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Let's Review

March 20, 2008 1:03 AM

So, have I missed anything?

Thanks to everyone for keeping the discussion interesting. Let me take a moment to highlight some things that really deserve to be extracted from the comments.

First, in case you missed it, there is a short review linked to a simply marvelous primer on the new park over at MinnPost. In case you're unfamiliar with it, MinnPost was created by some former Stribbers who thought there just might be a better way to do local journalism on the web. They were right. It's a very worthwhile endeavor.

The author of that article mentions a gone-but-not-forgotten group of baseball-lovers who tried (but, alas, failed) to save outdoor baseball in Minnesota a generation ago. Here's a favorite photo I snapped back at the groundbreaking:

Save the Met!

These guys seriously have the right to say, "I told you so."

In the feature is this very interesting slide:

Pricing levels

To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time any specific pricing information had been leaked. No source is quoted, but it hardly seems made up. Until now, I've heard only generalities about keeping things "affordable."

I can't say that anything there is a surprise. My first reaction is to say that things look pretty expensive. But there's some inflation there, and without knowing the details it's hard to praise or condemn. It looks like you'll be paying about what you're used to for the quality of seat you're used to. That it isn't a gigantic increase is a relief. But these are preliminary.

On the other hand, there is some disappointing news in that article: some of the seats at the new park will actually be smaller than those in the Metrodome, and that the standard seat width will be identical. The standard leg room will increase by two measly inches. The real improvements are only for the "rattle your jewelry" crowd.

Of course, if you pay more money, you'll get a wider seat. Pay more money and you'll get more leg room. But for the rabble (among which I count myself), it'll be the same old same old. That's disappointing, to say the least.

That profile also accomplishes something I'd been working on: profile comparisons. It's been tough to come up with architectural information on the Metrodome, but I did confirm that the profile of the new park bears a rather striking similarity to the Metrodome in some key aspects. Most notably, the rake (steepness) of the upper deck is nearly identical. And the worst upper deck seats in the main grandstand of the new park are almost identical in distance to their equivalents in the Metrodome. This cannot be said of many new parks, who push upper decks even farther up than their predecessors. So, in a way, the Twins can be complemented for not making things that much worse for the cheap seat fans.

I had previously published an overlay of the seating configurations, showing that most of the truly reprehensible Metrodome views will not be duplicated in the new park. The outfield seating, specifically, will be much better. Of course, those seats will be one inch narrower than the Metrodome seats, so there's a trade-off. As far as I can tell, there will be no bench seating in the new park. Another disappointment.

Also from the comments, I want to refer you to some nifty construction photos over at minnescraper. I've been out to the site several times during my recent hiatus, and actually have a large stash of construction photos to be seen here in the coming days. But, truth be told, construction photos all start to look alike after a while. Let me offer this one from my most recent trip:

Pillar trophy

Remind you of anything...? (click the image to see what it reminds me of)

OK, I'm feeling a bit cranky tonight, but happy to be back at it. Thanks for your patience. These hiatus times are going to happen and they're beyond my control. But, I'll always be back as soon as I can. This is what I'd rather be doing!

Comments


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great to have a new post, rick. good takes and great comments. and i gotta say, seeing that trophy again made me giddy. imagine an october full-moon night in 2015 (sooner?) our beloved boys win the thing again in the new digs. can't freakin wait.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 08:24 AM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 1

I totally agree about some of the "disappointments" in the new ballpark. I am very surprised there will be no "bench seating" in the left field grandstand. I am further surprised that there will be narrower seats in the new ballpark than its predecessor, the Metrodome. Not that its a huge deal, but its suprising to say the least. The new ballpark will still be one heck of a ballpark in just two years.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 12:27 PM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 2

I would disagree with the comments regarding the upper deck. In fact, many new parks have brought their upper decks closer to the playing field, not only in height above the playing field but also the distance outward. Off the top of my head, I know for sure that Citizens Bank Park, PNC Park, Turner Field, Citi Park, Great American Ballpark, and Nationals Park all accomplished this and there's probably others, I just don't know them for sure.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 1:12 PM by DJ Highlight this comment 3

Perhaps the narrower seats will help motivate people to stay in shape.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 1:44 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 4

The narrow seats will allow more seats to fit into the ballpark. I'd rather have a 1-inch skinnier seat than no seat at all due to the game being sold out.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 4:36 PM by johnk Highlight this comment 5

All the narrower seats will do is discourage people from buying more overpriced concessions. I am upset that there is no bleacher seating in the outfield. I think all outfield seating should be bleacher. More room to spread out for low attendance games and more room to pack in the fannies for the popular games. This should be something the Twins could still change. Maybe they need folks like us to voice our displeasure, especially when it sounds like the seats to be smaller than the dome are the outfield seats...Hell, make them bleachers then..DUH!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 4:48 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 6

johnk,

I understand what you're trying to say..However you can fit more people in a row of bleachers than you can a row of narrow seats. Narrow seats still have 1 inch arm rests between each seat which would be eliminated if the row were to by just one long bench...with a back rest of course!!!

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 5:21 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 7

I'm ok with the bleacher idea as long as they have back supports.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 5:24 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 8

Looks like they are laying more steel beams for the plaza starting tomorrow. Click my name for link.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 8:00 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 9

That MinnPost piece with the comparisons in section between the Dome and the new park are interesting, but I'm not sure they're accurate. For example, the one they pass off as the home plate section has the Dome's seats going right to field level. Anyone who's ever watched a game on TV knows that the Dome's first row of seats behind the plate is a good 15 feet off the ground! I don't doubt that the rakes and seating geometries they compare are accurate, but the relation to the field is something that doesn't come through in those drawings, and I think it's one of the most important advantages that the new park will have.

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 10:36 AM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 10

I agree with Alex B. Those cross sections of the dome appear to be very crude. The overhang of the upper deck in those cross sections of the dome are much closer than we all know it to be. I think it is probabaly 10-15 feet closer in the crude cross section than what it actually is at the dome. I just don't think it's accurate in that slide show at all.
Rick, is this something you could compare in actual scale?

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 11:42 AM by J2K Highlight this comment 11

The source listed on those profiles is HOK Sport, so they are probably very close if not exact.

As I say, I've had some trouble coming up with architectural profiles of the Metrodome seating. If someone has such a thing, forward it to me (rick at twins ballpark 2010 dot com) and I'll try to verify those diagrams.

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM by Rick 12

Rick, I didn't mean to say that the Metrodome seating dimensions aren't exact, I'm sure that they are. And in that sense, they clearly show the relative angles involved in the seating decks - that comparison is very effective.

However, the first row behind the plate at the Dome is a good 15 feet above the playing field, but at the new ballpark it will be right at ground level. That relationship does not come across in those section comparisons. I don't know if that's an error or a misinterpretation (i.e. that's a section along the baseline, not behind the plate), but there's clearly something missing there.

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 12:33 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 13

I still disagree with the accuarcy of the dome cross section. It looks like there are about 10-12 rows over hanging the first deck, but in reality there are no more than 5 or so at most.

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 1:45 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 14

did anyone else read this article about the yankees' ticket prices?

holy crap

(see name for link)

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 5:30 PM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 15

Do to what I've been hearing about Busch Stadium III from the Greet Machine (3/24 post) and the baseball fever forums, I'm a little concerned about the Twins' ballpark, since it's from the same firm that did Busch III.

Posted on March 29, 2008 at 11:24 PM by CTM Highlight this comment 16


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Ticket window at Gate 29/Carew



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



Also from the B ramp entrance off of Third, a look up at the tiny crack between ballpark and parking ramp






Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.



Louver samples on display.



Ketchup, mustard, relish, mustard, ketchup






All three seating mounds






Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)



Cross section diagram of the field structure. (Click to enlarge.)



The windows have started going in.



Special guests in the trees!



Legends Club seats feature in-seat service















Sign installer dude






8:32 PM The glare is gone. Elapsed time: 1 hour (approximately 3 innings).






Signature trees?






The back gates at Comerica park, like everything else, a bit overwrought.



This is one complicated streetscape.



Tickets!



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This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?



Home Plate Box, Section 111, Row 8 or 9-ish (Click to enlarge greatly.)



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



Seals Stadium



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The storage tunnel is barely visible at left behind that guy.






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The Guthrie Theater's Wurtele Thrust Stage seating



Looking out from under Gate 34






People! (In the Legends Club)






Section 237, Row 15 (top of the Trap)



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



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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

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