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!
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
A view from up (and in) the street.
Larry DiVito, mowing
Location for automated ticket machines
That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.
The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.
Looking up Seventh Street (click to see what it looked like from the same spot in 1950)
Skywalk over Seventh
Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
A view straight on of the Pro Shop area and ticket windows (just barely visible). The piers you see beneath the plaza are already almost completed (see final photo).
And another angle looking at the overhang area of the right field pavilion. This looks to me like a great area to watch a game.
Click to enlarge.
This is where the main ticket office will be.
Finished product (Field Terrace)
Legends Club seats feature in-seat service
Window area sketched by the limestone
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.
Here's another view up Sixth Street toward where the plaza will meet First Avenue (it will hug Target Center all the way).
CBP: retro in facade only
Sure would be nice to cover that metal grid with more wooden louvers, eh?
One of the sweetest sights of the day -- the Dome, and only through passing bus windows.