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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
Click to enlarge greatly. See yourself?
I will take a picture of just about anything.
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
This is the Seventh Street circulation ramp. Note that the floor is covered with plywood to protect it during construction. Not all construction firms are as careful with this type of protection as Mortenson.
A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.
At Comerica Park, some aisles have railings and some do not.
Walkway construction is progressing
The back row of seats in straight-away center. Note that, beyond those seats, you can see the planters (for flowers) on the front of the Left Field Bleachers.(Batters Eye)
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.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
Peering through Gate 29 -- lots to see
This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.
The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)
2014 Twins ASG promo bat.
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)