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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Here are some less intrusive things things you can actually get at the ballpark.
I didn't check the menu too closely, but it looks like all the standard fare is available, and not much of the non-standard stuff.
An overview of the model display.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
Here's a curious little room at the end of the circulation ramp. What could they be selling there?
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
The parking bay structure is now clearly visible
The past is the future. Seriously.
Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof
The plaza as seen from the B ramp.
Another deck to come...
Serious home dugout work in progress.
The littlest Twins fan: Truman
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
The stunning curtains, which skillfully evoke the architecture, keep the atrium from getting too hot in the late afternoon sun, simultaneously hiding the HERC.
Very nice Admin glass.
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
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.
Some of your fellow BPMers at a game in May of 2010 (we had almost the whole section)
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
Would you have spotted that Twin? When you were five years old?
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.
Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.
Handshakes all around (there's gonna be a lot of that over the next few weeks)
The windows have started going in.
The entrance at Gate 3.
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
The saddest event
Thanks for all the hard work out there, Cold Safety-Line Dudes. (I'm glad that my job does not require safety lines...)