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On Being Wrong

May 11, 2012 12:47 AM

Obviously, I was wrong.

Total, complete, undeniably epic fail.

Let the "stick it to Rick" epilogue to this stadium debate begin (wait, I see that it's already underway). I'm ready. I've got it coming.

But I feel about as bad as a weatherman who forecast rain and got sun. As I've said many times before, predicting stadium politics is a lot like meteorology: you will be wrong on a regular basis.

So here I am, wrong, and still with a fair amount of consolation. That's because I'm among the celebrators that A) the Vikes are locked up for the foreseeable future, and B) the whole ugly mess is behind us (almost). My property taxes will probably go down (they'd better), and at least I won't be paying for this stadium -- at least not directly -- probably.

I think it was clear in my previous post that I would have voted against this plan only because I thought a much better one was available. And I predicted its demise over and over because, at pretty much every step of the way, I thought this scheme had so many liabilities that it would have large blocks of legislators lining up to eagerly vote against it. To me, it was a waste of precious time.

Nope. I was wrong.

But what we've just witnessed was the impossible made possible. All the stars aligned just right -- and not by accident. No, this was done through the skills and determination of a very small band of legislators, who somehow managed to overcome incredible odds and even brought more than enough of their cohorts along. You have to appreciate and applaud the abilities of anyone who could thread this particularly tiny needle, and I come away mightily impressed by Sen. Julie Rosen, who appears to have provided the fuel on which this happened.

Not expecting someone like her to grit her teeth and do what had to be done was perhaps my chief mistake.

But I also underestimated the role of fear in this decision. Though clear eyes could see that the odds of the Vikings leaving any time soon were infinitesimal, neither legislators nor their noisy constituents always see with clear eyes. They can be easily spooked. And deliberative bodies tend to amplify fears. (I don't think this represents speaking out of turn. Many, many speeches, especially in the House, revealed that plain old fear of losing the Vikings was the primary motivation among those who supported the plan.) I discounted these things, thinking that there were cooler heads holding the reins.

Boing. I got it wrong.

I also erroneously thought that this process would be informed by its two immediate predecessors. I consider that the funding and siting of both TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field represent triumphs of the legislative process and of urban planning. They are models for how a very messy process can come out with exceptionally positive results. That cannot be said for this plan in either siting or funding. (It will take a decade or more to find out whether I'm wrong in believing that the Metrodome site is a truly lousy place to put a new stadium. The verdict on the funding may come sooner. I'm sure that, if I'm wrong again, you'll tell me.)

I forgot that, when it comes right down to it, each stadium debate is its own unique animal. The players are all different, the economic conditions are all different, the levels and quality of desperation are all different. And just like so many other things in life, past performance is not indicative of future results.

Some of you thought that I was hopeful that this plan would fail. And to a degree, I was. I think a major opportunity has been missed by not leveraging the large investments already made on the other side of downtown. I say this as a citizen of Minneapolis, and not as a sports fan or politics-watcher or failed stadium prognosticator. We could have, and should have, done better.

But this is not the first such opportunity missed, nor will it be the last. And it certainly isn't fatal to the future of downtown Minneapolis. Here's hoping that the same can ultimately be said about the near-billion dollars (when financing costs are considered) that the city has now committed to -- well, soon is likely to commit to -- spending.

In fact, I'm very curious to see what the Vikings can do with a billion dollars. Can they build the best stadium in the NFL? Will they? Can they build a great team to play in it? Will they?

I sincerely hope so on all counts.

And though you may think this hypocritical, I mean it sincerely: Skol Vikings!

Comments


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Ooh, I get the first swing at this one? Thanks MN pols - I bought the smart ones, and manipulated the dumb ones (aka most of them) with my L.A. shuffle blues. Hahaha, take that, Opat!

Urban planning,--pffft! My partners at the Strib will sell me land nearby and my cotton candy coated development gravy train will hum down those publically funded tracks, baby. 877-stadium-cash-now, yes!

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 01:26 AM by Piggy Wilf Highlight this comment 1

How long will it take for the Vikings to learn from the Twins that a beautiful new facility with a crappy home team means lots of empty seats?

How many games did the Vikings win last year, again?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:17 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 2

I suppose you should get run out of that troll handle while it is still (somewhat) relevant.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:19 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 3

I don't think you can apply the current Twins attendance "issues" to the Vikings. Football and baseball are two entirely different animals in that regard.

Losing in baseball can be perpetual, whereas a couple of key draft picks can swing the fortunes of a football team immediately. Hope brings football fans back...if they ever leave at all.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:26 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 4

There is also the fact the the Vikings have several seasons to get things turned around before the new stadium opens.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:29 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 5

I wonder what parts of the new stadium the Vikings players will blame for their losing ways?

"I couldn't catch the ball because it blended into the wall under the scoreboard. We didn't have that problem at the Dome..."

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:51 AM by James1979 Highlight this comment 6

I got the Purple Panzies winning 6 games next year. Thats double last year. Super Bowl around the corner! Well 50 yrs or so.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:56 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 7

F_T_K

The Vikings have never had a problem putting butts in the seats, even when they suck. As much as I enjoy the Twins, the Vikings reign supreme in this State when it comes to fan interest. And what does the # of wins last season have to do with getting a stadium built?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:57 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 8

That game last night was comical. The pop up to home plate. Cassia asleep. Plueff running into a double play. The guy thrown out at 3rd. The passed ball. How many closed door sessions does Mr Whipple need with these idiots? TF becoming the place NOT to be seen this year.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:06 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 9

How soon before we start seeing Twins fans in the bleacher seats wearing bags over their heads??

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:15 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 10

Nice epilogue, Rick. I tend to think that the one key ingredient in all of this was the pervasive pragmatism in key political leaders - Dayton, Rosen, Lanning, Rybak - which outweighed the disjointed opposition of liberal Dems and do-nothing tea partiers. Pawlenty never would have stuck his neck out to push this deal through - really he never stuck his neck out for anything, fearing the political consequences. Dayton has his obvious flaws, but the guy does what he thinks is right, and he does it now. He's never really been one of those politicians with both eyes on the most recent poll results. And he built a working coalition with others who clearly did not want to have to go through this mess again. Now or never was the consistent rallying cry, likely more because of a desire not to waste more time than anything else. (There really are, after all, other things that they need to attend, upcoming elections being one.)

And we'll see. The Dome site is ok. There can be advantages to NOT crowding like facilities all together (particularly in event management/traffic flow). It's still on the LR, still centtrally located, etc. Here's hoping the design is inspired.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:17 AM by BR Highlight this comment 11

Now that the legislature has adjourned and the bill passed, let's hope our level of discourse can be raised. To that end, I offer these humble suggestions: the word "baby" should only be used if referring to a child under the age of 12 months; the segue "oh wait" to denote sarcasm should be retired to the place where hackneyed old terms (like "bilateral leg weakness") get retired to. Any linguistics teachers out there who would care to comment?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:20 AM by terry Highlight this comment 12

Is the plan for the first season to be 2015 in the new place? 2012 and 2013 at Metrdome, 2014 at TCF?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:26 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 13

It's my hope that, due to his experience as a developer and real estate mogul, Ziggy will do a better job developing the area around the new stadium than the group who put the Metrodome up.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:28 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 14

2016 first season at new place; 2012-2014 at Metrodome; 2015 at TCF. Tentatively.

(click)

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:31 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 15

I don't think rick has any Crow to eat here. I have no doubt in my mind that if this didn't go through that there would have been a solution on the Farmers Market site. He was trumpeting what he thought was a better plan and site. Unfortunately that site just wasn't in the mix. It wasn't the one the legislature was considering.

Who knows what happened between henn Co and the Vikes. Some say the Vikes walked on them. Probably. But that didn't keep the City of Minneapolis from putting up a fight and eventually winning the team back. That is the part about mike Opat and Henn Co that I can't figure out and why I'm glad that we didn't have to have this fail and then go to them. they just didn't put up a fight. Opat sat there and wanted to have the last word. To have the team come crawling back to him. He should have been fighting for the opportunity to be in the mix like Minneapolis did to arden hills. In THAT regard Mike Opat failed us. It wasn't the vikings that failed us. It wasn't the legislature that failed us it was Mike Opat and his board. They chose to stay out of the fray and because of that this is what we get.

But I don't think Rick was wrong or he needs to eat any crow. There is no doubt that when it comes to stadiums and city planning that Rick is incredibly in the know. Save the Crow rick, eat steak.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:34 AM by moda Highlight this comment 16

That is the part about mike Opat and Henn Co that I can't figure out and why I'm glad that we didn't have to have this fail and then go to them. they just didn't put up a fight. Opat sat there and wanted to have the last word. To have the team come crawling back to him.

I've spent some time thinking about this. And your take could definitely be right. But the discussion in a previous comments section got me thinking about another one.

The key portion of the rumored HC plan was the expansion of the Target Field tax. It's what made the plan attractive b/c it's a stable funding source that is already being collected successfully. But no one can say why that wouldn't require a referendum. When I looked at the TF bill the language seemed pretty clear in exempting the tax from a vote at it's current rate only. I recall Rick seeing the same when he read it. A lawyer acquaintance of mine read it and he said the same. The assumption was the HC's lawyers were of a diff opinion. But if Opat was actually confident why would he wait to put his hat in the ring (besides petty BS that is)?

My guess is that the increase may not have been airtight. And if that is the case, the desire to wait could have been more strategic given the likely DFL swing in the makeup of the legislature this fall (thanks to the folks who pointed me to those retirement/MinnPost numbers on vulnerable district). Because if HC was going to need approval from the Legislature to avoid a vote on a sales tax increase, the current TP led group wasn't going to give him an audience. A DFL led legislature would be more willing to work with that solution.

All of that is speculation, but it does offer another plausible reason for Opat saying in many forums that the county wouldn't step in until after the election.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:48 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 17

Hmmm interesting GoAUpher, then it wasn't an airtight deal. there is no guarantee that the DFL is going to pick up a bunch of seats this year. We have a couple GOP items on the ballot like Gay Marriage and Voter ID not to mention the presidential race. While I think these things are going to backfire on the GOP and the DFL is going to steam roll them there is no guarantee that will happen and well if that were to take place and we did wait for the Henn Co plan........ Then we would all eb saying how we should have passed it last session.

Disclaimer. My reference to politics is not meant as a slam on any party. If you are GOP and their ideals are in line with you by all means please vote that way, likewise for dems.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:57 AM by moda Highlight this comment 18

Little birdies are telling me this morning that Goodell scared the sh!t out of legislators (no surprise there), and from that point "the fix was on."

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 09:59 AM by Rick 19

Didn't mean to be so snarky in my previous post Rick. It's not about wrong or right.....I just think it's foolish to make any bold predictions about a legislative body. They are so unpredicatable and there are a lot of behind the scenes "stuff" going on. Steve Sviggum once told me that nothing is certain until the lights go up on the voting board, and sometimes not even then! I guess that's true, as when I was watching the vote live, literally people would change their votes two or three times, depending on which way it was going I suppose.

Anyway, I'm kind of surprised they aren't starting this fall. I guess I thought we were further along in the process than having to wait a full year for construction to start, at least the site work. I also wonder what they will do about the problem of having only 50,000 seats at TCF and 53,000 season ticket holders. Maybe the last 6,000 by seniority each only get to go to half the games? No single game ticket sales that year? Be interesting to see how that goes, and if there is a significant price reduction in tickets for that year.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 20

Rick, you don't have to apologize or eat any crow...it's your own blog! You have every right to express your thoughts on your own blog. There are no right or wrong opinions on a blog the way I see it.

Twins stadium bill passed in May 2006, first piles were driven into the ground in summer 2007 and the "official" groundbreaking was August 2 (later re-scheduled for August 30, 2007) with Target Field opening in April 2010.

So if the Vikings are on the same timeline they will break ground in summer 2013 and open in 2016.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 21

By the way, I love those new Toronto Blue Jays uniforms! Such a clean and classic look.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 22

moda~
I agree that nothing is assured. But I was surprised to see just how many Dem leaning districts were available for DLF pickup versus the reverse for the Republicans. There may be "red meat" on the ballot for the GOP base, but it is still a presidential election (i.e. Dem base turnout will also be strong) and the pickup opportunities I reference were in districts where DFL'ers hold the registration edge. Obviously there are other factors (e.g. how many "tossup" races are the DFL'ers in and might lose) but the situation is certainly primed for a switch, or at least for a severe reduction in GOP control of the Legislature.

Also, when you see that many GOP incumbants in DFL leaning districts that suggests that many of them are new incumbents that were likely swept in during the 2010 wave. Which means they've represented a district that is more blue then they are in a 2 year period when their party has been pushing stuff that PO's DFL'ers. That's priming the pump to get voted out.

All speculation and (happily) all moot.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:30 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 23

Also, HC may very well feel they had an airtight way to increase the tax. I was just hypothesizing that if they didn't have one it would go a long way to explaining their reluctance to jump in until the next session.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:31 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 24

So the Vikings are going to build an almost billion dollar stadium and this is how Lester plans on selling it after the bill passed.

From kare11.com...
As for luxury amenities, "world class" is the phrase being thrown out at the Capitol - but not first class. Said Bagley, "Top of the line is probably Dallas. This is going to be more Midwestern, mid-market like Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis. I think that stadium would fit well in this market."

I know I am reading too much into this, but what a disappointing statement from Lester!

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 25

Has anyone been able to tell yet if the Minneapolis city council could still play spoiler if someone changes from a yes to a no vote? I've heard it positioned as "the yes victory is in the bag, so it's moot" to "it's a symbolic vote, so a no victory can't stop the stadium" to "a no victory could bring down the whole deal". What is actually the case? I can't allow myself to celebrate without knowing whether this is really in the bag or not.

The Goodell meeting absolutely played a key role in turning this around. Whatever he said, the stadium issue did a 180 turn at the capitol afterwards. Give the him, the NFL, and the Vikes credit for saving that call to the bullpen until it was in a position to have the maximum impact and then Goodell not laying the heat on so greatly that it created the opposite of the desired response.

The other big factor for turning this thing around was the use of social media as a tool for getting people to call, Tweet, and email their legislators. Once people really started hammering on their reps and senators, a few likely deadbolt no voters became yes voters. Once public pressure got turned up to a boil, I think just enough legislators worried about being tagged as having lost the Vikings that it made a difference in turning some votes.

A catalyst in the social media movement was the second, disastrous, appearance of Kurt Zellers on KFAN with Dan Barreiro. When he made the infamous "I won't vote for it, but I hope it passes" comment, it enraged people and played a role in calling stadium supporters to action that can't be discounted when all was said and done. People who were somewhat passive before the comment became highly active afterwards and I think it made a difference in the result.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 26

It only takes one changed vote to spoil the whole thing. The Strib thinks the votes are secure, but there is one guy, the one who broke ranks and asked for a report on the applicability of the charter amendment, who remains silent:

Council Member Kevin Reich, the other swing vote who eventually supported the plan, did not respond to requests for comment.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM by Rick 27

I should add that pressure will be beyond intense for these people to vote yes. It would take tremendous courage, and perhaps be political suicide, to vote no at this point.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM by Rick 28

Back to the Twins for a moment, I was at a Barnes and Noble yesterday and so a coffee table book titled "The Twins at the Met". Can't remember the author, but looked like it had a lot of great pictures and maybe some interesting tidbits. Does anyone have this book, and would you recommend it?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 29

Great book! Lots of pictures, and filled with tons of fun stories from former Twins players.

Worth every penny.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM by Rick 30

Any idea when they'll vote? My impression is the longer this goes, the more likely someone is to switch, if that's even what Reich is thinking about doing. Barbara Johnson, a mortal lock to vote yes, also refused to comment. Not commenting may mean "let me read the language first" as much as "I'm considering changing my mind" if we look at Johnson and Reich collectively.

Lester's comment about the stadium being more like Indianapolis' than Dallas' is somewhat disconcerting. The Metrodome wound up being a dump literally from day one due to that kind of attitude. I'm not expecting anything that bad, but do wish they'd set the bar high. There are some gaudy aspects to the Dallas stadium, such as its exterior design, that won't play here, but one thing the new Vikes stadium needs to shoot for is a central scoreboard as big or bigger and with the same clarity as the one in Dallas.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 31

Yes, even Dayton said last night that he's going to take the weekend to read the language and analyze the bill before signing it (likely at a big ceremony on Monday).

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM by Rick 32

The next council meeting is schedule for May 25, though Rybak can call a special meeting before then.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM by Rick 33

I will be gettin the book on my lunch hour! Thanks.....May 25 is an eternity! Hope they do a special meeting before then. The Friday of Memorial Day weekend is bad anyway. I agree that the longer they wait, the more chance the anti-everything crowd will have to sink their hooks in. The pro-stadium people need to stay vigilant and not get lulled to sleep.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 34

Unless RT Rybak can 100% say the vote would go his way, I'd advise against him calling an early meeting or at least not too early. The last thing he needs to do is aggravate certain council members who aren't always in his corner to begin with by making them feel like they're under even more pressure than they probably already are.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:31 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 35

Thinking about Target Field, does anyone else experience vertigo when on the upper tier in left field and in the trapezoid? The Twins had to do what they could with the available space, but both are uncomfortably steep. Corny as it sounds, I worry about people not only on those stairs, but also when moving through rows to seats. One false move and you're in big trouble to a greater extent than almost any other upper deck in town except possibly the ends at the Xcel Center where at least there are railings.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 36

Once people really started hammering on their reps and senators, a few likely deadbolt no voters became yes voters.

I can tell you for a fact that emails were the deciding factor for Sen Goodwin (DFL - Columbia Heights). I sent her an email asking her to vote 'yes'...and few days later I received a reply from her that I'm sure she sent to all who emailed on the submit. Here are some snippets:

"Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Thank you so much to those of you who took the time to respond to my survey on the Vikings Stadium issue. It has been on the Senate floor for many hours today. This has been a very difficult issue. I was very happy to see that over 800 of you took time to tell me your opinion."

...

"Here are the results of the survey: 821 responses (very strong response rate)440 yes votes and 381 no votes.
Yes = 54% and 46% no - a difference of 8%. "

...

"Long story short, I went with the majority vote. I really did not and do not personally believe that we needed to have one of the most exclusive stadiums in the nation when funding might end up coming from the general fund and from other areas of the budget - but I asked you and I honored the majority decision. I did not believe that we needed 2,500 bars, restaurants or gas stations with electronic pull tabs that are very much like slot machines.

But on this, and many other issues, I truly try to represent the majority of people who sent me here - not lobbyists, not special interests. Now, we'll all have to live with it.

So, thank you all again for your valuable input.

Barb Goodwin, State Senator"

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 37

^^^Please excuse my feable attempt at formatting my post....would be nice to have an edit feature.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 38

One slash out of place, and I fixed it. (Preview option is coming!)

But I have to say, that's a pretty lousy way to figure out how to vote, especially when you have strong feelings yourself on the issue.

It's a little like those "Who'd You Rather" polls on the TMZ site. Hardly scientific, to say the least.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM by Rick 39

Rick-

Even though I'm happy with the result, I gotta be honest that I agree with you. I hope this isn't how she makes ALL of her decisions when it comes to voting yes or no.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 40

And in rereading that, she's basically trying to absolve herself of a vote she didn't want to make -- but obviously felt pressured to make:

"I didn't want to vote this way, but you made me, and now we all have to live with it."

That's total BS. (I'd feel exactly the same if her poll and vote had gone the other way.)

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM by Rick 41

How many of those constituents read the bill or even listened to a minute of the debate?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM by tk Highlight this comment 42

I'm just starting to digest Bagley's comment about design.

I remember when the Dome was announced and I had visions of a new Astrodome rising in downtown Minneapolis. You know, something on a grand scale, with style and class and vision.

The first time I walked into the Dome, my heart sank. Grey/blue sameness in every direction. Lumpy floating roof. Popping my ears. At the time, hot as hell.

The Vikings should be extremely cautious not to make such a mistake again. They will not be able to come back in five years and say that it needs upgrades. Well, they can come back, but the combination of laughter and hissing will drown out their request.

If they're not going for "world class" but just "midwestern nice" then this will be a real disaster.

We here at BallparkMagic helped the Twins imagine something great. And though they are the ones who made it happen, I know that they listened to us. I see it every time I go out to Target Field -- ideas that came from this very web site. And not just one or two. They are everywhere and helped make that the beautiful place it is.

But who is going to be whispering in Zygi's ear? Lester Bagley?

Oh, dear God...

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM by Rick 43

tk-

I wonder how many Legislators read the bill in detail before they voted on it?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 44

And of the people who read it, I wonder what percentage actually understood it. That is one dense document, and someone without a law degree or a deep understanding of the bonding process will be up to their eyeballs within minutes.

I read as much as I could while the Senate debate was in progress yesterday, and understood only a fraction of what I read. (Makes me wish I'd gone to law school like my dad wanted me to.)

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM by Rick 45

(Almost.)

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM by Rick 46

Maybe I'm an optimist but I didn't take anything negative away from Bagley's comments. To me he was (inartfully) saying "we're not looking to waste the public money on frivolous things but we intend to build a good stadium". Basically, I took the "world class" and "midwestern" parts of is to be meaningless BS. Something along the lines of "we're all nice Germans and Scandinavians up here and if we say we're building something too fancy that's just getting too big for our britches dontcha know so that's not what I'm doing."

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 47

If their intention is to not waste on frivolous things, I hope they cease all discussion about a retractable roof, or making it "retractable roof-ready," whatever that means.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 48

I'm with GoAUpher on this interpretation. There is no way the Vikings build anything dumpy. The lower-class accommodations may not be the greatest, but the big-money areas will be tricked out and the whole place will look decent enough. The one area of concern for y'all should be the general appearance, and whether it will be aesthetically pleasing to you or just aesthetically pleasing enough for the Vikings' wallets.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:13 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 49

Maybe this has been addressed elsewhere, but will the new stadium be able to support indoor baseball games? I've heard mention of winter baseball "practices" being there but I really think the community would like to retain that indoor baseball option (even if it lacks some of the baseball focus of the Dome).

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:17 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 50

Actually, my real concern is that Zygi is a developer of strip malls. This will be the largest project he's ever overseen, and the closest to anything architecturally significant.

We didn't know what the Twins were capable of, and it turned out well.

The U was never in question because they had built a lot of signature buildings before they attempted TCFBS.

But the Vikings? Their taste level and sense of style is a complete unknown at this point.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM by Rick 51

I have heard the Vikings praise Ford Field in Detroit, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Seahawks/Qwest/CenturyLink Field in Seattle as the three stadiums they will look at most. And those three stadiums are some of the best NFL stadiums so we can only hope the Vikings get it right!

They have not mentioned U of Phoenix Stadium or Cowboys Stadium.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 52

A major benefit of being one of the last NFL teams to build a new stadium is that they can look at what everyone else has done and cherry pick good ideas and, more importantly, identify what hasn't worked.

I disagree about the retractable roof. Relative to the overall cost of the facility, it's fairly cheap to implement the retractable roof. I'm reading it would cost Ziggy between $25-$40 million extra. Both Mark and Ziggy have both gone on record as indicating that they are leaning towards including it in the final design. I'm not a fan of the retractable roofs over ballparks, but I think they look just fine over a football stadium.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 53

Click my name for a link to a new video of Farmers Field. What could of been at the Farmers Market site.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 54

But what does a retractable roof add? It woud be open 2, at most 3 home games per year, closed at the hint of bad weather, and in my book, a "small portal of viewable sky barely the size of the playing surface below" does not count as "playing outside." Waste of money.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:33 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 55

"a "small portal of viewable sky barely the size of the playing surface below" does not count as "playing outside." "

Take a look at Century Link Field. (Clicky)

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:36 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 56

Century Link Field does not have a retractable roof.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 57

Jorge--Regarding vertigo in RF seats. During the first open house before TF opened, I checked out the various places my groups were assigned seats in 2010. Opening day in the trap, couple games at the top of Home Run View sections. First times I visited both areas I found myself reaching back to hold on to the seat behind me, it was that dizzying. Now after many games in both areas I must be used to it. But you're right, that pitch is something else.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 58

Why was the NHL Winter Classic part of the Farmer's Field video?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:45 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 59

But what does a retractable roof add? It woud be open 2, at most 3 home games per year, closed at the hint of bad weather, and in my book, a "small portal of viewable sky barely the size of the playing surface below" does not count as "playing outside." Waste of money.

Agreed, but if it comes from the Wilf paying the extra money on top of the existing funding then I don't think anyone will complain. Well, some folks will rightfully point out that if they can blow money on that then the had the ability to contribute more. But they always had the ability to give more, they simply didn't want to (he's a businessman who wants the best deal for his company after all).

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 60

Well we did not get the best location (Arden Hills) but we didn't get the worst either (Farmers Market), so I guess it is right in the middle. If they have mentioned Lucas Oil as inspiration, good, I would have no problem with an exact replica of Lucas Oil. Better than that picture they have been circulating.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 61

I think the retractable roof is unnessary, but if Zygi wants to fork over more $ to make it happen, fine. As long as it actually works well (iow, don't copy Miller Park).

The Twins did a good job of surveying recently built parks for design ideas. No reason the Vikes can't do the same. If they're at all smart, they'll solicit ideas from the general public and offer small prizes for ideas that get incorporated into the final design. That's how you build a "People's Stadium" and grow the STH base.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:49 PM by BR Highlight this comment 62

Interesting take by Reusse on Zigmunt!

We in the Twin Cities sports media were so amped up over getting a new stadium for the Vikings and thus maintaining them as a subject to write and talk about that not much time was spent looking at the financial realities.

We have allowed owner Zygi Wilf to be crowned as a patient, generous hero in the proceedings that led to the approval of the stadium on Thursday in the State Legislature. Gov. Mark Dayton did more than anyone to overcome the political odds against this thing and gain approval for the stadium, yet he was effusive in his praise of Wilf at the victory news conference.

Of course, it's in the best interest of Dayton and all other political supporters to send along the message that getting the extra $50 million from the team was the result of driving a hard bargain with the Vikings.

Listen, I was on board with this _ for the same biased reasons as other people making their living in the sports media _ but more so because of this belief:

That an active downtown Minneapolis is the most-important element in maintaining a vibrant metropolitan area.

The truth is that at the new number for the team share, $477 million, this remains a marvelous deal for Wilf and the Vikings. These tycoons always borrow the millions they put into stadium deals, so that they can use the interest on the debt as a write off against the new profits.

And in the case of Zygi, much more than with the Pohlads and Target Field, the new profits are going to be enormous _ with the combination of higher prices everywhere in the stadium, fabulous new suites and thousands of other premium seats.

Consider this: The Twins were able to pick up an extra $6 million with the $2,000 per seat, upfront license fee for the 3,000-seat Legends Club at Target Field. Can you imagine the ease with which Zygi will be able to collect greater upfront license fees for premium seats in the new stadium?

I'm estimating an average of $4,000 for 10,000 premium seats (not suites) in the coffers before the new stadium opens. That's $40 million in the Vikings' coffers.

The Vikings also received the entire take from naming rights. I've asked Twins officials and other sports executives what the Vikings can expect as an annual fee for naming rights and was told: "Seven million, maybe eight.''

Put it at $7 million annually and that's $210 million over a 30-year lease.

Zygi will be getting $200 million of his $477 million from the NFL. When he borrows the other $277 million and starts paying it back, these calculations say he can call on $40 million upfront in seat license and another $210 million along the way in naming rights to help with the bank payments.

And there's also a difference between the myth and the reality of the $200 million "loan'' the Vikings claim to be getting from the NFL.

We've accepted the Vikings' description of it as a loan, when in reality Zygi is getting a grant from the NFL, as pointed out by Neil deMause on his "Field of Schemes'' website back in late December.

DeMause reported that this was what was approved by an NFL owners meeting when it came to the league helping to finance new stadiums. He broke it into three parts:

*The new loan program _ which actually will be called "G-4" - ups the maximum loan level from $150 million per team under the old plan to a maximum of $200 million under the new one.
*As under G-3, teams can repay the loan with club seat money THEY NORMALLY WOULD HAVE HAD TO SHARE WITH THE LEAGUE. They can now also use incremental regular ticket revenue, defined as the difference between ticket sales in the new stadium and average sales in the last three years of the old one.

*"The project must not involve any relocation of or change in an affected club's 'home territory.'" (Note: So Zygi wouldn't have able to get this $200 million from the NFL if he had relocated the team).

DeMause added: Teams looking to build new stadiums without paying for them themselves are, naturally, thrilled - since this is money that they wouldn't normally get to keep anyway. it's effectively a grant, not a loan.

DeMause also quoted Vikings stadium lobbyist Lester Bagley as calling the NFL's $200 million "great news for the team and our fans.''

Bagley changed his view somewhat over the $200 million in the final weeks of successful stadium maneuvering, depicting it more as simply a loan than a handout paid back through revenues that the Vikings would have been sending to the NFL anyway as part of revenue sharing.

Add it up - naming rights, license fees, NFL grant _ and you have $450 million of Zygi's $477 million. That doesn't seem to be much suffering for a fellow now being depicted as the patient martyr of stadium negotiations.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 63

Agreed, no one will complain about the funding source - my point is if they're willing to put in an extra $25-30 million for this, I would rather those funds be used for something that improves the experience at each and every game - top notch replay screens, etc. If they put a retractable roof on, as we've seen with other stadiums with retractable roofs, it will simply be closed a vast majority of the time.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:57 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 64

Damn! My bad....

How about Reliant Stadium?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 65

I think that the design and stadium specific construction companies these days will prevent us from anything quite like the Dome.

I mean as long as we don't have any dolphins jumping over waterfalls I think we can have a classy stadium. Of the three that have been built here recently they've managed to keep them interesting and classy.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM by moda Highlight this comment 66

Just got this email from the Twins:

We recently mailed to you a card that thanked you for your dedication to the Twins organization while also congratulating you on the number of years you have held season tickets with the team.

Following that mailing, it came to our attention that the card mailed to you included the incorrect number of years of your anniversary as a season ticket holder. Please know that our records indeed reflect the correct number of years of your Season Ticket Holder tenure, which is 2006. We sincerely apologize for the error.

We understand that your commitment and passion for Twins baseball is second to none and we realize how important our Season Ticket Holders are to the future success of our team. As always, please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions about your account. You can easily reach us by calling the Season Ticket Holder VIP Hotline: 612-370-4575.

Your Minnesota Twins Ticket Sales & Service Team

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:23 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 67

Forget dolphins and waterfalls. I think they need a little model of a coastal village that Ragnar can pillage and burn to the ground every time the team scores a touchdown.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 68

Duffman, forgive me if you've explained in the past, but when you referred to Farmers Market as the worst site, what shaped your opinion in that manner and why do you rank it at the bottom of all possibilities, including the current site?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 69

Rick, are you going to cover the building of the Viking stadium like you did the Twins stadium? (assuming the city council keeps there word)

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM by Red Highlight this comment 70

Ragnar might only need a couple of matches all year. TD's might be hard to come by. Unless your talking about the visiting team.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 71

I love the burn the village idea. Way better than fireworks.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM by BR Highlight this comment 72

Maybe we can bring back capital punishment to this State and figure out a way to incorporate public executions into Ragnar's touchdown celebration.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 73

Ah twink, your troll-ish schtick is so weak. The Vikings will be playing in the new stadium this fall? That'll be a neat trick.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 74

Mike, got the same e-mail! Damn, I now have to add another piece of communication as another benefit I have received from the Sweet Spot.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM by tk Highlight this comment 75

Any other Twins STH sign up to for the chance to be selected for the STH Focus Group?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 76

I think it would be very unwise not to include a retractable roof in the design. That feature could truly excite the fans about the gameday experience more than any other feature possibly could. It would not be in use for every game of the season, but just imagine the difference on gameday outdoors-the experience would be so much more fun.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 77

Ok I will give em 5 more years in the 50 year rebuilding process. One of these days we will win the big one. Year 51 and counting!

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 4:21 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 78

If they want to bring MLS to town, they probably either need to go with no roof or a retractable one. Fixed most likely means no MLS.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 7:34 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 79

Could really use Needn't help at Target Field with the weather tonight. This system it's slow moving and they are starting to remove the tarp.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 80

Needn't = Jared.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM by tk Highlight this comment 81

During the rain delay I was trying to find the best spot to be in a rain delay. Not sure if it has been discussed here?

Obviously, the best spot would be the Champions with includes beer and food.

If we would have found a table early, Town Ball would have been nice. Ended up hanging out at the Captains Deck, lots of space to move around.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 9:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 82

Sorry guys, still on vacation in Florida and can only really do a "quick check" on goings on around here. I have been trying to keep up but with the Vikings vote passing and all the subsequent posts, its been tough adding that to the Disney daily schedule and the TONS of photo processing left over. I think I came out with a few thousand photos in the first couple nights. Lost count after that.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:26 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 83

The Vikings will need lots of good luck in the coming years to make this new stadium pay off in the ways they hope. They’ll need to keep their pricing for tickets – even premium seating tickets and their attendant PSLs – reasonably priced. They’re fighting for entertainment dollars in a medium-sized market with three other professional sports and a major university athletic department. They’ll need to put a competitive product on the field every year, otherwise ticket sales, as they have in the past during down years, will lag once the novelty of the new building wears off.

When I first became a Vikings season ticket holder, the Vikings couldn’t get arrested in this state, and they were reduced to offering freebies with every new account (a Weber Smoky Joe grill to mark the return of tailgating). The Dome was half full for some of those games that year (1996). My last year as a season ticket holder was 2010, and both last year and this year, I’ve received phone calls from ticket sales people begging me to come back. That’s not the mark of a team that’s receiving overwhelming support.

They’ll have their new stadium now, but will they be able to make it work over the long haul?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 84

The Vikings will need lots of good luck in the coming years to make this new stadium pay off in the ways they hope. They’ll need to keep their pricing for tickets – even premium seating tickets and their attendant PSLs – reasonably priced. They’re fighting for entertainment dollars in a medium-sized market with three other professional sports and a major university athletic department. They’ll need to put a competitive product on the field every year, otherwise ticket sales, as they have in the past during down years, will lag once the novelty of the new building wears off.

When I first became a Vikings season ticket holder, the Vikings couldn’t get arrested in this state, and they were reduced to offering freebies with every new account (a Weber Smoky Joe grill to mark the return of tailgating). The Dome was half full for some of those games that year (1996). My last year as a season ticket holder was 2010, and both last year and this year, I’ve received phone calls from ticket sales people begging me to come back. That’s not the mark of a team that’s receiving overwhelming support.

They’ll have their new stadium now, but will they be able to make it work over the long haul?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:40 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 85

Oops! I don't know what happened there. Sorry...

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:58 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 86

I think in all the happenings in the past 72 hours, we have yet to really let the fact sink in that in the near future the Metrodome will be GONE. I'm not about to start a SAVE THE DOME blog. But as a dad in my mid-30s, it's all I really knew when it came to Twins and Vikings. I guess I'll have similar feelings as to those who watched Met Stadium host its final games.

Yes, the Dome lacked amenities but it did host a Super Bowl, the T-wolves' first season, two Twins World Series and, as a kid, brought me immense pleasure as it blew me out the door after every game in its own perverse, zany way.

It will be gone (hooray!?) but not forgotten.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 87

Too bad it'll be too close to the new construction to implode.

I've always looked forward to seeing it go down in one big swoosh.

(But I see your point, TTH. It'll become a segment on Lost Twin Cities 8.)

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM by Rick 88

tk,

Rain delays do present a problem. I've waited them out in the Champions Club, the Legends Club, and the Third Base Lounge. None was a very pleasant option because they get instantly so packed that you can barely move around. (Of the three, Legends was the most comfortable, but Champions had the best diversions -- i.e. food.)

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 12:23 AM by Rick 89

Click my name for a video of the mayor giving some information on plans for around the new Vikings stadium.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 08:14 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 90

LOL! Rick I had to laugh when I read your thoughts on imploding the dome. Before TF was built, I always thought a good funding source for a ballpark would be a lottery in which all baseball fans could purchase a chance to be the one to push the plunger and blow that ugly thing to perdition!

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 09:29 AM by terry Highlight this comment 91

"PULL MY TAB STADIUM"....This stadium name would make the political correct crowd happy.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 09:39 AM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 92

Jorge, I dont know if we really need to get into that again, but if you really want, I think the majority of the comments were in "The Delusional Hills of Arden" below.

That comment was more of a little needle at those who thought this site was stupid, and would never get done. My point all along was it was a better site than FM but no where even close to Arden Hills.
It was just one last comment on it, becuase now the fun of that stadium begins, just as it was for the Twins, the design phase.

What would each of us want in the building? More tradional like Ford Field, or Lucas Oil with a warehouse look or something more futuristic like MetLife Field? I prefer the former, but that is eachs person opinion.

Too bad some jackass designated the Cedar Riverside buildings as historical landmarks, because (though fantasy I know) how cool would it be to implode them, make it a large parking lot for the new Dome just across the freeway and have a plethora of parking for tailgating and for the U of M on non-game days. It would probably help with crime too. Ahh...To dream.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 93

I don't want to see Lucas Oil Field II or Ford Field II, Id like to see the Vikings try something unique and innovative. Something daring.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 94

Well if they modeled it after Lucas Oil, we'd be returning the favor to Indy for basically building a clone of the Metrodome. Not that I'm for modeling it after Lucas Oil.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 95

I was very interested to hear some of the ideas from Mayor Rybak. It is a very big opportunity for everyone involved to "fix" East DT. Their biggest challenge is to make sure this new stadium blends and flows with it's surroundings...something the Dome never did.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 96

ZERO for nine with RISP position tonight. 2-1 loss.

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 9:56 PM by terry Highlight this comment 97

One name. Frank O. Gehry

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 98

For the love of God, not Gehry.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 03:26 AM by ace Highlight this comment 99

Ah yes - The Weisman Dome! Culture meets face paint!

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 07:53 AM by terry Highlight this comment 100

I enjoyed your latest post Rick. Nice to see the crow on the plate. It takes character to admit when you are wrong.

I'm interested to hear how actively you will follow the new stadium construction. Will this site have updates as you hear things and make observations or will you create a new site devoted to the new Vikings stadium?

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 09:24 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 101

I'm thinking that between the design and construction of the Vikings stadium, the renovation of Target Center and how it will impact the flow into Target Plaza, and the possible construction of a new Saints ballpark in Lowertown, there could be a plenty of fodder for discussion on this site.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 102

The MSFC is fu*&ing worthless...the dorks decide NOW to put new scoreboards in the soon-to-be-defunct Dome. How stupid can five angry, old men get? Jesus. when I retrieve the article I will post it, I am on the road right now...lol.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 103

as promised, clicky for the new Metrodome scoreboards article. What the hell...it makes it sound like the ribbon boards that DAKT installed a few years ago are already going bad?

$5 million they could have used to help pay for the retractable roof...lol. And they're using it to replace old scoreboards in a stadium that will soon be toast.

I hope the MSFC has a drawing to find people to blow one of the twenty sticks of C4 plastics that will demolish the Dome in a couple years. I would love to be one of the people to send the Dome to its fate.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM by luke (aka 4-158) Highlight this comment 104

First off, Luke, way to be on top of the news with a 3+ week-old article. Secondly, how do you get $5 million when it cites a $276,000 cost? Third, did you miss the part where the new boards can be transferred to a new stadium? As you often do, you give ignorance a bad name.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 105

Luke, did you read the article? The boards being replaced are 23 years old and don't work. Not to mention the fact that they can be moved to the new stadium. Although I have only posted a couple times now, I have been a regular reader. That being said, I should know better than to try and reason with you.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 3:02 PM by Mjwarnke Highlight this comment 106

Lol fiesta....ya i noticed that too after the fact, but BMTN had poated it in TODAYS email...lol. sorry. That being said, what boards are they replacing then? The two video boards are fairly new...so whats left to replace? Do they mean the big yellow and black board on the south side of the stadium?

Given the dimensions they cited, the replacement boards are 4 feet high...that suggests to me ribbon boards. So i am clueless to what boards they are trying to replace

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 3:24 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 107

It reads to me like it will be the game-in-progress boards running along either sideline that will be replaced. they're the oldest boards in the building, I figure, and the article says that the company that made them no longer stocks spare parts.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 108

I'm debating just how much to get into it. But if I do anything, it would certainly be here, and not a new site.

I've never been as engaged by stadiums built around rectangular playing fields as those around pie pieces. That sounds weird, I'm sure, but it has to do with the two very different sets of problems/opportunities which need to be solved/explored.

If the drawings look engaging, maybe it will engage me.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM by Rick 109

When they do finally implode the bitch...Can we make sure Luke's laptop is somewhere inside??

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 110

Saturday was almost a perfect evening at the ballpark (except of course that our guys lost..) Twins are on pace for 47 wins now.

Next game I have tickets for is not until the end of June. Might have to Stubhub a game or two between now and then.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 111

Funny guys....but im way ahead of you. I already have a ticket to the Domeplosion. Ill be in section 329

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM by not_luke Highlight this comment 112

Ill be in section 329
Hmm... must be a roof-top seat. I'll strap you in.

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 113

Cant do that, there Kev-bo. A) my laptop will actually be controlling the detonation. B) I'll lose the schematics for the H-bomb I'm building to blow up the place...lol.

Nice to see you back Kevin, i miss your old-time wit :)

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 9:07 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 114

Hey 14 games under. BUT only 8 out in the Mighty Central. Here we come! Diamond and JP look like upgrades maybe? We sweep the tribe and we are only 6 out!

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 08:44 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 115

Twinkfan,

I would give JP and Diamond 4-5 starts to really gauge where they will be...after a solid scouting report is formulated (already know you can run on Diamond).

However, not to discount their outings, things are looking up!

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM by tk Highlight this comment 116

Well if all goes according to karma and plan the scratching of the pen right now will begin a very exciting process

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 117

Pavano heading to the DL???? Sounds like they are getting Dunsing ready just in case.

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 118

If you want to know what a Metrodome implosion would look like, just go to YouTube and look for the RCA Dome implosion,Indy's old dome is basically a carbon copy of the Hump Dump. They would deflate the roof and rip it out before the implosion.

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 119

Dayton signed the bill today and lots of people are celebrating as if it's over and done with. Ask people about the city council vote and you'll hear about it being a formality and everyone figuring it's as good as done. Many of the people saying this, including major media personalities, seem to be basing their statements on hope as much as anything else. I can't help being a worrier about it and won't celebrate until that vote is official and a yes victory.

Of the two surprising yes votes from last time, Sandra Colvin-Roy called the stadium deal a good one for the city and said that not only will she vote for it, but that the votes are there for it to pass. The other council member, Kevin Reich said he was undecided. However, he followed up by stating that he wanted to read the bill in its entirety before committing himself and that he saw no red flags in the portion he'd completed so far. Until, or unless, he says yes, nothing's in the bag.

Of the six who voted no, I can think of only one or two for whom a switch to yes would seem plausible. The others are hard no voters. Of the other yes voters, I don't anticipate anyone switching, but you never know. At this point, May 25 can't come soon enough.

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 120

At least none of the "no" votes on the Mpls. city council bursts into tears every time the subject comes up.

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM by terry Highlight this comment 121

Jorge - I am also a bit paranoid about the vote, and will be glad when it's done. I certainly would not want to be the Councilman or women who voted in favor of this bill on two occasions, however, and then decided to change my vote to a No. Especially after the only real change since the last vote is that the Vikings ADDED $50 million. Can you imagine the wrath of the Mayor, Governor and members of the Legislature that stuck their necks out? Not to mention all of those Zuba wearing face painted guys who were at the Capitol every day? As Rick mentioned, it would be political suicide. I also think it would be political grandstanding at this point. I still will be glad when it's in the books.

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 9:24 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 122

I've rethought the political suicide aspect a little bit. There are so many people on each side of the issue that should a Minneapolis Council Member kill this deal, he or she would be hailed as a savior by a whole lot of people -- especially people in Minneapolis.

At the same time, that person would have problems working with other people in government for a while, but if another (presumably better) deal appeared relatively quickly to replace the dead plan, it might not be long until all was forgiven.

Looking at this realistically, I think there's about a 1 in 100 chance that such a thing will happen.

But I've been wrong before...

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 12:42 AM by Rick 123

Good point, Rick, that if someone changed their vote to a "no," he or she would be hailed as a savior in some circles. I just think it would look really bad at this point. It would be one thing to be against the plan from the beginning. In fact, if the plan would have been defeated by the City Council in the early stages, we could have avoided the pain and long hours of the debate in the Legislature. To pass it twice and defeat it now, after everything that has occurred, would be very lame (I can't think of a better word).

This reminds me of the Target Center bill that was called a "done deal" in the media but had to be approved by the Hennepin County Commissioners. I was paranoid enough about that to actually go down to the Government Center and testify on behalf of the bill as a "citizen and fan." I was pretty nervous with Jerry Bell and some other big wigs sitting about 3 feet from me. I felt better when Leslie Davis and his guitar got thrown out for interrupting speakers. That was funny.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 07:21 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 124

Sorry - Target "Field" bill, not Target "Center."

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 07:21 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 125

The owner of the Colorado Rockies was just named to the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors. 'Spose we could talk her into sending Cuddyer back? I mean the trees are still gone.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 08:33 AM by terry Highlight this comment 126

I would not take Cuddy back. Unless it would be for less than 5 mil a year. This team needs to get younger not older. Time to see what the kids can do and rebuild. OK I'm dreaming but is there anyway they could move the Baby Jesus and that Mega contract? How much would the Twins have to eat?

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 127

The stadium bill gives property tax relief to MPLS residents. Why would they be against that?

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM by moda Highlight this comment 128

There are lots of Minneapolis residents who are against the principle of spending any public money on stadiums -- even if they get a perk out of it. That's why the $10M charter amendment passed by a very large margin in the first place.

It's another reason why a no vote from Reich (or other current yes members) would be viewed as salvation by many. He would be seen as upholding the city charter and specifically standing up for and preserving a decision made by residents in good faith.

Still, I'm not saying it's going to happen. But I'm sure that all of the council members are considering things like this right now, weighing principles versus politics versus promises.

They are probably also getting lobbied heavily from both sides.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:40 AM by Rick 129

Warning. This is long. I started writing down everything I want in a new Vikings stadium. As lengthy as this list is, it could probably be longer, but this is plenty to start with.

- Give the place a Vikings touch. Be it signage, banners, random memorabilia displays, the color scheme or what have you, make sure fans know who plays there. Target Field does well in this regard in some respects, but fails in others.

- Make sure the food options are not only plentiful, but also of high quality. A large selection does little good if the food is average to lousy.

- Although concession stands do business throughout the game, the prime times will always be before kickoff, between the first and second quarters, halftime, and between the third and fourth quarters. The stands and points of sale at those stands must be numerous enough to handle these crunch times.

- Do everything possible to make all food choices available on all seating decks. Don’t come up with a signature item and then make it only available on the lower tier.

- Don’t make a deal with Schweigert for the hot dogs. Hormel was not very good either, actually. The current Sheboygan dogs from the Dome are pretty good. I'd feel happy enough if they followed the Vikes to their new home.

- Bring back fountain pop. When the Twins exited the Dome, Pepsi replaced Coke as a bone to the Vikes. The Coke fountains came out and, presumably since the Dome was on borrowed time, Pepsi fountains did not replace them. Instead, they sell Pepsi products in 20 oz bottles from coolers. It’s not the same. Bring back the fountains.

- However wide the designers think the concourses should be, they should widen them by another 1/4. As bad as the concourses became during Twins games, they were worse during Vikings games due to the aforementioned crunch times. Give the fans some room to breathe.

- Include even more entry gates and turnstiles positioned at those gates. The Metrodome has never had enough to handle the crowds it draws.

- As much as the lot will allow, have a wide circulation area outside the stadium. This is another Metrodome mistake. Gate G, above the plaza by the Twins old office block, is literally dangerous on Vikings game days. It is only due to luck that someone hasn’t been hurt by the issue of too many people moving in opposite directions trying to squeeze through too small an area while other people are waiting in line to enter the venue. The stadium must feature more external circulation space to avoid a repeat of this problem.

- Give the fans dedicated walk in merchandise stores.

- Include a Vikings hall of fame.

- The scoreboard needs to be as big, as fancy, and as clear as space and technology will allow. Look at the massive central scoreboard the Dallas Cowboys have. Aspire to that, but bigger and better.

- In the concourses, there should be TV screens, as big as space and practicality will allow, tuned to not only the game in progress but also the NFL’s Redzone channel. For the uninitiated, this channel operates only on game day Sunday afternoons. It flips from game to game to show whatever the best action is that moment and to show all touchdowns live, as live or immediately on tape. I believe the NFL may actually now require the availability of this channel within stadiums capable of showing it.

- The luxury boxes and club seating areas need to be as comfortable and fancy as possible. Given the prices the Vikings will charge, Midwestern nice won’t cut it. They need to make the buyers feel like they got their money’s worth.

- Don’t sacrifice legroom and seat width in the name of cramming in a few extra seats. Although it depends on where you sit, Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium are fantastic in this aspect.

- For those of us who suffer vertigo in the top tier of Target Field’s leftfield grandstand, please don’t make the upper decks too steep at the new Vikings stadium. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the lot, the Vikings are probably going to have to build up instead of out in order to attain their desired capacity. That’ll mean very steep upper decks.

- Take into account technology that hasn’t been invented yet when designing the place. Easier said than done, but the 49ers are doing this at their new home.

- Go big on the locker room, training areas, and other facilities the players will use. That stuff is important to retaining and recruiting players.

- Since the stadium will largely be too far from any bars or restaurants to reasonably walk on a cold winter’s day, take a lead from the Twins and put several in the stadium for use before, during, and after the game.

- The problem of fans parking in the middle of a concourse to chat will never go away completely. However, create some drink rails where possible to give people a reason to clear the way. If space will allow, even create some area for tables and chairs.

- Looking more at design, be careful about where the entry tunnels to the seating decks are positioned to ensure everything from maximizing the number of seats closer to the field to minimizing the number of fans who must walk in front of others.

- Don’t be afraid to do something daring or exciting with the exterior design. There are some very interesting looking soccer stadiums around the world. NFL stadiums are pretty dull by comparison.

- Get a first class sound system.

- Have a proper plan and design before you start building. The Cincinnati Reds started tinkering with Great American Ballpark’s design during construction and wound up with a jumbled mess that let down many people. If an obvious improvement can be implemented, that’s one thing. It’s quite another to start messing around on whims. There’s only one chance to get this thing right. Don’t blow it.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 130

"- Don’t be afraid to do something daring or exciting with the exterior design. There are some very interesting looking soccer stadiums around the world. NFL stadiums are pretty dull by comparison."

I agree 100%....I hope they try something daring and original rather than safe and dull.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 131

Another idea for the Vikings Stadium. If they are going to continue the charade of "Security Theater", have some sort type of protection from the elements at the gate areas where they can do the "take-off-your-coat-and-spread-your-arms" shtick. Standing with your coat off in freezing weather while being pawed as you wait for some twenty-something to meticulously inspect the binoculars you've been bringing to the games since before he was born is not a fun experience.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM by terry Highlight this comment 132

Terry - I think they would have all of that security inside the main entry points just like they do at Target Center and Xcel Energy Center. You go inside the building before you go through security.

The Metrodome design does not allow for them to have security checks inside the venue as there is not enough space.

So my guess would be that we will be protected from the elements while waiting for security. Also, I am sure there will be an atrium of some type in the new stadium.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 133

I neglected a very important must have item. The new stadium must have many, many more restrooms and within those restrooms there must be more stalls and, for men, urinals or troughs. Ladies rooms must especially be multiplied. I tell any female going to a Vikings game to make a bathroom run midway through second quarter after mid 1st/2nd rush has subsided. If they wait until halftime, or even too close to it, they'll spend the entire break in line and probably miss some of the third quarter besides.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 1:21 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 134

Tribe up 2-0 top of the 6th! Marquis a stinker. 5 IP, 9hits, 5 ER. So much for gaining ground in the mighty central. Instead will soon be 10 out and 16 games under and on our way to Detroit.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 135

Make that 5-0 bottomof the 6th

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 136

Sandra Colvin-Roy has clarified her earlier statement. While still supporting the stadium herself, she claims to have not promised the bill would pass (she didn't deny saying she thought it would, which means something different). Her statment stems from concern that some people have taken her as saying Kevin Reich's vote was good to go as yes. She claims to have not stated any opinion on his intentions.

On one hand Colvin-Roy seems to be distancing herself from any act of counting chickens before they've hatched while also not effectively casting Reich's votes for him. He still remains officially undecided, but without giving anything away that would suggest he'd vote no.

Now that the euphoria over the bill passing has died down and Dayton has signed it into law, both the Vikes and stadium supporters are waking up to the fact that this isn't over with yet. The Vikes and stadium backers are now encouraging people to contact the council to encourage them to support the stadium. Those people need to be careful. The Minneapolis city council doesn't feature many football fanatics and doesn't respond well to the pressures of outsiders. The last thing any stadium supporter needs is a bunch of yahoos crossing the lines of decency and pushing a borderline yes to no.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 137

Jorge, you said you think there are 1 or 2 former no votes on the council who would/could be on the fence. Which ones are those? I know 4 of the no votes who 100% are not on the fence with their vote. They are an unequivical no. Yep, as a resident of Mpls, I am nervous about this vote as well. Hopefully all the 7 yes 'votes' honor the letters they signed.

I actually sent a letter asking Barb Johnson if it would help to send letters to the city council. They are a different animal and I thought the same as you - do not bombard them with emails. I have not heard back yet. However, the mayor has said to let them know if you are in favor.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM by Red Highlight this comment 138

As I said before...some councilors are wisely being coy to see what they can fanagle for themselves. Politics, people.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 139

The two votes I thought could be on the fence were Elizabeth Glidden and Lisa Goodman. The other four were firm no voters. Well, write them both off too. Someone I know contacted them both and asked for their stances.

Glidden said nothing could change her vote. I'd thought since her complaints were about the city's share of the cost rather than referendums or general principle that there might be an opening. However, that opening apparently never existed.

Goodman point blank told him she was a 100% no vote, rolling out the usual corporate welfare stuff along with a belief that it's a bad investment, that Minneapolis residents still bear too much of the burden, and that constituents are running 60/40 against. Keep in mind that the stadium would be in her ward and she's against it.

However, she added that she had no reason to believe Kevin Reich would change his vote, pointing out that it would be very dramatic and that's not his style. Assuming she's right on, no one else is wavering, and nothing crazy happens in the next ten days, it would appear the 7-6 yes margin will prevail.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:46 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 140

The new stadium must have many, many more restrooms and within those restrooms there must be more stalls and, for men, urinals or troughs. Ladies rooms must especially be multiplied.

Alongside this, better designed bathrooms for traffic flow. Most places now do an In door and an out door and traffic flows around that accordingly but TF weirdly enough had some bathrooms with that in mind while others in TF must have not had the out door included in the blueprints, thus making you backtrack.

Or how about, the new stadium should have permanent food stands on the outside ring of the concourse and no (or very very few) mobile carts anywhere else. Yes those same people will now fill lines at permanent stands but at least it can be uniform lines on the outside ring thus apparently allowing better flow/circulation through the inside ring which will most likely have an entirely open view to the field.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:52 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 141

On Opening Day, there were a couple Homeland Security guards outside the light rail. At the time, I thought it might be due to the Flyover, etc.

However, today, a friend of mine said there were a three Homeland guards outside Gate 3, this time with some fairly high caliber rifles.

Anyone have any insight? I can think of plenty of sarcastic remarks, but I will reserve as I am actually really curious.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM by tk Highlight this comment 142

I think the reason for the Homeland Security is a preparedness drill......

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 143

Yep, that is what Goodman and Glidden wrote me as well. Though on Monday Goodman said constituents were running 80/20 against. So if it is now 60/40, then that is getting better - but it won't change her mind. Kevin Reich was the only one left who was on the fence and then he was swayed and signed the letter of intent. As long as he doesn't sway back the other way, we are good.
Wow, talk about one person holding all the cards after everything that was done to get this far. With the pressure from the govenor, mayor, labor, mpls chamber of commerce, etc., I can't imagine him switching but...
what makes me nervous is this: Reich was the one who broke ranks with the 7 who signed the letters of intent and voted yes to Cam Gordons proposal to have a charter commission take a look at the whole referedum issue. (That proposal thus passed 7-6 and of course would not have passed if he didn't break ranks. Note: Gordon had thrown a bunch of propsals out there and they all got voted down except this one) If they don't come back with a favorable opinion regarding referendum truly not applying, then who knows what he might be considering.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM by Red Highlight this comment 144

Anyone else see the Angels dismissed Mickey Hatcher as their hitting coach after 12+ years?

Just makes me wonder when the Twins will make a move and shake up things in the organization. Someone has to be held accountable for this team's performance over the last 2+ seasons. And lets face it, things are not going to be much better in 2013 unless some significant changes are made.

Ryan and Gardenhire need to realize they need to fire some people or risk getting fired themselves because this isn't the Twins of the 90's anymore.

It's going to do no good getting rid of Gardenhire mid-season when they would simply replace him with Scott Ullger. An entire new coaching staff and training staff is needed in my mind...some new blood to say the least with a new philosophical approach.

Terry Ryan has a very tough job ahead of him because there is pretty much only one person on the roster who has any trade value and that is Denard Span.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 09:21 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 145

TF-related tidbit: I walked by Cowboy Jack's, and they've made some progress. Lights outside, and internal finishing work is going on (wood trim, etc.). From a construction standpoint, it looks like they could be ready to open within a couple of weeks. Not sure where they're at with the rest of the business operations...

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 09:59 AM by BR Highlight this comment 146

When the Dump opened in 1982, there were so many home runs hit that the place was called "The Homerdome". Turned out of course that the main reason for all the home runs wasn't the building but the terrible pitching staff the Twins had back then. I'm reminded of that as opponents have continued to bombard the outfield seats with home runs while Twins hitters complain about the unfairness of TF.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM by terry Highlight this comment 147

Yep fireor demote Vavvy ASAP. Trade ASAP for anything you can get for Danny Boy, Span, Fransisssco, Crapper, Pavano, Lexy. Rebuild mode 100% ON. Lets hope Morneau retires soon. And start to dangle the Baby Jesus out there.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 148

Be interesting to see if Cowboy Jacks will survive after baseball season is over. It is out in the boonies!

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 149

Twinkfan-

[quizzicaldog.jpg]

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 150

It would be awesome if the Wilfs would ok a stadium design that had a 670 foot moving roof(like Rogers Centre only flatter) that moved completely off the seating bowl when not in use. This would truly give you the best of both worlds-ability to play inside or out. The technology is obviously available out there to make a truly indoor/outdoor football venue if somebody wanted to.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 151

I'm sure the technology exists for such a thing, but where on this current site would you park that 650ft roof when retracted? And how would such a structure look as the new gateway to downtown when approaching from the East?

If the Wilf's are dead-set on a retractable roof just for the sake of having a retractable roof, I'd prefer something akin to Cowboys stadium. As I have stated before, I don't think any of the retractable-roof stadiums executed thus far give you a sense of being truly outdoors when retracted. This includes Cowboys stadium, but at least the supporting structure for that roof has a very elegant design, which doesn't interfere at all with the function of the stadium itself.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 152

Rather than try and move the roof as single 650 foot entity, what about designing a "soft" roof using a durable fabric (teflon?) that will fold up like an accordian when the roof is opened? Or have a "hard" roof that are really narrow segments that fold under each other (kind of like a deck of cards) when you want to open the roof? Either way, you could open the entire stadium up to the sky without having to find a place to position a single roof section off to one side.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 153

Fred - I think that's basically what Reliant Stadium's roof consists of - the sections of the roof fold onto each other as it's opened up, and I'm sure there's a way it could be done. If you look at Reliant Stadium specifically (see the picture you linked earlier) - the structure as a whole is dominated by the two massive trusses that support the roof, and the four massive pillars that support those trusses. Those pillars take up space - space that could be otherwise used for more-open concourses, club areas, concessions, etc. The mere presence of the retractable roof affects the functionality of the stadium.

With Cowboys Stadium, the supporting structure doesn't seem to interfere as much (click).

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 154

Most difficult part of designing a retractable roof is having it strong enough to handle some of Minnesota's worst snowstorms. We all know what happened to the Metrodome when it got hit with more snow than it could handle!

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 4:19 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 155

I'm sorry but teflon should be completely and totally banned from this stadium or any other stadium designed in MN ever again.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM by moda Highlight this comment 156

They should look to Miami for the inspiration for the retractable roof. It completely disappeared behind the first base line and allowed all seats and field to be in the open.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 157

Has Terry Ryan considered simply putting an ad in the want-ads for starting pitchers? He couldn't do any worse than what he's got now. The starter tonight was able to hold a 4 run lead for exactly one third of an inning.

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM by terry Highlight this comment 158

Terry Ryan doesn't know what a good pitcher looks like. (And clearly good hitters either) Remember this is the guy, with Gardy, that kept Johan Santana in the bullpen in favor of Rick Reed and Kenny Rogers. This is after Santana led the team is strike-outs in the 2002 season, even though he was only starting because injuries to other pitchers.

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 02:37 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 159

Though I realize this discussion is essentially over, here are two articles which close a couple of lingering threads on the stadium.

First, I wondered many times whether the expansion of gambling was contingent on the building of a stadium. In other words, if the stadium got stopped somewhere else, would the gambling expansion still be in place. (It's almost impossible to tell by reading the bill.) Well, the answer apparently is yes.

Second, the Minneapolis City Council had passed a resolution asking its Charter Commission to weigh in on whether the law violated the city charter. Theoretically, depending on which way it came back, one side or the other would be given political cover.

In an interview on MPR today, council president Barbara Johnson said that the commission declined to offer an opinion:

Johnson: The Charter Commission felt that it wasn't within their authority to issue an opinion.

Wurzer: Really?

Johnson: Yes. I think they're correct. The Charter Commission is staffed by our city attorney's office, and they have authority that is not in the policy arena, and so I'm not surprised that they declined to opine on whether it violated the charter or not. And the law certainly does not violate the charter. The state law always can trump the city's charter.

The word "violate" is key here because no law which supersedes a city charter can technically be "in violation." It simply overrides and nullifies it.

So one might reasonably ask the charter commission a slightly modified question that they could offer an opinion on, namely whether the law supersedes, overrides or nullifies the city charter, to which the answer would definitely be yes.

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM by Rick 160

"State law always can trump the city's charter". Cities and counties are sub-units of and created by the state.

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM by terry Highlight this comment 161

Oh how far we have come...linky.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 08:20 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 162

I had forgotton how much worse it looked before they switched to field turf - wow.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 163

No joke. That warning track looks brutal. Not to mention the lip from the turf to the warning track.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 164

In the FWIW category: I spoke to the spouse of a council member. The city's vote is viewed as a mere formality at this point. The "yes" votes are solid and will not switch.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM by BR Highlight this comment 165

Nice link Jared. Looking at his photos it would appear Micheal Cuddyer has taken much of his inspiration from Reusse. Lots of shots from very similar angles appear on Cuddys Fivebball flicker account

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 166

Stevie B - I have been following Reuss on Flickr for a long time and when Cuddy started posting, that was my first thoughts as well. At the time, I wasn't sure if Cuddy knew about Jerry on Flickr so I sent him a message with a link to Reuss' account and he thanked me for the link. So I wouldn't be surprised if there is a connection.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 167

I can't believe I added the "e" to the end of Reuss's name. Big difference between him and the ST writer!

Just can't get enough good ballpark photos and wish I had better talent at it. I'm very jealous of your skills Jared and Rick, as well as the talents/access of guys like Reuss and Cuddy.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 168

Stevie B - you'd be surprised what you can learn on the web these days. It was something I always wanted to get into, so I bought an entry level DSLR and just googled away. Most of the stuff you can learn (camera control primarily, post processing, etc) but the really great shots come about from experience, studying what others share and shooting a ton from all angles. I am a long ways from where I would like to be but I am still young so I have time. However, its never too late to get into something new.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 169

TF to host Big 10 baseball tournament in 2013...

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 4:40 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 170

Well, it will be nice to see a better caliber of baseball at TF next year with the Big Ten tourney. Better than the Triple A ball we have been subject to this year

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 171

If nothing else, it will certainly test the field's durability. Click for this year's bracket (teams & seeds TBD). The tourney is at least 4 days long, with 2 games per day on two of those days, 3 games per day on the other two, and the possibility of a final game on day 5. Wonder how DiVito feels about this...

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 172

Expectorate, at least DiVito will then have an excuse for the field looking like crap.

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM by tk Highlight this comment 173

Hello-I am wondering if anyone can help me out and provide a picture of the 7th street drop-off/pick-up ADA zones at Target Field to me? Thanks.

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 1:46 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 174

Michael- I dug through everything I had knowing I have taken shots of those areas (although not the object of the image) and the best I can find is one from the A ramp looking towards the Hrbek gate in 2009 when the construction barriers were still up. But its not really a good angle. Sorry. If I can get out there soon, I will pull a few shots of the different accessible locations and post them.

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 175

Thanks Jared! Please keep me updated on if you capture a picture. My e-mail is: msack9@gmail.com.

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 7:57 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 176

From Sid's column today: "Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said that Phil Krinkie, who as a member of the Legislature always was very anti-Minneapolis and now is continuing his negative approach as president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, is busy trying to get members of the City Council to vote no when it comes to a vote on the Vikings stadium."

Phil Krinkie. Now there is a name that I had finally managed to purge from my memory. With guys like him around it's a wonder we have paved roads.

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 09:01 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 177

Strange bedfellows that a staunchly conservative Republican former legislator is looking for love from one of the mostly ardently DFL group of politicians in the State, especially after years of treating Minneapolis as a pest that unfairly swallowed tax revenue. Will his effort work? Probably not, although nothing is ever certain around these parts. I'm nevertheless nervous about the vote. Even though signs are there that the 7-6 pro stadium majority will hold, until that vote is cast, it's hard not to worry about a spoiler.

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 178

ah yes....phil krinkie....minnesota's grover norquist...what a moron!

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 179

When this city council vote happens and if it turns not to he as big of a threat as some say it could be, will there be any more obstacles in the way afterwards, like a Land Partners II kind of obstacle.

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 180

No Gus, that was prevented by putting it at the Metrodome site.

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 181

16-4. Phew! I was starting to get worried about StubHub prices going up... :(

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 5:38 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 182

Lol Schweady. You knew a winning steak couldnt last...not with this ballclub.

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 183

That supposed to be some kind of fat joke against our club, Luke?

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 9:36 PM by ace Highlight this comment 184

In one of those moments that makes you say, "please no", Esme Murphy reported tonight that if the Minneapolis city council passes the Vikings stadium, but makes any amendments to the agreement, the legislature then has to approve it again. Right now, I'll just hope the council approves something. They start discussing it tomorrow in what amounts to a Q&A session about the agreement. It may open the window for the first time to whether or not any of the council members would possibly alter their previously stated stances.

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 10:46 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 185

Drew Butera had a 3-hit game a few games ago; he got a key hit in the 11 inning win Saturday; and finishes off the weekend by pitching a scoreless inning yesterday (he now leads the staff in ERA). He is "The Natural"!

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 06:41 AM by terry Highlight this comment 186

Michael:
If you google "Target Field 7th Street" and click on the "images" tab (if using IE) you'll pull up a few images where you can see the cut out areas for accessible drop offs. Ther's a cut away adjacent to the plaza near the Majestic store, and another smaller cut away near the Hrbek gate (Gate 14).

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 09:03 AM by BR Highlight this comment 187

Minneapolis city council member Meg Tuthill has reaffirmed her status as pro stadium and echoed stadium opponent Lisa Goodman by stating her belief that it will pass on Friday. Tuthill, to Sid Hartman of all people, said that there is no internal chatter among the council's members that would suggest anyone is thinking of switching sides.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 188

Thanks for the update Jorge. You seem to be really on top of this. Even more so than I am. I didn't hear that Goodman thought it would pass.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM by Red Highlight this comment 189

I'd say that the utter lack of media chatter also suggests that the council vote is a mere formality at this point. If there were any chance of this not happening, someone somewhere would be talking about it.

There is, however, one more potential fly in the ointment:

...one potentially problematic piece of the $975 million plan has received scant coverage: The funding scheme to pay for the stadium is contingent on approval from the Minnesota Supreme Court. If the court determines that issuing what are known as appropriation bonds is not constitutional, the funding mechanism for the state’s $348 million share of the project disappears.

...

According to legal and finance experts, the court potentially could take two courses of action that would imperil the financing mechanism for the Vikings stadium: It could determine that the Supreme Court is not the right venue to initially consider the matter. That would kick the issue down to a lower court and potentially drag out the matter for an extended time period.

Or the court could determine that appropriation bonds are unconstitutional and rule them out completely. If that happens, it’s uncertain how the state would cover its share of the nearly $1 billion stadium. The Legislature would almost certainly have to take action to provide a different funding mechanism. “I don’t think there’s any way to make [the stadium bill] work if appropriation bonds are not the vehicle,” said one veteran budget watcher.

That's pretty esoteric stuff, but worth watching.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM by Rick 190

One additional thing to consider: As far as I can tell, Kevin Reich has still said absolutely nothing publicly about his plans.

This doesn't necessarily mean he's changed his mind, but it does mean that anybody out there predicting passage probably is expressing either conventional wisdom or wishful thinking (or both) rather than saying something that has any meaning.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 2:05 PM by Rick 191

Red, the comment from Lisa Goodman about Reich was made not to a media member, but rather to someone I know who called her to speak about her position. The city council is meeting right now to discuss the stadium, among other issues. It's on public access in Minneapolis and online somewhere. Comments made in this session will likely reveal how certain members are thinking.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 192

Im curious, what about the appropriation bonds would potentially render them unconstitutional?

Maybe I should have paid more attention in those civics classes...

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 193

At the meeting today Betsy Hodges, another stadium opponent, stated her expectation that the stadium will pass on Friday. The city attorney also affirmed that the set up does not require a referendum.

Of interest, if the tax in question fails to produce its expected revenue, then Minneapolis must raise other taxes to compensate. I'm going from a David Brauer tweet, so it's hard to interpret the meaning of his words. It seems as if he stated it's a sales tax on liquor, hotel rooms, and restaurants, but he left it just ambiguous enough to possibly mean a general sales tax although that doesn't seem likely.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 194

Ace-yes. I have a million jokes about the Twinkies and you get to hear them all!

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 5:27 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 195

Jared,

Here's a good primer on appropriation bonds.

As for the constitutional issue, it has to do with the requirement of a balanced budget. In theory, this type of bond is sort of off the books. In other words, it might or might not require general fund money later on depending on various factors.

Since you can't know whether it will or won't require general fund money, there's a valid question of whether the budget which has been passed is actually balanced.

Basically, this type of bond is a dodge, and the Supreme Court will have to determine whether it's OK.

It probably can't hurt, I suppose, that one member of the Minnesota Supremes is a former Viking...

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 5:58 PM by Rick 196

I don't think it will help much either...

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 197

Rick -- I've been with this blog since 2008 or 2009 I think. You've provided excellent analysis on both stadium fronts. Thank you!

I agree, you are 1-1 on stadium stuff. You could win the division this year on that record. No worries!

I think the state Supreme Court will just take a pass on this one. There is way too much pressure to change this now. I sure hope we have a 7-6 vote and get on with it. I've been convinced that we need stadium with a roof (fixed or not) to be not only a major league city but also to do all the other things that 3M people in a metro area want to do in a northern climate. Nothing wrong with a Prep Bowl indoors or Twins Fest in January!

Thanks again for hosting all this Rick! You've done a great job.

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 198

That looks funny. I meant 3 million people, not just those making post-it notes!

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 199

It was either the channel 4 or channel 5 news tonight that reported that Kevin Reich did confirm his stance as still being in favor of the stadium. Whew.

Live streamed and listened to the budget committee meeting of the city council today. Mpls CFO was all for this thing. I was actually surprised how much in favor he was. I thought he would be more like 50-50 or 60-40 in favor, but it was almost all good from him. Made me wonder how anyone could be against it. Of course with that, Gary Schiff pretty much couldn't handle it and attacked, just grilling the guy. Some other city council members were almost apologizing to him. I used to respect Schiff for his convictions even though I didn't agree with him. Now he is just coming across as a whiner.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM by Red Highlight this comment 200

Red - Gary Schiff had this to say about Target Field during an MPR interview last week:

"And yet, just three years after the Twins stadium opened, attendance is dropping, and the Twins have the worst record in the league. And the explanation the Twins gave at the time for a new stadium was that they needed to be more competitive, and we now see that that isn't true. There was a short-term excitement with a new facility, and already the shine is starting to fade."

While he is correct about the Twins play, it's a damn good thing Target Field was built. Because of Target Field the "worst team in the league" drew 3.1 million people last year and is on pace to draw 2.8 million this year. That 2.8 million people spending money in Schiff's downtown. If this team was still in the Dome, they'd be drawing 5000 a game. Once again, a Minneapolis politician takes Target Field for granted.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 07:02 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 201

Schiff argues we shouldn't build a Vikings stadium because in the 3d year of Target Field, the Twins are having a bad season on the field? Now there is your basic non sequitur.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 07:20 AM by terry Highlight this comment 202

What a bunch of hypocrites and ignorant fans that say the Twins are not spending money on payroll...that is crazy. They have the 13th highest payroll in 2012 (between the Dodgers and Mets) so their spending is not the problem. In 2011, the Twins were #9 in payroll.

These same people say Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are overpaid...you can't have it both ways folks! Sure, the Twins could have done better than Jason Marquis or Jamey Carroll but it's not like they were going to sign a Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.

And what makes you think any "marquee" free agent would even want to come here and play for this coaching staff? That's right, we also have Twins fans who suggested they could trade Punto and Casilla for Cliff Lee a couple of years ago...

The Twins are bad because of poor roster management in the front office over the last 4-5 years...you can go down the list...Santana trade, Hardy trade, Garza trade, failure to trade players like Delmon Young when his value was very high in 2010. Letting both Crain and Guerrier walk via free agency. Failure to address the middle infield, failure to bolster the starting rotation, depending too much on guys like Baker and Blackburn. Failure to bring in a quality back-up catcher (although Doumit is an improvement this year). It's moves like this why the Twins are where they are. Cuddyer, Kubel and/or Nathan should have been traded last year if they weren't going to be re-signed.

Just ask teams like the NY Mets and LA Dodgers...higher payroll does not always mean a winning team.

It's going to take a few seasons for the Twins to replenish their minor league system and re-build their roster. The coaching staff needs to be seriously evaluated after this year as does the training staff.

Payroll is not the reason the Twins are bad...

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 09:08 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 203

Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins broke a video board with a grand slam last night. At the Marlins new ballpark/airplane hangar. Click name for video

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 08:43 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 204

Schiff is clearly right and clearly wrong. A new ballpark guarantees a short term boom in revenue but little beyond the first few years. After that, it's largely up to the team to produce on the field. A nice ballpark doesn't cover for bad management, etc. Of course, we all know this. But what Schiff doesn't acknowledge is that even if performance faltersd and attendance follows, the team is likely STILL drawing more fans and making more money than it would have been if still stuck in the Dome. And the city's economy is benefiting from that.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 09:43 AM by BR Highlight this comment 205

Yeah, I heard that MPR interview with Schiff regarding the Twins stadium. Sent him an email. I was polite but to the point on what an idiotic statement he made. Just happened I was at the day game against Cleveland. Told him there was no way in hell that me and 30,000 other people would have been at that game if they played in the dome. There would have been between 4 and 6000 at it if not for Target Field. Does he not want 30,000 people downtown? No response of course.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM by Red Highlight this comment 206

I'm getting to about 10-15 games a season on average since the move to Target Field. That is as many games in one year as I had gone to at the dome in the previous 20 or so years combined. Also, I usually hit one of the downtown bistros/eateries before Target Field games; the neighborhood around the dome was so sterile (except for Hubert's which for that reason was always overcrowded) that I never spent any money downtown when attending an event there. The Twins stunk in 2011 and may be even worse this year, but I am enjoying going to the games like I never did at the dump.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM by terry Highlight this comment 207

The Twins stunk in 2011 and may be even worse this year, but I am enjoying going to the games like I never did at the dump.

This. I get to fewer games since I live out of state. But any time I will be in MN in April-Sept I check ahead to see if the Twins will be home and I try to squeeze in a game. I rarely did that for the Dome. Even when the team is "meh" I can enjoy a game at TF. That will last for some time for me as there are still MANY places in TF that I want to try sitting in.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 208

Gary Schiff is the John Marty of the Mpls city council. No no no no no no no no.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 1:36 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 209

Tomorrow is the "big day" for the Vikings stadium AND for single-sort recycling in Minneapolis. I hope the 7-6 vote stands for the stadium, although I would like it MORE if it was say 8-5 or 9-4 in favor of the stadium. 7-6 is just too close for me, and hopefully the political ogres against the stadium will all have their email servers crash tonight so they can't try to convince their Councilman or woman differently.

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 9:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 210

I thought Friday was the big day for the Vikings.......did I miss something?

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 211

luke....when is your server gonna crash?

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 212

Looks like the new Saints ballpark is one step closer to reality

-"To make the ballpark a reality, St. Paul officials plan to apply to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for $27 million in grant funding. The Saints and the city would together contribute an additional $27 million." (clicky)

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 05:30 AM by ace Highlight this comment 213

Why aren't people screaming about the lack of tailgating at the new Saints ballpark? It's a travesty!

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 08:55 AM by BR Highlight this comment 214

Do people actually leave the parking lot to watch the Saints?? No parking or tailgaiting = DOA!

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 09:17 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 215

The council vote is Friday unless some change I'm unaware of has occurred. Barb Johnson and Gary Schiff had dueling commentaries today in the Star Tribune.

I think the new stadium is a bit late for the Saints. Had this come in around 2005 or sooner, it'd have been a big thing. However, that team's popularity was ebbing well before Target Field made them somewhat obsolete. That said, they still have a following and its a fun time. It's certainly a much cheaper night out and the club goes well out of its way to make sure people have fun and feel welcome. The Twins used to get an F in that category until kudos for the Saints dragged the MLB club kicking and screaming into the modern era of fan relations in the early 2000s.

Great point about the tailgating. To many fans that is as important as the game, maybe even more so. A Saints stadium minus a lot large enough to accomodate a vibrant tailgating scene next to the park won't go over well with their hardcores.

It'll be interesting to see how the Saints' core fans react to a new home. No one among them can deny that Midway Stadium is very uncomfortable by any standard and was never meant to house a team of the Saints' level long term. This club vastly exceeded all expectations for popularity and longevity, then found itself long term in a very inadequate home. However, to that same fan base, the park and its location are a big part of the experience. A move may hurt that vibe.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 216

Because a block south there is a massive parking lot that would accommodate more tailgating than the current parking lot does.....

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 217

Mike Veeck's big point is the fact that there are long lines for port-o-johns and not real bathrooms. Maybe the average Saints fan would trade tailgating for having an actual pot to piss in? I don't know. I went to one Saints game the first year they came back - the sideshows were cute for the kids but the baseball was garbage. Perhaps it has improved, I wouldn't know.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 218

Who's saying that there won't be any tailgating near the Lowertown site? One quick look on Google Maps and you can see that there are three decent size surface lots to the immediate south and east of where the ballpark would be located.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 1:09 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 219

anyone know what the letters Mr. Walters wrote on the back side of the mound stand for?

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM by trebor651 Highlight this comment 220

Fred-

Let's not let facts and maps get in the way of making a point.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 221

They are the initials of an infant daughter who was born prematurely and later passed away.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM by terry Highlight this comment 222

Thanks Terry, that's sad.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM by trebor651 Highlight this comment 223

Is the lot in question the one on the otherside of the Highway 52 overpass? I hadn't thought about it in this context. It can do the job, but there's a difference between being close and being at the park's doorstep as is currently the case.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 224

Jorge-

Without seeing any final plans for the new ballpark, I would think the lots WOULD be right on the doorstep of the new stadium. Hwy 52 is elevated (as you said), so I would think the fans would basically be able to tailgate just on the otherside of the outfield fencee and walk right into the new ballpark.

Of course, this is all speculation until there is an agreement in place and we get to see the final plans.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 225

kevin - probably never because I'm using it for my ultimate plan...and that involves Chase Field and an incredibly large.........

They kept saying how the dorks in the Council were going to meet on the 23rd of May (which is today if you have a calendar), so I was just thinking that they would ultimately vote today, but I guess they have to cry, yell and scream about it first before they vote. Well, Target Field became reality on my birthday in 2006 (that's when Pawlenty actually signed the bill), and Friday is the magical day once again, so maybe I'll get a stadium for my birthday this year.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 226

Jorge-There is also one directly south on the other side of the new train service building that is massive. Plus if they do it right that could be linked to the other one driectly to the east of the ballpark via a sidewalk and people could both walk in from the West and the East. They would have more than enough parking for tailgating, plus I am betting a lot of people would be headed to Faces, Barrio and Bulldog before hand too. Hopefully this will encourage more bars to open around Mears park.....and an even bigger hope would be for beers to be allowed openly in Mears park, at least for a few hours prior to game time.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 8:18 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 227

If the Saints get their new ballpark, it'll be interesting to know that ALL of the area's major ballparks/stadiums/arenas will have access to LRT.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 8:29 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 228

Fred...very true. There was a report on the number 4 tonight about the CCLRT and its relative location in regards to the proposed Saints ballpark. Pretty cool...

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 229

Famous ballhawk, Zack Hample reviews Marlins Park.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 230

Rumor has it there has been some personnel changes in the Twins front office, in particular, the ticketing/marketing areas where some employees have been dismissed.

Any STH's hear anything from their account reps in the last couple of weeks?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 231

Mike, if true, that is horrible to hear. One cannot sell 1/2 price tickets on StubHub...their hands are tied because of a bad product.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM by tk Highlight this comment 232

I did get an email about my season ticket rep moving positions to the Twins Ticket Sales and Service management team. So a new rep took over my account.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 233

Looks like it's all systems go for the Vikings stadium....prelim vote today went as planned 7-6. Official vote tomorrow morning.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 234

Jorge will be relieved!

Just read Zack Hample's review of Marlins Park. Very cool. Thanks for the link, Jared.

His book is pretty good, though it gets a little weird at times. Ballhawks are certainly an eccentric lot, and his book spends a fair amount of time on profiling some of them.

And he gives the most exhaustive (perhaps I should say "exhausting") history of the baseball that I have ever seen. It's over 100 pages long!

That reminds me that I really need to update my bibliography with about 30 more books I've read since the last update. (Not that anyone is clamoring for it, I know... Who am I to call somebody else's writing "weird," right?)

Also, I still can't believe the prices for tickets to the Cubs series. I was hoping to take my kids to one of those games because we'll be having a bachelor weekend with their mom out of town. But even the cheap seats are still way over face value.

Doesn't anybody know that these two teams are tied for worst record in baseball?!?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM by Rick 235

We received an email that our rep would be "moving on to new opportunities outside the organization".

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 236

What does he do with all of the balls he has collected?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 237

I am relieved. It's still hard to believe this is happening. Like Rick and many others, I figured the team would miss out on a stadium this year and have to fight its way back in 2013 amidst growing rhetoric from all sides. This was truly a case of the right pieces falling into place at the right time.

Regarding Cubs tickets, my take is the StubHub speculators still holding out for top dollar aren't ready to start coming down to the market. As we get closer to that series, I think price cuts will occur. That isn't to say Legends Club seats will go for $8 or anything, but no one will be trying for $40 prices in the 300 level.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 238

There are all kinds of tickets available for the Cubs series on the Twins site. My brother just picked some up tickets at Target Field last weekend for the Saturday Cubs game. Problem is, the high demand means that demand-based pricing is being used and the cheapest tickets (field view/skyline view are at $30.00 right now)

Demand is high because its a summer weekend series and its the Cubs. Cubs fans travel well, not to mention, its their first-ever trip to Target Field so many fans will want to come to Minneapolis for that.

The Brewers series will be similar even though there were A LOT of empty seats at Miller Park on Friday night and Sunday against the Twins.

This is a good example of regardless how bad your team is, if its a summer weekend and your opponent's fans travel well and you have a nice ballpark, you will fill it up. The Twins had good crowds against the Blue Jays too due to the fact it was a weekend series.

Now if it wasn't for Target Field, I am sure many Brewers and Cubs fans would not be clamoring for tickets at the Metrodome. Not to mention, a lot of those 32,000 crowds a couple of weeks ago would be 15,000 at the Metrodome.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 239

I don't understand how skyline deck tickets are $67 and field box tickets are $47 for the Saturday Cubs game.

Is that because the Twins sell skyline deck tickets on a single-game basis only meaning they can mark them up higher since there are no STH's in that seating area?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 240

A VERY good read from ESPN's Grantland and writer Steve Marsh about Stadium politics.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 241

Yes, I also got an email stating my rep had "moved on to other opportunities."

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 4:21 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 242

Duffman- Hample is like any other memorabilia collector in that he has the balls of significance he has caught shelved or displayed. Otherwise the other balls are just stored in plastic tubs.

Rick- Megan and I have a pair of seats for the Friday cubs game that we are about 70% sure we aren't going to be able to use. The ballot will be out on those in the next day or so and if we won't be able to use them we could hook you up.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 243

well I am pleased to hear that the preliminary vote went as planned at the Council today.

explain to me what this business is about ratifying their decision before tomorrow's FINAL vote? what does that mean exactly (Kevin, shut up, I'm asking an honest question)?

Does that mean they want to try to make changes to the legislation? If they do, what will that mean (again, Kevin, shut up)? I guess I don't understand the concept of why they had to do a...oh let's call it a pre-game vote before they vote again tomorrow, with probably the same results...lol.

But, it looks as though dirt will be turned soon!

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM by luke Highlight this comment 244

Turning dirt? Don't forget the MN Supremes. The more I look at this, the bigger it looks.

I've been trying to find out if they can strike down just part of a law. In that case, the stadium could move forward but the state would have to find a different funding source (or amend the budget to put the gambling funds into the general fund, and pay for the stadium from the same).

But if they can only strike down the entire law, then we get real chaos.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM by Rick 245

Rick - Wishful thinking, but worse case scenario is that if the Supreme Court shoots down the financing, the Metropolitan Council can issue the bonds and the State pays them back....just like how TCF Bank Stadium was built where the University issued the bonds. I'm fairly certain that contingencies are in place for that event.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 7:01 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 246

Rick, it is time for you to raise the white flag. The idea that the Minnesota Supreme Court is going to get involved in this is a ridiculous thought. Accept your headline of this post and move on.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 7:05 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 247

Fred,

Yes, but is there language in the law to allow that or would it have to come back to the Legislature for amending?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 7:06 PM by Rick 248

Look, I'm not taking sides. If Finance and Commerce is worried about this (they are), Vikings fans might do well to pay attention.

Hard as this may be to understand, the Vikings are not bigger than the Minnesota Supreme Court. And raising concerns now is a great way to make very sure that contingencies are in place. (Maybe they are. I genuinely don't know.)

Sometimes I think we live in a world where dispassionate observation is impossible to comprehend. Obviously, if I observe that it's raining, it could only be because I want it to rain.

It sure would be great to have such power.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 7:19 PM by Rick 249

If you observe that it is raining, it is only because you WANT it to rain. I love it! That line encapsulates much of the debate I've seen on this site for the last eight months.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM by terry Highlight this comment 250

I haven't posted here in weeks, and I come back and Rick is still trying to find every way possible to be right about this stadium deal. Every thing he is wrong on, he just looks for yet another angle to say, "see, I told ya so, I was right all along!"

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 251

Lol vikes...quite astute synopsis on your part...

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 252

I know you're excited about tomorrow Luke. Not so much because of the vote, but I hear Joanie will be blowing your birthday candle!!

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 253

Bennifer, Brangelina, Kimye, and now... Lunie?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:22 PM by ace Highlight this comment 254

Cuddy and the Rockies visited Miami and Cuddy just posted the pics. Link.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 255

Well, at least you got the J right Kev...lol. yep i am going to the casino this weekend and gonna show the tables some action. Great way to celebrate my bday if you ask me...lol.

And then of course, theres the vote...

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 256

Yeah, you're right, that's what I was thinking: The more I talk up this rain, the more likely that it will keep on raining. And since I know how much everybody else wants the rain to stop, I'm going to keep on talking about rain to make it keep on raining until everybody finally says, "You know, Rick said it was raining. How 'bout that."

Sheesh.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM by Rick 257

Rick, what would you say the chances are (percentage-wise) that the supreme court shuts down everything?

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:50 PM by ace Highlight this comment 258

Having read the Finance & Commerce piece, I take its tone more as speculative about pitfalls that could theoretically happen rather than anything that is likely to happen. That said, my excitement about tomorrow's latest vote has been tempered a bit. In the end, much like with Target Field, I'll need to see a stadium rising from the ground in order to truly believe the Vikings' are finally getting a new home.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:24 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 259

0%

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:25 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 260

I'm out of the prediction business. It might be raining. It might not. Who knows?

The Vikings are freaking awesome and they're going to build the coolest stadium ever. Can't wait to tailgate out there. Skol!

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM by Rick 261

It's okay to be wrong from time to time, Rick. I was just wondering what your general sense was about the situation as it currently stands (it seems to me like you think there's a good chance the supreme court will intervene and shut everything down). Or you can just continue being flippant, either way.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM by ace Highlight this comment 262

see link. new jersey legislators and gov. chris christie tell the federal government to shove it and to try and stop them when it comes to sports betting. say they will move forward with starting sports books in their state no matter what the feds say or try to do.

smart move. it is illegal and hypocritical that only 4 states are currently "allowed" by some bunk law to do sports betting. that being oregon, nevada, delaware and montana.

just like it is racist, hypocritical, and illegal to only allow one freaking race (indians) to have an illegal monopoly on billions in casino gambling revenue in states like minnesota.

wish our silly legislators (in particular the DFL) and governors would have the same "balls" as the politicians in new jersey when it comes to allowing all to compete and particpate in casinos. although we all know that the DFL (and now some republicans) are taking boat loads of "pay off" cash from minnesota indians to keep everything "just the way it is". which is a load of crap.

minnesotans needs to stand up to the indians, and the paid-off legislators on the casino issue in this state. the status-quo is no longer acceptable, imo. this state is losing out on billions in tax revenue because of it. and we need to stand up to the indians soon.

responses from some of the usual suspects calling me an indian hater and racist in 3..2..1 :-)

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 263

Well, if we're going to discuss this with some dignity...

1. After a sort of halting search, I cannot find an instance of the MN Supremes striking down just part of a law. I only found instances where they struck down the whole thing, in a couple of cases after disagreeing with only part of it. Obviously, that's not conclusive.

2. I've checked the stadium statute and can find no contingency for anyone but the state to sell these bonds. But the language is pretty dense...

3. There clearly is a constitutional issue with "appropriation" bonds. The issue will have to be decided at some point.

4. I don't know enough about the Court to know which direction they might lean. So, even if I wanted to make a prediction, I don't think I could.

So I'm not sure if this should be considered a potential issue or not. I'm just inclined to keep paying attention.

I think it's fair to say that the Court would not care why the bonds are being sold. If they violate the constitutional mandate for a balanced budget, it's about the financing mechanism and not the project it's financing. I don't think the size or type of project would make a difference in the decision, and I don't think there would be a reason for Page to recuse himself. But again, the justices are mostly (all but Page) political appointees and may have allegiances out there. We like to think they are above such political shading, but we all remember Bush v. Gore, right?

As with other legal questions in a project this size, the real issue may be with timing. A protracted case could stall things for a while, but there's a good year until they'll be ready to dig out there anyway. This is just the type of thing that a good Stadium Authority will get on quickly to get it out of the way.

Also, the Court has shown a willingness to expedite hearings when there is a timing issue. So it might be possible to get a decision more quickly if approached properly.

These things do have a way of working themselves out. Then again, it was a court decision which kept the Twins alive back in the day.

I'd say this one is a coin flip at this point.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM by Rick 264

Betaband,

The Vikings stadium statute authorizes tip boards in defiance of federal law. They may not have taken the same "in your face" approach as Christie, but the sentiment is pretty much the same.

And as far as I can see, pretty much everybody in government -- at all levels -- is being bought off by somebody. I'm with you in wanting to see that come to an end, but I don't think it will.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 11:48 PM by Rick 265

rick - i don't see those two as being equal like you do. specifically, minnesota politicians believe they are not "violating" hypocritical federal laws on gambling. and that is what they have said publicly and why they are willing to move forward. only because they think they have a "loop hole" on something called charitable tip boards. which are almost as silly, and economically underwhelming as the milque-toast concept of charitable electronic pulltabs. where as new jersey politicians are publicly saying FU to hypocritical federal laws on full-scale sports book betting and are moving forward with that. they have publicly said that they know that they are "violating" illegal and hypocritical federal laws on sports book betting. and they are saying we don't care feds. your laws are illegal, wrong, and they suck. try and stop us.

the major difference being we all know passive-aggressive scandahoovian-mafia minnesota politicians in this state would never publicly say FU to the feds and do something full-scale like new jersey is doing. i wish they would have the balls to say and do it as well.

P.S. just a side note that indian casinos = the #2 donor (behind organized labor) to the DFL party in MN. and they are now buying off some MN republicans too. that should be alarming to the public. these supposedly sovereign nations of indians have bought far too much unearned influence in what is supposed to be our sovereign state.

it is sickening how illegal it is. as minnesota casino laws favor one race over all others. in any other instance the approach of favoring one race over another is considered illegal. it should be when it concerns minnesota casino operating/licensing laws too. this is why i won't set foot in an indian casino. doesn't matter which state. will only go to privately-run casinos (like harrah's, MGM, wynn, caesar's palace, etc.) where it doesn't matter your race if you want to try and strike out on your own and start one.

good night!

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 01:10 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 266

Rick- The selling of bonds has nothing to do with the constitutional mandate for a balanced budget. It is outside of the budget process.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 03:14 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 267

I had hoped once the Vikings Stadium bill passed, the level of discourse on this site would return to the higher level it was at before this became the hot topic.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 07:08 AM by terry Highlight this comment 268

Yeah, you're right, that's what I was thinking: The more I talk up this rain, the more likely that it will keep on raining. And since I know how much everybody else wants the rain to stop, I'm going to keep on talking about rain to make it keep on raining until everybody finally says, "You know, Rick said it was raining. How 'bout that."

Sheesh.

Welcome to my world, and how appropriate that you used a weather reference.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 08:05 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 269

I'm out of the prediction business. It might be raining. It might not. Who knows?

The Vikings are freaking awesome and they're going to build the coolest stadium ever. Can't wait to tailgate out there. Skol!

Wow.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 09:34 AM by moda Highlight this comment 270

1. After a sort of halting search, I cannot find an instance of the MN Supremes striking down just part of a law. I only found instances where they struck down the whole thing, in a couple of cases after disagreeing with only part of it. Obviously, that's not conclusive.

I know at the federal level there is concept called severablity where you part of a law can be struck down but other parts can remain. The law has to be written in a specific way though. Don't know if that is possible on the MN state level or whether it happened here. But FWIW, in the wider legal/constitutional world the concept does exist.

I think it's fair to say that the Court would not care why the bonds are being sold.
You're assuming they'd be impartial and not swayed by outside factors. That's the goal/hope (that things are decided only on the law) but in practice that often isn't true. Not saying that this is a case of that, but I no longer assume anything about impartiality just because things should be that way.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 09:46 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 271

It seems, regardless of the case or issue, that the higher you go up the court ladder, the more likely outside factors such as politics tend to seep into court decisions. Will that happen here? Who knows? But nothing shocks me anymore when stadium politics are at issue. Does anyone know when the court would even give this matter a hearing? Is it fairly imminent or will we be waiting a while?

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 10:55 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 272

Before the court hears anything, someone must begin some type of legal action that would bring the matter to the court. Until someone does that, the courts will remain totally uninvolved.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM by terry Highlight this comment 273

And that person must have standing to bring the action. On something like this that could be a relatively wide pool of persons potentially "harmed" by what they would argue as an unconstitutional action.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 274

On this basis, theoretically, is it possible the court would neither hear nor rule on the matter at all?

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 275

Sure. But that assumes that there are no stadium opponents with standing. Without truly understanding what would qualify someone as having standing in this case I'm going to hazard a guess that doing so prob isn't hard.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 276

And just a word to the wise ... face paint, Helga braids and horns are not appropriate courtroom attire.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM by terry Highlight this comment 277

I am not the most knowlegable on the process of the Supreme Court of MN, but I know that in order to have a case brought before the U.S. Supreme Court, some impacted by the law would have to sue after being effected negatively by the law.

If that is the case it would be years down the line. Since, if I read it right, the convention tax wasn't to expire until 2020. So no one would be affected by the new extended tax until then.

Back to the ballhawk guy...So if his extra balls (hee, hee) just sit in plastic tubs, he essentially is just a hoarder and his collecting of balls is some sort of mental illness. I don't really have a problem with him except that he seems to maintain that the only reason to go to games is to collect balls.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 278

Standing is one thing, but money is another. Anyone challenging this would have to hire (or be) a pretty good lawyer.

Being anti-stadium is one thing when all it requires is words. It's something quite different when it costs real money. Those with the real money generally don't oppose big projects like this.

Asked another way, would John Marty or Gary Schiff spring for the money/time required to mount such a challenge? It's hard to imagine.

Even the anti-gambling lobby probably couldn't/wouldn't do it. So I'm not sure who might actually do such a thing.

Some group of disgruntled legislators might be the most likely, but even they would probably think long and hard about the political fallout if they were successful.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM by Rick 279

I almost forgot that the Attorney General could also challenge it.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM by Rick 280

Rick -- Are you persoanlly hoping it is challenged and the court rules it is unconstitutional? In other words, are you hoping this stadium could still be blocked? Not what you think might happen, but what you want to happen.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:31 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 281

The city council passed the stadium 7-6 as expected. Am I okay to celebrate? I feel like I'm missing out, but can't comfortable counting chickens before they hatch.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:31 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 282

Jorge, Celebrate consume many adult beverages....if I didn't work tonight I'd have a few myself.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:37 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 283

tough to say Jorge... I'm trying to eat my cheerios but they sort of taste like piss.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM by moda Highlight this comment 284

I'm not hoping anything, antifire. If I were, it would just be that the Vikes are secured here and this whole thing is done -- which appears to already have happened.

If this deal were to get struck down, I would be neither surprised nor disappointed nor happy nor sad, but see it as an opportunity to right a few wrongs in another go-round. If we've learned nothing else from this session it's that political support is not nearly as impossible to corral as some would have us believe, especially when enough people are scared. I'm sure that Roger Goodell could find a place on his schedule for a repeat trip if it were required.

Unlike this year's decision-makers, I'm not the least bit afraid of the Vikings leaving should this deal fall apart. So, even though this deal appears done, I would not fret at all if another session or two were required to get things right.

Only a 2015 session without a completed deal would make me start to fret. And I'm already peeved that this didn't get done a few years ago when it would have cost a whole lot less.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM by Rick 285

Back to the ballhawk guy...So if his extra balls (hee, hee) just sit in plastic tubs, he essentially is just a hoarder and his collecting of balls is some sort of mental illness. I don't really have a problem with him except that he seems to maintain that the only reason to go to games is to collect balls.

Initially that was his goal. Now he has teamed up with some businesses/sponsors and MLB and every ball he gets results in a monetary donation to a charity. He blogs and writes books about it. So it seems it is pretty much is his full time job.

He is a former player (varsity for sure, I dont remember if he played college) and very much a fan of the game and seems to be more knowledgeable than the average fan in that regard. Maybe not sabremetrics-like but he often knows things like: "I caught a ball off of player x, which was milestone hit y (for whatever reason, first homer, 300th homer, etc) and I knew he would want the ball so I gave it back after the game". And he knows it on the spot, which can be hard to do for one team, yet he seems to have a pretty good handle on that for most if not all teams. Wiki-linked.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 286

Hample has a rain-man like traits and can be pretty relentless in getting balls. As seen in some of the videos on youtube like the one I have linked.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 287

Even though the ballhawk guy on the surface seems as if he could be very annoying, when you read his blog he actually comes off as a cool guy who happens to have a very unique interest. His account of the games in Tokyo between the A's and Mariners this year was very interesting reading.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 288

The guy spends all his time traveling to ballparks, taking pictures, collecting balls, chatting up players, umpires, coaches, attendants, and then writing about it.

And he makes a living doing it.

...drool...

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Rick 289

Jorge - from what I gather of him, that is my perception as well.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 3:21 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 290

I should say from what I have gathered from him since i started following him and his blog a year or two before we came into Target Field. I was initially jealous of him and his antics, mainly because I had never gotten a ball myself (in many, many attempts), but that wore off quickly. I even employed some tactics the past season to good success and my first BP ball caught on the fly, off Prince Fielder no less.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 291

Not an apples to apples comparison, but it looks like 49er fans are a thriftier lot than Vike fans. Click on my name for a Forbes article that compares the two stadium deals. (Sorry if already mentioned)

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM by bp Highlight this comment 292

I love reading Zack Hample's antics! Last year I used some of his methods and was able to snag 3-4 balls. Of course I gave most away to kids. The one thing he does, that I could never do... run around the stadium for most of the game. I love sitting and enjoying the game.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 3:36 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 293

49ers fans won't be thrifty when they are stuck with insane seat licenses.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM by moda Highlight this comment 294

Yeah I was poking around his blog after the Miami link. Seems nice enough, but it doesn't seem he donates the balls anywhere, just the money raised by getting them. It seems a little odd that the charity he is raising money for provides baseball equipment, he alone could probably supply a few little leagues with balls for a years to come.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 295

New to Target Field tonight, ad signs now adorn the previously blank wall beneath the bullpen info board. From left to right: Vote Twins (All Star Game), Barrel 'O' Fun, and Subway.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 296

I have it all planned out:

Twins and TF get ASG in 2014
Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in 2016 (USA vs EUR in golf, we've known about that since 2001, don't ask me why the PGA awards stuff that far out)
NCAA Midwest Regional Finals at US Bank Stadium in 2018
NCAA Final Four at US Bank Stadium in 2019
Super Bowl LIV at US Bank Stadium in 2020

Minneapolis will once again will be on the major sports map. Hallelujah.

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 8:37 PM by luke Highlight this comment 297

US Bank Stadium? Do you have some insider information that you'd like to share with us Luke?

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM by ace Highlight this comment 298

Lol ace...i have heard rumblings the if Target doesnt go for the trifecta, USBank will definitely be in the running for naming rights. I think it would be nice to see someone other than Target on a sports facility in Mpls. 3M, Cargill, Medtronics would all be good choices. I suppose Best Buy wouldnt be a great idea...lol

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 299

Whos to say the name of the stadium wont be the same as it is now. Also you have the party plaza and other stuff which is also up for naming rights if I understood the stadium bill.

Heck the way the name things these days just about everything probably will have A name including the turf.

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 300

We’re putting the cart before the horse here, folks. Let’s worry about whom will purchase the naming rights after someone steps up to do so. It’s still a tight economy, and corporations are being much more careful about how they spend their advertising budgets. Cowboys Stadium is now the new, premier event venue in America, and no one has come forward to buy the naming rights. If no one seems willing to put their name on a building that is sure to host many more Super Bowls, Final Fours, and title fights, what makes anyone think that it’ll be any easier to find a buyer for just another domed stadium in little ol’ Minneapolis?

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 8:56 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 301

A couple days ago it was mentioned about the marketing team seeing some shake-ups. I wouldn't be surprised, as there have been more commercials seen after the Friday night Fireworks show, and the WE Fest hat giveaway while the game is in progress or over, then there was prior to the games beginning. Someone missed the deadlines.

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 11:27 PM by TK Highlight this comment 302

I watched the channel 11 news at 10 PM tonight and there was a very nice Twins commercial that I don't think I've seen before. It was all shot with that "miniature" look from angles all around (inside and outside) the ballpark. Very colorful, very cool.

But at the very end was a slide containing some dates not to miss:

May 25 - Fireworks
May 26 - Cowboy Hat

Ouch. Somebody certainly screwed up on that one since both events were staunchly, firmly in the past. Could have been the TV station, I suppose, but really.

It did occur to me that they might be cutting costs in marketing and STH support given the precipitous drop in demand for tickets. That may seem crazy with a $100M-ish player payroll, but everything they can cut in operations and marketing goes right to the bottom line.

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 12:03 AM by Rick 303

Maybe they are saving up to hire a real on-field management/coaching staff?

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 09:45 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 304

Matt Capps may be a nice man and a fine human being, but as a closer he is nearing Ron Davis for the honor of being the worst in Twins history.

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 305

Is there any way a person could reasonably guess how soon we can expect to see visions of the stadium that will actually reflect what will be built?

How long after the announcement of the Twins stadium deal did we begin to see images of what Target field would look like?

Just curious...

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 6:35 PM by James1979 Highlight this comment 306

Seems like it was a good 10-12 months between Pawlenty signing the bill, and the public unveiling of the "official" renderings of TF.

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 307

Capps' failure was the most visible one yesterday, but the hitters deserve some "credit" too. They were leaving men on base all afternoon on their way to scoring only three runs for the second day in a row. But despite watching a team that is careening toward 100+ losses, it was a glorious sunny afternoon at the ballpark. Read yesterday's Jim Souhan column on the joy to be found watching a bad team.

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 09:35 AM by terry Highlight this comment 308

I guess it is time for them to name Perkins as the closer, and drop Capps for a bucket of balls or something. Then after handing Capps his walking papers, take the elevator up and do the same to Terry Ryan.

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 1:07 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 309

Hmm... 34,700 is now a sellout? Has the white Metrodome curtain been brought over to hang in front of the trapezoid?

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 310

well sure, Leroy, they'll sell naming rights to other stuff: the plaza, club level, gate areas etc. I'm wondering if MOA will retain naming rights and plaster their name on the whole damn place, and not just the shag carpet the games are played on.

If USBank doesn't get it, I think Grand Casino should put its name on the stadium...Grand Casino makes LOTS of money and they could easily cover $15M annually for naming rights. Of course, the brass at the NFL might have some qualms about that idea.

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 311

They are now Angie's Kettlecorn Double plays. I only noticed because of all the DPs turned today and how all the video board graphics were changed to show that. When did that happen?

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 8:21 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 312

Hmm...if everything has a sponsor...

I have 10 trips to TF scheduled this year, and for $100 I'll wear any t-shirt and circumnavigate the park three times!

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM by Rick 313

This is nothing new. Doesn't anyone remember the snapper mow em down innings?

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 09:31 AM by moda Highlight this comment 314

Here are two exhaustive and very interesting (at least for the wonkish) stories about how the stadium deal actually came together:

How the stadium deal was done

At key point, it was state vs. Vikings. Guess who blinked.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM by Rick 315

TK has an interesting story on the stadium deal that maybe he would like to share.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 316

Rick, I saw the channel 11 Twins ad too and noticed the already past promotions. I have seen this happen numerous times on Ch 11 with other ads (not just Twins) that reference a now ended event or other promotion. It almost always seems to be on a Sunday evening so maybe it is an end of the week, slow advertising sale where they give them a freebie or heavily discounted ad run. Anyone in the business know how this works?

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 317

These two articles show the folly of predicting how a vote is going to go until the very end. There is soooo much going behind the scenes that we don't have a clue about. I'm sure there is a LOT more than even these two stories revealed. As a person who used to have a fairly public administrative position, what was said to the public was often very different than the reality behind the scenes.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 318

Moda I play in an adult baseball league and coach a middle school team, whenever anybody strikes out the side I say something along the lines of "another snapper mow em down evening." My teammates laugh and start talking about Dome memories, and my middle schoolers just stare at me like I was speaking French.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 1:05 PM by jp Highlight this comment 319

inning, not evening.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM by jp Highlight this comment 320

Can someone remind me of what that Ipad app for scoring games was? I think there was some consensus on one that was "best." Thanks.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 1:10 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 321

Linky is the iPad app that my coworker uses when we go to games. It's designed more for amateur teams (insert obvious comment here), but it works pretty well.

It takes a bit of time to set up the lineup at the beginning of the game, but from then on it's super easy to use.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 322

Thanks FTK, that's the one I was looking for.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 3:33 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 323

Jared, not sure if I will share any of the information, as the source could easily be traced...

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 12:02 AM by tk Highlight this comment 324

I was working so I didn't see it, but did the Twins act like a bunch of school children after Willingham's home-run?

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 325

Not exactly. They looked happy, gathered at home plate, jumped up and down a bit, but the celebration didn't last very long. It was good for everyone's mood.

I was there, have pictures. New post coming.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM by Rick 326

part of me wants the twins to lose today just so they will stop wearing those horrible looking "M" hats that they broke out back on monday.

and wear one home uniform and one road uniform already. have some consistency in your look and brand already like many of the other teams do. and wear one hat with the "TC" logo. enough with this silly, clownish looking alternate jersey, alternate cap crap that the marketing knobs in the twins front office think is cute.

that alternate blue jersey they wear is silly looking and looks clownish.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 327

I was at the game Sunday. That was a good game with a bad ending; last night was a terrible game with a good ending.

I agree about the blue jerseys - or any dark colored jersey for that matter. They look like beer league softball uniforms.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM by terry Highlight this comment 328

{i]They looked happy, gathered at home plate, jumped up and down a bit[/i]

...with Morneau joining in, but making a concerted efort to avoid additional head trauma.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 329

*effort. And I can't format correctly. That preview button coming soon? :)

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 330

as terry said: that the blues look like beer league softball uniforms says it perfectly.

they have one of the best looking home uniforms in the off-white, old twins script version. have heard them described as such by more than one national pundit. the all gray roads aren't bad looking either. just make those your permanent home and road uniforms and stop changing every 2 games.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 331

thank you Betaband! At least I am not the only person who dislikes the blue alternate jerseys. I say get rid of them, or at least keep them to Sundays. That's what makes the Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals and Tigers uniforms so great, they have one look and stick with it.

I will say the Twins do not wear their blue jerseys as much as the A's wear their green jerseys and the White Sox seem to wear their black jerseys.

As a traditionalist, I enjoy the home whites and road grays...nice clean look.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 332

A while back we discussed the Twins moving all of their locally televised games to FSN and how that was the general trend for not only MLB, but also the NBA and NHL. Today, bucking that trend, the Timberwolves announced that 25 games will be seen on channel 29 next season, joining 50 on FSN.

The motivating factors were a need to get more games on TV and to avoid both tape delays and FSN's Plus channel which many viewers can't easily find. Between the Wild, Gopher hockey, the Twins in April, and the limited number of HD production facilities available to FSN, the Timberwolves had more than their share of games not make the air over the past couple of seasons. The differences between this scenario and the Twins are that the baseball club always makes the main FSN North channel, is always shown live, and get vastly more money than the Timberwolves receive now or in the future.

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 333

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"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


Cleveland



Looking up toward Sixth Street.









The Puckett atrium fireplace is just barely visible at the far left.



The equivalent spot on the model.



The Northstar station at night



A view straight on of the Pro Shop area and ticket windows (just barely visible). The piers you see beneath the plaza are already almost completed (see final photo).



The glare problem.



These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.



World Series trophies on display at left



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).






Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).















Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond



A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)



Looking back toward the ballpark from Third Avenue and Fifth Street. Again, the track configuration is now clearly visible.



Reverse view, now looking down Sixth toward the park. The Met Stadium flag pole will be right there!






Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)












I took this picture from the Overlook at great personal risk, because everything Thome was hitting was landing out that direction.






Sharing and Caring Hands, as viewed from the ballpark site about a block away. Note transaction in progress in the shadows.



Plaza overview






A trailer village has sprung up to the south.



Cushions!






Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)



The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.



Click to see the full-size image.



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.






TF: template-based?






A sign that your mall is all but dead: roped off escalators. (This is at about 4:00 PM on a weekday.)



More flowers, more pennants.









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.






Wind veil install from across Seventh



From about two blocks away you can finally get an idea of what it looks like. Just to my left (but out of view) was a valet parking stand where a limo was idling.


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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