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 3044 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.
Looking northeast from the ballpark site (Source: LP)
A portrait of the 573 Club.
Write your own caption. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Notice the temporary railing extensions
Door to the visitor's clubhouse.
Gate 6 Oliva, with the 573 Club looming large over it (I wonder how Tony feels about that)
The Pro Shop
A sidewalk has sprouted between the HERC and the LRT tracks!
Fan number 3,030,673 came through this gate a few moments after I took this picture.
Larry DiVito and staff member (you write the caption)
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.
LRT station has appeared.
The lights have covers on the top, presumably to reduce light pollution
Work in progress.
An arch under construction.
A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
This is where the plaza meets First Avenue
Flowers. Real flowers.
Footings for the Seventh Street walkway from the A ramp.
These are the footings for the staircase which will connect the plaza to the skyway.
The brick has been tinted where the circulation ramp meets the admin building.
This will be a great neighborhood. Note that the covering is being built for the emergency access. Also, note the streamers above, which appear to be monitoring air flow.
These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
New Year's Eve, 2008
It was in and then quickly out of his glove. You gotta make that play.
This is the staircase (ramp?) leading up to the trapezoid. Nice flagpole too. You'll be able to find me and Ben McEvers at the base of that flagpole on opening day in 2010!
July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)