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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
That's Tony Oliva checking out ballpark construction from the roof of Target Center.
Dugout Box and Champion's Club sections are sequestered by separate moats
Showing more of the context for the louvers.
Not me, but it might as well be.
1885 Sanborn Map Image (Source: Sanborn Map Collection, Minneapolis Public Library, Copyright © 2001 by The Sanborn Map Company, Sanborn Library, LLC)
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
Harmon is visible (barely) at the very center of the crowd.
Gate 3 ticket window
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)
This terrible picture shows the netting in place through a knothole on Fifth
Condiments! (complete with faux limestone on the cart -- nice touch)
The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."
Rooftop scaffolding, for the wind veil installation?
Loading dock -- already in use!
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:
There must be millions of details needing tending
Of the players up there, only Bert does not have a gate with his number (28) on it at Target Field. You know, there is that door underneath the skywalk on Seventh Street between gates 14 and 29...
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)
August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)
The admin building (note TF logo on banner)
Looking through it, you can see the outfield pavilion (upper deck at least).
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