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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Of the players up there, only Bert does not have a gate with his number (28) on it at Target Field. You know, there is that door underneath the skywalk on Seventh Street between gates 14 and 29...
This would be easy to miss, but I found it on a cart located directly behind the Batter's Eye seating on the upper concourse in center field.
The official ballpark development area
Secret entrance exposed!
I still counted 11 flag poles...
A place to sit (does it look like a pitcher's mound to you?)
I never think of Ron Jackson at all.
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
OK, people are definitely riding their bikes to games! (Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy MBA)
Wind veil framing
A spectacular golden hour
Section 331, Row 9
Do you know who did this drawing? If so, please tell me so I can give them proper credit.
I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?
The Fun Zone/Rescue Area in Oakland during the second inning
Compare this picture, from the open house in March, with the one above and you'll see that some furniture reconfiguration has taken place.
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
Looking through the transit hub
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
At one point, we thought these windows might represent one of the so-called knotholes. But nope. Nothing to see here. (Nearest I can tell, there will be no view of the playing field whatsoever from the Seventh Street sidewalk.)
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Our host points to the Puckett Atrium on the diagram.
This view, also from the same warehouse roof, shows the newly-rebuilt viaduct on North Seventh Street.
B ramp at left, ballpark at right (and visible far away through the tiny crack)
This looks up Sixth Street from Hennepin. Just imagine what this will look like during a night game!
Here's the view as you step to the front of the outer moat beyond first base.