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Trick or Treat, Metrodome Style

October 31, 2008 2:48 AM

Here, in honor of Charlie Brown, is something for your trick or treat bag:


The plaque, placed near the entrance of the US Bank branch in Plymouth, tells the whole story:


Click to enlarge.

This rock, estimated to weigh 125 tons, was unearthed January 2, 1980, at the site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.

Having endured centuries of glacial action and wind and water erosion, the rock was set to be destroyed by explosives at the stadium site when the First National Bank of Minneapolis stepped in to preserve it as a landmark for the city of Plymouth.


The bank enlisted the aid of the Soo Line Railroad Company and a heavy-duty hauler to transport the rock from downtown Minneapolis to Plymouth. The two-day move, which coincided with the grand opening of the bank's Plymouth Office, was completed on March 3, 1980.

The granite boulder, composed primarily of potassium feldspar and quartz, is estimated to be approximately 1.8 billion years old and could be much older. It is similar to rocks found near St. Cloud, Minnesota, and may have been deposited in Minneapolis during the glacial activity of the ice age some 11,000 years ago. The size of the rock suggests it was part of a knob broken away from a low hill.

An alternate story, as reported in The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Souvenir Book, holds that they actually did try to blow it up, but it didn't work, and it would have cost too much money and taken too much time to keep trying until it was gone. Also, by then there was apparently some sort of public sympathy for the rock. (I suppose that makes sense, since this was the era which gave us the notorious pet rock.)


(Has anyone else ever noticed that the US Bank logo contains a stylized home plate?)

By unusual coincidence, that rock was originally situated almost on the exact spot where many of J. C. Romero's game-blowing wild pitches as a Twin would one day land... (Congrats to the Phillies and the former Twin -- who by some weird quirk of fate actually got the win in the deciding game 5.)


Here's a story which ran on Fox News at 10 after the conclusion of game 5 of the World Series. It's about weather issues, but has lots of great interior shots of the ballpark.

I have to admit that Citizens Bank Park looked completely awesome on TV. It has a unique seating bowl, which looks to contain a whole bunch of "neighborhoods" (as I imagine that ours will). Also, there was one shot and quick story about some area of the outfield seating which was built to evoke the old wildcat bleachers across the street from Shibe Park. That's a great idea -- I just hope they're cheap.

The upper decks did look to be pretty far up, and it made me wonder how that park's height compares to Target Field, but I haven't been able to find any info on that yet.

And here's an interesting story for those who skipped that last part of game 5. Did a statue of William Penn play a role in the long drought of championships in Philly? Read more about this supposed curse here.

Hmm, did Minneapolis build anything in 1992 that might be cursing our ability to win world championships...? (I'm open to alternate nominations.)

Finally, here are some stray shots from my twilight trip down to the site the other night.


A closer look at the grid on the Pro Shop.


The HERC promenade side.


A view from up (and in) the street.


This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).



Once again, Noah is holding his ears because of the traffic noise.


Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.



Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.

Spooky Halloween to you all!


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Sweet, I love the old pic of the rock with the IDS in the background....

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 07:49 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 1

the skyline sure has changed since 1980...

i was down at the site yesterday (how could you not on such a beautiful day) for the first time in a couple of months and i can't believe how massive but intimate it will be.

it was interesting to watch the world series move between a dome and a modern outdoor stadium. the game felt much more "alive" when it was in philly but "sterile" in st. pete.

81 (but up to 92 if all post season series go the full amount and the twins have home field advantage) home games left.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 07:58 AM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 2

Long Live Rock!!! I'm glad you finally located it Rick. As I remember the story, they did try to blow it up - but to no avail.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 08:58 AM by luckylager Highlight this comment 3

Public sympathy for a boulder. I think that's great.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 09:25 AM by haasertime Highlight this comment 4

i think target field will be just as awesome visually as citizens bank, especially those overhead shots. our park's canopy will really distinguish itself from other parks in mlb.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 10:17 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 5

Rick, do you know what the timeline is for the canopy construction? I'm interested to find out when the steel framing will be finished.

I like the Philly park - The design is unique enough to differentiate it from other new parks. I feel bad for fans in Washington...

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 10:44 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 6

Great update Rick. I hope Noah has a fun Halloween.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 12:24 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 7

I'm glad we are getting TF, but I would have done anything to have Nationals Park over the Metrodump the last 30+ years. I have missed a whole 30+ years of outdoor MLB baseball. I actually went to a Saints game to get my fill a couple of years ago and watched those boys boot it around. It was better than being in the dome on a beautiful summer night, but the baseball was *&^%tty. I will be loving sitting outside watching MLB!!! Give me Nationals Park. I'll take it.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 1:21 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 8

give me RFK over the dome... old county , miller park.... jack freakin murphy, candlestick!!!.. anything outside i can deal with

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 1:54 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 9

RFK Stadium? You've got to be bleeding kidding me. That place is an embarrassment to the memory of Bobby Kennedy. Much like the Dome is an embarrassment to the memory of Hubert H Humphrey.
Just goes to show you how we feel about politicians in this country - to memorialize them - just build crappy, multi-purpose stadiums!

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 4:57 PM by luke Highlight this comment 10

RFK Stadium actually had a very innovative cantilevered upper deck. (click link) I also like the wavy upper deck roofline. If they would've renovated the outfield bleachers, the exterior, and found a way to add luxury suites and club levels, RFK could've been on par with Kauffman or Dodger Stadium.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 5:29 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 11

Target Field is going to be better then Citizens Bank Park.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 5:44 PM by Matt Highlight this comment 12

Does anyone know what the metal framing above the Metropolitan Club is for? It is visible on the webcam right under the metal skeleton for the upper deck seats.

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 09:05 AM by Mo Highlight this comment 13

i walked along target center yesterday afternoon toward target field and was shocked at how much target center's stupefyingly tacky exterior takes away a good measure of target field's beauty. the webcams don't show this very well, but in person, the contrast between the two is akin to the class beauty queen pictured next to the ugly fat girl in high school yearbooks.

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 09:38 AM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 14

If your going to throw in the target center you might as well throw in the garbage burner, but I'm not complaining I'm just happy were getting out of the metrodome and back outdoors. So I guess your analogy would be the hot girl sandwiched between the ugly fat girl and the ugly smelly girl.

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 11:21 AM by Jason Highlight this comment 15

choosing a paint color for your backyard tool shop, jason, is a bit different than picking a color for your house.

does anyone know who designed the outside of the target center?

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 12:02 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 16

Target Center was designed and built in the late 80's era and was there well before Target Field, so we really can't complain.

Let's just be thankful we will be OUTDOORS and will have the ability to actually see exteriors of buildings rather than a very sterile white teflon roof surrounded by a sea of blue seats.

We could have had a nice ballpark down along the Mississippi River, where the Guthrie currently sits, had the Twins and the politicians gotten their acts together years ago.

Either way, lets just be thankful we are getting Target Field because it will sure be a top ballpark in baseball.

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 4:36 PM by Don Hahler - Edina Highlight this comment 17

The new managers at Target Center want to renovate the place. Maybe they will change the color scheme to fit in with Target Field. Since they both connect to Target Plaza, it would make sense if they would least look complimentary.

Since TF has it's back to the garbage burner, it won't really be visible from inside the park (except for the smokestack).

Mo...I think the framing that you see will become a screen for the HVAC units on the roof.

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 4:52 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 18

Has anyone seen Lucas Oil Field? Great model for a new Vikings Stadium. They have a retractable roof that parts in the middle and both sides slide down to open the roof....

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 9:04 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 19

"Does anyone know what the metal framing above the Metropolitan Club is for? It is visible on the webcam right under the metal skeleton for the upper deck seats."

What I see is just guardrails. Seems they have put some air conditioners on top. Don't want maintenance walking off the edge I guess.

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 9:50 PM by Camden Highlight this comment 20

if thats a guardrail then its for giants. the orange fenceing is the construction rail system

Posted on November 1, 2008 at 10:41 PM by design/build guy Highlight this comment 21

David -
I took a tour of Lucas Oil when it first opened in August. The thing is a monstrosity. It's just a gigantic brick warehouse. The retractable roof doesn't actually allow for a sense of the outdoors. (much like Miller Park.)The thing is big, cold and corporate - - just like the NFL.

And it cost $720 million to build, with the Colts chipping in less than $100 mil. Good luck getting that deal here. Click my name for a pic i took.

Posted on November 2, 2008 at 2:44 PM by haasertime Highlight this comment 22


I couldn't agree with you more. And I'm sure that's what the powers that be want to see in Mpls. They're more concerned with hosting Final 4's once every 6 years, one superbowl if they're lucky and truck pulls in the winter. They're far more concerned about events like that which many of the attendees (except for the truck pulls) are from everywhere BUT Minnesota. They need to do what's in the best interest of the FANS in MN and their main tenant, the Vikings. Build an adequate NFL outdoor stadium for far less than the monstrosity they want to build. You can have monster truck pulls at either the outdoor Vikings stadium, TCF Stadium during the summer months. Let's put the Vikes back outside where they belong. Maybe then they'll regain a REAL homefield advantage and be in the superbowl again. I'd rather see my team in the superbowl than to see my city hosting 2 teams that I couldn't give a shit about.

But alas, this is MN, they'll do the stupid thing with the more costly price tag....Again Mike Lynn, I blame you for this mess. The day you walked into the Met and told Max Winter what a piece of shit it was, he should have backhanded you and put you on a plane back to Memphis.

Posted on November 2, 2008 at 6:32 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 23

And if there's retractable roof on the joint, it will never be open. The last Cardinals home game 3 weeks ago, the kickoff temp was 78 degrees. The roof was closed. If they're going to insist on a roof, just make a fixed roof like Ford Field. It's cheaper and retractables are RARELY retracted = Total waste of money.

Posted on November 2, 2008 at 6:37 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 24

I just liked the look of Lucas Field better than last iteration of the Vikings Stadium. Also, Lucas Field also has convention space built into it, which is not necessary. I just liked the more classic look...rather than a big ugly box. The Metrodome just looks like a giant cement block from the ground.

Maybe, instead of a retractable roof, they could make both ends of the stadium open. Much like their plan for the West End (and the one end of Lucas Field), but at both ends?

If the Vikes want a stadium, putting their hand out for $750 Million from Joe Taxpayer, just won't cut it. If they could cut the cost, and pay half, it would be a lot more palatable.

Posted on November 2, 2008 at 7:19 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 25

kevin in az, couldn't agree with you more.

Posted on November 2, 2008 at 8:35 PM by Matt Highlight this comment 26

Kevin - I totally agree about the roof.

Vikes need to step up and pay more for this thing. Living downtown, my taxes are already sky high. And having 8 home games a year doesn't even compare with the 81 the Twins will have, so it doesn't make sense for taxpayers to dish out TWICE what we did for Target Field.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 09:20 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 27

Also - the glass on the Pro Shop looks AWESOME! On Friday they had nearly finished putting up all of it along the 7th street side of the shop.

Also, it looks like there might be an entrance to the Pro Shop tucked back in the corner on the ballpark side...still wish this had street access!

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 10:22 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 28

Yes you get more baseball games then football games, but generally speaking, football games are way funner to watch then baseball games. I love watching all sports though. (except soccer and nascar for those who call it a sport)

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 10:32 AM by Matt Highlight this comment 29

I usually don't say much but I'm tired of my name being used for everything. Joe this Joe that. Find another name.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 10:39 AM by Joe Introvert Highlight this comment 30

Well matt you have not been to a Baeball game with the right people... the dome is a fun killer but it still can be done...

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 31

I just have a random question for everyone. Does anyone know the how many restaurants/bars/lounges the ballpark will have? Which of those will be open to the public?

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 11:50 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 32

Jeff, this is from Rick on the last thread, I asked the same question last week....


According to the early drawings, there will be four total bars/restaurants. It is not clear how many of these will be open to the general public.

In addition, there are quite a few exclusive "lounges" scattered throughout the various levels. Access to these appears to be limited to certain types of ticket-holder"

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 11:59 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 33

The kicker about Lucas Oil Stadium is that the interior is not waterproofed at all. If there's even the hint of rain in the next 15 minutes, they close the roof (since that's how long it takes to close). They also mentioned on Sunday night football that they closed the window wall in order to keep the sound in and improve the atmosphere. Well, what's the point, then?

Ditch the roof, Vikes. If they can finance an open air stadium on the Dome site, great. If not, they should look for a nice chunk of land out in the sticks near a Northstar station where the parking lot can be used for commuters during the week, people can take the train to the game, and they can play games outside.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 2:37 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 34

Amen, Alex. Amen indeed.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 3:03 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 35

There is nothing wrong with a permanent, fabric roof on a northern city's football stadium. The Metrodome gets used a lot because of that roof. Zygi is on the right track by looking at remodeling options for the dome.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 4:42 PM by Dave T Highlight this comment 36

Zygi is not looking at remodeling options for the dome, as far as I know. There was a news story a month or so ago saying that they were planning to use part of the seating bowl and foundation of the metrodome for the new stadium. But this was basically a P.R. ploy to make people think they aren't requesting an all-new building. The plan is cheekily called "Metrodome Next" (click name for an article)

I can't believe I'm talking more about a purple stadium than the new Twins park... I'm disgusted, so I'll throw this in: When I was down at the site on Sunday, It amazed me how little space there was between the left field fence and 5th street. The lower section of outfield seating will be small and intimate, and the big upper deck looks steep, it would have been neat if it's back rows hung over the LRT station.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 7:36 PM by haasertime Highlight this comment 37

Dave T - what you said is wrong on so many levels that i don't have time to go through them all. also, you don't really seem to know what you are talking about in regards to zygi wilf/the vikings. haasertime (despite his mis-placed cynicism towards the vikings stadium plans) has it right as the vikings have no intention and never have of remodeling the metrodump. the only thing suggested to be reused, if necessary, from the metrodump is part of the foundation, which is not a PR ploy as haasertime is trying to suggest, but rather a way to help hold down some of the cost.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 11:12 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 38

New to this site: The offices where the Twins will be at-Is this plexiglass on the field side? Looks like many baseballs are going to be able to be hit there.

Posted on November 20, 2008 at 2:49 PM by poppy Highlight this comment 39

I was sreioulsy at DefCon 5 until I saw this post.

Posted on July 9, 2011 at 12:38 AM by Gracelin Highlight this comment 40

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

The finished product. Note that, at the very bottom of this image, you can just barely see the tops of the windows which look into the Champion's Club. (Home Plate Box)

Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)

Work has begun on the plaza, and the activity has started to impact I-394 traffic.

Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony

What can you see from up there? Some say not much.

In March, we were still only imagining baseball through those windows.

Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...

Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.

That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.

Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.

Not much facade left to be finished at this point.

Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.

Dancing for the cameras

A detail from the above image shows that the section signage is now in place

I think that's a pig up there on that vane!

Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.

Love the red flowers -- just like the original concept drawings. That NEVER happens.

I have no idea what this is or does, but as gear goes, it's totally boss, man. (Attached to a railing just off of the Trap)

This is the view from the Seventh Street circulation ramp. It will eventually be covered by the wood louvers.

Steel going up fast.

The french fry lights were on!

Terrace Level

Also warming things up are these planters.

A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.

Artist at (very painstaking) work

Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)

It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.

The flowers don't have quite the fullness depicted in the original sketches (where they were positively overflowing), but they are quite lovely -- a great, subtle touch. And that's probably a very challenging place to grow anything.

Supports for the little sections in the outfield.

You write the caption...

...but you can get a feel for what it will be like.

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

For $19.95 you can load up your plate (one trip only)

Flagpole historian Ben McEvers at far right (click for the full photo set, graciously loaned to this site by Pat Backen)


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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