May 4, 2010 2:40 AM
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.
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This page was last modified on May 4, 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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
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.
(Click to enlarge.)
Here's what they do in April at Comerica Park
Look at all that blank space. Canvas! (What should go on those walls? A giant schedule perhaps?)
Work beneath the scoreboard
First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right
You can't get there from here.
Some details are visible here, like the back of an escalator.
This is very early in the day.
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
OK, people are definitely riding their bikes to games! (Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy MBA)
Life in the shadows
This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.
Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)
Wow! Looking good.
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
Memorabilia on display in the Metropolitan Club
An arch under construction.
One of the sweetest sights of the day -- the Dome, and only through passing bus windows.
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:
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
Some people will go to work here every day.
The old flour Gold Medal Flour Mill, located next to the new Guthrie theater (Source: RP)
Items promoting the Twins 2014 All-Star Game bid. I got to bring one of these buckets home, and Noah got his first-ever taste of Cracker Jacks.
I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
A look at Gate 34.
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...
The view through a construction "knothole".
Loading dock -- already in use!
A familiar view through the top floor elevator lobby window in ramp B (HRP View and Terrace).
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
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures