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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Circulation building with construction team on top
The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
A mass of rebar and complicated cable runs ready for a pour.
This is one complicated streetscape.
Open house skeptics
From the roof of the B ramp, you can see just how futile it will be to get a glimpse of the action.
Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!
Our cantilever friends will be happy to learn that there will be sections with views like this in the new stadium.
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...
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!
The Pohlads were loose. A-Rod looked, um, you decide.
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)
These openings will facilitate access to the catwalks which run throughout the canopy.
This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).
Saints between innings
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
Eleven flag poles
Here's the barricade in context at the end of the walkway
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).
Let's be honest and say that this promenade, which will face the HERC plant, won't be the most exciting part of the streetscape. It has to be provided for circulation reasons, but there won't be much to see unless vendors and other attractions take root here.
This is the Suite Level. There are multiple suites between each pillar, and there will be seating on the area in front of the suites which currently looks like it could be a walkway.
I'll admit that this makes me nervous. It's pretty easy to step into the path of a train (which is true at various points along the line, but still...)
Section 125, Row 1
A new restaurant going in at Fifth Street and Second Avenue
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.