Getting There (and Out)
June 1, 2006 10:24 PM
A major advantage of the Rapid Park site is the easy access to existing infrastructure.
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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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Target Plaza in model form
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).
Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
Looking the other direction, again from Ford Centre, you can see what's going on over the tracks. This will be a public promenade.
Row indicators are spray-painted with stencils over rust and peeling paint.
This gate opens onto Seventh Street from the circulation ramps, but it appears to actually be an entrance gate, rather than an exit gate. It has something of a Bat Cave feel about it because it's not a gate proper, but an area of louvers that will swing in, virtually disappearing when closed...
Which way to the skyway? Really??
2007, Noah's first game (Torii's last)
Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof
Inexplicable bright yellow baseball amid the trees.
The walkway under construction in the parking lot just outside the loading dock.
Nicely-cushioned seats, lots of room, great sightlines
Inspecting the delivery
Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
The Hrbek gate is directly below. It's a lively place after a game.
Did you know that the out-of-town scoreboard is covered by a black chain 1ink fence?
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
Walkway construction is progressing
Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.
For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.
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...
Seventh Street circulation
Clemson Memorial Stadium
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
Above the Carew gate
Directly above the ceiling here is the hidden concourse which served the upper deck prior to the renovation. That concourse was closed off to the public, but became a service level for ballpark employees. It's one of the many quirks which will be lost when the wrecking ball takes the place away.
Town Ball Tavern balcony
The green in question (click for very large version)
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.
This opportunity is half a block up Third Avenue and thousands of people walk right by before and after games.
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