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August 1, 2007 3:06 AM

Pre-ground-breaking

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.

Realigning the tracks

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!

Comments


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5th street bridge flattening is part of the Hiawatha LRT extension, which is part of the Northstar Commuter Rail Budget i think - so the ballpark infrastructure budget has nothing to do with it. Not sure what that does for the likelihood of flattening the whole thing though.

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 09:38 AM by Dan Highlight this comment 1

Exactly. So flattening out the other part of the bridge would have to come from stadium money, which has a cap. The decision may hinge on the outcome of the condemnation proceedings.

Sod laid in the infield today! Looks GREAT.

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 1:18 PM by The Tube Highlight this comment 2

Awesome blog. Do you know the name of the building directly behind the cranes, in the background of your picture above?

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 3:51 PM by db Highlight this comment 3

Hey Rick,

Looks great. SO EXCITING!! Its about time, huh? Just curious if you knew any of the construction/preparation schedule after this "official groundbreaking"...?? Obviously the bridge and railroad work will continue...but actual ballpark-wise, once this ceremony is done whats the next step??

Thanks. Keep up the good work on a great resource.

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 4:12 PM by YESS Highlight this comment 4

It sounded like you had this all planned out perfectly. It's really too bad that they had to cancel the game and ceremony. But I think they did the right thing.

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 8:57 PM by John Highlight this comment 5

Hey Rick (or anyone for that matter),

Do you know where in the outfield the bullpen will be in the new park? Left, right, center? And glad to hear you & family are ok Rick after Wednesday's tragic events. That's too close for comfort.

Thank you

Posted on August 5, 2007 at 8:46 PM by betaband Highlight this comment 6


This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.



"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.


Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)



I would put on this face.



Intersection overview



Click to see the full-size image.



At TF, you never know when you may bump into a Pohlad



Construction of the stands is moving from left to right in this image.



An overview of the model display.



The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.






The plaza as viewed from across the park. The right field overhang section will be built just in from where the plaza supports are.



Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)



I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?






This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?






Detail of Entry Plaza #4 (north entry from Fifth Street)






This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).









I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.






A beautiful, glowing sunset after the rain.



Plaza overview









July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)



Pawlenty makes it official!






The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.



Site plan for the new Nationals ballpark, with the size of the Rapid Park site overlaid









Seventh inning sing-along.



Supports viewed from beneath. These seats will be just a few feet from the outside edge of the building!



Party deck



The admin building (note TF logo on banner)



Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.



Looking through the Oliva gate, you can see the outfield stands.



The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.









I never think of Ron Jackson at all.



The Seventh Street facade



The Pantheon (with inset of the magic eye)



The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.



Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.



A scene repeated about a million times each game



The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)



The dish!


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BPM - Ballpark Magic

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DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

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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

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