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Metrodome: Three Final Thoughts (not Shots)

January 20, 2014 11:58 PM

Steve Maki, the Metrodome’s head of operations...said that long time staff from the MSFA and Mortenson went to the controls of the fans that hold up the building this morning, and one by one took turns shutting them off. "It wasn’t three-two-one, but still symbolic of taking down the building," Maki said.

The roof started to sag within minutes and dipped out of sight shortly after 7:30 a.m. ... About 9 a.m., crews shut the power off to the building, and the Metrodome went dark for the very last time. (MPR)

Symbolically, is there any more appropriate way to mark the official end of the Metrodome than with a deflation?

Elsewhere, such a big cement structure might be awaiting an appointment with explosives right about now. But that's just not how we do things around here (which may be because, when we try, it doesn't always work). So, like everything else about the Metrodome, its ultimate end will be via banality: a ho-hum wrecking ball instead of an exciting implosion.

Thus the significance of this weekend's Final Deflation. This really was the closest thing we'll ever get to a "goodbye moment."

Watching the various videos, I found myself with three closing thoughts for the structure which I want to share.


The building itself may have been underwhelming, but the people who made it function and maintained it for all these years did honorable work. It sounds like a tough task, done by a relatively stable team, at least some of whom were there for the whole lifespan.

I can understand how they might feel genuine sadness to see it go after learning its idiosyncrasies, seeing it through all the various seasons, and keeping that roof aloft for so long. It sounds like it was a difficult thing to manage, especially as the mechanical systems aged rather ungracefully.

Yet the place looked just as good -- and maybe better -- on closing day as it did on opening day. Not many sports facilities can make that claim. That is a credit to those people, and none of the slights directed toward the building should transfer to them.


Maybe others will disagree, but I think that baseball and its fans value the history of their facilities more than other sports. Far fewer emotions are involved when football or basketball facilities get replaced. These sports, I think, have much less sense of place associated with them. At least in the case of football, the march is ever forward, toward the next goal line. History, though valued, is always at your back rather than in your face.

For example, out at the Mall of America, you will not find any indication that the Vikings ever played on that land -- which they did for exactly as long as the Twins. I think that's because football is a game of conquest, of territory, and territories shift constantly, while baseball is a game of advancement and place, where both the origin and goal of the game is fixed in the ground (basketball then being a game of air, hockey a game of trajectory, and soccer being a game of, uh, redirection -- work with me here, this is just a theory).

My point is that, like it or not, when I remember the Metrodome, I'll think of it as a lost baseball place, but a replaced or superseded football stadium. It will likely live in different places in our memories for the different types of events it hosted. (I can't speak to how monster truck fans might remember it. Do we know yet whether monster truck rallies will be welcomed into the new Vikings stadium?)


Somewhere this week I saw a historic photo of the inside of the Dome right before it opened, when the last of the seats were being installed and the turf was not yet down. I was taken aback by the caption because I had mistaken it for a current image of the seats being removed.

Like all photos of abandoned stadiums, these recent photos have a sadness to them which cannot be denied, even when you feel as I do about the building. There is a sense of the ghosts, and an implicit wish that maybe, just maybe, the place could have been saved and renovated into modern relevance.

We know that isn't true, but photography is a medium which selectively eliminates context in the interest of generating in the audience a specific emotional reaction. It's a fundamentally manipulative medium, but that isn't necessarily bad. Because just as photography removes contextual elements, it sometimes also removes distractions, the effect of which can be equally stark and emotional.

One such photo has stayed with me through these past few days. Taken from the football press box with a wide angle lens, it shows the bowl devoid of seats, and the floor devoid (save for a few rolls) of turf. There is, as far as the eye can see in every direction, only cement and debris. The ghosts are palpable.

But it literally caused me to have a new thought about the old place. Somehow, even over all these years, I had failed to fully realize that there was a flat cement floor beneath the turf. (No wonder Torii's knees hurt, and he got out when the getting was good.)

It's a really big, and really, really flat surface of unremarkable cement. Exposing it is a little like seeing a pool which has been drained for cleaning. All functionality has been removed, and the skeleton laid bare. It's a sneak peak backstage. (In 1986 I visited Disney World while the Rivers of America were drained dry for maintenance. I'll never see the place the same way again.)

What I saw in that photo surprised me. That floor had been there all along, disguised for the most part by phony grass. It apparently bore no visible features to suggest how the place was to be used, and it bears no scars, not even proverbial belt notches for what has since happened. It was, in a very real sense, even after all these years, as blank a slate today as it was on opening day.

I had a similar thought while looking at pictures of people hauling away seats: They look basically just as fresh as the day they were installed. Talk about getting your money's worth! Whoever made those seats should be hailed for building something which truly could take a beating.

Compare that to, say, Tiger Stadium. That place took a beating for almost 100 years, and it showed. Yet the result was that you could almost hear the cheering and smell the stale beer and cigar stench just by looking at the photos. Somehow, Reggie Jackson's gigantic homer, along with a thousand other such feats, was present in every seatback, every cement crack, every clump of infield dirt.

But the Metrodome, perhaps to its credit, didn't absorb such things. It remained staid and aloof, separate from what happened there, and perpetually ready for what would happen next. I suppose you could cast this as either triumph or tragedy, depending on your viewpoint. But I think it's the only thing hard about seeing it come down.

Unlike Tiger Stadium, and so many other such facilities, on its final gameday the Metrodome was not decrepit. It was not run down. It was not threadbare, or even really worn around the edges. It could have hosted roller skating and monster truck rallies and even major league sporting events for years -- maybe decades -- to come. Its greatest sin may very well have been that it was so sturdy, so dependable and reliable. Oddly timeless, it refused to age.

It also refused to budge. It resisted renovation because it was already so whole and unto itself. To call it "sturdy" is really understating it substantially. For all of the roof's fragility, the building itself was truly bullet-proof.

Its design was clever and self-contained and efficient. That's what we asked for and that's what we got. The architects and engineers should be hailed as heroes. Surely it was not their fault that it became obsolete in exactly one way -- the only way which truly mattered: economically.

And so now, with that blank slate exposed, it's possible to see this building for what it was: a stage on which was played some memorable sports theater. And just like in theater, everything which ever happened there, even the most unique and riveting things, lived and died on top of that empty stage, without affecting it -- including every single baseball game.

Suddenly I can see a genuine honor in the building, while also understanding more fully just why it was so wrong. Its designers knew what it was to be, and they made it just so. Its operators maintained it lovingly, and always had it ready for whatever might come next. It accepted 60,000 people, gave them what they came for, and then moved on to whatever it was needed for next. In the final analysis, it must be considered a humble servant, and there is honor in that.

In that way, it's easy to see how it lived up to its namesake.

Despite what I think about its deep wrongness, and what it did to our teams, and what it drained from our local sports culture, and what it stole from us, I can honor the fact that it did exactly what it was designed to do, nothing more or less, did it well, and just plain kept on going.

I think there was a real risk that we might have hung on to it for much longer just because it had served so well. Had the new Vikings stadium been built anywhere else (which would have been my preference, as you know), I think it would have been very hard to tear down the Metrodome. Being all paid for, and perfectly suited to some very specific uses, we probably would have figured out a way to subsidize its continued use even as those uses failed to pay its operating costs. It would have been a mistake, but I can easily imagine us making such a mistake.

We value humility. We value quiet service. We value durability. We value flexibility. We might even value banality.

And that's why (among other reasons), I'm glad it's gone. The time had come to say, "Thanks for your service." The time had come to say, "Now let us aspire to something greater."

All three of the facilities which will replace it aspire to something greater, and at least two of them rather resoundingly reject the notion of humble service. As such, they are likely to age far less gracefully than the Dome. On their final day of service, I suspect these successor facilities will all look old. But I'm OK with that because, well, so will I.

And let me admit here that I'm now sort of surprisingly glad that there is no date with TNT waiting out there for the Metrodome. A gentle deflation seems appropriate both symbolically and emotionally.

The place has served with dignity, let it go out with the same.


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Awesome write up. Best Metrodome Obituary yet. Target Field will probably age quite gracefully as it has every thing going for it as far as transit, location, distinctive (in a good way), quality, etc. are concerned. (So basically everything Turner Field isn't/ doesn't)

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 07:51 AM by wisco Highlight this comment 1

Rick- You mention that the Dome became obsolete economically over time, but I would like to add to that statement. I believe as did many others , like Julian Escalzo-The Save the Met leader back in the day that the Dome was obsolete for watching sports even before it opened on April 2, 1982 against the Phillies in that first exibition game. I had a stadium book that I got rid of , you probably have it too Rick, and a player from the Phillies in the book just rips apart the Dome-in the end saying -"I am sure the Twins liked the place they had before better." Or something like that. The Dome basically sucked in every way before it even opened.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 08:30 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 2


Agreed, and I've argued that point on plenty of other occasions. I just decided to downplay it this time around.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 09:15 AM by Rick 3

A good ballpark is one which is connected with great surroundings. The dome disconnected the fans from the surroundings and even if it hadn't done so, the "surroundings" were pretty bleak - hospitals, jails and surface lots. But having said that, there were some great moments in the dome and for that if not for the dome itself there will always be some nostalgia for the ugly old place.

I'm not sure why it is, but baseball fans are more nostalgic than football fans. You see home plate monuments at the locations of old ballparks - in a building at the University of Pittsburgh; in an apartment complex in Brooklyn; at Boston University; at a Home Depot in Seattle; at a bank in south Minneapolis and at the Mall of America.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 10:13 AM by terry Highlight this comment 4

I think the lack of permanency of fixed objects in the ground in football make it much harder to memorialize football (or the other big 3 sports for that matter). It's a lot easier to visualize a pitcher's mound, home plate, or a base rather than a 50 yard line stripe or where a lowly pylon once flopped over. A goal post I suppose would be the closest thing.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 5

This was in the back of my head, but I'm glad Rick was able to articulate it: the Metrodome really did look better at it's last event than it's first. It was brighter and had better turf, at least. That fact combined with the statement, "it became obsolete in exactly one way -- the only way which truly mattered: economically," makes me feel confused about why the public is on the hook for $500 million-plus for a replacement.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM by elstongunn Highlight this comment 6

Nicely written. Flows like poetry.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 12:42 PM by jared Highlight this comment 7

KMSP reported on Facebook the supreme court has dismissed the case that stopped the bond sale. Since none of you are on Facebook except for Rick... guess you'll have to go to the number 9 website to read the story.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 3:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 8

We're all on Facebook Luke. It is just that we have all ignored your friend requests!

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 9

And I never check Facebook...

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM by Rick 10

JoJo...I have a fairly exclusive list. I haven't even bothered to ask anybodys name around here to look for who's there. So I haven't been denied by anyone.

LOL Rick.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 5:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 11

Long story short, those challenging the constituionality of Minneapolis' share of funding for the stadium had earlier made a challenge in a lower court that was dismissed. The appeal that was rejected today got squashed on the basis of having been made to the wrong court (going right to the Supreme Court of Minnesota instead of a lower appeals court) and for not making their appeal in a timely manner, the window for such an appeal having already closed. The plaintiffs, to my knowledge, were not attorneys. Mann had once worked as a paralegal, but that was years ago and from that position to what he was trying to do is a big leap. That lack of experience and knowledge of procedure cost him and his cohorts in the suit badly.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 12

Rick, you've never been to an event at the Dome when the turf was pulled up? There were many such events. Many think of the Dome as just a sports stadium, but it was way more.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 6:44 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 13

When the Mall of America was nearly ready to open, I recall hearing that the spot where Ahmad Rashad caught the ball against the Browns in 1980 was going to be marked. Maybe that was a false report or maybe it got squashed somehow.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 10:26 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 14

As far as I know, there is no such marker.

But I'll admit that I wouldn't have the first idea where it should go. The football field was laid out in so many configurations at the Met, that just figuring out where the end zones were for that game could be tricky.

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM by Rick 15

Just looking at the map of TwinsFest, wondering if I should try to get tickets. But it looks like Saturday is already sold out, and I can't find much on the map that my kids will want to do (they don't care about photos or autographs). The whole thing seems very scaled down, which makes sense given how much less space they have.

Anyone planning on going? Willing to provide us with a little report and maybe some photos?

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 09:16 AM by Rick 16

0. That's the number of fans outside of New York excited by the news of the Tanaka signing.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 09:20 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 17

Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, Tanaka.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 09:28 AM by Rube Highlight this comment 18

Rick, I'll be going on Saturday. Curiosity about how it changes and desperation for any semblance of springtime lead me there. After 25 years of biking to work year round, this winter--namely 21st Avenue--are wearing me down just a bit.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 09:53 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 19

Going to a gane at Target Field will be like catching a flight next year.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM by gus munger Highlight this comment 20

The Target Field Interchange opens May 17 and the Central Corridor Light Rail line opens June 14. It will be interesting to see what changes those two additions will bring.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM by terry Highlight this comment 21

Hopefully, it creates more of an atmosphere on the N/NW side of the stadium. Everyone seems to congregate at gate 34 (for good reason), but it would be nice to have those people spread out to the other side of the stadium.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 3:47 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 22

Agreed Dre. Move some of the congestion away from Gate 34.

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM by luke Highlight this comment 23

And I hope it also alleviates the mosh pit which develops outside gate 6 after games when pedestrians are trying to cross 5th street and riders are trying to get on the light rail platform.

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 08:50 AM by terry Highlight this comment 24

It must be cold outside. I thought there would have been dancing, rejoicing and overall exuberation over 2014 Home Opener tickets going on sale today. Cranky B**CH Winter can't last forever.

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 05:40 AM by luke Highlight this comment 25

Another lackluster Twins squad poised for yet another season-long thumping? What's to rejoice over?

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 9:17 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 26

A very good point...

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 08:08 AM by luke Highlight this comment 27

I just shoveled my sidewalk for about the zillionth time this winter; even a lackluster baseball team sounds good right now.

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM by terry Highlight this comment 28

Looks like they did a lot of teflon cutting today.

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 29

Gus, I rode the light rail to Twinsfest yesterday and was surprised at the daylight streaming into the dome. The gates had been removed at Gate B (NE corner of the dome), so you could see the light streaming in and bouncing off the noise baffles. Surreal sight!

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 08:01 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 30

I was at Twinsfest yesterday too. I was unimpressed. The only draw I see is if you were a fan who had never been in the LC or CC and wanted to see those areas. I've previously been in both for games and found it all to be a snooze fest. The one good thing I found was Fan HQ's booth had Metrodome seat backs for $25. I bought one. :)

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 10:10 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 31

When the new Vikings stadium, aka Wells Fargo Field, is complete, will the Twins look at hosting Twins Fest there instead of Target Field??

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 12:02 PM by JCE Highlight this comment 32

Any other reactions from TwinsFest? What were the crowds like? (I did not go.)

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM by Rick 33

Another blurb from Charley Walters about the center field trees:

Many Twins fans have lamented the absence of trees in center field at Target Field since they were taken out to improve the batter's eye backdrop. The Twins are keenly aware and plan to find a place to return trees to the ballpark early in the season.

"As much as our fans want our pitching to improve, there's a group of fans that wants the trees back more," President Dave St. Peter said.

Charley Walters: Twins owner Jim Pohlad optimistic about 2014

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM by hofflalu Highlight this comment 34

Trees or pitching? I just hope they don't think it's an either/or proposition...

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 12:59 PM by Rick 35

Did anyone check out the Yard Sale? What kind of stuff did they have? I imagine it was much the same as the sale they had in 2009 after they vacated the Dome.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 1:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 36

Here are my full thoughts on Twinsfest...

The crowds were not bad on Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm, considering it was "sold out." I think they probably limited it to the right number of tickets. I would compare it to a full game scenario in the LC. Make sense? Overall the spaces seemed rather disjointed. Unlike previous TF where it was all held in one giant space... They used the Suite level, LC, and service level (-2). clicky for a link to the event map.

I did not go to the Suite level because we decided to skip autographs. I appreciate autographs much more when they involve a few minutes of chat down at Spring Training.

The LC is where a lot of the action was. The 96.3 radio was broadcasting (and playing on the speakers), there were many food options, there were lots of games that seemed aimed at kids, they had additional signs pointing out the player memorabilia that is always on display, the press box was open and they had the Yard Sale. It was either outdated regular merchandise or game used items from B and C list players that I barely recognized. The best I saw was some Drew Butera items. I was disappointed. Oh yeah they also had some of the more corporate sponsors set up in the Metropolitan Club. Players Wives club, Treasure Island, Metro Transit, All Star Week Volunteers, a Get Tony O in the HOF booth, etc. It took me about 5 min to walk through the Metro Club.

Next we headed down to the service level. The main attractions down there were 3 things. 1. The Home Clubhouse. Neat to see, but also completely cleaned out and staged with the new BP jerseys (which DSP just happened to advertise on twitter last night) 2. The Champions Club was transformed into the FSN Stage where they had a list of different past players talking or running bingo. When I walked through Tony O was talking about working hard in school. It was kind of odd because I didn't see ANY kids in there listening to him preach. 3. It seemed like most people were down there for the collectors. It was the usual lots of cards or other items, most were over priced and uninteresting. I did find my Dome seat back so it wasn't a total waste. Things that were a flop on this level were the Grounds Crew area. There was 1 sign and 4 riding lawn mower looking items. No one seemed to care. They also had signs for "$5 for 5 cuts" in the batting cage. There was no line and while I was in the CC I saw only a few in the cages. Probably not what they were expecting.

As I said before, overall it was unimpressive. The most fun I had was playing a game with myself of "guess who that player is before looking at the name on their jersey back." I was about 50/50 on the day.

Any more questions?

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 37

It was stupid to get rid of the trees in the first place. Their seasons only got worse when they were gone, and I think it was Cuddy who bellyached about them, and he doesn't even play for us anymore. Bring them back,and if any of our batters complain, tell them to suck it up.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 38

Aren't there trees at Coors Field, I don't think any of the Rockies are are complaining.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 5:44 PM by gus munger Highlight this comment 39

I think the bigger problem in 2010 was the late afternoon start times. The Twins had a number of 3:00 starts that first year at TF and one 5:00 start in the playoffs. Those were the games in which the sun on the batters' eye was a problem. Playing between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 caused more batters' view problems than the trees did. So now we have that rather ugly slanted black wall instead of the more aesthetically pleasing dark green wall and the attractive and distinctive trees. And yes, I hope management does not see trees and competence on the field as being mutually exclusive.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 5:59 PM by terry Highlight this comment 40

Disappointed to hear reports that Twinsfest is so horrible, and that I had literally no desire to give this team more money than I already have.

Also, related to the STH conspiracy theory that I was going with at renewal time, it was substantiated when STH Opening Day ticket sales went up. I bought a pair of tickets for my seat partner in section 114, row 6, which definitely was not available at renewal time.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 7:41 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 41

This afternoon I went to TwinsFest with wife and 5 year old daughter. It was a particularly good time for us as the Twins seemed to really focus on family. We parked in the ramp across the street and took the club level skyway into the event. We went to the Metropolitan Club first and spun wheels for some complimentary licorice and baseball bat pen. While wife & daughter got a burger & fries, I chose to chill & look out the club level windows at the field. A Twins rep walked up and asked if I wanted to join Trevor May or Alex Meyer in Fan Feud in the Champions Club. A contest based on family feud where fans join players to answer Twins related trivia such as "In a survey of 100 Twins Fans what is the first thing they do when they enter the ballpark?" While I do not like being in front of more than a couple people I figured what the f*** and volunteered us anyway and had about an hour until the event.
We walked up to the suite level where TC’s den was. Fortunately TC was not there as my daughter is freaked out by the bear. She did grasp my hand tightly as Spot the dog, mosquito, loon, and babe walked by. She was happy to get her picture taken in the den and was able to get a free Good Night Baseball book signed by the author too. Later we made it down to the service level where Pops wanted to tour the Twins clubhouse. The line was about 100 people long so we passed on that. Then we went to the Champions Club where Bingo was being played. We tried to play but it soon ended after about 5 calls were made.
Finally it was Fan Feud time. Two groups of 5 on a team played in front of us. So we asked a mom & son if they wanted to play on our team when it was our turn. They agreed so we actually had a team of 6 with Alex Meyer being our captain. He was very personable in meeting everyone and good with the kids, as was the host, Corey Provus. When the question “Who do Twins fans say is the greatest homerun hitter?” was asked my daughter rejected our hint of Justin Morneau and responded TC. It was a fun experience for us and after three rounds of Feud we got t-shirts and a picture with Alex. He and Trevor stayed to sign for all fans who stuck around.
It was about 45 minutes before the conclusion of the event. We headed back to club level to get a balloon for the girl and walked through the Press/Radio/TV area. Pops wanted to tour the Twins clubhouse so we checked that out again with no line, as well as the manager’s office. It was interesting that the interviews with Gardy after the games are actually done in his office about 3 feet away from his desk. The batting cages were viewable and there was little to no line there as well. After about 3 hours of the Fest we headed for home.
Overall the Twins really focused on family this time around. While some areas seemed bare such as the media area behind home plate, other areas were really done up well such as the TC den. There were plenty of games and a lot of fan interaction with players and club personnel. During our walks in the hallways & rides on the elevators we went by Rod Carew, Dave St. Peter, Jared Burton, and Terry Ryan. It took some planning to find things yet it was not crowded and there were not long waits for elevators to get to places. It was good to check out the Clubhouse & Champions Club as well as other places that are not areas I would generally experience. I thought it was pricier for us at $20 each adult $10 for a girl and $5 processing fee, but we bought very little food and got a lot of freebies. And it was good to be out & about somewhere both kids & adults could find fun activities.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 10:33 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 42

I went to Twinsfest with the wife on Saturday - just like NotMendoza, we parked in the ramp across the street and entered Target Field through the Club Level Skyway.

The Metropolitan Club had a lot of the sponsor booths and things, we got some free licorice and other things from KLN Family Brands. Treasure Island also had a spin the wheel to win prizes.

They definitely focused more on the family aspect of it this year, which was a nice thing to see. Lots of interactive activities and games. A lot more up-close interaction with the players too.

The service level is where all of the vendors and collectors were. I bought a few things, but was disappointed with the lighting. If they can find a way to make it a bit brighter down there, it wouldn't be as bad.

The line for the clubhouse tour was very long so we skipped that. It was nice to get a behind the scenes look and self guided tour of the the Champions Club, Legends Club, Press Box and so on.

Definitely a much more intimate setting and was glad they limited the tickets because the crowds did not seem so bad other than the line to the Twins Clubhouse. We were able to see many players up close as they moved throughout Target Field. Another new addition I noticed this year was that all players were wearing their home white jerseys which was nice to see. Much more easy to recognize the players that way.

The Yard Sale was nice. Reminded me of the moving sale they held at the Metrodome in November 2009. They were picked over pretty good when we got there by late morning. It's one of those things where you probably had to be there early to get the best selection, but they still have quite a few things. I found some ticket strips from Kirby Puckett weekend in 1997 for $1 each and bought a few of those. Also bought some St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers mini pennants for $1. They had a lot of the manager bobbleheads for sale. Also saw a lot of jerseys and game used bats and caps for sale.

We skipped the suite level as that was essentially autographs only. Not sure if the Majestic Twins Pro Shop was open or not but we never made it in there.

I realized after we left that I missed the 2014 All Star Game display booth. Not sure what it consisted of, but would have been interesting to see.

All in all, I thought it was run very well. There are definitely things they can improve or enhance and there are opportunties to add things as well down the road. I wouldn't mind seeing them transform the field into a "Winterfest" type of thing that we have seen in Cleveland and Boston. Ice skating rink, snow tube hills, etc. I can't complain too much about the $20.00 price because it's basically an all-inclusive self guided tour of Target Field as well. But how many years can that go on until you have seen everything? I also understand they limited tickets to 6,500/day from what I heard.

Someone told me they heard the Twins are going to bring back the single game ticket sales as part of Twinfest 2015, which I think would be a great idea as well. Maybe they were experimenting with that this year with the sale of Home Opener tickets?

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 08:04 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 43

Anyone go for the $25 "White Glove" tour?

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 4:10 PM by ben Highlight this comment 44

Help me understand something: lots of scuttle butt today about Super Bowl in 2018 and Minneapolis submitting a bid. Were we not already named a FINALIST for 2018 with New Orleans and Indy? Or is this a more formal bid?
And FSN North Reported on Facebook today Minneapolis is also a finalist for the Final Four between 2017-2020.

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 45

The All-Star display consisted mainly of authentic awards such as the silver bat, Roberto Clemente, and Hank Aaron award with a description of each. I believe there were also some jerseys of All-Star players. It was located across from the Twins season ticket area and behind the wall when you enter the Metropolitan Club. I would have liked to do the "white glove" tour but did not have the cash or the support of my wife & daughter. Gotta leave some things for next season. I also thought the concessions were improved as many of the regular season items were available.

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 9:13 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 46

Hey Rick, what do you think of a potential pro-soccer stadium at the farmers market site?

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 02:04 AM by wisco Highlight this comment 47

Here is the link for the formal stadium cam, btw.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 48

Speaking of Super Bowl in MN, I just stumbled across this. "Winter Magic."

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 49

Far more entertaining than the half-baked Halftime Shows we get spoon-fed nowadays. I remember watching that in 1992. Good memories.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 50

Sports Illustrated categorized the SB XXVI halftime show as one of the worst ever, and I'm inclined to agree. It did, however, not place as low as a couple of those "Up With People" halftime shows.
By the way, you're not being spoon-fed when it comes to the halftime show; you can always leave the room or change the channel.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 8:51 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 51

One of the worst? Huh.
I was thinking back to the one a couple years ago...I think Black Eyed Peas was the main act. That one was really bad.
Watching the cheerleaders and Al Michaels doing jumping jacks would have been more entertaining than the Black Eyed Peas.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 52

We do know the NFL and the TV networks didn't care for the "Winter Magic." Tired of viewers changing the channel in disinterest during halftime (luke's enjoyment notwithstanding), they upped the ante the very next year at Super Bowl XXVII, with Michael Jackson's massively-watched halftime performance at the Rose Bowl.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 53

This page was last modified on January 21, 2014.

"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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)

A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.

I still counted 11 flag poles...

The Metrodome has sure been tarted up.

The big glove will go on that circle. Note the gap between the plaza and the ramp. That's 394 you can see through there.

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

Click to enlarge

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.

Steps going up at Gate 29/Carew

New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)

Seventh Street windows

Rod Carew will greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)

Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.


An overview of the model display.

Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.

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).

Bike parking available along Second Avenue

Nicely-cushioned seats, lots of room, great sightlines

Work in progress to improve the streetscape on Second Avenue

Perhaps these very bold, Hitchcockian birds picking at left-over popcorn and peanuts were portents of what was to come.

The glove

The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin

Roll-up metal doors visible at right.

The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...

No griping here.

A cross section of the field construction. (Click to enlarge.)

This maze of scaffolding is something you'll probably never see again.

Condiments! (complete with faux limestone on the cart -- nice touch)

From the ground beneath the troubled skyway.

The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction

Yep, that's real grass down there, son.

From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV

Did you notice the flowers?


BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

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

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis


First Edition (1992)

Second Edition (2006)


Selected Bibliography - Surveys


Second Edition (1987)

Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title

(2000, large coffee table)

Original edition (2000, round)

Revised edition (2006, round)

(2001, medium coffee table)

(2002, small coffee table)

(2003, medium coffee table)

(2004, very large coffee table)

(2006, very large coffee table)

Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia


Book and six ballpark miniatures

Complete Bibliography

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