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.
Somebody asked how long it would be before the tarp had a sponsor. Well, not very long.
Steps, skyway, and plaza intersect.
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
Checking out the bike racks on the promenade.
There must be millions of details needing tending
Not my actual kids!
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)
Glove from above
ATM-style ticket machines have appeared beneath the steps to the B ramp (you can also enter the B ramp directly by walking past the ticket machines)
Millers fans leaving Nicollet Park after a game in 1923, where a trolley was waiting. (Click to enlarge.)
The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)
Back of scoreboard; facade in context.
Here's the view from the main concourse out through Gate 3 "Killebrew".
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.
Final Metrodome baseball sight
Walkway sneak peek
This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
They could not help the Twins on this night.
Um, I think that guy is out.
That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.
(Click to enlarge.)
Staging for the next section (Home Plate Box)
A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.
(Click to enlarge.)
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)
View from the Overlook
B ramp improvements are finally becoming usable. The doors lead to the plaza beneath the skyway steps.