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Find Your Happy Place

March 18, 2011 12:52 AM

As the front steps of the house, the plaza has proven to be even more welcoming than we all imagined. It draws you right into the place on game days, and provides a strong whiff of baseball even when there are no brat carts out there.

It's also surprisingly adaptive to the weather. What they did with plantings seemed to embrace the fall (very noticeable during the playoff games), and then even turned out to make winter statements.




That last picture is notable mostly for what I cropped out. Look at the entire image:

Suddenly it's possible to understand a little better why everyone was so upset about that damn sign.

You may remember that I was sort of indifferent to it when it first appeared. But I may have had a change of heart, at least from this vantage point. Beyond Twins/Target branding, it's the only piece of advertising visible from the plaza (the sign on Butler Square says "Go Twins!"), and it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. In addition to being gigantic, its background looks like the painters couldn't find the right color to match the rest of the building. It's big and ugly.

But it also highlights a big difference between the two facilities/owners/teams. Target Center has always had gigantic ads plastered all over its facade. Target Field has not a one (beyond the branding). Walk all the way around Target Field and you will not find a single video board or ad space for rent on the outside. Instead, you'll actually find public art on the Fifth Street side filling salable ad space, and the wind veil on the side of the B ramp (where gigantic banners could easily have been sold).

I know that branding is advertising. But there's a big difference between hanging banners for your own company on the outside of your building and selling that space to someone else (even the Target branding is decidedly muted on TF compared to the bullseye which hovers over Target Center's main entrance on First Ave).

From the beginning, everyone involved with the plaza design wanted to create a civic amenity which doubled as an entrance to the ballpark (or, alternately, an entrance which doubled as an amenity). That big-ass sign, whose true audience is the TV cameras of course, nonetheless diminishes the plaza space measurably.

Let's turn to a couple of other things I saw, not all of which are technically new.

First, the additional wall of names is done (not sure exactly when they got it finished), and it includes the lyrics to the Twins song at one end, and "Take Me Out..." at the other.


The statues have started to show their inevitable colors.



Will they clean these? Should they clean these? Turning green gives them a sense of permanence and age. I kind of like it.

A close personal friend will be waiting to greet you as you enter the plaza from First Avenue. (I haven't seen Sid in person lately, but he should probably also be checked for signs of greening.)

And the sunny side of Target Field is a great place to take a break.

One thing I almost forgot: I've started to wish that the plaza were bigger -- that it filled that whole area over the freeway. Not that it isn't nice as is, but this is a case where I think that more would actually be better. I hope somebody somewhere has that on their wish list.

Anyway, if you haven't walked the plaza lately, do yourself a favor and don't wait for opening day. Think of it as a "happy place" always there waiting for you. (Just ignore the big sign.)

Comments


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You've been on fire lately Rick! I don't know what to do with myself! Four new posts in the last four days...it's like baseball's back or something!

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 01:03 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 1

Rick,

I have also wondered why the freeway wasn't completely covered, creating a large plaza. Have you or anyone ever heard anything about it? Money reasons? 394 airflow? Who knows. I think it would be a great area if it was totally covered.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 01:10 AM by FD Highlight this comment 2

Completely covering 394 would constitute a tunnel, and an entirely new set of building code circumstances, I believe.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 01:34 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 3

Another post! Love it! Keep em coming

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 06:01 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 4

You think that Sanford sign is an obtrusive eye-sore now...wait until the thing is backlit and says "Sanford Center".

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 06:53 AM by luke Highlight this comment 5

I dont understand what the big deal with the sign is? Its on another building, it has nothing to do with Target Field, are the Twins just upset that they didnt get some cash for that ad space? I dont even notice it anymore. I looked at it the first time it was up and that was it.

If Sanford gets the naming rights to it expect to see a new backlit sign right there saying "Sanford Center", but that will be no different than any other arena in the country. If you sit in Comerica Park in Detroit, you can see the sign that says "Ford Field" down the 3rd baseline.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 07:23 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 6

Amen Vikeologist, Amen.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 07:29 AM by Steeks Highlight this comment 7

The Twins are the only entity entitled to bombard you with their "messages"?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 07:52 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 8

I think the difference between the current sign and a "Sanford Center" sign is that the current sign mismatches terribly and just reeks of desperate attempt to take advantage of someone else's situation by using advertisement. Whereas, a backlit Sanford Center sign would be attached to the building, likely not have a backdrop other than the building itself and would be no different than this...


or this...


Sure a "Sanford Center" sign has inherent advertising but its more a representation of the building and not a giant roadside billboard. Likely there will be a lit Sanford Center sign on the plaza side of the building and in my opinion it will be the lesser of two evils.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 07:59 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 9

Maybe it's been there all along but just noticed the Twins have a "restricted view seats" info link at their site - tiny black print on dark blue background, impossible to read.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 08:39 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 10

My dad took me to my first Twins game at Met Stadium in 1962. Now his name is on the new Tradition Wall, third panel from the right. Thanks for the previews of that wall.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 08:44 AM by terry Highlight this comment 11

Thanks for the posts, Rick. Always nice to get a new read on anything baseball-related at this time of year!

My one wish for the plaza - water. I think it's the big missing ingredient for a Minnesota-themed ballpark. Could be a small reflecting pond, or a fountain. But the hometown ballpark of the Land of 10,000 lakes needs some H2O somewhere in the design.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:12 AM by BR Highlight this comment 12

Actually, I'm going to add one more item to the wish list: More kid-friendly activities. We're heading down to KC in August for some games and they have an entire "Outfield Experience" beyond left field - mini golf, tot lot, pitch speed tent, batting cage. Cleveland has something smaller but similar built right into the ballpark down the right field line for toddlers and preschoolers, a place to take young kids when their attention spans start to wane (and where they sell reduced price hot dogs and PB&J sandwiches!) and where you can still see the game.

Things ilke this, designed to draw families with young children to the ballpark and introduce them slowly to the experience, are helpful in growing more fans...

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:18 AM by BR Highlight this comment 13

Not sure I would have ever noticed the Sanford sign if such a big deal were not made of it in the media and elsewhere (like here). Don't see the scandal in it myself.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:23 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 14

BR, great idea on a water feature somewhere on the plaza, I'd never thought of that but it seems like a no-brainer.

Also, you just opened up a whole can of worms on this board about the
"kid-friendly" activities at the park! There's been lively, heated discussion back and forth here between those who think it's a great idea and those that think it's one more way modern ballparks draw you AWAY from the baseball on the field.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:30 AM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 15

Gee, I thought watching the ball game WAS a "kid-friendly activity." If he wants to go down a slide my kid can go the the park in our neighborhood for free.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:44 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 16

Count me as one who would NOT like to see more "kid-friendly" activities at the ballpark. Why is it we always need something to distract our kids to keep their attention? If they start acting up, tell them to settle down and watch the game or they won't get that cotton candy when the vendor comes by next time. If that doesn't do the trick, then leave them at home until they are ready to sit through a game without acting like a brat!!! We didn't have mini-golf or batting cages to keep our attention when we were kids, how on Earth did we ever survive?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:49 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 17

The Twins will start thinking about your kids as soon as they have their own money to spend - until then they couldn't give a RA.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:54 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 18

Fred ---

Lincoln Logs?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 09:56 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 19

The plaza already constitutes a tunnel over 394, and was built to those standards. Covering the remainder of the freeway area would not be any more difficult.

But it would be expensive, which is probably the reason they didn't do it in the first place.

There was a concept drawing at one time that showed a kid's baseball diamond laid out there, sort of like what Kansas City has. Any kid-friendly amenities on the plaza would obviously be strictly pre- and post-game activities.

That isn't exactly what I was imagining. I was just thinking of more room for the crowd to stretch out a bit, have a couple more statues or things for people to get their pictures taken with.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:06 AM by Rick 20

In regards to extending the plaza, I think it is SORELY needed...at least until they are able tie in the NW & NE parts of The North Loop to the stadium. As of right now there is an incinerator, a half-way home, a gas station, and a plethora of rundown buildings and empty lots.

A majority of people, I feel, only like to enter the stadium through #34 & #19 gates.

Extend the plaza all the way to the TC and remodel the facade to create a new entrance into TC.

Also, I think the plaza as it is now was built to meet the new codes required if it was extended. I do believe they planned ahead in that regard.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:17 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 21

Sorry Ben - I don't recall playing with Lincoln Logs at the Met.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:19 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 22

Rick, you type too fast.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:19 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 23

curmudgeon —n. a surly or miserly person. [C16: of unknown origin]. cur'mudgeonly. —adj SEE "BEN" Click for large picture of BEN

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM by Jim Highlight this comment 24

Ben: The same restricted view info was up last March, but this year they've tacked on a line of info on Sec 127.

DreDogg: Of course, by "gas station" you meant "get yer $1 hot dog right here gas station."

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 25

Schweady - you forgot the LOL

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM by ole Highlight this comment 26

Did somebody mention $1.00 dogs at Holiday??? LOL! Shhhh keep that north end status que man!!!!! The less people down that part the better!

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 27

So does anyone plan on attempting to get single game tickets tomorrow?

Will be interesting to see what is exactly "available" tomorrow compared to what was available for the presale events held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

You can be sure the local media outlets will be all over this event. There is already one article in the Star and Tribune with a lot of comments from unhappy people.

So last year, the Twins said, "buy tickets early in 2011 to be assured of great seats for great games"...this year, they will turn around and say, "join the on deck circle for priority in 2012"...

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 28

"...does anyone plan on attempting..."

Someone just emailed me this picture:


The line has started forming!

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 2:08 PM by Rick 29

I have found the Twins online single game ticket purchasing to be a bit of a CF. Perhaps single game ticket purchases are best done in-person. One season for instance, when the purple team sold single game tickets, online sales began at 10am. And they would sell in-person beginning at 9am. Consequently, the team could have festivities such as drawings, cheerleaders, coffee, etc. while people are able to wait in line and talk about the team. I think this made it an event that got people excited about the team and built a favorable impression for the organization. Converesely, I find sitting online clicking buttons and getting "sorry" messages to be boring and lame.

By the way I took my 1 year-old to a game last season. She stayed about 5 innings. And in that time she played with seats, clapped, had a hot cocoa, saw a fight in the Metro club, and ate some chicken tenders & fries. I didn't think she learned much from the trip until this winter. She began to point at the inaugural game picture and say "Twins" "Clap". At 2 this season I am hoping she steps it up with "Wally" "Daddy" "Beer"

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 2:19 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 30

I also walked around the plaza today, Rick, with my two girls (10 and 6) It's a great way to alleviate some of the baseball fever I have. My girls got in the big copper glove statue and my oldest marveled at how warm it was. Then she ran over to another statue...

10 year old: This one is really cold, Dad.
Me: Yeah, dear, that's a statue of Carl Pohlad.

It was too funny not to pass on. Thanks for the great work on the site.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 2:46 PM by Dan D Highlight this comment 31

Over the past few threads there have been various questions about online ticket ordering. Here's my experience and some info:

-As a full-season STH I went on Monday. Got past the VWR (virtual waiting room) in 5-10 min, selected my extra tickets for myself and some friends/family for 13 games. Tried to check out and the server didn't process my request within 3 min and I got booted back to the VWR for another 30 min. By the time I got back in tickets to 4 games were no longer available but the peak demand was over and the site went quickly. I contacted my season ticket rep and gave them the feedback which they used to improve the system. I presume they are now further limiting the amount of people able to select tickets at any time so that what happened to me won't happen to others. This means longer wait times in the VWR but less worrying about the system kicking you off because it is too bogged down to handle your request in time. I think it is better to wait 30 min and do your ticket selection once than to wait 10 minutes and have to do your ticket selections twice and not get all the games you want anyway, which happened to me both this year and last year.

-A few years ago I spent the summer in Wisconsin. I bought tickets to a Cubs game at Wrigley as I had never been. They used the same online system and it took me 3-4 hours to get past the VWR. I don't recall if it was random or first come first serve. So an hour of waiting is not that bad comparatively.

-The pre-sales are definitely slanted towards STH but STH also put a lot of money up front. I think the pre-sale is a huge deserved benefit for STH but I disagree with how the system is abused by STH who buy up tickets with the sole intention of scalping them. Unfortunately I don't see a way the Twins could distinguish between those who use the system appropriately (to get a few extra tickets for family/friends) and those who abuse them. I also don't feel that it is fair to punish everyone and take away or limit the opportunity to bring friends/family to games with them.

-Along those lines, credit the Twins for developing a website for STH to trade unused games with each other. If STH take advantage of this system this could potentially keep quite a bit of tickets from being snagged up in pre-sales.

-A suggestion. Pool your resources. I notice several 20 and 40 game STH's on the forums as well as those who just like the occasional game. Perhaps you could work together to get full-season plans which would bump you up in the pre-sale order. I live in Iowa and can only make weekend games but I was able to work it out with some friends and family to share a full-season package. It takes some organization and logistical work but it can be done. Perhaps if there is enough people wanting to do this Rick could add another forum during the off-season to try to facilitate people wanting to discuss options with each other.

Thanks to everyone for the discussion. This is a great site for the information in the articles but also the information gathered through the discussions which is often first-hand information not available anywhere else.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 2:56 PM by triclone Highlight this comment 32

Speaking of the copper gold glove statue in TF plaza: take a picture with someone curled up into a ball like they were caught by a big glove. Kind of a fun, surreal picture.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 3:12 PM by buzz Highlight this comment 33

I also forgot to mention that several games (namely the Brewers July 2nd game, CWS Aug 6 game, BOS, and NYY series) were sold out of 2 seat pairs within 45 minutes of the pre-sale for 81 game STH. This could be a combination of factors:

-More STH than last year. (Which I can vouch for as there were no seats left for season ticket plans in the Field Box section when I did my relocation/upgrade from 40 games to 81 games in November/December)

-STH "abusing" the pre-sale and buying 8 tickets for high demand games with the intention of scalping them. (As evidenced by the 6-8 ticket groupings on StubHub for games).

-The Twins holding back amounts of tickets to have some fresh tickets available for each game when each sale begins. I doubt this to be true on a large scale as this would upset STH and TTT members who were told they would "be able to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public". That being said the park was funded in part by public taxes/dollars and I know the Twins want to patronize the casual fan/taxpayer by making some tickets available (i.e. the opening day lottery last year).

-I imagine that the Twins (as every sporting/concert venue does) hold a certain amount of tickets to be made available for last minute season ticket plan sales, VIP's, MLB scouts, corporate sponsors, players families, group ticket sales, etc. This means that tickets will sporadically become available throughout the season and leading up to the game, so checking the ticketing website frequently could net you tickets for your favorite game if/when those tickets are released for sale to the public. You can also be sure SRO tickets will be abundant on the website as those are often released in waves.

All things being said, I imagine it will be slim pickings tomorrow.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 3:13 PM by triclone Highlight this comment 34

Completely off topic, but I thought if there are any scorekeepers out there, they may be interested in Eephus League Scorebooks:
http://eephusleague.com/
It looks very cool and I ordered a copy for myself!

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 3:47 PM by Northlooper Highlight this comment 35

I guess I don't quite understand the outrage over the "Sanford" sign either. When I was a kid going to Millers games, the entire outfield wall of ballparks were plastered with advertisements. Many here chastise the Twins for squeezing every nickel they can out of TF by advertising this and sponsoring that, myself included...But in all honesty, the advertising today isn't nearly as intrusive as it was back in the 1950's when outfield walls looked like today's soccer jerseys or even nascar. Now audio advertising between innings at the ballpark, now that's annoying, especially when the volume of the ad is 3 times as loud as the PA voice.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 36

I plan on at least trying to get some tickets online tomorrow.
We shall see.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 37

I wouldn't say it's "outrage" over the sign.

It is just an acknowledgment that all of the other advertising is inside the ballpark, where it belongs. That sign is the only advertising visible from the plaza, which the team and Ballpark Authority had consciously tried to keep free of advertising so that it could do double-duty as a civic amenity.

It's reasonable to think that the team might have cared less if they'd gotten a cut of the profits. But I'm in agreement with the BA's stance that it sullies the plaza. (It doesn't wreck it, by any means. It's just counter to what had been desired in the planning.)

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM by Rick 38

Kevin I agree on the audio levels. Wouldn't it be nice if they reserved just one between-inning break per game, and had no recorded music, ads, promotions, sing-alongs, constests, or other noisy distractions and just let the organist play until the other team came to bat?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 39

Okay Rick, not outraged...maybe annoyed is a better term for your camp....I just think there are bigger fish to fry about TF than some sign which the Wolves and TC can legally put on their building. They're not a part of an HOA and have to abide by the wishes of their snooty neighbors at Target Field. The Sanford sign doesn't really impact my game experience as much as say, not seeing half of the field if I am sitting in the RF bleachers, or a ballpark that really sounds like the Metrodome if I close my eyes and listen to the organ - which is such a shame because the place is such a gem and to have it sound like the old toilet is just really missing the boat big time, but hey, the organ is my Sanford sign....To each their own gripe.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:42 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 40

I just think it's good humor that the Twins got "out-greedied" on that one.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:54 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 41

And --- don't you think they would have done the same thing in a heartbeat were the tables turned?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:55 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 42

"The Sanford sign doesn't really impact my game experience..."

Exactly. Who cares when you're watching a game? This was my initial reaction, and it still is when I'm inside the park.

It's when the park is closed that you understand why the Ballpark Authority might be upset. They tried to create a civic space for non-game days which was free from advertising, and got thwarted by a city government which is essentially clueless on many levels.

"...some sign which the Wolves and TC can legally put on their building."

Therein hangs a tale. Did you know that the city of Minneapolis had to change the zoning laws to make that sign legal -- and yet got nothing in return from the Wolves, despite being the owners of the building?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:59 PM by Rick 43

You've got it Ben...It's all about money. The Twins are all butt-hurt because they didn't get any money from the sign...So to obstruct it they said they were going to cater to their left field patrons and construct another scoreboard and a miniature shitstack. Yeah that's right, they're doing it for the fans.....uh huh.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 4:59 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 44

I guess I don't find the plaza to be much of an element of the park as you and others do Rick. I use the plaza as a method of transporting my body to and from the ballpark, usually looking down so I don't trip over my feet. On non-gamedays if I want to relax and enjoy my surroundings in Mpls, I'll go to one of the wonderful parks/lakes, not a freeway overpass. All of the trinkets and sculptures and STUFF on the plaza is nice but who really hangs out down there on non-gamedays besides pigeons and people walking to catch the train? I'm not saying that to be sarcastic, I just really don't know the answer to that question because I don't live there anymore.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 45

Rick I am going to respectfully disagree.

There is a giant Target sign in the middle of the park's name which sits overlooking the plaza (See Jared's pic above)There is also one over Gate 34, there are Target signs built into pavement of the plaza. There is a gigantic "Majestic? sign above the Pro-shop The name of the plaza is an advertisement. On game days there are plenty of other ads, the Am1500 van being the main example.

The whole plaza is one big ad for Target. So to say the Sanford sign is the only advertisement in plaza is false. I think the Twins dislike for the sign comes from two perspectives, they are not getting any money from it and it detracts from the attention given to Target who is their main sponsor.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 5:29 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 46

With the Sanford sign up near the top of Target Center, who's going to be looking up that far while on the plaza? For that matter, how well has the plaza served as a public space when there's no game scheduled? Have there been a lot of public functions there that I'm unaware of? And if so, wouldn't all the statues and gloves, and etched walls be advertising? It's got "Twins" splashed all over the place. And during any public function on the plaza, unless it involves skydiving, no one's going to be looking up that far anyway.

Advertising has always been a part of baseball. No one thought it too intrusive out at The Met when small planes buzzed overhead pulling banners, did they? Does anyone in Boston complain about the Citgo sign beyond the Green Monster?

The Sanford sign is a non-issue.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 6:05 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 47

Well, I for one will probably head down to the plaza on opening day, no ticket in hand. I just want to feel the atmosphere. And, I walked around it last week on a warm day and it was wonderful. The signs didn't bother me... I was too busy admiring the statues and tradition walls to notice.

I was curious about that mention of Holiday station hot dogs. How come no one ever talks those up?

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 48

OK, I get that nobody cares about this. It's not an issue for the baseball fans.

It's only an interesting subject to city planning geeks, I guess.

But there is an issue: To what extent should unrelated advertising be allowed to encroach on civic spaces?

Second, can a plaza which was constructed to be integral to a particular building/company ever truly be a purely civic space (which is at least partly a question of semantics)? In other words, does the presence of branding (a subset of advertising) relegate a would-be public space to some sort of lesser role and render moot any well-intentioned desires to keep other advertising to a minimum?

Third, it's reasonable to ask whether Target Plaza, given its location and configuration, could ever be considered or widely used as a civic space apart from its primary function. I, for one, can imagine it, given the vast potential for the neighborhood. That's a big reason I'd argue for making it bigger.

There are parallels to Peavey Plaza: It's named for a large benefactor, serves as the front door to a specific building, and is plastered with Minnesota Orchestra branding. Up until now, no advertiser has ever wanted to put a big, unrelated sign facing it. But what if they did? Chances are that nobody on the ground would care very much, but the city would have to answer the question of whether it opens a floodgate that should not be opened. To wit, I cannot help but notice a whole bunch more whitespace up there on Target Center which is visible to TV cameras within the ballpark.

And to the money: I have no doubt that the Twins long ago anticipated this move by the Wolves, along with the meek acquiescence by the city. As such, it was in their interest to build a plaza with no unrelated advertising so that they could take the high road when the inevitable move finally came. They would care much less (or not at all) if they'd gotten paid. (Once again, to me none of the Twins or Target branding counts because it's their building. Even the Majestic sign doesn't count because it's the name of the store. And all of the gameday crap goes in a separate category because the whole plaza ceases to be a civic amenity on gamedays.)

The Ballpark Authority, on the other hand, has different motivations. They were charged with, among other things, making sure that the new facility was smoothly integrated with the city. The above questions are the very ones they exist to consider.

Not many people know just how much effort was expended to create a smooth integration of the plaza and walkways around the ballpark with the streets and other surroundings. In some places it is so subtle that you don't even notice it (such as the reconfiguration of Twins Way). But it was a monumental effort, pulled off beautifully.

To them, the Sanford sign is a poke in the eye.

But all of this is sort of academic. And I'm really not trying to turn anybody into a city planning geek. Just having fun talking about stuff around the ballpark.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 7:26 PM by Rick 49

Query: I was reading in the Tribune this morning that replacement work on the new roof for the Humpty Dumpty will begin soon.
The article noted that "diamond shaped panels" will be brought in every week little by little for the next few weeks.

Will the new roof on the Humpty Dumpty still be an air-supported roof; or will it actually reflect the modern age and be a cable-supported roof, a la the Georgia Dome (or Dumpty II - aka Tropicana Field)?

Just as long as the "diamond shaped panels" don't end up emulating the circus tent look of the Georgia Dome. The Georgia Dome roof has diamond shaped panels.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 50

Nice updates the last couple days Rick..The Sanford sign is a non-issue for me considering all the other advertising everywhere..FSN ST game coverage SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:27 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 51

The Twins are mad about the Sanford sign at Target Center because someone else is making money off of Target Field by advertising directly to Twins fans without paying the club a dime. DSP and the club have tried to play it off as if someone spoiled the view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris by building a Wal-Mart next to it, but it's really about the dough.

I can accept it a little when fans complain about the sign ruining the view even though the space was Target Center's and the Timberwolves' to sell, and even though the Twins would have sold it themselves eventually if the team had the right to. However, it was a little rich when the Twins organization didn't shoot straight with the real reason for its angst.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 11:30 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 52

I'm sure the Metrodome roof will be the air-supported variety that it was. The Georgia Dome and Tropicana Field are what is called a tensegrity structure. And while their not much to look at from an aesthetic point of view, they're engineering marvels of force against force in delicaate equalibrium.

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 11:34 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 53

Me likey the wood, horizontal paneling underneath the aux. scoreboard. Tower is a nice touch as well.

Ladies & gentlemaen, you norlanders have yourselves a first-class gem of a ballpark. And to think that area was once the biggest eyesores to one of the most original cities in the country. Amazing!

BTW, anyone think a late round reach for Valencia might just lead me to fantasy baseball glory this year? Will he really bat 7th in the order all season? That ain't good for us nerds who participate in what is known to many as the single greatest dork fest know to man.

Rick, I'm proud to be the first to nominate you as the Twins next statue commission. Hell, they should give you a gate entry in your honor! Just because our catcher has the personality of a statue doesn't necessarily mean he automatically deserves one.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 01:23 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 54

"just having fun talking about stuff around the ballpark", and which you do very well.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 08:43 AM by robin Highlight this comment 55

To Rick's point, public bodies have stopped various signage ideas around parks, scenic sites, and so on. I don't see huge advertising on the Lake Harriet bandshell, for example, even though hundreds of thousands of people walk by it over the course of a year and the parks could certainly use the money.

The Target Center is OWNED by the City of Minneapolis. A public entity is encroaching on a public space. The only thing I would say in defense is that downtown public spaces, and downtown spaces in general, are often held to different standards than other spaces.

PS -- I'm not intending a park board vs. City government debate. That would be more off topic that even I could tolerate.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:04 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 56

I see that the Twins have added some "Important Notes and Tips" to their ticket purchasing page:

Max. tickets = 24 tickets at one time and 8 tickets per game.
You will have 15 mins. to completely fill your Shopping Cart & another 15 mins. to complete the check-out phase of your order.
We expect high volume in this on-sale so be prepared for longer than normal wait times.
If you wish to purchase tickets to more than 1 game you will need to use the "Add Another Game" button.
ADA seating may be purchased online, at Target Field or by phone at 612-33-TWINS
Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so buy early.
Close all other programs and windows on your computer while participating in this on-sale.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:06 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 57

Back on topic...my scan of StubHub this morning suggests that the Twins held back almost all of the Skyline View tickets, and most of the Home Run Porch for public sale. I think that is what folks will be battling for this morning.

I would also suggest that the folks that bought Left Field Bleacher because it was a cool "neighborhood" in the ballpark will have to get used to sitting next to a rotating set of people, since your buddy next to you probably just bought the tickets to try to scalp them :). There are tons of tickets available out there. If we get a cool drizzly Tuesday night in April for the Royals, I expect to be there for $5 around the second inning.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:11 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 58

fyi, last year I was adding tickets to my cart 15 mins before they were supposed to go on sale. Check early and often ;-)

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:31 AM by James1979 Highlight this comment 59

Anybody in yet?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:54 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 60

I'm in a VR right now. I love how EVERY game is coded green (including the home opener), which supposedly means 'High Availability.' Suppose this will change at 10:00.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:56 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 61

'VWR,' of course. With emphasis on the 'W.'

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 09:58 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 62

3rd n line at 8:58 MTD

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 63

I am in the electronic line and my person hasn't moved....

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM by tk Highlight this comment 64

My gy moved to 2nd after 5 min...been stuck there. All that is missing is the Cliffhanger yodel music from The Price Is Right.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:09 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 65

A friend of mine just got online and stated that his person is already in the first box. Mine is still in the second...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM by tk Highlight this comment 66

I just need my little guy to jump off that last box...i am trying to lose cliffhanger not win right now...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 67

Interesting that ALL games are still coded green - high volume still available. I have a hunch that is not the case.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:19 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 68

Nobody's in yet?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM by tk Highlight this comment 69

You guys are in the 1st boxes? I'm all the way at the end. :(

I'm not sure if I like this better than the virtual waiting room...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM by CSG Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 70

Nope, still in second on two windows.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 71

10:22 any my cliffhanger guy hasn't moved. I totally agree we need the classic Price is Right music here. Although 24 minutes of it might be a bit much.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 72

@DreDogg - I thought the same thing. I highly doubt all games have great availability.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM by CSG Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 73

Staring at a screen while scalpers fill their carts to the brim - there are some things that life is just too short for.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 74

I actually moved back in line, even though it says you won't. This thing is ridiculous.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM by FD Highlight this comment 75

Got into electronic line 4 'spots' (out of 10) from the ticket window icon at 9:58.
Moved up one spot at 10:04.
Still there 20 minutes later.
Life slipping away, 30 seconds at a time...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 76

This is much better than total randomness. For example, we know CSG will be able to get a single SRO ticket for September 22 tilt against the Mariners.

Actually, we'll have some good data around how long it takes depending on where you are randomly assigned in line, what types of tickets are available, and will tell us for future years if it is worth it to stay on line if you end up in the second half of the cliffhanger line.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:26 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 77

right now I'll take randomness

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 78

Has anyone else's screen have Bob Baker pop-up?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM by tk Highlight this comment 79

Are the electronic kiosks open at TF, anyone know?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM by tk Highlight this comment 80

I too had a guy move backwards.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 81

The person is useless...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM by tk Highlight this comment 82

TK- I know the lines at TF are moving well. A coworker was in line about 15 spots back and managed to secure 103 row 2 for the Yankees series. He said he asked about a bunch of games and those seats were available for a lot of games. I want to say he asked for 4 tickets. They were for his wife.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:31 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 83

Well if that is the experience you guys are having, there is no way I am going to move from the end in time to get the tickets I wanted. I have to be somewhere at noon. I figured that was enough time.

Last year I was in the waiting room at 9:59 and I had my tickets by about 10:30.

Good luck for those still waiting.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:31 AM by CSG Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 84

mouseover one of those green date boxes and you get this nugget of reassurance:
"High Availability - Great tickets are still available and you have a good chance of finding exactly what you want."

Looking forward to THAT...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:32 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 85

I guess we will have to add "you will never move backwards" to the list that includes "not a bad seat in the house" ---

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 86

@Jared, wow, 103, Row 2 for Yankees...so much for those people who fell victim to the TTT presale. No way did those seats get passed up if they were available.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM by tk Highlight this comment 87

cliffhanger music for you while you wait

my guy looks so in a hurry. I'm thinking he might as well sit down.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 88

"All that is missing is the Cliffhanger yodel music from The Price Is Right."
That's some funny shit...Made my day.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 89

I got a bunch of tickets so far, I think the key is to have multiple tabs open since it randomly picks you to be able to buy tickets.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM by grizzly adams Highlight this comment 90

I've been reading Rube Chat, and supposedly some people are getting in, but their screen freezes and they can't select anything.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 91

Multiple windows and a two computers is not working here. I feel like a scalper trying to get a couple tickets to games I won't draft.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM by tk Highlight this comment 92

I got a report from another friend..Yankees friday game...101 row 22

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 93

When I host my draft later today, I am going to tell my partners that they have entered the electronic line as part of the VWR.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:44 AM by tk Highlight this comment 94

I might even bring cliffhanger music.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:44 AM by tk Highlight this comment 95

I'm not real happy with the way the Twin's have handled things so far. As a Full Season Ticket holder, I had a code for purchasing tickets Tuesday morning, however I got the "Heavy volume" message for an hour and had to get back to work. Later that evening I checked again and found that none of the games I was interested in had two seats together. I was looking for any Fri, Sat or Sun game in June, July or August.

They have to find a way to taking care of legitimate season ticket holders that are just looking for an extra game or two to take family members to the game and still limit sales so that scalpers don't gobble everything up.

I thought I would take a shot this morning, but I'm still on the first square and haven't moved in 30 minutes.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 96

They have to take care of the fans that arent season ticket holders. Season ticket holders buy everything up just for the purpose of re-selling them. By the time non-season ticket holders get a chance at tickets there is none left. Its a joke, I guess the Twins only care about you if you are a season ticket holder

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 97

Just got mine: 121 row 10

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM by James1979 Highlight this comment 98

What I think is sad, is that people in the TTT presale were shut out...as a STH I am okay with it, but please limit the tickets you can purchase, so I could get a couple games to a popular game in a presale, similar to the Home Opener.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM by tk Highlight this comment 99

10:49 This Just In: Cliffhanging mountain climber moves up one spot to 2nd. Film at 11.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 100

I am not okay with it....

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM by tk Highlight this comment 101

Please disregard my last post inherent post while trying to monitor my window with a glimmer of hope.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:54 AM by tk Highlight this comment 102

We have movement! Up to first.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:54 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 103

What I was trying to say, that they should limit the number of tickets an STH can purchase, so that a STH can at least get a popular game or two.

If a person purchased the TTT with the benefit of the presale, and were shut out, only to find more availability today, that is just a sad situation.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM by tk Highlight this comment 104

" --- legitimate season ticket holders --- "

?????????????????

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 105

My brother called 5 mins before 10 and picked up two tix in section 14 row 3 for the Saturday Yankees game. No waiting, no busy tone. I have been stuck in box two in the line for 45 minutes.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM by ab21 Highlight this comment 106

Yankee game 8/20 is first to go yellow on my cliffhanger schedule:
"Moderate Availability - Good tickets are still available but in certain sections, you may not be seated together or may be seated in a more distant location."

No $#!+.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 107

I've been stuck in position 3 online for an hour now...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:00 AM by DavidT Highlight this comment 108

On another topic, someone on Stubhub is selling opening day tickets in the metropolitan club for $350! Front row no less. There is no description listed so I have no idea what you are really purchasing.

Perhaps a SRO ticket for the game and a promise to wait in line and get you a seat on the balcony for the buffet? I'm really surprised they will even list that, especially with no description.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 109

Phone line isn't even a busy signal anymore, rather it's an "all circuits are busy now" message.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 110

A friend of mine is running three computers and when he got to the point of actually buying tickets, the website wouldn't do anything after he clicked ok.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM by ab21 Highlight this comment 111

I was able to get in and get tickets to the game I wanted...be prepared that it sounds like your computer is going dead when you are allowed access.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM by tk Highlight this comment 112

Great. Add 'Chime of Death' to your cliffhanger music.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 113

Chime of death it is. I got 5 together for July 1, 5 split (3-2) for July 2, one for OD and 6 together for 6-19 versus San Diego. Good haul.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:15 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 114

were there any 2 seats together available for opening day or didnt you check?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 115

Anyone have any recognizance on what the line is like down at Target Field? There is something to be said for speaking to someone face to face to get the tickets to the games you want in specific areas. Plus no bullsh!t fees when you buy directly at the box office.

Also, remember that they NEVER sell all the tickets today. There are always some great ones leaking out about 7-10 days before a homestand.

Lastly, is it possible the demand for tickets is higher this season than last? Did the high prices people had to pay on the street to get in last summer make it more of a frenzy today? Or do you think it is just the usual Twins marketing spin "Get your tickets now before you get shut out"?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM by Max Highlight this comment 116

11:16 - Came back from the bathroom to see Mr Cliffhanger had moved up to front of the line! (TMI?)

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 117

I have been in the first spot in line for 22 minutes now...wonder how long of a wait it will be

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 118

Waste of time.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 119

I'm in, but everytime i enter the text verification, I get the high volume error.

Lame as all hell.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 120

Sorry Vikes, I didnt check on pairs. A buddy wanted a single for OD and i got in before him so I bought it, then he got in and found a better one he liked. So either I am taking a day off or giving it to someone who wants it, haven't decided yet. But i didnt look for pairs.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 121

9 dates yellow now, including Home Opener. duh

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 122

You can get right in now starting from scratch. Guess why.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 123

Jared:
Can I get in your cliffhanger line for that lone OD ticket?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:34 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 124

This 'High Volume' error is a joke. Why let people in if there is too high of a volume to process orders?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 125

Trying to decide which is worse, this or my ncaa picks... Both involve such high hopes at the onset... (at least my bracket had an almost one in 9 quintillion chance at perfection)

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 126

11:48 - Saturday Yankee game first to go red: "No Availability - Tickets are generally not available in any quantity or price although occassionally [sic] widely scattered seats may become available."

First honest statement to come from the Twins today.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 127

Had a friend ask to see if I could pick up tix for Easter Sunday. Eventually got back in, but was kicked out.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM by tk Highlight this comment 128

11:53 - My guy fell off the cliff, I guess. Dropped back to 4th place in line. WTF.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 129

I still have a few windows open. I maxed out on tickets the first time around (family visiting will do that), have a two games left to try for a pair each. All of my guys jumped backwards 5 boxes in line.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 130

Me too, schweady. Suddenly dropped from box 2 to box 5 (where I originally started two hours ago). I guess it's StubHub for me.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM by Jon Highlight this comment 131

Was first in line, now moved back to fourth. Must have smarted off or something.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM by FD Highlight this comment 132

Same thing. From First to Fourth. I was wondering if the popup lasted all of five seconds and I had turned away at just the wrong time. Guess not.

K

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM by Kramer Highlight this comment 133

what a joke the Twins ticketing has become...what is the point of having an electronic line and then when you get in, there is too many people that it cannot process all the requests?

What an f'ing joke

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 134

I was up to the third spot in line and then just jumped back to number six. I like how right on top of the page it says that you will never move backwards in line.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:03 PM by jleggitt Highlight this comment 135

Everyone's pal Luke is awfully quiet today. Either he has a hot date with his new squeeze or he's down at Target Field waiting in line for the September Royals' series.

I'm still in the back of the "electronic line" going on 2 hours. Nothing surprising or too aggravating to me (manage your expectations). However, continuing to put the diehard fans through this arduous scramble for tickets each year has got to be starting to piss people off. I mean take a look at the @TwinsPrez twitter replies and the @MinnesotaTwins today and the past few days. People are irate about how they handle tickets. The system is archaic.

Just outta curiosity, what kinda seats are people snagging once they enter the feeding frenzy?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM by Max Highlight this comment 136

so i was at 6 in the e-line but somehow got booted to 8. My friend got OD tickets which i'm getting one of sec 323 17-20

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 137

And once you get into the system and through the electronic line how much longer is it taking from there and is it even working for everyone?

K

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM by Kramer Highlight this comment 138

If you want a shot at good tickets on a weekend I'd look at the 5/13-5/15 series against Toronto. That's fishing opener weekend. Lot of guys will be up north.

K

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM by Kramer Highlight this comment 139

No popup here, Kramer... I happened to be staring at the timer run down to 0 seconds for its 200th time and then my guy fell backwards. Gonna need to bill the Twins for hemorrhoid meds.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 140

Ha! Now I get this error:

Error
We're sorry. We are experiencing technical difficulties contacting the team's ticketing system.

Use the team's schedule to start your order over and/or to search for another game.

If you continue to receive this error, please contact Customer Service.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 141

but they said they were 'sorry.' that's the main thing.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 142

HA, I clicked customer service and a VWR window popped up

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM by tk Highlight this comment 143

I was happy-go-lucky, got in the waiting room first thing in the morning, waited out my 1 hour queue....got into the ticketing system, selected the 3 games I wanted (6 tickets each for coworkers) and clicked on the shopping cart. Only to find that it kept me staring at the game selection window again...and again...and again...and again...

Meanwhile, I'm watching the "must check out within 15 minute" counter go down to 10 minutes, then 8, then 6, then 4, then 2....finally it just told me my time has passed, all the tickets are released, and booted me back to the waiting room.

I WANTED to give you my $500 Twins, I really did! But NO! I was not worthy....I am almost shaking with rage, beyond pissed.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM by JamesM Highlight this comment 144

dredogg I had the same thing just happen to me, this is a joke even last year with all the problems getting tickets on the first day I was done in under an hour and didnt feel like punching a hole through my monitor.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:23 PM by jleggitt Highlight this comment 145

Forgot to add, if you want to get group tickets together, you have to actually select the total amount. If you had 8 people going, you had to select 8 people, not 2 groups of 4...because if you do select 4 tickets (for 1 row) with the intention of selecting an additional 4 for the row above/below (to fit all 8 in), it'll tell you you've locked into the tickets you want for that 1 game and cannot select any more.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:24 PM by JamesM Highlight this comment 146

ok this officially bites. I got the 'technical difficulties thing at 12:16, so I quit and started over. (Ben, you had some thoughts on why that would work? ha.) Got a 'Temporarily out of service' page from tickets.com for a while, before getting back to cliffhanging. Only now, instead of 10 boxes, there are 12 (I'm in the 12th one, of course) AND the 11th box displays an ellipsis (...) which probably means, "You are actually in 216th position, SUCKER!"

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:28 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 147

Anyone else find it ironic that the title of Rick's post is 'Find Your Happy Place'?

You can't make it up!

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 148

Hmm, it's almost as if I knew this day was looming, eh?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM by Rick 149

DreDogg: yes, I noticed that an hour or so ago...

BTW: Sorry to be so chatty. Just thought it would make a good read for DSP some day.

luke is reading right now. I'll try to be quiet for a while to allow him to explain all of this.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 150

I was thinking the same thing DreDogg!

I'm still last in line on the Cliff Hanger, haven't moved forward one box in over 2 hours!

Just wondering- has anyone even gotten through on the phone? Both the 1-800 and 612 numbers go straight to "all circuits are busy" message, you don't even get put on hold like during the STH pre-sale.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM by amputechture Highlight this comment 151

Okay, after about a 30 minute wait, I was back in the ticket system. For a while it was the same old "too many transactions to process" and frozen screens and whatnot. Then suddenly, it ALL started to work fluidly. Every "select game from schedule" button worked, every "select which price/how many tickets" functions worked, and it allowed me to select my tickets and check out with absolutely no hassle (except now I gotta get my coworkers to reimburse me $400). Still not satisfied that I couldn't select 2 rows of tickets per game (would've given me more seating options) but I get to go to 4 games now!

Bottom line, I think they may have fixed some of the problems on their end. I can stop ranting and move on with my Saturday.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM by JamesM Highlight this comment 152

I brought this up in a previous post, but today shows it may again be relevent. As much as I dis-like ticketmaster and the fees they charge, the Twins need to do something about this online ticket sysetem. It been obvious for 2 years that their system is antiquated and incapable of handling the amount of traffic it should. Sadly ticketmaster has had their online system profected for years to the point where you can pick section, row and price level.

Everytime the Twins sell tickets online it has been one fiasco after another. From Game 163 two years ago, single game tickets last year, season ticket relocation this year and now today, it is time for a change.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:10 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 153

@schweady -- I figured they just divided the initial folks waiting in line into 10ths randomly, and then you progressed on your way. As we find out that isn't true at all, but it would make sense. However, ADDING boxes to a virtual line makes no sense at all. You are around the corner, down the street, and back around the garbage burner if you are in the 12th box :)

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 154

Here is a good story on Morneau by Jayson Stark at ESPN. Too bad he did not write this 6 months ago probably could have saved Justin some of this grief sent his way, which I myself am guilty of.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 155

Lincster: the ellipsis in the 11th box in front of me tells me that I am across town, moving up from a damp corner of a freeway underpass, soon within sight of an abandoned humptydome...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 156

Stock story on today's sales "ramp up" in STrib. 68 phones! Can you imagine such a commitment? Our little town of 2,000 used more than that for our latest levy referendum calling campaign.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 157

Was a pretty smooth process for me this morning. I started calling around 9:55 am, had to hit the redial button maybe 25 times and I got in. Purchased 4 tickets to 6 weekend day games. Was all done probably about 10:10 am.

These were ADA seats mostly in sections 113 and 128. Only "premium" game was one vs Yankees. Looks like the Twins handled their ADA inventory much better this season. Last season at this time no ADA seats were available except in the corners.

Nothing available in section 1 or 2, which are great seats and easy to access, sat their one game last year. Section 1 has ADA seats listed on stubhub, so still some issues there Twins need to work out.

I could of gotten seats in section 16/17. I sat there once last year and those seats sucked. The viewing angle is worse than at the Dome. And their really hard to get too via a wheelchair and once your there your trapped, need an escort to leave.

Overall, much better experience for me this season as compared to last.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 158

My virtual cliffhanger is at the front of the line and can see the virtual ticket box! Dive at the ticket box cliffhanger dude!

At least I've been able to get some stuff done around the house.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 159

Due to some running around this morning I had to start the virtual waiting room process on the iphone--just got selected only to learn that the final ticketing page must not work on iphone (flash I guess). Oh well, back to the end of the line for another 4 hours.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM by ew Highlight this comment 160

Rick: I just noticed 'Game Central' in the page banner. Looking forward to seeing what's to come in there. Any more progress to report on the individual seats chart stuff?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 161

I think the real question is why can't the Twins solve this ticketing fiasco after all these years. If the Twins are being honest (wink wink)) they had revenues of roughly 200 million in 2010 and expect 250 million in 2011. How can you possibly piss so many people off and not upgrade and/or come up with a working adequate way to sell tickets? I mean this isn't rocket science and there are other teams/markets that have been dealing with demand for decades.

There will come a time when demand wanes and people will remember how they are being treated in the "boom times" of 2010, 2011, 2012, etc.

Also, not much of a "benefit" to STHs to have no tickets available for the presales (or very very limited inventory) and then release gobs of tickets on Saturday to the general public. You think people are gonna spend $19.95 for the "exclusive" Twins Territory next year when they couldn't get tickets in their presale this year. The old saying "Screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me" applies here.

And I am a STH who doesn't really care about the presales/etc. but it is plain as day that this entire process is handled extremely poorly especially considering the resources of the operation...

The Twins deserve to get HAMMERED in the media for this. I mean this is year 2. There should be no surprises. Instead it is plain as day that this year is a bigger clusterfuck than 2010. Too bad the media in this town is eating out of the Twins' hands. If this kinda thing happened in New York or Chicago they would be ripped to shreds and rightfully so.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM by Max Highlight this comment 162

Interesting: And now the "electronic line" has disappeared and transformed in the old "virtual waiting room". Just outta thin air.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM by Max Highlight this comment 163

yup. I just got bounced to the VWR, too. Hello, old friend...

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 164

In this new world of instant feedback (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and the barrage of negativity the Twins seem to be enduring right now because of ticket sales, it will be interesting to see if there is a response. I am not even going to try to look at Twins Facebook messages or @Twins twitter messages because if this site is any hint, those will not be any more positive.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 3:05 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 165

Okay, I will have to ratchet back my anger at the Twins by about 0.1%: At 3:01, right after replying to Max, I heard the Chimes of Death, signaling my admission to my place behind the Veil of the Tabernacle. Lots of games I had in mind had no green 'T' by that time, of course.

I was mainly looking for 6 seats together, so I was somewhat limited in choices, but did wind up with:
Apr 9 - 6 seats in HR Porch View Sec 330 Row 11. Never sat in the OF at TF, so looking forward to that. We're on the aisle with Sec 329, so I'd love it if any of you there for BPM Night want to climb up and say hello.
Jun 28 - 6 seats in Home Plate view Sec 318 Row 12. Sure hope it's a warm night for those winds up there. Bringing the blankets anyway. Always wanted to see the Dodgers, but someday would like to see them in those dazzling home whites.
Sep 17 - 2 seats in Skyline View Sec 326 Row 12. This one cold be a chilly one, even though it's a day game. Always like going to Fan Appreciation Weekend. ere's hoping it's a meaningful game against the Tribe.

Add the Jul 15 and Aug 26 games in Sec 106 from my STH buddy, and I've almost made my goal once again of seeing one game per month.

Hey, what else was I going to do with a spare 5-1/2 hours on a Saturday in March??

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 166

Twins had server problems today as well, fun stuff.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM by grizzly adams Highlight this comment 167

Odd that they are so quick to use the "everyone else does it nw" spiel when it is something a bit fan unfriendly (the TV deal) that puts lots of bucks in their pockets, but when it comes to something that could use a tweak (and cost them whatever tweaks cost) the "old way" is just fine.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 168

I tried getting tickets on Wednesday as part of the Twins Territory thing. What a joke that was. Couldn't even get 2 seats together for the games I wanted.
Sat around for 5 hours today and again, can't even get 2 seats together for the games I want, in a decent non-300 section. I'll stick to watching the games on TV and save my money.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 3:54 PM by Steeks Highlight this comment 169

Spin doctoring at its best in that Strib story... thanks grizz. Easy to say to the casual reader that all was well during the 2 server crashes. Am I supposed to stare at a white screen for 30 minutes and say, "Oh, the Twins know what they're doing. They'll be back with me right quick and I will be just where I left off. I'll just wait for another half hour and all will be right with the world." BS.

oh, and I was so excited to tell you all about my purchases that I messed up the description of our exact seats (as if you care), but that's generally what I got. A little punch drunk after sitting so long at the screen... So, I'll have to come over to Sec T on BPM Night and introduce myself. Can't come soon enough!

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 170

I finally got through at about 3:30 and was able to get tickets to a number of games, most of them pretty good games (CHW and DET). Weekend games were tough to come by. I'm on the season ticket waiting list, so I tried to take part in the charade that was the TT pre-sale, but in the end, it turned out fine. They should really be more honest about the various pre-sales, or not even make it a 'benefit' of the waiting list. Just call it a waiting list rather than BSing with your fans about the pre-sale.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 6:04 PM by ew Highlight this comment 171

I've been playing around all day on the tickets. I think those that are interested in 2 or 4 or more tickets should look to StubHub or see if any are released.

There are still tickets available for 3 or 1, but the online tool is hit or miss.

Well, good for the Twins! I just checked a KC series and I could choose whatever I wanted, no problem. For those that want us to have KC ticket availability, you also need to accept not being in the playoffs for 20 years.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 6:14 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 172

"Just call it a waiting list rather than BSing with your fans"
----- If the Twins were not "BSing" their fans they would not be communicating with them at all.

"look to StubHub"
----- WAKE UP. The Twins are in bed with StubHub. Having fans give up and turn to StubHub is EXACTLY what the Twins want you to do.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 173

For those that have a Pro Shop nearby single game tickets go on sale this Monday. It really cuts down the service fees. There are also new items available such as Nishioka shirts. And again this year there is 20% off purchases for STH. Will be nice to have 20% off at the ballpark too.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 174

Seeing all of the online technical issues, I decided to be "old fashioned" and I called around 3:45. After about 20 redials I got through, and after about 10 mins on hold I was able to get tickets to 2 out of 4 I was looking for.

The two I could not get were Aug 5 (Hrbek/Gant bobblehead) and Yankees series.

I did get 4 tickets for April 22 (skyline deck V, row 2) and Sept 28 (sec 126, row 24).

Hopefully I'll get more tickets through TCTraders. :)

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 175

Wanted to try to pick up one last game that was important to me and some visiting friends in August. Tried to get in this morning but it was a disaster, finally got thrown off the system. Now I'm on a plane above Arkansas or somewhere, sat in the waiting room for an hour, then got in and purchased 8 v orioles on August 22.

Wonder if I'm the first to get the ticketing system to work at 30,000 feet!

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 6:38 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 176

LOTS of backpedalling and spin control re: today's ticket sales going on in the Twins camp right now. Makes me wish I would have saved an archive of the article before it was updated just a few minutes ago (my link is the same as the one that grizz posted at 3:46 today). As I recall, they were quoted earlier as saying that their server went down at noon and 3 pm, but users were being reassured to hang on and it would be back up at 3:30. (Wha??? It was during that half hour between 3:00 and 3:30 that I got in and got my tix.) Now, the article contains an admission that folks experiencing problems around 4 pm would need to quit and start over. What is totally BS is the contention that "only a few hundred users encountered the problem." I do recall that the older version of the article said that 110,000 were online trying to get tickets at any given time. "a few hundred" problems?? Really?

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 177

The Strib article with comments from Bill Smith downplaying the problems and DSP's patronizing tweet thanking people for their patience insulted the fans and were counterproductive to repairing the club's damaged image. The club's inability to get it's online ticket system working properly affected a lot more people today than a "few hundred". Would it kill the front office to actually offer an apology instead of resorting to spin control? This "circle the wagons" mentality is almost more infuriating than the ticket system failure itself.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 178

No question Jorge. This puke Kevin Smith needs to go. He just oozes arrogance everytime the media trots him out for a soundbite. Just watch him at Twins events he walks around like his sh!t doesn't stink.

It is insulting to everyones intelligence that they think people are gonna buy that this was simply a minor computer glitch & nobody lost their place in this so-called electronic line. What a joke. Some accountability and taking the means necessary to fix the ticketing system would go a long ways.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:42 PM by Max Highlight this comment 179

Infuriating; perhaps. But not enough that demand for product is diminished. There's a lot of irritation on this thread toward the Twins and their ticketing systems, communication, and honesty. Has anyone thought to make their point to the Twins by hitting them in the one spot it hurts? Log off and do something else with your time instead of wasting it in waiting rooms and wasting money on tickets sold by the less-than-honorable Twins. Instead of the constant griping about ticketing and the griping about being charged $50+ for a grab bag of miserable stadium give-aways, send the team a message and don't buy. Put your money to better use.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:45 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 180

Yes, Kevin Smith. Too used to talking about Bill. Thanks Max.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 10:59 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 181

Dr. X: Easier said than done, of course. In the end, I want to be in the park. The memories are being made every season, win, lose, whatever. It is a different world, sure, but the game has has always that draw for me. Over the generations ahead, the Facebook and iPhoto images of the Dome and TF that my daughters share on their pages will soon be cherished with as much nostalgia as the Polariods and fading Brownie Instamatic snapshots of my old Met era childhood. We will continue to piss and moan about sky-high salaries, the DH, and ticketing system failures, but it's still 3 strikes, 3 outs, 9 innings. And I'm gonna be there.

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:57 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 182

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"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P






Parking ramp knothole









Click to enlarge greatly






Better them than me



Bird's-eye view of the trees



Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune



Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)



Lots of pix waiting to be seen from Bert's memorable night.






New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)









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?)



The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)






Not me, but it might as well be.



The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.



Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)



Which way to the skyway? Really??



Kirby Jr. set to take down the last number



If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.









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 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.



The Northstar station.






Signage for the concession stand which is available from the plaza (plaques are up on the fencing)



LRT throngs after the game






Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.



Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.



Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?



An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)



The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site



Also warming things up are these planters.



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.



The green in question (click for very large version)









Click to see the full-size image.



Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof






Dramatic night-time lighting.



8:02 PM It's at peak, affecting mostly the upper deck.



This view, through a B ramp window, won't last forever.


Glossary

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
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(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
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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