This is getting serious. Reports in the comments for yesterday's entry have yielded stories about people accosted by security through the speaker in a parking ramp elevator, as well as being told by actual security guards to move along.
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
I've never experienced that, and I hope I never do. Frankly, it's very unsavory for both the city of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Twins. If the policy has actually been changed, a very big mistake is being made. I'm quite sure that the team is not behind it, and perhaps better do something -- quickly -- before their new prized location gets a very black mark against it.
My guess is that the team wants every fan in Twins Territory to come by and take a look, and maybe snap a picture. That's the best way to encourage ongoing excitement among the fan base. Chasing people off -- as if they are criminals -- for taking a peek is a pretty good way to ice the fan base. Chase the die-hard ballpark geeks off and the insult gets amplified pretty quickly.
Let me expand just a little bit on what I said yesterday. Keeping people from sleeping in the skyways is a Very Good Thing. Likewise, keeping panhandlers moving toward the exit is wise.
Musicians may be a gray area. If they're good, no problem. That's a really warm and welcome part of the culture. But if they're bad and it's just a fancy panhandling act, well that probably shouldn't be tolerated. Of course, they can't send music critics out to sort through them, but there's a common sense principle which applies.
Unfortunately, security policies often eschew common sense for rigidity and fearfulness. Those who are making these decisions (and their legal counsel) need to take a collective deep breath and come in off the ledge.
When it comes to skyway security, baseball fans are relatively benign. They come down past Target Center because they are curious and excited. Why would anyone want to stop that?
I'm happy to report that I have now booked my Shea Stadium/Yankee Stadium Farewell Tour! I'll be seeing both parks on the weekend of September 13 in a whirlwind 39-hour escapade. Of course, I'll be bringing my camera so you all can join in the fun.
I mentioned this last week in the comments, but my beloved Olympus C-2100UZ camera developed some dead pixels on its sensor after six years and about 16,000 photographs (many of the ballpark site). If you look closely, images from the past six weeks have a green dot near the center. We can't have that!
The new camera, the Olympus SP-570UZ, is finally here, and I'll be taking it down to the site sometime next week (hopefully not to be shooed away by a misguided security policy).
Here are a few recent images from the dying camera. Sorry about the dot (minimized on these images by reducing resolution and increasing compression), but the images of the steel work on the plaza are really worth it.
The plaza as seen from the B ramp.
Serious home dugout work in progress.
Now we know what the English phone booths were for...
"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.
Ready for action.
Staging for the next section (Home Plate Box)
I don't think this will remain a knothole, but the view is pretty cool.
Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
Night (about the 7th inning)
Nearby, workers are finishing a support column. The guy at the bottom is using some sort of personal dirt mover (inset). Very cool.
For reference, here's that spot on the model.
Trees also have sprouted near the topiaries
Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.
It's pretty easy to see right into the Twins dugout!
Knothole non-view #2
The outfield stands taking shape.
B ramp at left, ballpark at right (and visible far away through the tiny crack)
OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...
Here is the most recent outfield configuration, captured from the animation video. We probably shouldn't make too much of the logos seen on the scoreboard: Best Buy, Dairy Queen, Target, Pepsi, Dodge and Qwest...
Since pictures of the ballpark are forbidden, perhaps you'll enjoy this shot of the lovely apple tree in my front yard.
The view from the upper concourse.
Today's match-up (click to enlarge)
This is some of the signage in place for concession stands.
Indications that club seating (the wider spaced areas above each dugout) will be a major presence in the lower deck
Lots of people are doing it.
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right
One of those funny little sections above the entrance stairs