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How Much Ballpark?

June 1, 2006 11:41 PM

So, just how much ballpark will this site hold? For such a small site, it's a very big question.

To answer it, I once again turned to Google Earth and created the following images. They show just how some existing parks might fit onto our site. It turns out that many of them simply would not fit no matter what. A few work if flipped (left becomes right, see Fenway Park below).

More importantly, I'm using just the ballpark itself, and none of its parking or support buildings. In almost all parks, the site footprint also includes huge amounts of land used for these purposes. As you'll see, the Twins will have to be very creative in tucking everything onto the land they have.

An advantage is that the HERC plant (also known as the Hennepin County Garbage Burner) is controlled by the county. It means the Twins will have some sway in determining just where their land ends. Dave St. Peter has already indicated that they intend to build over the railroad tracks, though it remains to be seen just how far they'll be able to go.

The preliminary site plan has the diamond oriented almost due east. I really don't think this is the best orientation for the site because half the main grandstand will face away from the skyline (due south might be better, but the sun would then become an issue -- I'll write more about this another day). I haven't limited myself to this orientation. I just tried to make them fit in a way which looks like it might work -- just to see if it was possible.

The images below are just for parks which seemed pertinent to the discussion. If you'd like to see another one not shown, please indicate in the comments and I'll add it.

Camden Yards

Camden Yards

US Cellular Field

US Cellular Field (nee Comiskey Park)

Coors Field

Coors Field

Fenway Park (reversed)

Fenway Park Reversed

Jacobs Field (reversed)

Jacobs Field reversed

Kauffmann Stadium

Kauffmann Stadium

Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park

AT&T Park

AT&T Park (nee Pac Bell)

PNC Park

PNC Park

Turner Field (reversed)

Turner Field reversed

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium


The Metrodome


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Are the buildings behind home plate expendable or parking lot across street? Or any roads around it? Haven't heard from anything that says it is too small of a site but from the looks of it, it looks like they're going to have to cram the stadium in the location, just like they did with the metrodome.

Posted on June 2, 2006 at 8:08 PM by Luke Highlight this comment 1

My understanding is that the parking ramp (lower right) stays unchanged. The small street between the ramp and the site (3rd Avenue North/service road) may go away.

The bridges to the northeast and southwest will remain unchanged excpet that the one on the northeast (5th Street North) has to be beefed up to accomodate the weight of light rail trains.

To the northwest is the garbage burner. Presumably all of those buildings stay, but the Twins can build on the parts which do not already contain structures.

(I'll verify this with Dave St. Peter in my next email.)

Posted on June 2, 2006 at 9:44 PM by Rick 2

what is the ATT park image supposed to be?

Posted on June 7, 2006 at 1:50 PM by Gilbert Chan Highlight this comment 3

ATT is the ballpark formerly known as PacBell in SF.

Posted on June 7, 2006 at 2:09 PM by Brett Carow Highlight this comment 4

Take a look at this picture from Google.,+Minneapolis,+MN

That parking lot below the marker is the ballpark site. Switch to satellite view and zoom out one setting until you can see the Metrodome. Compare the size of the Dome to the size of the ballpark site. The Metrodome looks to be just a tad bit wider than the ballpark site, but then the Metrodome doesn't have an overhanging second deck (as I assume the new ballpark will have) and most of the Dome's seating is in the second deck making it wider than it need be.

Posted on June 7, 2006 at 2:29 PM by ASW Highlight this comment 5

how about safeco field, and dodger stadium? I also think the main grandstand facing away from the downtown skyline is a mistake facing south, or north would be better, and create cool shadows in the late summer.
Safeco field is gorgeous.
Major League's should contribute a roof at low interest to the Twins.

Posted on June 8, 2006 at 12:57 AM by andy h Highlight this comment 6

It never occurred to me to do the Metrodome. As you can see, it's not much larger than the footprint available.

Dodger Stadium was built with absolutely no constrictions on its size. In some ways, it is the prototypical suburban ballpark. No surprise that it doesn't come anywhere near fitting.

And Safeco provides a cautionary tale about roofs. It adds substantially to the space necessary. Short of using the air space over the garbage burner (as it was in the original conceptual drawings), I just can't imagine it working.

Thanks for the suggestions, and thanks for stopping by! -- Rick

Posted on June 9, 2006 at 12:14 AM by Rick 7

I have been using google earth to do ballpark research, and one thing to keep in mind is not only the elevation of your viewpoint, but also the elevation of the land that the ballpark sits on. If you look at Coors Field with an elevation of 5000 feet you will be at field level, whearas if you look at Safeco, you will see a very small blip. I think you took this into account, but it is not an exact science. Nice site and keep up the good work!

Posted on June 11, 2006 at 12:26 AM by James Highlight this comment 8


I did take this into account, wanting to make sure that the comparisons were at the exact same scale. For that reason, all images are from 500m above the actual playing surface. -- Rick

Posted on June 12, 2006 at 2:24 PM by Rick 9

RFK Stadium opened in October of 1961 for football, then six months later for baseball. Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. Both venues are in parking lots. While RFK Stadium was open before Dodger Stadium was, Dodger Stadium was under construction before RFK Stadium was, I believe. Both ballparks are in some ways the first prototypical suburban ballparks, but they both are right in big cities, not in suburbs. Dodger Stadium is a little north of downtown, RFK Stadium is a mile east of the US Capitol Building, on a direct line with the National Mall.

Posted on June 18, 2006 at 11:55 AM by Christopher Kassulke Highlight this comment 10

when will the new dome be finished

Posted on December 22, 2006 at 12:01 PM by jordan Highlight this comment 11


Posted on February 16, 2007 at 2:55 PM by murph Highlight this comment 12

i'd like to see great american ballpark on this site i live in cincinnati and our site of the new park was called "the wedge" because they had a similar situation

Posted on May 30, 2007 at 1:32 PM by Erik Huber Highlight this comment 13

xdvdsfvd fdgsd
fdsaiuwa dfgdsgfs

Posted on May 3, 2008 at 07:03 AM by pupkarik Highlight this comment 14

your picture that says minute maid is not minute maid at all, I believe it is Seattle Seahawk's stadium..just fyi

Posted on May 5, 2008 at 5:44 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 15

my mistake that was a picture of reliant stadium in houston,where the nfl's houston texans play

Posted on May 5, 2008 at 5:46 PM by steve Highlight this comment 16

Hey you shoulds put rogers centre on here

Posted on September 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM by trent Highlight this comment 17

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.

Circulation ramps: Wrigley (classic, integrated) and Kauffman (modern, external)

The official ballpark development area

TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)

Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.

This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.

A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)

From the roof of the B ramp, you can see just how futile it will be to get a glimpse of the action.

(Click to enlarge.)

Looking out from under Gate 34

The Carew lounge was all ready for some corporate event.

Since pictures of the ballpark are forbidden, perhaps you'll enjoy this shot of the lovely apple tree in my front yard.

Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.

(Click to enlarge)

Above the Carew gate

Topped off.

Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America

Open house skeptics

Beams connecting the plaza to the Target Center walkway

The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)

The Puckett atrium fireplace is just barely visible at the far left.

Open concourses do mean that you can glimpse the field no matter where you are, but not really the game.

Home plate mount from Met Stadium (Source: LP, courtesy Clyde Doepner)

I realized I've never shown how the walkway over Seventh Street meets the A ramp

An arch under construction.

Fencing is going up all along the plaza

Location for automated ticket machines

There must be millions of details needing tending

573 Club

A sign that your mall is all but dead: roped off escalators. (This is at about 4:00 PM on a weekday.)

That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation

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

I never think of Rod Carew as a first baseman. But he was.

I would put on this face.

This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.

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No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.


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

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