don't like to climb circulation ramps. (Is that the heaviest tray to carry? Can't be heavier than beverages, can it?)

I did not notice any rest room lines at either ballpark. This may have been due to the small crowd in Oakland (though the men's room featured troughs, which do have some speed advantages -- despite their overall hygienic drawbacks).

A splash from the past in Oakland

And finally, every seat I sat in -- both places -- was wide and comfortable. My survey wasn't very scientific, but randomness has its advantages, and will have to do here.

I'll discuss the club areas and suites for each park separately, and I don't count them very much toward overall fan comfort. When it comes down to it, these represent the real revenue aspect of ballpark design. If they're nice enough, there is big money to be made.

The short summary is that Oakland's stink, and AT&T's are nice. But neither park came anywhere close to the overall quality of the private amenities at Target Field. Not by a country mile.

When it comes right down to it, this is just about the only argument to be made for replacing the Coliseum. It's really not that bad a place to see a game for the average fan. But the revenue opportunities for the team are severely limited, and there isn't much sense of novelty. While it has obviously been well-cared-for over the years, it's a bit worn around the edges. AT&T is crisp and clean.

These are just perception things, of course, but in the stadium game, like everything else, perception is reality.

The liabilities of the compact footprint really do have an impact on overall fan comfort at Target Field (and likely AT&T Park as well), but it will take a while (perhaps a few losing seasons) before that seeps into the public consciousness. This phenomenon is definitely on display by the bay.

Beauty

I'm tempted here to summarize the perception differences between these parks by comparing them to women we've all known (but not married; ballpark comparisons couldn't do justice to my spouse, to whom I've been married for nine amazing years today).

If I were to do this -- and I'm not quite sure it will work, or that it's appropriate or politically correct -- AT&T Park would be that mysteriously beautiful woman who you hung out with for a while but never quite figured out. In fact, you wondered if she was for real. Was she really as beautiful as she seemed? Did it matter?

The Oakland Coliseum, on the other hand, might be that girl you knew for a long time but never saw as romance material -- until that one day when everything changed. You knew she was real, but familiarity (and maybe bad hair) had hidden her beauty.

OK, it's an imperfect analogy. The first woman would have to walk around all the time in a black and orange bikini, her skin perpetually glistening with ocean spray. And the second woman would be in a green one-piece suit, with a bright yellow swim cap. For the superficial, there is a starkness to the choice.

(Hmm. That's a better analogy already. But now I'm pretty sure I've crossed into politically incorrect territory. Hey, at least I'm not posting inappropriately personal pictures. Seriously, how do such idiots get elected to Congress? But I digress.)

One thing is for sure: These ballparks are not sisters. They're not cousins. They're total strangers, separated by generations, riding the same BART train but living in completely different worlds.

What I discovered, therefore, was a little bit unexpected. Each one is a treasure to someone and, if you look, you can see why.

Next in part three: The Photo Tour of AT&T Park

Comments


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I need to get out west to see some ballparks, good post Rick!

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 04:00 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 1

huh, amazing: AT&T Park has concourses that very closely resemble the ones at the Dump: narrow, claustrophobic, dark, uninspired and closed to the field.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 06:54 AM by luke Highlight this comment 2

Isn't the Bullpens at att like the domes, just out in foul territory? I thought i saw that on tv

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 07:51 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 3

wow i forgot punctuation *at&t *dome's

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 07:52 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 4

I read (from here?) they forgot to incorporate bullpens into the original model, forcing them to settle in foul territory. I have trouble believing that though.

Go get Reyes!

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 10:02 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 5

It is true that both parks feature bullpens like the Metrodome -- on the field, in foul territory (at AT&T just barely), and unprotected.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 10:11 AM by Rick 6

i love the grass at AT&T. wonder what type it is. it just pops on tv. i enjoy watching games televised from that park. and you're right, for as few fans attend games in oakland, that park always seems noisy when the A's are batting.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 11:16 AM by tim Highlight this comment 7

Thanks Rick, nice post!

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 11:17 AM by tk Highlight this comment 8

Dang, was not one of the 50 to be selected for the Twins Advisory Council. I guess over 2,000 submitted an application.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 11:18 AM by tk Highlight this comment 9

finding many redeemable things about the concrete coliseum wasteland in oakland enhances your credibility in summarizing the essence of "ballpark magic." well done again, rick.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 11:18 AM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 10

As I've read this post a couple times, it got me thinking as to what I look for when watching baseball.

I've decided I'm a pretty simple man, I just need decent sightlines, and a scoreboard with the boxscore facts about the players and the game. I don't need ribbon boards flashing animations, I don't need kiss cam, I don't need fireworks or a silly mascot.

Target Field does pretty well for me, at least during the actual gameplay. Between innings becomes a bit of a sideshow, but I can ignore that stuff for the most part.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 11

F_T_K,

This is a very good point. Target Field is way more of a sideshow between innings than either of the San Francisco parks.

AT&T has exactly two ribbon boards, neither of which are in the outfield. The Coliseum has exactly none.

Part of me thinks that TF is reaction/amplification of the Saints, and it's definitely too much.

It's almost impossible to remember what it was like to have quiet between the half innings...

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM by Rick 12

Good post, Rick. I've been to Oakland's but only seen the Giants' park from the exterior (maybe I should create a long list of all the parks I've been to. Hmmm....) so getting some perspective on the inside of AT&T was valuable to me.

I do have to respectfully disagree in regard to how favoring ballpark design to the "entertainment customer" as opposed to the "purist" is an outright bad thing. Times they are a'changin, sir. Attention spans have shrunk as technology charges forward. People as a whole want bright lights and options, and in order to make the biggest buck MLB has to oblige. We all may not like it, but it's a fact that will eventually need to be embraced by all.

On a side note, there is a hot dog vendor at TF with the loudest shrill of a voice that is annoying as hell, even though I think the guy finds himself as endearing. Anybody else notice this guy?

TTH

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 1:09 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 13

No, but I can hear the Bluuuuuuuuuuuue Bunny ICE CREAM!! dude from just bout anywhere. Also nerve-grating.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 1:17 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 14

*about

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 15

TTH ---

That Schweigert guy is quite unique - probably an old carnival barker. And --- he is just as strong in the eighth as the second. Uff da!

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 16

Speaking of Uff da . . .

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 1:33 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 17

Personally I prefer closed concourses.

Open concourses promote the idea of leaving your seat and wondering around. They are a significant contributor to both congestion and distraction.

If your there to watch a ballgame, is there really any good reason to leave your seat? A quick run to the bathroom perhaps. But I don't think there are any ballparks that have bathrooms open to the field.

Having been to both ballparks, my vote goes to AT&T by a large margin.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 1:48 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 18

Sorry Carl, I need to pad my stats so I am just going to give up this home run quick and then we can win it in extras.

Just kidding, a win is a win.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:03 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 19

tk: I too am disappointed not to have been selected to the Advisory Council. I would have pushed the BBtT platform.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:14 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 20

The sideshow between innings may be more about advertising than attention span. When they play bingo on the big screen how many times does the Carsoup guy say Treasure Island? This started as a revnue stream for the Twins in the Dome and they just continued it at Target Field.

Hopefully the recent winning has quelled some of the negativity on this board. It was sad to see people who are supposed baseball fans turn so quickly after a month of bad baseball to. Then start accusing those of us that were being realistic about the Twins chances to compete this year and that it is a long year are drinking the "kool-aid" whatever the hell that means.

They still need bullpen help but the team is playing fairly decent baseball right now.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:19 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 21

Hello all, I have a ticket question, wondering if anybody here might have some advice. I am having a family reunion-type event the first weekend in august and am trying to find tickets to that series (vs. CHW)for about 24 family members!!! I know it will be difficult to find that many however I go about it and I know you can only buy tickets from the ticket office in groups of 8. Does anybody have advice for buying group tickets of this size? Thanks

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:46 PM by Miller Highlight this comment 22

TTH,

I do actually agree with you that the audience has fundamentally changed, and MLB has responded the same way as all of the other entertainment options have -- segmenting. Despite what it might sound like, my lament is not a "things were so much better when I was a lad" sort of thing.

But you make different decisions when your mindset is, "We're a form of entertainment which competes with all the other forms of entertainment," versus, "We're not just entertainment, we're the National Pastime, dammit."

In the first, you're just thinking like a marketeer, which is pretty much what everybody is trained to do these days. But as you do, you concede something about your industry which you may not have to concede. It becomes self-fulfilling.

In the second, you risk hubris and complacency, which is actually what happened, of course. But you retain an air of separateness from the entertainment fray, which has measurable value.

You don't want people deciding whether to spend their money at Target Field or Valleyfair. The first mindset actually encourages the potential customer to parse it that way. What you want is for people to say, "Which games do I not want to miss?" Then, once that money has been collected, the customer can take whatever pennies are left over and ride a few rides at the Como Zoo.

What would it take to change that back? I don't know. It's probably impossible at this point.

But if you could reclaim that mantle of "National Pastime", the sky is the limit. In other words, as a "form of entertainment" the money is one size, but as the healed "National Pastime" it's exponentially greater over the long term. That's the scenario in which World Series games get Super Bowl ratings numbers -- something that sounds positively laughable in our current environment.

There are lots of components to it. Given the damage done by the great gash of 1994-95, healing may never be possible. In fact, the erosion began long before that, perhaps in the exploits of Bill Veeck, who invented the sideshows whose descendants we watch between innings at TF.

But visionary leadership would be the starting point. And Selig that ain't.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:48 PM by Rick 23

Miller,

Call the box office. They will hook you up with a group sales manager.

There are supposedly lots of group blocks left for August games. You'll need 25 people, but then you get some perks (including a modest discount and, I believe, a free ticket for yourself as group coordinator).

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:51 PM by Rick 24

Selig it ain't, but Bob Costas it would be.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:52 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 25

Speaking of calling the box office.

I once dialed 1-800-Go-Twins from work instead of 1-800-33-Twins. It was ... well ... an interesting call.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 3:03 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 26

Nice win in Cleveland today! It's too bad Capps cost Pavano a win by giving up the HR to Hannahan in the bottom of the 9th, but the team got the W in the end, which matters most. Go figure, Capps blows the game, but still ends up as the "winning" pitcher...

Regardless, it's been very nice to see solid pitching over the last 7 games or so.

Let's hope it continues tomorrow night back at home with Blackburn on the mound. Nishioka also is expected to return.

All I ask for from a fan's perspective is some competitive and exciting baseball this summer regardless of how many games the Twins are behind in the standings.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 3:04 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 27

Rick - I think groups have to be booked prior to a certain date in Feb or March in order to get a discount on the seats. And the days of a group coordinator getting a free ticket are long gone, at least as far as I know. I have coordinated groups of 100+ last year and this year and have gotten no perks from the Twins except our group name on the ribbon board.

Of course, the free ticket might come back next year when they have available inventory.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 28

TTH

Wow on the Hot Dog guy. Heard him the first time a couple series ago while I was in the lower bowl. I text a friend in the upper deck to see if he could hear this guy. I got a reply back, "yep, he's in our section right now."

About 10 minutes later he made a trip around the main concourse, "SCHWEEEEEEEIIGGGGGGERRRRRTTTT HOT DOGGSSS, I GOOTTTTT SCHHHHWEEEEEEEEIGERT!!!!"

I hope he is not asked back...

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 4:03 PM by tk Highlight this comment 29

Great post Rick. You are quite a skilled wordsmith. I booked my flight to SFO last weekend and will be in attendance in a couple weeks for the Twins series. Looking forward to it as I have fond memories of AT&T Park (I was at Bonds' 600th HR game against Pittsburgh and regardless of your thoughts on Barry it was a special night to be in San Fran).

BTW: Did you try the Cha Cha Bowl from Orlando Cepeda's place in the OF? How bout the crab sandwich? Both get rave reviews...

Anyone else making the trip to SF in a couple weeks? Definitely one of the great North American cities...

I have 2 extra tickets for Saturday's 3:10 Rangers game. 1st row in the Legends Club, let me know if anyone is interested.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM by Max Highlight this comment 30

Rick, thanks I will definitely try a group sales manager...been procrastinating setting this up for a while thanks for the help!

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 4:24 PM by Miller Highlight this comment 31

A couple games for me this week. Tomorrow down in the right field corner (section 102), Friday night in center field (section 236).

Dare I hope that our guys keep playing like they have over the last seven games?

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 4:38 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 32

Miller, 25 is the magic number for group sales. I arranged a family reunion-type outing for 17 on May 29 and afterward kicked myself for not ordering 25 and then letting the nieces and nephews invite 8 friends. I got my 17 tickets, but it would have been much easier had I been able to go the group sales route.

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 6:11 PM by terry Highlight this comment 33

Really nice post Rick! Well done!

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 9:00 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 34

Great post Rick! I, too, have to get out west to see some of these parks.

On another note, the Twins have to find a way to keep Ben Revere in the lineup. Left field??

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 9:52 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 35

Jeff T., right on! I have no issue with Delmon riding the pine for a week or two.

Duffman, I hope the teams solid effor of late does quiet the negativity on here, but for me, I would not be so negative if we would just see more solid effort.

Today's negativity goes to Capps, why the heck throw that meat ball after cruising through the first two batters? Grr... :)

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 11:11 PM by tk Highlight this comment 36

Rick,

I took a tour of AT&T in early February and loved it. I thought the seating bowl was very similar to Target Field. One of the things I remember from the tour was that the guide said you can watch 3 innings from the knothole area. With any luck you could watch the first 3 innings and the last 3 innings for free. Not bad if you can pull it off.

Another thing I was interested in was about the grass in the outfield. The guide said that the grounds crew was having trouble reviving the damaged grass from the bowl game played on 12/31. He said they were hoping it would rebound otherwise they'd have to replace it. Did you see anything that looked like the grass was replaced or did it rebound? I have attached a picture of what it looked like in February.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 12:06 AM by FD Highlight this comment 37

That hotdog buffoon is the worst! Was up in section 305 for the May 23rd game. Heard him non stop the whole game! I said something to an usher there and he just rolled his eyes and said yea the guy gets on your nerves. The screaming is non stop. Never have heard him on the 3rd base side where my tickets are though! Rick is that you getting a smooch that last pic? Great pics and reports!Will have to get out that way one of these days was in San Diego at Petco a couple of years back.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 38

Man how to you go from 103 to a high of just 58 tommorow? Forecast not looking great for my 6th game this year. Will I make it a perfect 0-6 at Target Field this year? Course the boys are only 6-15 at home! Would think they need to 20-10 minimum the next 30 home games and 5-5 on the road to crawl closer to 500 overall.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 12:41 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 39

I was busy taking the picture.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 1:09 PM by Rick 40

"I was busy..."

YEAH YOU WERE!

"...taking the picture."

Oh. Right on.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 41

For reference: I have no hair.


Posted on June 9, 2011 at 2:12 PM by Rick 42

See Luke? That's a flock of faces worth posting publicly on a blog forum.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 2:52 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 43

FD,

The grass at AT&T looked completely perfect. Can't speak to whether it was recuperation or restorative surgery, but there was no sign of that gash.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 3:30 PM by Rick 44

unlike your family reunion pictures, TTH? Yes, I can agree.
And, if you were on Facebook TTH, you'd see my family picture too...lol.

Anyway back to reality, I guess tonight starts the four-game losing streak at the hands of the AL West-leading Rangers??

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 4:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 45

Glad to see the boys have arrived home from Spring Training. Now the season can begin! What 30 of 40 at home???

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 4:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 46

And, the downward spiral begins with giving up a 4-1 lead.
As the most beloved baseball manager of all time, Charlie Brown, would say, "Good Grief"

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 10:05 PM by luke Highlight this comment 47

I'm 2 for 3 at Target Field this year, with both wins being walk-off wins. Exciting game tonight!

Question for the gang: Did Revere catch that sinking liner in the 8th? From the right-field corner it sure looked like he made the catch, but of course they didn't show the replay on the scoreboard.

Center field seats tomorrow, some of my favorites in the whole ballpark. Hopefully the weather stays nice, game tonight was cool but nice - and just the lightest sprinkles of rain that started a few minutes after the game was over. :-)

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 11:13 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 48

It was close, but Revere did not make the catch.

Posted on June 9, 2011 at 11:52 PM by FD Highlight this comment 49

Good game from the boys tonight. 7 of 8 sounds really nice right now. Tough match-up tomorrow with Wilson, I am willing to take one for the team and allow for my fantasy team to suffer, if it gives the Twins a win. Wilson is due for a loss against the Central after taking one from Chicago and Cleveland.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 12:32 AM by tk Highlight this comment 50

a "play area" for kids at a baseball park...

why not just leave worthless brats who aren't interested in baseball at home?

My dad didn't take me to games, until he knew I had an interest in baseball, and could watch 9 innings without being a whiny bitch.

I was 5 when that happened.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 01:13 AM by mj Highlight this comment 51

Can't leave my brat at home because we can't get or don't want to pay for a babysitter for 40 games a year. Since having a kid I have a little more sympathy for stuff like this now than I used to. I don't like it, but I sympathize.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 08:21 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 52

"worthless brats"??

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 08:49 AM by terry Highlight this comment 53

Brats are only worthless to a vegetarian.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 09:03 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 54

Going to cook my brats tonight, so won't have to worry about taking them to ballgames anymore.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 09:40 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 55

Can't you get brats at Holiday too? Anyone know? I only have 2 and a quarter...

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 09:43 AM by tk Highlight this comment 56

Anyone know why the Twins are not having the autograph party this year?

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:12 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 57

Mike, click my name for another forum discussion on the matter, I do not mean to derail from here, but better than re-posting the comments.

It appears that there was concern with how the new "venue" presented headaches with logistics, disruption to player game-day routine, and collectors "gobbling" up all the tickets.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:24 AM by tk Highlight this comment 58

Between Legends Club and Metropolitan Club, along with the covered concourse the entire way between the two, the excuse of not having enough room is laughable.

Interruption to schedule actually makes sense, so just go with that.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:31 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 59

I'm a purist, but there is a NEED for child entertainment at a ballpark. If, as a father, I ever want to take in more than two innings of live baseball with my child once he exits his newborn phase, I need a place to distract/preoccupy him. While watching Delmon in the outfield is entertaining/horrifying for adults, to kids it can be/is "boring." A play area like at Kansas City can be a godsend and it doesn't "ruin the game" or whatever other horsesh!t some of you are trying to sell...

By keeping kids away from the ballpark, you're also keeping a lot of dads away as well, and that's just bad for business.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:40 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 60

Anyone attending the game tomorrow (6/11) who does not keep or want their hard tickets please consider letting me have them - I need a couple for documentation on the SGA item. I will, of course, be willing to reimburse for mailing. bmcevers4065atmsndotcom

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:54 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 61

What are you talking about Ben? What is SGA and why do you want my ticket stub?

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 62

SGA, Stadium Giveaway. Jim Perry Twins HOF induction pin

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 11:28 AM by tk Highlight this comment 63

How on earth did we manage to get kids to gain an interest in baseball BEFORE "kiddy-land" was introduced? Somehow, our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents managed to get their kids to "survive" nine innings without having to take them to those stupid attractions. All I needed was the promise of cotton candy, popcorn, a hot dog and a soda and I was content to watch a ballgame without being a whiny little bee-atch.

If you don't think your kid can behave themselves, DON'T BRING THEM!!!!

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 64

jct ---

Perry HOF pins. I have customers out east who like to get game tickets along with the SGA (Stadium Give Away) item - it's a collector's thing. I'm not going to the game so need to get a few tix (also need a few pin sets but that's a different issue).

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 65

The nearest I can tell, I started following baseball at the age of five or six (late 1960s). I probably went to my first game at age seven or eight, when my brothers would have been about six and four.

There was lots of room to stretch out in the bleachers at Met Stadium. My brothers probably got bored, but I did not. I have memories of them goofing around and not watching the game, but they did it right by our seats and it was just fine.

I took Noah to his first game at age three, and made sure he got to several games when he was four. The primary point was to make sure he could remember the Metrodome (thereby fully appreciating every other ballpark he ever visits in his life). He claims that he can remember those games. I'm hopeful, but not really convinced.

He could not appreciate the games in those days, so I had to develop a new approach to the event -- against all of my instincts. We bought the cheapest seats possible (Upper GA, $6, walk-up), watched a couple of innings, roamed the concourses for a couple of innings (bumping into TC on more than one occasion, which he loved), watched a couple more innings, then left early to get home by bed time. We ate lots of snacks.

If there had been a play area, the only thing I would have done differently would have been to take him there part of the time instead of aimlessly wandering the concourses. That's a wash as far as I'm concerned.

I gotta say that the strategy worked perfectly to introduce him to the game.

He will turn six in a few weeks (we have tickets to TF for that night, of course), and he's happy to sit through a whole game (keeping the snacks coming helps, of course). In fact, he's become a Gameday junkie (able to pull it up on the computer without any help), some nights falls asleep to games on the radio, and asks every single night if there's a game on TV. When there is, he loves to watch it, and whines if he gets called away for something trivial (like dinner, or bath time).

Of course, the Twins have made it impossible for us to see them on TV, so his loyalty to the home town nine is not what it could be:


(He has since added a Yankees logo, and ultimately did draw a TC to put up there.)

Play areas actually encourage parents to bring their kids before they are ready, which is naturally good for ticket sales. But they also help parents who really want to be there and really want to bring their young kids.

Like everything else about parenting, you have to figure out what works for your kid and for you.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 1:21 PM by Rick 66

I should add that he's very focused on who we should root for in whatever game we're watching. Often he asks which is the better team and then roots for them, but he sometimes just waits to see who scores first and then goes with that team.

But we've developed some basic rules:

1. If the Twins are playing, we always root for them.

2. If the Cubs or Red Sox or Mets are playing, we root for them unless they are playing the Twins.

3. When the Yankees are playing, we always root for the other team.

He can recite these if you ask him.

An aside: Couldn't help but notice that, after last night's games, the Twins are no longer in sole possession of the worst record in baseball. Baby steps, right?

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 1:32 PM by Rick 67

I was in KC this weekend and did not notice any more "kids" at the game then I would have seen at TF. In fact, I would say I saw more children at TF, at least in the Lower Bowl where I regularily sit.

I hope to at some point bring a son/daughter to a game and a "play area" is not something I think I would necessarily like to spend my time. I am thankful that TF doesn't as I think that would just encourage a child to go there instead of watching the game. I would want my son or daughter to know that the ballpark is to watch baseball (joyfully) and not playtime.

When in KC this weekend, I saw the most beautiful thing. A dad asked to his daughter (maybe 8 years old) in the 8th inning if she was ready
to go? Her response, "no" and turned back to watching the game. After the inning, the father turned to his daughter and said, "we're going."

I turned to my wife and said, "I hope that is the answer I get from our future kids someday! However, why leave when the kid wants to stay..."

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM by tk Highlight this comment 68

Yes the brats are excellent @ Holiday station. Will load up tonight before the game! Lets hope no rain and I can see first victory in 6 tries tonight!!

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 69

Had a couple interesting experiences at last night's game.

Row behind me, four guys show up late, and proceed to take five minutes to figure out what inning it was. (Top of the third.) Then, they spend two more innings complaining that the free stadium wifi was too slow, while trying to bring up their 'facebook' pages to see which had the best looking female friends. They left in the fifth inning, looking for someplace to smoke cigars. I think they were going to try for the Bud deck, I didn't want to ruin their "fun" by telling them they would need tickets to get up there, and that they wouldn't be able to smoke those stogies anywhere in the park.

Seriously, why would people like that even come to a baseball game?

Later, Cuddy makes a nice running grab for the third out, angles towards the stands and tosses the ball into the crowd just in front of me. Lady sitting in front of me gets the ball out of the scrum, her male friend (husband?) taps her on the shoulder, and motions behind her - there was a boy named Alex sitting next to me, maybe five years old, his dad on the other side. She just hands Alex the ball. Alex is beaming, everyone is telling the lady what a great gesture it was, she made it seem as normal as saying "hello" to someone. Alex lets me hold the ball for a minute, I told him how lucky he was to get a baseball, he gives the lady a great 'high five'.

A couple innings later, Alex is holding the baseball in his lap when I hear it hit the ground. I immediately start looking for it, stand up, get dad involved - ball ended up three rows down. Some 20-something guy finds it, just hands it back to the lady who gives it back to Alex. Then dad says "how about if I hold on to that for the rest of the game." Alex spends the 9th inning in tears, I think because he thought we were mad at him for dropping the ball.

Alex, enjoy that baseball, you're a lucky (and great!) kid. :-)

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 2:49 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 70

I was at last night's game and we got to experience the "throw it back" not once, but twice!

Unfortunately, but rather expected, the person in the HR porch threw it back on to the field. Delmon Young than retrieved it and would proceed to toss it up into the stands in section 126. Just funny how the person in section 126 didn't throw it back on to the field even though tons of people in the LF Bleachers/HR porch were yelling throw it back...

I turned to my wife and said at least one person would have a nice souvenir with a lot of memories to cherish while another person foolishly threw the ball back to please a bunch of clueless fans who think they are in Wrigley Field.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 3:04 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 71

Did Hamilton toss Alexi's game winner into the stands? Would've been a nice memento. (Provided the recipient didn't toss it back because it was touched by a member of the opposing team, of course)

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 72

That's the greatest solution possible! The nearest player just tosses it back into the stands for a different lucky fan. It basically says to the first idiot, "Hey, I'm sure that somebody wants this awesome souvenir: a real Major League baseball, thrown by a real Major League pitcher, hit into the seats by a real Major League hitter, and now assisted by a real Major League outfielder."

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 3:42 PM by Rick 73

Agreed! And just think some dorky drunk cubs fan started all this nonsense!

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 3:55 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 74

With my kids we bring a large variety of snacks (twizzlers, animal crackers, cracker jack, etc) and break them out one thing at a time as needed. Sometimes we spring for a ballpark treat, sometimes not.

I think when they were really young we might have had to go roaming a little bit but I don't recall it. They understand we are there for the game and we talk about what is going on, etc. My son is nearly 8 and sounds a lot like yours Rick - nearly always falling asleep to the Twins game or the Sunday night game on 1500.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 4:03 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 75

That's a great story F_T_K. The complete opposite of this recent video from an Astros game (click name for link).

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 76

Brian Wilson commercial for the Giants on the upcoming Twins series, click name.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 4:28 PM by tk Highlight this comment 77

Stevie, I'm more than a bit biased, but I think for the most part Twins fans are pretty great. Remember when the White Sox pitcher had that long (44 inning?) scoreless streak snapped, and at the end of the half-inning the Twins' fans gave him a standing ovation? That was pretty cool, it made be proud to be a Twins fan when the crowd does something like that.

Out in centerfield tonight, /fingers crossed/ the rain stays away!

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 78

I'm reading a book about a long-ago World Series, and there was a section about the Polo Grounds and the Giants fans of the early modern era. They were known for cheering just as loudly for the opposition, basically because they loved to see the game played the right way.

I'll admit that I often feel exactly the same way.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 6:25 PM by Rick 79

Rick, any more updates on BPM night #2??

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 80

Rick please make sure that I'm seated next to Luke & his squeeze at the next event.

Thx much

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM by Max Highlight this comment 81

why not build an attached waterpark when building a ballpark? for the fans who want to be there... but have no interest in watching baseball? Maybe a roller coaster or two...?

the idea of building anything that has nothing to do with the game being played is retarded.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 8:53 PM by mj Highlight this comment 82

I love watching games from home when it's raining.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 9:37 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 83

Miserable night at the ballpark tonight, I only made it through five innings. Being cold & wet is not a fun way to watch baseball!

Now I'm home, out of the wet clothes and into my favorite fleece sweats...

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 9:46 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 84

but if you are home and it's raining... shouldn't there be some area of Target Field, where someone would entertain your kids, if you took them there?

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 9:51 PM by mj Highlight this comment 85

Luke,

dont get any ass

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:15 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 86

How many games this year would of had the retractable roof closed?

I'm guessing half or more.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:24 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 87

Certainly more than the ones which would have needed it because of the weather...

(And it still would have been as cold inside as outside, you know.)

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 12:11 AM by Rick 88

Rick,

Most retractable roof stadiums provide a climate controlled enclosure. Which means yes they can be and are heated making them year round facilities.

There have been many cold games this year where it was known well in advance of game time that it would be cold. Those games for sure would of had the roofed closed and the stadium heated.

In the cases where they close the roof shortly before game time, it would still be warmer inside than out. Simply removing the rain and wind factor greatly increases the comfort level. And just like the dome, the mere presence of a large crowd increases the temperature within an enclosed structure.

The advantages of a retractable roof far far outweigh the negatives. The only significant disadvantage being cost. All the rest are merely subjective purist foolishness.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 01:25 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 89

Bad weather equals poor Twins result. Saturday and Sunday are looking good!

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 01:52 AM by tk Highlight this comment 90

Sorry Dave, I highly disagree with you. I would much rather have Target Field than Miller Park. I'll take my rainouts and chilly weather rather than an airport hangar with a sun roof.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 07:29 AM by ole Highlight this comment 91

I'm with Ole. Weather, like the fortunes of a baseball team, is cyclical. For the first two months of this season the cycles for both have been terrible. The ballpark, however, has been a constant - a good constant. I'll take the wide open view of the Minneapolis skyline over a greenhouse wall, a lobster claw roof and water park slide any day of the year.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 07:40 AM by terry Highlight this comment 92

The Twins announced very early in the process (like 1997) that they were not seeking a climate-controlled retractable roof. If they had been successful in getting one included in the financing, it would only have been a rain shield (a la Safeco). (Remember this old plan?)

Even so, the widespread experience with roofs is that they provide a subtle suppression to offense when closed, making them a pitcher's friend even if the weather outside does not warrant closure.

For that reason, parks with retractables often have them closed at the slightest potential discomfort or if there is even the slightest chance (say 20%) of precipitation. In other words, they often get closed in anticipation of uncomfortable weather because the home teams get to make that decision, and they want the slight advantage to their pitchers.

That means the very real possibility of having to watch a game inside an airplane hangar on a 60-degree sunny day (like today).

No thank you.

(My position on the retractable roof as a ballpark amenity has evolved as I've learned more and more about them and the various factors in play. You can follow that progression either in my pre-blog articles from DTFC, or by scrolling to the bottom of the home page here and looking for articles with "roof" in the title, such as "To Roof, or Not to Roof".)

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 08:05 AM by Rick 93

are we really having this conversation again?

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 08:10 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 94

You know, as I was typing the above, I thought the exact same thing.

There will be no roof in Minnesota until 2040 at the very earliest.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 08:16 AM by Rick 95

Well a perfectt 0-6 this year. Have had one game with good weather May 23rd. Did manage to stay to the very end. All 2000 of us that were left. Brats great from Holiday!!! Next game or loss this tuesday.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 09:38 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 96

Hoping to see my 4th win in a row tonight! 2 of those happen to be road games.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM by tk Highlight this comment 97

The boys and I were just down at TF and saw that Bob Showers is autographing copies of his book, The Twins at the Met, in the big pro shop by gate 29.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 11:24 AM by Rick 98

I'm sure it will illicit groans, but I like that concept of the Mississippi River stadium better than TF. The aesthetics included. I consider that more of a canopy than a roof -- very different from the tuna can that is Miller Park.

Don't get me wrong, TF is a solid park. I'm just more of a sucker for the retro look.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:27 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 99

Has everyone seen today's lineup?? You would demand your money back if you went to spring training and this lineup was announced.

By the end of last night's game people were chanting "DL! DL!" every time a Twin got bumped or bruised (e.g. Cuddy's foul off his shin and the grounder off Swarzak's foot).

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM by terry Highlight this comment 100

I don't know why people are complaining about people who come to the game and don't pay attention, or leave their seats for awhile, and kids play areas. If people leave their seats next to me I enjoy it since I then get a little bit more of extra room and if it is the people is front of me, more leg room. As for the kids play areas, again who cares. If it keeps kids from crying near me all the better.

This ballpark was not built for the people who sit in their seats and watch all 9 inning with only breaks for the bathroom and food. If that was the case it would only need to be at most a 10,000 seat stadium. Baseball games have always been social events, something to do that night. Prime example is the Budweiser Roof Deck.

I have done it myself. There are most games where its just me and the person I bring to the game, we sit and watch the game from my seats. Then there are the times where we have a big group of friends scattered around the stadium so we'd watch a few innings then go meet up somewhere, most likely the Captain's deck.

Sidenote, why do none of the ballparks resteraunts face the field? I have no inclination to go to Herbek's or Townball and watch the game on TV when I'm at the ball park. At some point in the future they should into this. Such as moving the Captain's deck to the wide open space behind the Batter's eye, and pushing the Townball tavern to the field side of the concourse or at least have a serving/seating area exclusively for those who buy food at Townball.

Sidenote 2, Have they figured out a way to protect the people in Sec. 127 from falling drinks/puke from the Roof Deck and the captain's deck?

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 101

I somewhat agree TTH. Mostly because Brick ages much more gracefully than Limestone.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 102

Interesting article about realignment. It would be nice if the brought the Brewers back to the AL, and put them in the central.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:55 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 103

Wow. Revere looks like the ghost of Kirby Puckett out there today.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM by Rick 104

The most interesting things about the realignment article:

1. 2 leagues of 15 teams each (great idea)
2. No divisions (great idea)
3. All teams playing for five playoff spots per league (terrible idea)
4. Astros to AL (not a very good solution)

I'm glad somebody is having the conversation.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM by Rick 105

Revere has a future in this sport, I think.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 5:31 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 106

One games does not a career make. The Angels learned that the hard way with Gary Matthews.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 5:59 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 107

"Has everyone seen today's lineup?? You would demand your money back if you went to spring training and this lineup was announced." -- terry, comment #100

I just love it when comments like this are made and then things like today happen. Just grab your hot dog and your score card, and sit down and enjoy the ballgame.

(And I know, that's far too much to ask of the "fans" in attendance who could be heard revving up THE WAVE during Texas' half of the 8th inning with Baker still working on a 1-hit shutout. Perhaps a separate wave playground is needed for these infants?)

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 108

You can never predict with any degree of certainty what will happen in a baseball game. But c'mon, cut me some slack. Did anyone REALLY think today's lineup was going to produce eight runs? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they did, but do you not think today's lineup was mostly the Rochester Red Wings?

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM by terry Highlight this comment 109

I see sparkplugs! Casilla, by virtue of a change of approach, and Revere, a seeming natural.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 8:05 PM by Rick 110

"...and then things like today happen."

I'm just sayin'. It's so much fun when something unexpected happens at the game. Sit back and watch. Have fun with it. And the FOX announcers just had to keep repeating that if you were told that this game was a blowout, you'd expect it would be the Rangers running away with it, eh?...

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 9:47 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 111

Were those the same two teams that played Friday night??

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 10:09 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 112

Nelson Cruz rocket foul ball at my face...ALWAYS bring your glove..The lady on her cell phone in front of me never knew what happened..A foot lower and she would have been in the hospital..Click..Click for photo..

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 10:21 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 113

F_T_K these are the same 2 teams, I really think the weather has a bad omen for this Twins team. When it's bad outside, so are the Twins...

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM by tk Highlight this comment 114

Duffman - interesting thought about ballpark restaurants. I hadn't thought about that, but you're right - and I like your suggestion.

I was at today's game also. It was strange. It had the appearance of the 2009 or 2010 team brand of Twins baseball, but the roster of, perhaps sadly, the 2012 Minnesota Twins.

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 115

The reason Herbek's and Town Ball don't face the field is due to the open concourse design.

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 116

So, Dave what you're saying is that both restaurants might have had a chance to face the field if TF was built with the same claustrophobic, closed concourse design that the Dump and AT&T Park have??

I can't imagine the open concourses have anything to do with the placement of the Town Ball Tavern and Hrbek's. Could be wrong, but that's just where they put the restaurants.

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 117

the wild pitch went into the Royals dugout. Isn't that about 2000 miles away?

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM by mj Highlight this comment 118

luke,

AT&T is far from claustrophobic, it's a mixture of open and closed concourses. Target Field's main concourse went overboard on the open design in my opinion. It would have been better served with a mixture. TF's Terrace level is an example of a mixture with Twins Pub facing the field. The club level is mostly closed.

I would of liked to have seen Town Ball facing the field kind of where the Captain Morgan bar area is. Then have the concourse wrap around behind and hook up with the ramps.

Herbek's could of been a premium area directly behind home plate facing the field with the concourse wrapping around behind it.

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 119

Congrats on the foulball steve!

I hope this link still works but I was lucky enough to have the only foul ball I've ever caught immortalized via the internet. Click my name to watch

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM by jp Highlight this comment 120

very nice jp. you even got the instant replay.
funny, I reckon that if the Twins did a DVD of highlights for the first half of the 2011 season, your catch would make the list.

There's irony, the fans make more of the highlights than the team.

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 4:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 121

Now THAT is pretty sweet JP...find a way to get a copy of that for permanent records. Catching one is exciting enough, but having the announcers in awe of you and instant replays makes it all the better. You may have also saved someone from an ER visit.

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 5:53 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 122

Twins continue to impress and show the have some grit. Let's hope this momentum carries through the home stand and the Inter-league schedule. Should continue to be an interesting few weeks prior to the All-Star break.

Have you all voted for your favorite Rock Cat?

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM by tk Highlight this comment 123

DSP getting it in anywhere he can to see tickets, even when things are not directed towards him. This today on Twitter...

TwinsPrez (Dave St. Peter)Can we interest u in season tix? RT @Felix824: Twins are 17-3 at games I've attended in person since 2006. Today, I'm at TF & score is 5-0.

Posted on June 13, 2011 at 12:31 AM by tk Highlight this comment 124


This page was last modified on June 8, 2011.



"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.





His body language might as well be the box score.






Concept drawing of Coomer gate (click to enlarge)












Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh



Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.



Where you are, and where you can go.



This is amazingly close to completed. It's a short tunnel entrance ramp to 394 underneath the outfield stands.



Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.



Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)












Upper deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.



The view through a construction "knothole".


















Club Level



Walkway connection



Did you notice the flowers?



Open house skeptics






Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)






Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza









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






Here is Seventh Street viewed from the west looking toward downtown. This will probably be the most pedestrian-friendly side (other than the plaza), but only if there is some psychological barrier between the people on foot and the people in their dangerously fast-moving automobiles.






Click to enlarge.



Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.






This is why I get it, even if I don't like it.






Imagine this!






Glare from the IDS never looked this sweet. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)



This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.






The circulation ramp on the north now has its louver framing.



Detail of view to the northeast (Source: LP)





Glossary

BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


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


(2000, large coffee table)
 


Original edition (2000, round)
 


Revised edition (2006, round)
 


(2001, medium coffee table)
 


(2002, small coffee table)
 


(2003, medium coffee table)
 


(2004, very large coffee table)
 


(2006, very large coffee table)
 


Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
 

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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