The outline of an infield has appeared on the asphalt in advance of the ground-breaking on Thursday night.
There hasn't been much news, but thanks to everyone for a lively discussion about uniforms and team naming which was interesting, even though no consensus emerged.
It seems to me that the uniforms get redesigned -- or at least tweaked -- every few years. So it's almost inevitable that the Twins will be wearing something different when the new park opens. They don't seem too keen on doing much "throwback" stuff, but you never know. But I think there's no doubt that they'll still be called the "Minnesota Twins" -- as it should be.
Remember the Metrodome
My son turned two a couple of weeks ago, and I'm proud to report that he can name the entire starting line-up -- as long as Santana is pitching! (Substituting Casilla for Castillo has been something of a challenge, but he's almost got it.)
Mostly I'm thrilled that he's been given maternal clearance to attend the ground-breaking on Thursday night. In fact, it's going to be a big day of baseball introduction because we'll be spending the afternoon at the Metrodome -- his first trip. Look for us splitting our time between the upper GA and the concourses. He's unlikely to sit still for very long...
I am introducing him to the place early in the hopes that he will have some memory of it later in life. One of the great pleasures of the new park will certainly be that it is not the Metrodome. I want to make sure he can appreciate it that way, at least a little.
Break It, Baby
After the game we'll head home for a little nap (for me) and then back on the train for the Big Ground-Breaking. As you probably know, the site opens at 5:00 PM, and there will be live music and games. I'm imagining something like what they have on the Metrodome plaza, but I have no inside knowledge on that.
The tracks on the right will be moved to the newly-cleared area on the left. The edge of the ballpark will be about where the rocks and dirt meet.
The actual ceremony will take place around 7:00 PM, and the radio plugs have indicated that there will be plenty of current and former players on hand, as well as a fair amount of dignitaries.
I have to hand it to the Twins. They could have done something boring and stuffy like a lot of other clubs, but somebody was thinking creatively. That's been a hallmark of this project so far, and it's a great thing.
The site has undergone some preparation. Crowd-control fences are in place, and the outline of the infield has been painted on the asphalt.
Other changes at the site include the removal of most of one half of the Fifth Street bridge. That half will be rebuilt flat to accommodate the light rail extension. Eventually, they will probably want to flatten the other half of the bridge as well. You would think that it would be cheaper to tear the whole thing down and rebuild it all flat right now, but that must not be the case. It could be related to that pesky infrastructure cap...
Much activity is taking place over by the railroad tracks. It's possible to see where the new tracks will be, and in doing so get an idea of how far the ballpark will extend.
You may remember that the original drawings had the tracks going beneath the stands in a tunnel. That proved to risky for the insurance people, so moving the tracks was much more pleasing. There will still be some Northstar-related tracks running into (but not through) a tunnel beneath the stands. But the new configuration allows fans to actually look down onto the tracks from the promenade which will run alongside the park on the garbage burner side.
Be sure to say HI if you see us at the ground-breaking!
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.
Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...
The brick has been tinted where the circulation ramp meets the admin building.
Handshakes all around (there's gonna be a lot of that over the next few weeks)
Concourse ceilings (from the Ballpark Authority's May update)
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.
Looking across the top of the B parking ramp. Notice that signage will block any attempts at seeing the game from up there. Also take note of the glassed in area which is part club and part office space for the Ballpark Authority.
This is where the plaza meets First Avenue
For executive entertaining
This would be a beautiful streetscape if there were ANY people.
Apparently, there will be public restrooms accessible directly from the plaza.
This concourse, the uppermost, was built on top of the now-hidden old concourse during the 70s renovation.
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
Citi Field as viewed from Shea.
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Louver samples on display.
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
Wind veil framing
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.