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Seeing Our Shadow

February 3, 2009 1:41 AM

Here are some more snaps from my sunshine walking tour:


The circulation ramp on the north now has its louver framing.


The outfield stands taking shape.


This is the last hope for so-called knot-hole views. I'm skeptical.


The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.


A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.


Limestone will cover this pretty soon, but for now you can see where the escalator is.


The canopy as viewed through the outfield stands. The lighting approach, despite what you may have heard, is actually very traditional.


This is the Carew gate covered in plastic.


This view, through a B ramp window, won't last forever.


There's the opening through which the groundskeeping equipment will emerge (and disappear).


Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.

Tomorrow, the conclusion.

Naming Trouble

Here's an article which is troubling on many levels.

In short, some members of congress want to punish Citi Group for accepting bail-out money by forcing them to remove their name from the new Mets ballpark.


Citi Field as viewed from Shea.

I think that's a little bit crazy, but then I think the whole bail-out nonsense is pretty crazy too.

But the article made me wonder if Target Field's name would ever come into such jeopardy. Then, at almost the same instant that article appeared, Target announced their intention to eliminate 1000 jobs. That can't make them feel good over at 34 Kirby Puckett Place (or the top of the Multifoods Tower either).

These naming deals, though they represent an advertising expense, are some seriously expensive advertising. Wouldn't a big company like Target have to at least consider -- among many other things -- cutting back on their superfluous advertising (assuming that naming rights deals fit into that category)?

It's probably not an issue right now, but if the economy tanks further, and Wal-Mart continues to suck up more and more of those household goods buyers, it might look different pretty quickly.

Fuming About Fumes

No doubt you have heard that Hennepin County wants to spend some money to fix up the garage doors at the HERC plant. It's an effort to rid the promenade of even the tiniest bit of stink.

You can't argue with stink-removal. But the look of that place is way more offensive than the odor. What has gone under-reported is that a substantial part of the package being sought is for landscaping. Yes, they will be reconfiguring the entrance doors to get the trucks inside the building a bit farther away from the walkway, but they will also be building an earthen berm with trees and bushes to essentially hide that place away from stadium-goers. (I'm not sure what to think about "garbage perfume".)

The HERC is an ugly stepchild in so many ways. In the best case, it would just go away. Since we can't have that, the changes currently on the table are the next best thing.

But the discussion gives everyone the chance to whine and cry once again about the "heavy burden" to taxpayers that the ballpark supposedly represents. While, in Washington these days, such burdens go by the name of "stimulus." More on that in a minute.

Meanwhile, another project has made its way onto the radar. It looks like the money is finalized for some of the streetscape and skyway work. That's good news.

Dare I Mention...?

Yesterday I made a quick mention of the Vikes and it's all anyone wanted to talk about. This is a baseball site, so I thought long and hard before bringing the subject up again today, but it does seem worth discussing. Seems like we baseball fans, who got what we want, should probably help out the poor football fans, who it looks like may not.

Truth is, I don't really have a dog in the Vikings stadium fight. I'd hate to see them leave, but right now it seems inevitable to me. I'm a baseball fan, but my off-season Sundays would lose some of their shape without a football team here to follow. (Perhaps some of you have stronger feelings...)

Today, however, I realized that what the Vikings really need, but do not have, is a Shane. Even in a bad economic climate, there's a good case to be made that it's much cheaper to build a new stadium now than it will be to acquire a new franchise AND build a new stadium later. You can even file it under the aforementioned category of "stimulus".

As has been pointed out in many places recently, whenever the government spends money, it spends money. That means that they give it to someone else who will, in turn, give it to someone else. (One exception: If you give it to big banks, they will just stick it in the vault. They are far too disciplined to go around either spending or -- gasp -- loaning it to people.)

So, if you figure that the state would pay, say, half of the billion dollars toward a Vikings stadium, they would be giving that to design and construction firms who would pay it to their employees who would spend it at Target who would give it to their suppliers who would pay their employees, and so on and so on. How much of that half a billion would be paid back as taxes somewhere along the way? A fair amount.

No amount of spending can really create permanent jobs. There is no such thing. Any spending creates a short-term boost (though some boosts certainly last longer than others). If we're serious about jump-starting the economy, building a stadium is as good a public works project as anything else -- quite literally. It can represent up to four years worth of boosting. That's gotta be worth something to an economy.


Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.

(Warning: Begin rant.) I've said before that I don't like to stray too far into politics on this site, but it has to be said that the Pawlenty administration seems to be going out of its way to do the shortest-sighted things possible (accounting tricks, cutting aid to cities and closing arts-related agencies are all at the top of that Stupid list). Meanwhile, despite their large numbers, the DFLers seem flummoxed and frozen by the governor's dopey intransigence. They are at least as much to blame for the level of inaction we're witnessing.

Were there even a semblance of vision anywhere at the capitol they would already be surgically raising and lowering taxes (on a temporary basis and with the tacit permission of those affected), increasing spending to sectors with the most immediate economic impact (stadiums included there), supporting cities' efforts to right their own budgets by either freezing aid where it is or restoring some of that which has been lost in the past six years, and accepting that running a deficit budget (when done carefully and with vision) can actually be a successful short-term solution.

If there were any true leaders there, they would have realized by now that any business which decides where to locate based strictly on a state's tax climate is not one that you want to host. The companies you want to attract will understand that good education, and care for those on the margins, are worth a corresponding increase in the tax rate. It leads to a climate in which they can be successful for a very long time. You want businesses that are looking for that. Put bluntly, Pawlentyville looks a lot like Pottersville. It's a sad place where people sit on their money and everything fades to black-and-white. (End rant.)

Back to my earlier point. If the Vikings had a Shane, that person would be figuring out who exactly among the legislators is beating the stimulus drum the loudest. Then the Vikings would take that info and get those people together into a core of support and gradually build around it. That's pretty much what happened with the Twins deal.

It's not impossible, but it will probably take someone unexpected to do the very tedious leg work.

I guess that's my way of saying thanks, Shane.

Back In the Ground

While I was away, I heard that La Velle E. Neal mentioned this site on KFAN one morning. So, welcome to everyone who either heard that show or came through the link on his blogroll.

I sent him a calendar for his trouble. You can still get yours -- they're going out at cost right now, so don't expect the price to go any lower. And I'm certainly willing to talk interesting trades...

You may have noticed that I've been sprucing up the site a bit. Check out the image links in the right column. There's lots of info on this site (already well over 1000 images) that might be interesting and relevant long after the original posting. It's my hope that you'll find something to explore there.

The images are selected randomly with every page load. So if you don't see something interesting right away, just hit your refresh button.

I've also heard your pleas to make the comments easier to navigate. That's next on my list.

See you tomorrow!


To utilized enhanced comment features, please enable cookies in your browser.

Rick you are on fire. Thanks for all of the hard work.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 08:35 AM by twinlves Highlight this comment 1


Posted on February 3, 2009 at 09:02 AM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 2

Thanks for the mention Rick. While I know the part I played was small (very small), as I watch the Twins stadium being built it is nice to know that I did something to help make it happen.

One of the side-effects of this effort though (and I bet this is why you avoid it) is that the business and political side of sports, especially in regards to stadiums, is a depressing, foul, and hypocritical topic to think and write about. It is draining. Your love of the game takes a hit. It is much more fun to write about a stadium being built than working towards getting a stadium built.

You are right in that the Vikings need a champion. Whoever it is, though, he or she probably has 3-4 years to mull it over before things get desperate. My advice would be to save your energy until then.

Keep up the good work Rick! See you at the ballpark ...

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 09:19 AM by Shane Highlight this comment 3

From looking at the construction photos and the layout of the Metropolitan Club above, it looks like they decided not to enclose with glass the area that hangs off the Club towards the field and partially under the cantilevered section of the upper deck. All of the renderings and seating views have shown this area enclosed. I always thought that was the most awkward part of the design. More outdoor seating is great, it's an outdoor ballpark!

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 09:37 AM by Andy Highlight this comment 4


So glad to see you on here...don't you dare underestimate the role you played in getting legislation passed. I'm sure you're aware of how many legislators heard and saw your "POCKET GUIDE" of yes and no voters. You led a grassroots effort of ballpark bloggers and made A LOT of noise doing it! I still think of the sign Cheesehead Craig put in your house window while you were on vacation and I laugh hysterically.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 09:48 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 5

Thanks Kevin. That was pretty funny. Here is the picture:

The battle definitely had some good memories too ...

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 11:00 AM by Shane Highlight this comment 6

The state doesn't have any money for more stadiums, and neither does anybody else. IMO this won't change for the next four years. This is more than a recession we're in. It's a contraction. Minnesota can't afford to spend a billion dollars on a venue that will be used for fewer than a dozen home football games a year.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM by Dave T Highlight this comment 7

The Vikings need to change the argument. The Metrodome is used for way more than just football and baseball. For probably 200 days out of the year it is used for all sorts of activities.

We know the Twins and the Gophers are moving out. If the Vikings moved out also (for whatever reason), the Metrodome can not survive. It would probably have to be torn down because no one would be able to afford to operate it without a major tenant.

So, the Vikings need to take advantage of this argument. "A new multi-purpose facility with a roof will be used for all sorts of reasons and for hundreds of days per year. We will only use it 12 days out of the year and yet we will pay for a third of it (hopefully more). Without us you will have neither the old facility (because no one will be able to afford to operate it) or a new facility."

Of course, this is easier said than done. I predict that by 2014 we will know the fate of the Vikings. I hope economic times are better by then, but I agree with Dave T that the outlook, both in terms of economy and legislator mindset, is bleak.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 12:46 PM by Shane Highlight this comment 8

Why can't we be like every other city and build a football stadium with no roof. It's funny how every northern city can figure this out except for us and lowly Detroit. I understand its probably the only way to sell the idea of building a stadium so it can host other shit, but I really don't care about hosting Superbowls (probably one time ever), NCAA Final Fours, Monster Truck rallies, etc. Would it not make sense to save $200 million by not having a roof. I just want to see the Vikes outdoors 8+ times a year.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 1:17 PM by Matt Highlight this comment 9

Supported the Twins stadium. Love the idea of 82 games a year being played, even if we did have to subsidize it. But I'm sorry, anything beyond that and my econ degree and sense of logic kicks in... 12 games a year, plus some concerts and events? I'd rather keep our money in roads, education, and just BALANCING OUR BUDGET to begin with. BTW, Rick - Raising taxes never attracts companies to your state, unless your taxes directly benefit them.

I remember when Google built a building in my hometown in Oregon - we all thought it's because they wanted to save our dying economy and Google recognized we had a well educated populace to hire from. Truth is, I was told by a director that Google is sick of getting taxed up the ass in California, and our town was willing to give them a tax break and free power from the nearby hydroelectric dam. So they moved a couple hundred jobs to Oregon.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 1:18 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 10

booo to dave t & og jeff. yeah to a new vikings stadium!


Posted on February 3, 2009 at 1:36 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 11

Re: Shane

You're right, the Metrodome hosts countless spring baseball games and 1/2 of the Gopher's baseball home schedule. I know that recently there has been some discussion of pushing the MSHSL baseball season further into spring and avoiding some of the early April "slop games". I just don't know if having access to an enclosed building 365 days of the year is worth an extra $200 million to the taxpayers. Then again, they always put a roof on museums and music halls, so why not on a sports stadium.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 1:50 PM by Steeks Highlight this comment 12

Rick, Were you able to see what was going on in the area of the proposed "overhang" in right field? It looks like there's an angled wall going in on webcam 2 - although it could be an optical illusion...

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 1:51 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 13

Shane has the right idea once again. Reframing the debate is, as always, the best way to get what you want. The Vikes don't seem very good at that. If they've had any success at the Legislature so far, it's been kept pretty quiet.

The big question may be, will they extend their lease at the Metrodome?


OG Jeff,

My imprecise 4AM writing left the wrong impression. All I wanted to say is that desirable companies make location decisions based on a number of factors -- not just taxes. Finding educated workers, as well as good roads and public services (and sweetheart deals), always seems to be important. Companies won't locate to somewhere with higher taxes UNLESS they can clearly see the benefit to them.

In other words, just cutting business taxes is no guarantee that companies will start to choose your state. In fact, if cutting taxes means poorer schools or municipal services, it could backfire. And it certainly drains the coffers.

Click my name for some analysis way sharper than mine.


Dave T,

You're right. A billion dollars for 10 events a year is insane. Period. (10 events x 30 years = 300 events; $1 billion divided by 300 is $3.3 million per game. Ouch.)

Oh wait, I forgot about the monster truck rallies.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:01 PM by Rick 14

Click my name for an update on the Citi Bank stadium-naming fiasco.

The story somehow highlights everything that is wrong with...

...naming deals
...the bail-out package
...the economics of professional sports
...the banking industry

It's a potpourri.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:04 PM by Rick 15

I'm sorry to interrupt the conversation, and I don't want to pour cold water on a hot topic, but I would really like to not turn this into a Vikings Stadium website. What happened to the good old days of canopy contests, TF updates, and waiting with baited breath for the latest round of concept renderings? Please take the Vikings issue elsewhere!!!

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:09 PM by I love baseball Highlight this comment 16

Sorry, Rick, your post on Citi went up before mine. Thanks for all you do! Back to baseball??? YES!

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:12 PM by I love baseball Highlight this comment 17

hey "i love baseball" guys. if rick wants to talk vikings and vikings stadium issues then we talk vikings stadium issues. it's his site.

besides if you have been here a while you would know that the conversation ebbs & flows and is not always 100% twins or 100% baseball for that matter. for me that is part of what makes this blog so interesting to read everyday!



Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:19 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 18

They have put so much stadia in these last couple of days..

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:44 PM by Erik Highlight this comment 19


Break it down. How many sections? Seems like Mortenson is kicking it into HIGH GEAR since they have to be off the field surface by late summer....

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 3:17 PM by Max Highlight this comment 20

It looks to me that around 7 new sections are filled with stadia...they have filled 3-4 the past couple of days on the upper level...5 sections are completed on the main grandstand...and then a few new ones are completed on the split(smaller sections) of the upper level.....anyone can feel free to correct me if i am wrong

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 3:52 PM by Erik Highlight this comment 21

looks like the Home Run Porch out there in Left Field is going to be some pretty steep seating, akin to the upper deck at the Dome.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 22

I am not a Delmon hater! I actually would rather see Cuddy go, BUT I think D.Y. is gone. My source at the Twins told me a long time ago that their was no way D.Y. would be back. ("Just not a Gardy guy, He won't listen to the coaches.") I think our good buddy Jarrod Washburn from North Dakota is on his way. He is a good old-fashioned Twins-way kool-aid drinking Twin - aka. hard worker who plays the game right and gives up HRs! It will probably happen any day, hour, minute now. Just so I told you so, back in October!
Let's see who spots #16 canopy horizonal support (CHS)fellas??

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 6:28 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 23

Delmon may be traded, (although buying high and selling low sounds dumb) but it sounds like Washburn isn't going to happen. Joe C says, "the Twins have lost their appetite for a Jarrod Washburn trade"

I'm also confused about that slanted wall under the overhang in right.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 7:31 PM by haasertime Highlight this comment 24

First, I think it's too early to give up on Delmon. He still has 25/25 potential, it just might be two years before we see it. He's what, 23 years old?

Second, I heard Seattle catcher Jeff Clement might also be in the Washburn deal, but the Twins would likely flip him for someone else. I like Clement, but there really isn't room for him on the current roster, even though I still think Mauer is a health risk.

Third, Washburn is garbage. Yes, the Twins would technically be "buying very low" since Washburn was injured last year with a strained ab muscle, but he's 34, and we know what we're going to get. Pathetic K/9 ratio, below average ERA & WHIP, and a flyball rate that would be awful in the Metrodome, especially since he's vulnerable to left handed hitters.

It's difficult to predict numbers for young pitchers, but surely these guys will all out perform Washburn.


I'd rather have the Twins sign someone like Braden Looper to a one year deal instead of giving away Delmon.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 7:32 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 25

"I love baseball" guy, you're dumb. This is a "MINNESOTA" Twins ballpark website, so there will be talk of other Minnesota sports. Get real dude.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 8:58 PM by Minnesota Highlight this comment 26

I love the Delmon debate, but I'm dumbfounded that both fans and the Twins aren't giving him a little more credit. Click my name for COLD HARD FACTS.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 10:28 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 27

This may have been mentioned previously, but whats the deal with the gap in the left field grandstand for the maintenance equipment? Is there really going to be that gap there? I can't imagine that there would be a good way to move a section of the stands out of the way and then put them back.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 11:03 PM by 'nona Highlight this comment 28

Well I know they have it at the metrodome. I noticed at Twins Fest this year, they have a section in the left field seats that lifts up and reveals a set of restrooms. It couldn't be that terribly difficult.

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 11:21 PM by Camden Highlight this comment 29

Never knew that about the dome. I guess I just have a tough time imagining a section of steel, concrete and seats being lifted up like a drawbridge, but I obviously know less about these things that the people who are designing/building it.

Great site by the way. I can't get enough updates about TF. This site, the webcams, and are usually my first three websites I visit every day.

Posted on February 4, 2009 at 12:32 AM by 'nona Highlight this comment 30

We need to give Delmon some more time. OG Jeff, thanks for the link. Delmon compares very favorably to Cuddy. Gomez's speed is too valuable to give up. He's another young player that needs a little time to mature and get his grounding.

Posted on February 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM by David Highlight this comment 31

nona, I would imagine they would use hydraulics to lower and raise that section in left centerfield.

Posted on February 4, 2009 at 11:35 AM by JohnF Highlight this comment 32

I was just looking over the web cam 2. They have gotten to the point were you can see where an open protal will be in the lower bowl. I know the open main concorse is at the top of the field level, but I never thought about those open portals that will lead under the stands until now. There are 3 on each base side. Does anybody know if these are just for venders etc? Or will there be bathrooms and concessions under the stands. Rather than walking all the way to to the top of the level, it would be nice option to duck under the stands for a beer or bathroom break.

Posted on February 5, 2009 at 9:31 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 33

The only good time to go to a game in the new ballpark would be May & June. April, September and October will bring weather too cold for baseball, and does anyone remember the swarms of insects that would infest Twins games in summertime before the Metrodome days in July & August?

Say what you will about the architecture of the new ballpark, but methinks this may not be the quality baseball experience Twinkie fans are hoping for. Only time will tell - in the meantime, enjoy your last days of climate-controlled major league baseball in Minnesota, cuz you'll wish you had your dome back when you need to wear either a parka or gobs of insect repellent to a baseball game.

Posted on March 4, 2009 at 3:52 PM by Sammy Highlight this comment 34

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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

Home Run Porch Terrace (bottom) and View (top) as seen from the top of the B ramp

The Puckett Atrium

I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.

The canopy as viewed through the outfield stands. The lighting approach, despite what you may have heard, is actually very traditional.

2007, Noah's first game (Torii's last)

I don't think this will remain a knothole, but the view is pretty cool.

Detail enclosing the main ticket window area

Outside the Metropolitan Club, photos of all the other major league ballparks

You are forgiven for wondering whether architect Tom Oslund is, in fact, a visitor from the future.

Where you are, and where you can go.

Discussions in progress on some very brown grass...

Bag checking at Ball Park Lanes was incredibly simple, as was the pick up later. The line was short and fast-moving.

Signage for the concession stand which is available from the plaza (plaques are up on the fencing)

An overview of the model display.

Looking from the doorway to the south, across Seventh Street

The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."

The green in question (click for very large version)

This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.

Town Ball Tavern balcony


Love the red flowers -- just like the original concept drawings. That NEVER happens.

Preparations underway (Field View)

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 process of building the canopy is really amazing to watch.

That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.

Click to enlarge.

The view from section 210

Dancing for the cameras

A view of construction from the B ramp. This looks toward Seventh Street, over what will be Gate 34 (the main entrance).


BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis


First Edition (1992)

Second Edition (2006)


Selected Bibliography - Surveys


Second Edition (1987)

Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title

(2000, large coffee table)

Original edition (2000, round)

Revised edition (2006, round)

(2001, medium coffee table)

(2002, small coffee table)

(2003, medium coffee table)

(2004, very large coffee table)

(2006, very large coffee table)

Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia


Book and six ballpark miniatures

Complete Bibliography

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