March 4, 2010 11:18 PM
Taking a trip down to the ballpark between appointments this afternoon was a spontaneous decision which reaped some surprising rewards.
It has seemed for months now like all we can do is wait for the gates to swing open, that there was nothing left to discover from the sidewalks. Well, wrong.
After reporting here on numerous occasions that there were no knotholes from which any part of the action could be seen, lo and behold I found one.
It's pretty tiny, part of the Oliva gate area. In fact, though I didn't measure it very scientifically, I discovered that moving my camera about six inches one way or the other was enough to make it disappear. So, if you can't get a ticket, find that foot of gatespace and claim it for your own.
Just don't get your hopes up because there's a lot of concourse and standing room between that gate and the action. Odds are quite high that if you stand here during a game, you'll be looking at asses.
For reference, here's what you'll see through the long-touted "official" knotholes:
Knothole non-view #1
Knothole non-view #2
But there were other things to discover.
The circulation building is such a distinctly separate part of the design, that it never occurred to me that it could contain any ballpark operations. But lo and behold, there are ticket windows -- warm, climate-controlled ticket windows, behind that glass.
In fact, here's some of that climate control now:
Stay warm while buying tickets.
Directly above this scene, furniture has gone in on the Town Ball Tavern balcony.
Town Ball Tavern balcony
Now that the barricades are gone, there's lots to see behind the Oliva gate.
Heaters over standing room (the backs of the retired number circles visible above)
Note the speakers hanging beneath that deck
It's so great to see TC caps walking around down there. If you haven't taken a sidewalk tour, now's the time.
TC caps everywhere! (Is that you?)
More from my tour tomorrow.
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This page was last modified on March 5, 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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Click to enlarge
I believe that the truck is parked in one of the curb cutouts which are being installed to facilitate ticket sales and traffic calming.
Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)
Home Plate Box, Section 111, Row 8 or 9-ish (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Go get 'em, boys!
Loading dock -- already in use!
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.
An escalator was going in the day I was there.
Click to enlarge.
Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.
This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.
Detail of view to the northeast (Source: LP)
Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction
Met Stadium on May 17, 1975 (Twins vs. Brewers featuring Hank Aaron)
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
Earl Santee, principle architect for HOK Sport, presents some concepts while Mike Opat listens
Stairs and escalator down to the platform
Special guests in the trees!
Skywalk over Seventh
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:
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
An arch under construction.
On this day, George was handling fruits and veggies right inside gate 34.
The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.
Peering through Gate 34
The official ballpark development area
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...
Um, I think that guy is out.
Legends Club seats feature in-seat service
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