Our little secret is out: There's a great new place to watch baseball in this town.
I suppose it was inevitable that all sorts of people would hear about it and want to go down there to watch games and drink beer and eat hot dogs. Our beloved construction site has been all ruined by getting all finished up. I knew it was coming, but it just...happened...so...fast... (sniff)
OK, I'm depressed.
Not surprisingly, the accolades continue to drip from people's pens and keyboards and mustard-splotched lips:
Giddy Fan (breathlessly): It's the best ballpark I've ever been to!
Giddy Announcer: Really? Which other ones have you seen?
Giddy Fan: Oh, the Metrodome. And Midway Stadium. Once.
And I'm not kidding, some people have already started to try and rank TF among all the Major League ballparks!
"Well, the Vincent burger was a little drier than a Boog's ribwich, and it doesn't have the Roberto Clemente Bridge rising gracefully above the San Francisco Bay, and the Metrodome wasn't quite as bad as the Kingdome, but I'll still give it a three overall."
Can't we have a little honeymoon period here? Let's live in discovery mode for a while, and maybe talk about rankings when we've covered all the trading deadline moves, and maybe even the September call-ups. ("Can you believe that Wilson Ramos is still hitting .778? Where in the world are they gonna put Gate 44?")
Actually, I am depressed. I feel a little like a kid who watched a big roller coaster being built right outside his bedroom window for four years, and now mostly gets to watch on TV while other people ride it (or, more accurately, listen on the radio to their squeals of delight).
No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...
If ever there was a year to have a full season ticket package, this would be it. Of course, I have no idea how people find time to attend 81 games, and I haven't got anywhere near that kind of money. In truth, were it not for the kindness of some people I've met right here at BallparkMagic, I still wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the place.
To those kind souls, including the ninja who made tonight possible, I say what Clyde Doeppner said to Calvin Griffith: "Thank you."
I do love the upper concourse. Feels like home already.
My shaggy dog ticket story goes something like this: Last summer I bought five games from a STH group just to make sure that I would get in the door a couple of times. It cost more than I would generally pay for a whole season of baseball, but I didn't want to take any chances.
Well, the tickets came and -- I knew this was possible -- two of the five games immediately presented conflicts. Just the luck of the draw.
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
You may also have noticed that ticket prices are climbing precipitously. I'm thinking that baseball outings this year will be about as spontaneous as mortgage refinancing -- and have similar origination fees!
I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.
In the meantime, however, we'll have tonight: BallparkMagic Night at Target Field!
You won't find it on the Twins' promo schedule, but you will find a bunch of us overhanging out in the Overhang. If your seat is somewhere else, please make a point of stopping by.
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!
That is assuming that the big lightning bursts on my desktop weather forecast for tomorrow night are, well, exaggerations. I don't worry too much about the weather (or any things over which I have no control), but these look especially ominous.
But it'll take more than desktop icons to stop me. It will take some real thunder, some real rain, and word from the team that they won't be playing. In other words, I've got my poncho ready!
Looking forward to meeting you all and seeing a game.
"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.
Flowers. Real flowers.
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
A look at Gate 34.
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:
Seating mound (seen from the B ramp)
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
The entrance at Gate 3.
Workers against green
This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.
Looking through it, you can see the outfield pavilion (upper deck at least).
A closer look at the bridge and walls. You can see where the tracks will be laid.
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
Looking up Fifth, with LRT tracks and B ramp at left
The Puckett atrium fireplace is just barely visible at the far left.
People! (In the Legends Club)
Some people will go to work here every day.
Home Plate Terrace -- really great seats; maybe my personal, budget-based favorite
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.
A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.
This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.
I took this because of the view reflected in the store windows. (The store is cool too.)
Eleven flag poles
Glove from above
Stairs down to the sidewalk from the skywalk over Seventh
These are the footings for the staircase which will connect the plaza to the skyway.
The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)
Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007