Eight Weeks and Counting
February 17, 2010 12:11 AM
Minnesota is a beautiful place.
You know it's true, but these days you just have to keep telling it to yourself. Our weather is beyond chameleon-like; it's deep into shape-shifter territory. It also has this sadistic side which seems to appear at this time every year.
But take heart. Eight weeks from now there will be outdoor baseball in Minnesota. It's certainly possible that the only visible grass in the state will be at Target Field. But that's OK.
If you're starting to have doubts, banish them! One or two days in the 40s is all it will take for much of this white blight to wash down the nearest sewer drain. Even if the temps stay small, there's heat beneath them there Colorado-grown blades of grass (rumors about frozen heating tubes notwithstanding).
Of course, you know as well as I do that there will be naysayers. In fact, the national media will saying nay essentially in unison, and especially loudly if one or more games of the opening series are delayed or postponed. It seems like anybody with a keyboard instinctively thinks that it isn't Minnesota baseball without a roof. "Are they insane?" we hear them say.
Well, we're not. In fact, we're out in front on this one. There's just no denying that, in this case, the conventional wisdom is flat out wrong. (For background, click here, here, and then here.)
But you're going to need your "roofless cheat sheet" to counter those Nervous Nellies, those Chilly Charlies, those Fearful Fredas. So there it is at the right. (Clip and stick in your pocket to be whipped out when somebody besmirches the meteorological reputation of our fine state and new ballpark.)
Do you prefer charts? Here are some I nabbed from Outflux.net (based on NOAA data).
And if you need more credible reporting on the subject, check out this Sports Illustrated article.
Up On the Rooftop
I climbed up to the top of the Minnekahda building one sunny but very chilly morning last week. The big things haven't changed much since the last time I was up there, but the overview you get from there is nothing short of spectacular. Here's hoping one day there's a party deck up there with some stands and jumbo screens tuned to the action. It's not Wrigleyville, but who cares. That would be completely awesome.
Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.
The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.
I still counted 11 flag poles...
Balcony of the Town Ball Tavern.
You've made it this far. You can make it eight more weeks! Take a deep breath and repeat after me: "Minnesota is a beautiful place."
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This page was last modified on February 17, 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.
The Northstar station.
I think this promenade over the railroad tracks needs a name. How about the Halsey Hall Promenade? (Please do not throw cigar butts onto the tracks!)
Main concourse, looking toward the admin building.
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
Flag poles, fencing, main entrance gates
Row indicators are spray-painted with stencils over rust and peeling paint.
Visual depiction of current stadium legislation
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.
Circulation building with construction team on top
Dramatic night-time lighting.
Town Ball Tavern balcony
This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.
Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.
The field will feel very close.
A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
Click to enlarge.
A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)
Louver samples on display.
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
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