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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
Parking ramp knothole
Click to enlarge greatly
Better them than me
Bird's-eye view of the trees
Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Lots of pix waiting to be seen from Bert's memorable night.
New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)
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?)
The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)
Not me, but it might as well be.
The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
Which way to the skyway? Really??
Kirby Jr. set to take down the last number
If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.
I have no idea what this is or does, but as gear goes, it's totally boss, man. (Attached to a railing just off of the Trap)
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
The Northstar station.
Signage for the concession stand which is available from the plaza (plaques are up on the fencing)
LRT throngs after the game
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)
The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site
Also warming things up are these planters.
This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.
The green in question (click for very large version)
Click to see the full-size image.
Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof
Dramatic night-time lighting.
8:02 PM It's at peak, affecting mostly the upper deck.
This view, through a B ramp window, won't last forever.