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August 31, 2007 12:38 AM

What a great party!

Ballpark Party

Start with a beautiful evening -- truly the best that Minnesota has to offer -- then add a stage full of luminaries and legends (and Ron Coomer), throw in a dollar dog or two, and then cap it all off with a few turns of dirt and fireworks. Could it have been any better?

Hrbek

Jets flew over. The grass was all green and pleasantly shaggy. Carl Pohlad gave away $5. Ron Davis got a mention. And Kent Hrbek drank the first ceremonial beer (after asking Mr. Pohlad's permission).

Luminaries

Click to enlarge

I got there a bit late (Was the model on display? I never did find it.), but ended up right along the ropes straddling the first base line. At one point someone pushed past me. I turned and said, "Oh, excuse me . . . Mr. Mauer."

2007 Twins Dig

The speeches were predictable, as were the "interview" sessions -- between Dick Bremer and Mauer/Cuddyer first, and Carew/Killebrew second -- but very appropriate for the occasion. The crowd was remarkably polite to Bud Selig (who sat right next to Mauer -- talk about a study in contrasts). Kent Hrbek positively stole the show. Gardy thought the dirt looked highly kickable, and that his hat will probably be able to fly a long way.

Dug

It was a great moment -- truly a once-in-a-lifetime thing -- for baseball in Minnesota.

Comments


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let me tell you something about this groundbreaking it was one of the best thing ever kent hrbek is the man he is the all time great. ps 2010 with alot of love

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 07:33 AM by tomeko taylor Highlight this comment 1

The only renderings of the current, and I assume, final design were on the video screen and a banner in back of the podium. There was a tent with posters of the design from back in April. I didn't see any model, either. The poster and programs handed out also contained the old rendering. The design shown on the podium appeared to be pretty close to what is being displayed at the Twins state fair booth. There was a rather hostile woman booing the proceedings who I engaged in "conversation". Let's just say booing Harmon Killebrew is beyond the pale for this baseball fan! She was among three people who hung signs from the 7th street bridge. I couldn't believe how angry she was. You would've thought they were groundbreaking for a nuclear power plant. But it was a great day for the groundbreaking, and you're right, Hrbek was the highlight.

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 08:15 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 2

How on earth did Ron Davis get a mention on such a great day? His name is never used in a sentence without expletives.

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 08:19 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 3

yeah, it was too bad there were no updated renderings or anything. The lady said the model is still under construction, and will be available for viewing when it's done, sometime within the next month.

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 09:39 AM by mike Highlight this comment 4

I was disappointed to only see the one rendering at the groundbreaking. An animated video was also played of what the concourses will look like. I'm hoping the Twins post this stuff on their site soon.

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 09:43 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 5

I'm glad to hear that I didn't miss the model. I saw the concourse renderings on the video, but I noticed that there was a fairly large label at the bottom which said "Representative Images" or something like that. That makes me think it was probably just stock HOK footage and nothing specific to the new design.

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 10:15 AM by Rick 6

I spoke with one of the Twins people there and asked about the model. He claimed it was to large and delicate to move.

He did say that eventually the model will be on display on the 46th floor (I think) of the Multifoods tower. Also said that it will most likely be at next years Twinsfest.

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 3:34 PM by Jon Highlight this comment 7

I watched the video as well and agree that the concourse footage looks like stock with that large, bold label on it. Hahah. (They must know that we would disect every little part on this website).

One thing I did see in the images of the park that SEEM to be the new drawings...the outfield lights moved back off the scoreboard and onto a large stanbdard above the left-field seats. This may be a mix of old/new drawings, so again we'll prob just have to wait for them to publicize the new drawings all together....but since its come up before, just though I'd mention it.

Whos getting excited!? Hey Rick...do you know, are they going to be doing construction during the winter at all or or is this a fall/spring/summer kinda thing??

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 11:20 AM by Anon Highlight this comment 8

I have to assume they will ned to keep building all year round to meet the April 2010 deadline...

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 4:49 PM by Rick 9

Hopefully they'll work year-round on that model, too. It'd be nice to see something palpable before the stadium opens for cripes sakes! I'm so disappointed there aren't any decent representations of the final product by now. Frickin' ridiculous, I think!

Posted on September 1, 2007 at 05:59 AM by Erik Highlight this comment 10

Good to see Land Partners have made a settlement offer of $33 million. Are they freakin' kidding me? Does this mean they think that through an appeal that they wouldn't actually get $33 million?

Posted on September 1, 2007 at 06:37 AM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 11

If the land owners think the land is worth more money - then why dont they start paying taxes on what they think it is worth?

Posted on September 1, 2007 at 4:12 PM by Shut up and sit down! Highlight this comment 12

What did it smell like at the groundbreaking? Was there any traces of the garbage burner? Thats pretty much the only thing that worries me about our new ballpark.

Posted on September 1, 2007 at 8:40 PM by Jason Highlight this comment 13

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: There is absolutely NO smell from the garbage burner -- never has been. (My company had offices in Ford Centre for a couple of years. I know first-hand.)

Posted on September 2, 2007 at 11:15 AM by Rick 14

I agree, I've been to the site a few times in the last year and I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary. Is there going to be any gates on the HERC side of the ballpark, or just the Target Center/Light Rail/other sides?

Posted on September 2, 2007 at 11:04 PM by James Highlight this comment 15

Did anyone happen to see Dave St. Peter on Mark Rosen's show Sunday night? I was just wondering what he had to say or if it was the same old "BS" we have been hearing all along. Curious if anyone watched or heard anything "new" from the Twins President.

I am just amazed how long it is taking to release the "final renderings" and "models". The way it has been going, I suppose we will have to wait until Twinsfest 2008 in January...

Posted on September 3, 2007 at 01:27 AM by John Highlight this comment 16

No nothing new was shown. It was the same schematic renderings from back in April, which I think is annoying. It's like they're hiding some big secret. The stadium is under construction, show us what it's going to look like. St. Peter said basically that the park will resemble what was revealed back in the Spring, kasota stone exterior, etc., but we know that there's been big changes to parts of the design, particularly the outfield seating. Anyway, nothing new, same ole same ole from the Twins.

Posted on September 4, 2007 at 08:06 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 17

It was fun watching the ceremony from my office (I'm on the 45th floor of Multifoods), despite still being at work. One thing I noticed, and not sure if it's been discussed yet, was the shadows. It seems that pitchers will be pitching into the shadows during twilight games, making it tough for hitters. After being at ground level, were you able to pick up on how they might come into play?

Posted on September 4, 2007 at 2:15 PM by Paul Highlight this comment 18

I don't understand why the Twins refuse to show the final renderings of the new park. If they are driving piles, the design has to be finalized, right? Perhaps someone with knowldge can enlighten me?

Posted on September 6, 2007 at 2:45 PM by John Highlight this comment 19

John,

The designs are certainly NOT final. They change almost daily, and new renderings are done periodically, but not for each and every change. There have been many different renderings since the ones which were released last spring.

But in trying to get things just right, they have gone through a number of different ideas which are exactly that: ideas. Releasing renderings for each new idea would be impractical and misleading. That's what makes the renderings I saw at the fair so interesting (see the previous story). Something about this particular iteration allowed it to slip into public view.

Of course, certain things about the park are already decided and set in stone (literally). They will not be changing the position of the grandstand even if, for example, some of the details in the upper deck aren't yet finished. Driving piles is possible because the footprint of the ballpark has long been established.

Everything above the foundation is still open for tweaking. It will probably be this way for quite some time.

My guess is that revised renderings will be released periodically and without much fanfare (kind of like what happened with the State Fair). I'm keeping my eye out for those as much as possible.

Posted on September 6, 2007 at 2:55 PM by Rick 20

From the August ballpark authority meeting minutes:
"Mr. Hunter reported that the new ballpark design is at the Phased GMP stage and is being reviewed by Mortensen, HOK, the Twins, Hennepin County, and the Ballpark Authority. All parties are reviewing the design and preparing a cost estimate. These items should be before the Ballpark Authority Board in October. Chair Cramer requested that the MBA be briefed prior to October."

phased GMP stage? Looks like we'll see a more conclusive design come October.

Posted on September 6, 2007 at 4:14 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 21

"GMP" stands for "Guaranteed Maximum Price" in construction parlance. Any idea how the budget is holding up? and are the collections for the sales tax meeting expectations? (with the economic slow down and all)

Posted on September 10, 2007 at 06:54 AM by db Highlight this comment 22

Looks like the pedestrian bridge is still in....they are starting the foundation this week!

Posted on September 10, 2007 at 11:22 AM by MOJO Highlight this comment 23

how is the traffic going to go in to downtown from first avenue or the highway

Posted on September 10, 2007 at 12:20 PM by tomeko Highlight this comment 24

Any new updates from anyone? Any new pictures of any renderings/models? Just curious as it has been quite quiet over the last couple of weeks. I see Hennepin County made an offer $19.3 million for the value of the land. Sure seems like this battle could be going on for a long time after all appeals and rulings are said and done with.

Posted on September 12, 2007 at 01:23 AM by Luke Highlight this comment 25

No, have to wait 'til October. Watch the progress on the web cam. Maybe you can start a fund for the former landowners, they sound like a great group of people, at least a couple of reporters at the Star Trib. keep trying to tell us that. How sad that they feel they're "whipping boys". I wouldn't use "boys", more like old, entitled opportunists, but whatever. Yea Aron, this motley crew you represent are certainly the "whipping boys", boo-hoo. Sorry that sale to Hines was signed and everything, whoops. Your pr hack isn't doing his job if he still can't sway public opinion even after getting his reporter friends to write favorable, cushy stories about the people he represents. The general public doesn't care anyway. So sit back and watch the "battle" there Luke, enjoy. I'll be watching the park rise out of the ground....

Posted on September 12, 2007 at 08:48 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 26

I was down at the site the other day. There's not much to report which can't be seen on the webcam, but I should have something by the end of the week.

Posted on September 12, 2007 at 09:35 AM by Rick 27

Attached is a pic of new Yankee Stadium. They are putting up the steel that will connect to the facade.

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 12:13 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 28

wow the pohlad family is taking over the ford centre building.

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 12:19 AM by tomeko Highlight this comment 29

From the Pioneer Press:

"Plans are for the Twins' new ballpark, scheduled to open in 2009, to feature Kentucky bluegrass, which will be grown on a sod farm starting next summer."

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 09:18 AM by QA Highlight this comment 30

I saw that too...whats with the 2009 thing?

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 10:26 AM by MOJO Highlight this comment 31

There's been some sloppiness in the mainstream media lately about the ballpark. That 2009 thing is probably just an error. I believe that the Gopher Stadium opens in the fall of '09. Perhaps that's where the confusion came in.

There was an article yesterday in the Strib saying that a mediator has been engaged to try to settle the land dispute, but it did not explain just how this mediation process was going to work. It sounded non-binding, and thus pointless. The sides are millions apart and not in any mood to compromise. Expect a trial.

Dave St. Peters' blog entry yesterday mentioned that the pedestrian bridge construction would be starting soon (this after the official construction page on the Hennepin County web site also mentioned closures related to it). But out at the construction site, there's no sign of activity beyond the fence separating ballpark from freeway. I have to believe this must wait for settlement of the land deal because that amount paid for the land could have a direct impact on the amount available for that bridge.

Frankly, the land wrangling has me a bit fatigued. It's in the hands of lawyers and the courts and that means all we can do is sit and wait.

The recent media coverage which tried to put a face on the Land Partners people was something of a non-event. I'm sure they're nice people who just want the best return on their investment that they can get. Can't blame them for that.

But that they signed on with a snake like Hines to shake down the public by way of the legal system is pretty lousy. But I guess all's fair in love and money (or should I say, love OF money).

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 10:41 AM by Rick 32

The question isn't whether that bridge will be built, it's the main connection from sixth st. to the ballpark. The pile driving may not have started earlier this week, but it's supposed to begin soon. The budget comes into play on other connections, from 7th, for instance. So there will a connection, that's a given. The question is how many other pedestrian links to the park there will be and how many amenities they will have. The confident talk of the lawyers representing their clients is rather amusing given the job they did before the condemnation panel. I think Mr. Rosen thinks he can charm a jury. We'll see....but they aren't getting anyway near what they tried to extort from this process. There was a ruling, it came in at under 24 million. They're clearly having a difficult time dealing with their bungling with all the finger pointing they're doing at the county. It wasn't the county's fault the legislation contained the acquisition and infrastructure cap. That the bill passed the legislature in the first place was a miracle even with that cap the county had to swallow. Getting that bill through the legislative committees given this issue's contentious history was incredibly difficult.

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 11:43 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 33

I believe they are doing the bridge...I drove by the site a couple days ago and they have the stick markings in the ground for the foundation. In addition, the sign in the parking ramp elevator, which is from the ballpark authority, says they will be start working on the pedestrian bridge this week. If you think about it...it would be pretty difficult for them to have the ballpark without the bridge. A majority of the fans will arrive from downtown. They also need to have a bridge to connect the light rail extension to downtown. Without the pedestrian bridge fans and light rail riders will not have easy access to downtown.

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 12:16 PM by MOJO Highlight this comment 34

I put the bridge budget question to Dan Kenny at the Ballpark Authority, and I think I ran his response once before, but here it is again:

"The answer is that the original design of the pedestrian bridge that was presented to the Legislature in 2005 and 2006 was a straight ped bridge that ran from the ballpark and terminated at 2nd Ave North near Bulter Square and Target Center.

"As the design team did more work and received more input it became apparent that we needed more of a plaza space and more gathering areas at 7th street as well. Also suggested at the concept design stage was extending the ped bridge beyond 2nd Avenue along the side of Target Center up to 1st Ave N. While the scope of the desired infrastructure expanded, the $90 million cap did not.

"The cost of the bridge extension is estimated at $3 million, and because of the cost it was not part of the base schematic design that was approved earlier this year by the County Board and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority.

"The good news is the ped bridge has been designed to accommodate an extension to 1st Avenue North and it can be built in a later stage of the project's construction.

"Everyone associated with the project sees this as a high priority, and we continue to seek ways to fund this enhancement. (In addition we are seeking ways to improve connections to the ABC ramps and the existing skyways to make the facility more pedestrian and fan-friendly)."

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 1:05 PM by Rick 35

Hey everyone, the new BNSF track has been laid in the last two days. Saw on the webcam that they were working on Monday and Tuesday. Good news is it'll be done in a short amount of time and they can get started on the sections where the current track is located.

Posted on September 19, 2007 at 12:51 AM by ML Highlight this comment 36

We need updates

Posted on September 21, 2007 at 3:43 PM by John Highlight this comment 37

I'm fighting a bandwidth battle right now, so I've held off posting.

Without doing anything special, this site is generating roughly twice the traffic it did just 6 weeks ago. That's great and all, but it's causing a few problems (expense being one of them). I'm trying to solve this now for the long haul, since traffic will (hopefully) continue to increase until spring of 2010 at least.

Of course, even by posting this comment I'm attracting traffic. So don't be surprised if the site goes dark for a few hours today or tomorrow...

This should be solved in the next "24-48 hours" according to tech support. I also have a redesign coming to make the content a little easier to sift through. There's a lot of material now on this site, much of which is sort of hard to find...

Posted on September 21, 2007 at 5:20 PM by Rick 38

We need updates

Posted on September 23, 2007 at 9:13 PM by Jason Mitchell Highlight this comment 39

The first tower crane is going to go up this week! You can already see the base for it on the first base side!

Posted on September 23, 2007 at 5:54 PM by Andrew Highlight this comment 40

Does anyone have ability to do a cross section comparison with the metrodome? I would like to see how high the seats are in comparison, especially in the upper deck as those seats seem very high to me.

Posted on September 23, 2007 at 4:23 PM by John Highlight this comment 41

Hey Rick.

Was checking out a website and saw they were using your photos on the new stadium...(see link)

You should be getting credit for 'em, haha.

Keep up the good work

Posted on September 25, 2007 at 1:25 PM by Zaq Highlight this comment 42

Hey does anyone know...?

Is there any update on our flag-pole from the old Met!?! are they gonna bring it over??

Posted on September 25, 2007 at 1:38 PM by Excited Highlight this comment 43

Update from the Ballpark Authority (see link)

Posted on September 26, 2007 at 10:11 AM by Ryan Highlight this comment 44

Hey guys,

FYI, for anyone who attended the groundbreaking ceremony last month and signed the white pile...that pile was driven into the ground today to commemorate! I believe it was on FOX 9 news, but am not 100% certain.

Posted on September 27, 2007 at 9:47 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 45

I signed the 2 piles that were available at the ground breaking. And yes, FOX 9 News did indeed do a story on it.

Posted on September 28, 2007 at 3:12 PM by Pikachu732001 Highlight this comment 46


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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.











Earl Santee, principle architect for HOK Sport, presents some concepts while Mike Opat listens



This will be a great neighborhood. Note that the covering is being built for the emergency access. Also, note the streamers above, which appear to be monitoring air flow.



The outfield stands taking shape.






The county of my birth!






Stay warm while buying tickets.



Lots of self-portraits were taken here after the final out.



Memorabilia on display in the Metropolitan Club






Showing more of the context for the louvers.






The gate has grown a row of sponsorship



...but you can get a feel for what it will be like.






The tracks on the right will be moved to the newly-cleared area on the left. The edge of the ballpark will be about where the rocks and dirt meet.



For reference, this is that same area as viewed from the seat locator.



10 years ago, Bruce Lambrecht looked at this land and thought, "Why NOT a ballpark here?" It took a long time before anybody else saw the same potential.



A whole bunch of guys working on something.



Click to enlarge






This is the HERC Premonade with railroad tracks snaking beneath. (I think this should be named the Halsey Hall Premonade. Seriously.)



Before the team came out to warm up, Kirby Puckett, Jr. was playing Frisbee out in center.



Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)









From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.



Name that band. Please. (Mick Sterling)






Peering through Gate 29 -- lots to see



Hey! That limestone looks familiar!



Supports viewed from beneath. These seats will be just a few feet from the outside edge of the building!









The Overlook



Looking up toward Seventh Street.



Today's match-up (click to enlarge)



The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.



They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.



Concrete molds are being removed!






TC gets ready to release the hounds. (Kids get to run the bases after Sunday games.)









Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)



Here is Seventh Street viewed from the west looking toward downtown. This will probably be the most pedestrian-friendly side (other than the plaza), but only if there is some psychological barrier between the people on foot and the people in their dangerously fast-moving automobiles.





fth Street facade as viewed from the top of the Minnekahda building.





Glossary

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

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