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.
Building the canopy is a spectacular sight.
Gate 29 Carew
A flurry of action in front of the dugout before the game (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
This is the main entry to the Pro Shop. The second entry, located just outside the turnstiles, is indicated by the arrow.
Click on this photo to see what it looked like on this spot 101 years ago (I'm not kidding)
Hey! That limestone looks familiar!
For those not wishing to suffer through my media rant, please enjoy this picture of my lilacs in full bloom.
Upper deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
Poles through the gap
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Looking across the top of the B parking ramp. Notice that signage will block any attempts at seeing the game from up there. Also take note of the glassed in area which is part club and part office space for the Ballpark Authority.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Click to enlarge.
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.
Here's the view from the main concourse out through Gate 3 "Killebrew".
Above the Carew gate
Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
Red is old Yankee Stadium. This diagram comes from FieldOfSchemes.com
As mentioned earlier, one of the best climate-controlled views of construction is from the 7th floor elevator lobby in the A ramp. (That's Noah getting his first glimpse of the new ballpark.)
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
Section A, Row WC
This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
Sometime in the late 1980s: B ramp is under construction. Not yet built: Target Center, I-394 and the A ramp.
This will be a bar/restaurant.
No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...