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:
These guys seriously have the right to say, "I told you so."
In the feature is this very interesting slide:
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:
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!
"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.
A peak inside what will become the main concourse.
The suite mock-up
Up inside the circulation building. (That's the LRT platform visible through the windows.)
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
Uh oh. Schizophrenia.
This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.
A recent view of the Bud deck in progress
This is the actual entrance for Gate 6. Notice how close the seating will be. The back row of the lower deck will be mere inches beyond that inner support post.
Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune
This is the upper deck in Anaheim
This looks up Fifth Street (LRT train visible in the distance). This bridge is also being partially rebuilt (see next photo).
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
Viewed from up Sixth Street (that's Target Center on the left), you can get an idea of how the connection is currently planned. As it stands now, the plaza will extend to that support pillar, from which a stairway will empty to the sidewalk below. If they get their wish, additional support structures will provide a walkway along Target Center which will gradually (without stairs) meet the sidewalk somewhere up near First Avenue.
Note that the sign in the background will NOT be changed because "Twins Way" doesn't extend this far north.
These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.
Our conductor in Big Lake
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
Also from the same lobby, other window, a view which will clearly disappear before too long...
Up close, this is what you'll see as you walk along.
These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.
Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?