One of the most exciting aspects of the site is its proximity to two different forms of rail transportation.
From the north (from as far away as Big Lake), you'll arrive via the Northstar Commuter Rail. This project, slated to open in 2009, has the potential to do for the north what the Hiawatha Light Rail has done for the south. Fares are expected to be from $4 to $6 dollars each direction (with station parking free). Best of all, the Minneapolis terminal will be located either within or directly adjacent to the ballpark.
This has been a rather controversial project, and funding is not 100% secure -- something I cannot understand. I've ridden similar lines in Boston, Chicago, and San Diego. This is an amazing way to travel. Those who oppose it will probably one day feel somewhat sheepish.
From the south, you'll arrive by the Hiawatha Light Rail after parking for free at one of the Park-n-Ride lots along its route. As of this writing, the line ends at First Avenue North, about two blocks from the ballpark site. It is expected that a short extension will be completed in time for the park opening.
From the east, you may be able to arrive by the St. Paul extension to the light rail line (known as the Central Corridor). This is slated to run down University Avenue to the capitol building. No schedule has yet been established, but the success of the Hiawatha line bodes well for this extension. Of course, there is short-sighted opposition to this project as well.
If you are coming from the west, you'll arrive via I-394 and probably park in one of the three municipal parking ramps designed for use by commuters and carpoolers.
If you are coming from the north via I-94, you'll exit at 4th Street. This ramp, in addition to affording a beautiful view of the park and skyline as you approach (it's kind of like flying into the city), will dump you directly into the warehouse district at 2nd Avenue North. From there, you may try the 4th Street parking ramp.
If you are coming from the north via I-35W, you'll no longer enjoy the easy access you do now to the Metrodome. You'll probably still exit at Washington Avenue, turn right, but then follow it a couple of miles to the warehouse district. The more industrious will exit farther north, perhaps at East Hennepin Avenue or University Avenue/4th Street SE, and then find their way by city street (ultimately crossing the river on the Third Avenue or Hennepin Avenue bridge).
If you are coming from the south, you'll have two choices:
You may want to follow the I-35W spur into downtown and make your way on city streets the last mile and a half to the site. There are lots of places to park along the way, though this may be a rather pokey trip.
You may prefer to exit from I-35W to I-94 west, go through the tunnel, then exit to Olson Memorial Highway, turn right and follow either Sixth Street (which will merge into 5th Street) or 7th Street. No doubt parking opportunities will spring up on this side of the park, though there isn't much there now.
If you are coming from the east, you'll probably follow I-94 through the tunnel and exit at Olson Memorial Highway as indicated above. If you are more adventurous, you may prefer to exit earlier and come through the University of Minnesota campus (past the new Gopher football stadium) on University/4th Street, or maybe via Washington Avenue to Third Street South. You'll probably want to avoid exiting to downtown Minneapolis on 5th Street (as you would to the Dome) since it is permanently closed at the government center and the path gets very circuitous at that point.
Many routes terminate near the site at a transit hub which is built into the 5th Street ramp.
True fans may want to check out the many new housing opportunities within walking distance of the park. There are many warehouses being converted into condos nearby, some distinctinve (and expensive) new construction to the north, and the distinct possibility that a whole row of highrise dwellings will replace the surface parking lots and beach volleyball courts which now are directly adjacent.
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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The view from section 210
Another B ramp glimpse (don't loiter here!)
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).
(Click to enlarge.)
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
Nine spots for hops bats.
Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.
In addition to the Pro Shop facade, you can see more gravel being laid before the final plaza surface is poured.
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)
The littlest Twins fan: Truman
The proposed wooden screen covering the circulation ramp on Fifth Street (at left is the equivalent screen on Seventh Street).
The former Ford manufacturing plant (now Ford Centre).
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).
The season was perfectly bookended by Mick Sterling on the plaza
The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.
Section A, Row WC
Gate 6 is quite large
A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.
No griping here.
Love the lighted, translucent panel
The plaza as viewed from across the park. The right field overhang section will be built just in from where the plaza supports are.