As promised, here's the continuation of yesterday's warm-weather photo tour.
Perched welder on the top of the canopy.
This maze of scaffolding is something you'll probably never see again.
Looking up Sixth Street, now barricaded for plaza extension.
Reverse view, now looking down Sixth toward the park. The Met Stadium flag pole will be right there!
If you arrive by bus, your first glimpse of the park will be the scoreboard's profile. (Viewed from the bus station in the B ramp.)
This is amazingly close to completed. It's a short tunnel entrance ramp to 394 underneath the outfield stands.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.
Still more new pix coming tomorrow.
Take a Seat
In conjunction with TwinsFest, the team revealed the variety of seating types which will be found in the ballpark.
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
This came as a bit of a surprise, given that all earlier indications were that everything would be green, green, green.
It looked so green, that you'll probably remember my lobbying for some variation in the color scheme just to avoid the plague of sameness. I mean, any color looks great on opening day after 25 years of Yucky Blue, but without variety, any single color will eventually go out of fashion.
Well, my earlier protests now seem a bit naive. Color variation would have been great, but what we got is even better.
I mean, wooden seat backs? How cool is that? And it certainly wasn't on my radar. Unfortunately, my previous commitment meant that I did not get to TwinsFest, nor the press conference in which the seats were revealed (if I was invited, that is). I still have hope of getting some pictures of the sample seats, wherever they live now.
Here are a couple of links to media reports about the seating:
Apparently, 82% of us will be sitting in seats which are being advertised as 19 to 22 inches wide. That's all well and good, and certainly accurate, but there's a big difference between a 19-inch seat and a 22-inch seat. In fact, early documents revealed that some of the outfield seating, at 19 inches, will actually be smaller than the equivalent seats in the Metrodome.
Also, I'm not exactly sure just how the width of these seats is measured. The chair I'm sitting in now (a fairly standard Steelcase office chair) has a seating area of 20 inches wide by 19 inches deep. If I measure the width from the outside edges of the arm rests, it's 24 inches wide.
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
I point this out because this chair, which suits me very well in my work life, is substantially larger than almost every ballpark seat I've ever sat in. It's certainly much more spacious than anything at the Metrodome.
In fact, when I think about the Dome seats, I'm remembering that a chief contributor to their claustrophobic nature is the lack of arm rest space. My elbows always seem to be bumping into the person next to me unless I hug them tight to my body.
The team is trying to balance comfort with capacity, and I have no reason to think they are misleading us. But there are some key dimensions missing.
Likewise, the amount of leg room, said to be increasing by two inches (all over the park?) is probably measured from the front edge of one seat to the back of the seat in front of it. In order to know how this actually compares to the Metrodome, we will need the seat depths as well as widths.
Finally, as was pointed out in an earlier comment, the bleacher seating is not getting cup holders.
Now, I've expressed great affection for bleacher seating, especially for families, but without cup holders it could be a royal pain in the ass. I've been to plenty of ballparks without cup holders, and my camera bag always comes back soaked in somebody else's beverage. If they are available, the team should reconsider this decision.
Odds and Ends
Yesterday I tried to link to this great site which is following the Shea Stadium demolition. The site was down, but now it's back up.
For some, I'm sure this is a sad sight. But I'm having a hard time generating any emotion for the loss of this pit. I say, good riddance.
Thankfully, I saw it in person and have some pictures (yet to be published). But I think you really had to visit the place to understand how lousy it was. I immediately changed my lowest-ranked ballpark experience from the Metrodome to Shea, and it wasn't even close.
Here's an NFL pregame show from Met Stadium in 1975.
It's the last couple of minutes of this video which are the most interesting in that you can see the football configuration of the Met and a bunch of hardy fans.
It's comforting to be reminded of what it was like to play football in the corner of a baseball stadium (for a change)!
This isn't Twins-related, but the closing of Macy's at Brookdale does represent a serious opportunity for the Vikings. That site, under-utilized but perfectly situated, would make a great spot for a football stadium. There were early discussions about considering it for the Twins park because Brooklyn Center wanted in on the whole thing, but they ultimately proposed the land on which the Shingle Creek Target now sits.
Do I think the Vikings will get a new stadium? Yes. In Los Angeles. (As I've said many times before: When relocation is just a negotiating tactic, you hear about it all the time. When it's the actual plan, you won't hear a word until it happens.)
As I mentioned in a caption above, one lane of Sixth Street is now blocked off to facilitate construction of the plaza extension to First Avenue. Up at the corner of First and Sixth is where the old Met Stadium flag pole will be placed.
I'll meet you all there on opening day before the game!
As mentioned previously, I'm hoping to turn all of the info and photos I've collected here into a Target Field commemorative book to be published in time for Christmas 2010.
But I've had a request from a publisher to do a Met Stadium book first. I'm considering this, and starting to do some research into photos.
So, I'm wondering if YOU have any old photos of the Met, or if you know of someone who does. Drop me a line (rick at, you know the drill). I'd appreciate it.
I'll have more tomorrow. But for now, here's a video tour much like the one I took with Dan last fall. It was produced by MinnPost.com (there's a part two available by following the related videos link).
"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.
Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)
For those who have never seen it up close, that's what it looks like when steam comes out of the HERC plant.
Stairs down to the sidewalk from the skywalk over Seventh
The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
The lot within the lot.
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
Life in the shadows
Plaza extension reaches toward First Avenue
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
Bag checking at Ball Park Lanes was incredibly simple, as was the pick up later. The line was short and fast-moving.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
Perhaps these very bold, Hitchcockian birds picking at left-over popcorn and peanuts were portents of what was to come.
Click to see the full-size image.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
We took refuge for a time in the Twins Pub where you can drink a beer (or just hang out) and listen to some ballpark tunes. The organ is decorated with a TC (of course) and what looked like drawings which Sue has received from kids.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)