This afternoon, Noah and I were able to take a stroll around the entire perimeter of the ballpark! That's right, the promenade is open!
Checking out the bike racks on the promenade.
We also got to try out the skywalk over Seventh Street, and see the wind veil up close.
As you might expect, it's mostly little details that you'll notice being finished as you walk around there these days. Here are a few images, with plenty more to come over the next few days.
The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.
On the one hand, I appreciate minimalism. Keep it short and to the point. I can support that.
On the other hand, these signs tread perilously close to the kind you might see above the concession stand in one of the nicer high schools. They are a little short on imagination and style.
Of course, if the food is good, who cares, right?
I extracted the following menu summary from a recent press release:
Mill City Grill -- the signature Murray's Steak Sandwich and walleye fingers
Hennepin Grille -- burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken tenders
Frankie V's Italian -- a variety of pizza, calzones, and an Italian chopped salad
North Shore Creamery -- soft-serve sundaes, Twins helmet sundaes
Halsey's Sausage Haus -- Italian and Polish sausage and jumbo hot dogs
Señor Smoke's -- features food from Berenguer's home country of Panama, including empanadas and other regional favorites such as nachos, burritos and tacos
Taste of Twins Territory -- beer-steamed brats, jumbo hot dogs and pretzels
State Fair Classics -- Walleye on-a-stick, pork chop on-a-stick and cheese curds
Twins Brews -- craft and premium selections from Minnesota breweries
Frankly, I love all of these names. Great variety, and lots of local flavor (and flavors). Paying homage to Halsey Hall is way cool (though you may remember that I have long lobbied for his name to grace the promenade), and I also long ago put in my vote for recognizing Berenguer.
In presentation alone, the food will be miles ahead of what we've known.
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)
I can't help but notice that the Code of Conduct now refers to customers as "guests" a la another big corporation I could name..
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)
It's very cool to see a World Championship trophy clearly on display through a window in the admin building.
But if you look closely, there are actually three trophies on display. Now, why would that be? The only explanation I can think of, other than facsimiles, would be the Senators' win in 1924. I couldn't get a good enough photo to count the flags on the other two, so I can't say for sure. (In order for it to be 1924, there should be 16 flags.)
We're officially on the downhill slide toward opening day, so I'm going to be ramping up the coverage here. I've got a ton of pictures to share, and only a short time each day in which to do it. So you can expect more frequent, but perhaps a bit less lengthy updates.
Be sure to become a Facebook fan. A lot of the links I receive are posted there in real time as I see them -- usually in between my posts here. (Twitter followers will get tweets whenever there's a new Facebook post.) I'm working on an email subscription option as well.
Also, get ready for TC Traders. Interest continues to pour in, and I expect we'll have a great pool of tickets available, and lots of folks looking for them. The service should be open for preregistration sometime in the next week to 10 days, with actual trading available well before opening day. I have a few more ducks to get in a row, but everything is on track. (Though it's another reason I have less time for writing these days.)
"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Perched welder on the top of the canopy.
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Scoreboard in profile against the skyline
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
Click to enlarge.
Do you know who did this drawing? If so, please tell me so I can give them proper credit.
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
Flowers and Hall-of-Fame plaques. Very nice.
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.
A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...
Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.
Lots of sun, but not much scoreboard from 127
Walkway construction is progressing
Here's a closer look.
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
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.
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
Click to enlarge
The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.
The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.
Emergency access viewed in context
Serious home dugout work in progress.
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
You can't get there from here.
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.
Fun with section counting!
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
The french fry lights were on!
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.