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A Preview (And Not)

July 25, 2009 3:36 PM

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, there is plenty of outdoor baseball available right now if you're willing to seek it out. (I probably don't have to tell you this.)

Well, I was invited to go along on a group outing to Midway Stadium last night to enjoy some tailgating and a night game. Rain in the morning gave way to a beautiful afternoon and an even more perfect evening.


Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)


The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)

Our seats were out in General Admission/Family Section ($5). The top seat in the ballpark is only $12, so that would have been my preference, but when you're doing a group thing, this is pretty effortless.

There are GA sections on both sides of the field. We naively opted for the right field corner, not realizing that the sun would be directly in our eyes for the first half of the game. My scorecard contained a fair number of question marks because I just couldn't see what was happening. I finally gave up in the 5th inning (this also coincided with a trip for some cheese curds).

The payoff came, however, when the sun was finally shielded by those trees and we got to witness a genuine, deep Minnesota sunset. It was picture-perfect.


A spectacular golden hour


Party deck down the right field line

The party deck was closed for a private party, but you can see below that it's right next to a full concession area. Also behind the party deck was a beer stand, an ice cream stand, a fruit smoothie stand (staffed by a very lonely-looking teenager) and a bunch of games for the kids.


The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)


I think that's a pig up there on that vane!

At various points I wondered just how much the experience represented a sneak preview of what we'll get at Target Field. My conclusion was that it's not much of a preview at all.

The architecture is obviously different, so I doubt that the setting sun will impact the outfield seats at Target Field for very long at all, though the sunsets themselves could be equally spectacular (the glare issue is for the main grandstand to deal with).

But it's the overall atmosphere that really defines the difference. At a Saints game, the promotional stuff seems to take priority. At a Twins game, the game itself never loses the spotlight. I could go on with details, but I think you know what I mean.

I know which I prefer, but that's not for everybody. And I was pleasantly surprised with the level of play I saw from both teams. It was up several notches from the last time I went out to Midway a few years ago.


Saints between innings


Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)

They've kept Midway Stadium relatively up-to-date, but it's clear that the place needs replacing. You may have read that the Saints have teamed up with the city of St. Paul to ask the Legislature for $25 million for a new ballpark in the Lowertown area.

It's a great site, and a great idea. It also seems like a bargain.

The Strib ran an article with this map last month (thanks, James, for the link):

saints ballpark.jpg

That was on a long list of possible Twins sites at one time, but really would not have worked well for Major League baseball. I can think of a couple of sites I like better for the Saints, but this would do just fine.

You'll note that the park would be oriented to the southwest, which is among the less desirable orientations. But it would probably provide a proportionally spectacular view of the St. Paul skyline.

I can find no concept drawings of a new Saints ballpark since this one from 10 or more years ago (sited across the river from downtown on a parcel which is no longer available):


The Saints' official site doesn't contain any mention of the project. Also, the site for the architect mentioned in the graphic was no help. It may or may not contain more info, but it has one of the worst navigational schemes I've seen on a web site in a very long time, so we'll probably never know.



I also couldn't help but wonder what impact Target Field may have on the Saints' business. If tailgating is a real possibility in Minneapolis, will the crowds thin further in St. Paul? (Though the official attendance on Friday night was around 6,000, at its peak the crowd only appeared to fill about 60% of the stands.)

Are people going there to see baseball outside, or are they drawn in by the overall level of casual (and highly economical) fun?

I like to believe there is room for both teams (and perhaps a third) in this market. But I'm inclined to predict tougher times next year out at Midway.


A true fan out in the bleachers


Just, wow.

The sun took about 10 degrees of heat with it when it set, and we were reminded that three evening hours represent at least two different climate zones. We wished we had brought sweatshirts.

In that sense, I learned a little something that I'll need for next summer. So I say, get out there and experience it for yourself!

We're all in training now, you know.


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Link to Saints article from the Star-Tribune.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 04:59 AM by James Highlight this comment 1

I have a friend that works for the saints, and another that played shortly for them this year before being drafted, and I guess Bill Murray has been in town working actively behind the scenes to get this done. I doubt it has much of a shot if passing at all, especially in todays climate.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 06:13 AM by Camden Highlight this comment 2

Well I for one hope it does get worked out. Yes some people think its corny, and the baseball play isnt always the best, but we need things like this in our area. We cant let everything dry up and go away. We have to have some pride, and have things that give people from out of state to come and visit. This will just be another thing this state lets dry up and go away.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 07:28 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 3

I too really hope this gets passed. St. Paul seems to shut down once 5 PM hits, and I think, or at least hope, a new Saints ballpark would help to reinvigorate our Capital city. Sure, the games provide a little too much sensory overload, but it's still baseball.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:19 AM by The Legacy Highlight this comment 4

Yeah st. Paul could use excited after 5pm June to Oct because it is only active during hockey season

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:39 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 5

if the twins learn one thing from the saints baseball product, it is this: the experience is about more than baseball. saints baseball is about tailgating (cue mazaratirick...), good-old baseball food, and bleacher fun (and NOT the wave). in my opinion, the twins have observed the saints baseball product and have thus made many enhancements to tf. tf would probably never have had a party deck and the entire plaza without the example of saints baseball. granted, major league baseball offers a premier product on the field, but if tf and the surrounding neighborhood becomes a destination offering an experience more than just the game, then it will be wildly popular. the city of mpls better take notice because the avenues leading to tf have the potential to kill the streetlife.

if saints baseball had been solely about the game on the field, it would've failed miserably.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:43 AM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 6

Wouldn't such an orientation have horrible sun problems?

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:41 AM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 7

yeahklye-You're right! The twins and city of Minneapolis could learn a thing or two about atmosphere from the saints. Most people go to Saints games to see the all the non baseball stuff right? They go for the atmosphere not much for the game(although there are some of those guys that could become MLB players and have aka Jack Morris, Darryl Strawberry, J.D. Drew etc). Just mix that with a good game yay time!

But i do remember going to a few saints games, and all the fun times when i was a kid! Maybe i should try to go to one more this season!

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:42 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 8

Downtown St. Paul has life after 5, but more as another of the cities many neighborhoods, which is why it seems quiet relative to Minneapolis. There's not a lot of political juice behind this yet... and there may never be. Part of the joy of the Saints (to their fans, of which I'm not one) is that they don't act like the big league teams in this regard.

I actually think a park in one of the cities neighborhoods would be better - somewhere along University where the light rail will be traveling makes sense.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:43 AM by CJ Highlight this comment 9

Guess they could open the top (open) level of the downtown Ramps for Tailgating?

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:43 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 10

Good point CJ! My friend who raised in st. Paul (off snelling and St. Claire) said the same thing, that it is only downtown. But still downtown could use more excitement in summer. Even St. Patty's day at midnight it was dead, and isn't St. Paul is more Irish then Mpls? But more people go to MPLS cuz they don't know about St. Paul. After going to school there right in downtown (McNally Smith) I have actually learned to appreciate St. Paul, after so many years of hating on it. The Saints there would be perfect, because there will be more for people to do after and before games, Great Restaurants (Cosetta's, Great Water Brewery) and plenty of bars about Kellogg and west 7th

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:50 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 11

I can't drive. I would go to every St. Paul Saints game if I could but this isn't the kind of organization that can do things for people with a disability. MLB can.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM by No Car Highlight this comment 12

No Car,

What if a new Saints ballpark were on the Central Corridor somewhere (University Avenue)? Would that make it possible for you to go?

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 12:11 PM by Rick 13

well there is a the 3B goes a few blocks of the stadium now

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 14

i used to live near midway... there's good bus service...

as a guy who lives near downtown st. paul, i'd rather not have the saints anywhere near the X... I'd rather have them on University.

as a baseball fan, i really, really dislike Veeck-ball. I know it's as old as the game, but I go to the game to see the game, not the other stuff.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM by CJ Highlight this comment 15

Who among us thinks that the Saints will very likely move to Quebec City, QBC or Jefferson City, MO or some other off-shoot city once the Twins migrate outdoors?
I think everyone knows the Saints are here for one reason: to provide Minnesotans with an experience that the pro team across the river could not deliver: Outdoor baseball. Now that the pro team across the river will be providing that experience, why on earth should the Saints stay?
It's much like the Minnesota Moose - the IHL came here to calm us down after the North Stars fiasco. They were fun to watch, affordable and what not. But, on June 22, 1997, when the NHL announced they were coming back to town, the Moose had no incentive to stay here (and their home arena was going to be torn down anyway to make room for the new one - so it was play somewhere else, or in a parking lot).

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 3:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 16

Does anyone else think the TF dugouts don't seem as long as the others in MLB? Just a thought after noticing it the past few times looking at the webcam. I understand the need to maximize the number of field level club seats.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 3:34 PM by stpmn Highlight this comment 17

sooj - the bitch of a computer i use wasn't obeying orders, so I could have posted this response to Saint Paul not having a life after 5pm - the Wild have three home exhibition games this year.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 3:50 PM by luke Highlight this comment 18

While I think it will be a little harder for the Saints, it's way too early to count out their marketing department. If anybody knows how to carve out a niche, it's them.

My first thought is that economy will be emphasized, followed by Midway being something of the anti-TF. Big money versus small money, David vs. Goliath.

Also, the very fact that they are making a play for a new ballpark indicates that they don't think they're done here.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 5:20 PM by Rick 19

Three sites which might be better for a Saints ballpark:

1. Dale and University (currently a strip mall)
2. Marion and University (adjacent to the Capitol, partly the Sears store)
3. Snelling and 94 (currently Metro Transit bus lot)

The first two are right on LRT, the third is about two blocks off. All would have a better orientation and the first two would still have views of the skyline and domes.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 5:24 PM by Rick 20

The Saints aren't about outdoor baseball per se, they're about the experience. All minor league baseball is about the experience. It's fun to go to those games precisely because of the value, the party decks, the Veeck shenanigans, etc.

This isn't unique to the Saints, it's a staple of minor league baseball everywhere. Nor is it solely about being outside. There's far more to it than that.

So long as the Saints are still providing a fun experience at a good, affordable price, they'll have a market.

Minor league baseball, from a fan's perspective, is far more about the experience than the actual baseball.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 5:30 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 21

Alex - while that is true...I think we need to see what the Twins will do to incorporate experience at TF. They simply can't at the Dome. The plaza area on Chicago Ave is the closest thing to experience they really have at the place, and it's pretty drab if you ask me.
It should be an interesting year next year.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 6:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 22

Is the canopy on Target Field almost done? When is it scheduled to be done? I noticed the scaffolding was all the way in left field on the canopy.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 7:27 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 23

Wow the twins won.....and Punto stays above the .200 line

although Casilla is now what .164?

This lineup is like how the Oakland A's were a couple weeks the twins probably only can say they have a better total lineup than oakland since they traded the one and only star they had.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:20 PM by BW Highlight this comment 24

got this from aaron gleeman's (twins blogger) twitter page - it looks like bill smith (wink, wink) has created his own twitter page to keep all of us abreast of his usual inactivity and penchant for horrible trades.

actually, the stuff posted on there is pretty hilarious. click on my name to check it out.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:21 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 25


On the possible sites... Marion would work if you knocked out the old auto dealership and put on the north side of the street

Dale... probably not, because everyone seems to insist that someday "Rondo" will come back and be a utopia (which it never was) It could be included in an upgrade of the area, but probably unlikely.

as for the Snelling area... MNDoT owns it, and the long-term plan for the site is a commuter rail station/transit hub (when real commuter rail eventually comes to town, there is going to be one stop between the downtowns on a line that is to follow 94 (with some exceptions)

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:24 PM by CJ Highlight this comment 26

being a saints season ticket holder since the beginning, i think the saints will continue to do well after tf opens. alot of it is based on fun, something the twins struggle at (i mean dodge ball and racing fishes?). the saints have extablished a good base with season ticket holders, there is plenty which is great for them

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:33 PM by BB Highlight this comment 27

Those are a riot, Betaband. I'm on board.

My personal favorite:

Our middle infield problem is that we only have one Punto.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:36 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 28

Hey, long time reader, first time posting. Just gonna throw in that tomorrow I'm going to the first Saints game I've been to in over 2 years. I've been to a few and always had a blast but being 19 and in Fridley without a car makes it kind of rough to get down there more. Anyways, where I was going was that every time I've been there all I remembered about the game was the fun stuff in between innings. I'm as hardcore of a baseball fan as it comes. ESPECIALLY the Twins, but if I'm any indication... you're more inclined to care about having fun at the Saints. The Twins are about the game and the Saints are about just enjoying yourself. I think the Saints will continue to have a niche because Target Field just won't have Fake Japanese Guy Singing Karoke or a pig bringing the balls out to the ump.

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 10:53 PM by Joe Highlight this comment 29

I can't believe it. Are you telling me that that guy isn't REALLY Japanese?!?

(We did laugh, but that's one of many aspects of the Saints experience that the Twins should, and probably will, avoid.)

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:00 PM by Rick 30

check out this other bill smith (wink, wink) website as well. click on my name for the link.

the bill smith "response to the open letter" from angry twins fans (there is a link to it on the right) is a classic. items #3 & #4 are my personal favorites as well as the wrap-up to his response. and the best part - he signs it "love, bill". LMAO!

a few other favorites from the bill smith (wink, wink) twitter page:

1.) If I could trade Cuddyer...I still wouldn't. Did you know he does magic tricks? It makes me very happy! 2.) I am really angry at Jose Mijares right now. He left the deep frier in my office on! The place is a mess now! 3.) Orlando Cabrera is my kind of guy. Hits .300 (did it once), no boring walks, no flashy power, overrated defense 4.) Congratulations to the great Punto! That's Twins baseball. I've had enough of these homers. 5.) No, Punto's with the team right now. And when we play together he always wins. He's as good at golf as he is at baseball

thank you for pointing me onto these sites aaron gleeman! :-)

please pass these sites around to your fellow twins junkies. also, is anyone on board for a "run bill smith out of town" campaign?!?! i will start fundraising efforts.......seriously

Posted on July 26, 2009 at 11:44 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 31

click on my name for the story. just posted by la velle e. neal on the mpls star tribune website. the title is: "core players (read - morneau, mauer, nathan) plead for help from front office"

nice! i like it! finally, some twins players (and the big fish) who are willing to speak out publicly against the front office (bill smith and terry ryan) philosophy of "standing pat at the trade deadline" that has gotten us no further than an ALCS in the last 7 years while wasting some amazing talent (read - radke, santana, hunter, mauer, morneau, nathan, etc, etc, etc.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:05 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 32

I understand the frustration, but having those comments go public when Smith is working on who-knows-what-or-not behind the scenes is NOT going to help things along...

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:12 AM by Rick 33

i have to disagree rick. it had to be said and these are the guys who had to say it. in my opinion even though it might cost bill smith a little bit of leverage (not much in my opinion since most teams know the twins are supposedly looking to make a trade anyways) this is actually a perfect time for them to say it.

perhaps their urgent tone keeps bill smith from making another eddie guardado type of deal (see 2008) that does absolutely jack-squat for the club THIS YEAR and then being able to say to the press: "well, hey guys i tried so you can't blame ole' billy smith for not giving it his all......maybe next year after i pick up a tony bautista in the off-season......yuck, yuck, yuck"

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:21 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 34

Yeah, I see that. I just worry that it costs the Twins an extra prospect in whatever deal they may be trying to make.

Then again, no one involved in any deal will be surprised to hear this from these players. Smith has gotten himself into a pretty big jam, so most of the leverage lost already is his own damn fault.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:30 AM by Rick 35

Quick note to all:

Tomorrow AM I'm having my wisdom teeth removed. I'm not sure how much sleeping I'll be doing, or what type of incoherence I may experience from the pain meds.

Just thought you should know not to expect much from me in the next couple of days.

Of course, my hope is that I'll still be able to type. But my fear is that I'll retain typing and lose reasoning. So, if I suggest adding monkey bars to the plaza or trading Joe Mauer for Livan Hernandez, you'll know it's the drugs talking.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:35 AM by Rick 36

have fun rick. i had mine taken out way back in 8th or 9th grade. the first full day is the worst, but in my personal opinion the pain gets progressively better rather quickly. if i recall they only gave my tylenol with codein(sp?) for the pain so i wasn't too "out of it" afterwards, but perhaps that was because i was only in 8th or 9th grade at the time. maybe they will give you something a little stronger! ;-)

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:51 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 37 the one damn game i don't go to, the bastards win!! Thanks Billy Smith. I had Angels fans asking why on God's green earth do the Twins have 2 sub .200 hitters in the lineup....DISGRACEFUL!!!!!

But then last night and today I got to revisit my beloved Dodger Stadium....the old bitch still stands proud!!!!

back to az tomorrow am.....

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 01:12 AM by kevin in torrance Highlight this comment 38

if you guys think that a trade for abything worth a damn will happen you must be 1st year twins fans...

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 08:40 AM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 39

A major trade ain't gonna happen. Matt Holliday would've been nice, though. But here's something to think about...this offseason's free agents (clicky).

There's some interesting names on there, but nothing that begs immediate attention. I'm sure the Twins will have to spend to keep Mauer, and the company line will be "The new stadium helped us keep Joe". Meanwhile, the cash registers will be overflowing (again).

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 09:38 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 40

Kevin, did I miss you at the Twins/Angels game yesterday? So glad I didn't go to the blowout on Saturday.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 10:24 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 41

From Senile Sid:

"Apparently what is holding up the Target Corporation's signing an extension to keep its name on the Target Center is that officials want the arena to have some work done on the outside of the arena and overall improvements made on the inside."

Looks like there is hope for the Target Center facade.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 10:25 AM by The Rational Actor Highlight this comment 42

Target Stadium? Seriously Sid?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 10:59 AM by Wanda Phillips Highlight this comment 43

Sid also says:

"Twins executive director of public affairs Kevin Smith, who is very much involved in the new ballpark, said that nobody will know the exact capacity of Target Stadium until all of the seats are installed and counted by hand. The seats are being installed throughout the summer. Smith added that the grass on the field is scheduled to be installed the last week of August. The sand to build the playing field is being furnished by Plaisted Companies Inc., an Elk River firm."

All the seats are counted by hand? No one at HOK knows how many seats they designed in for the park? The blueprints say "install seats until you run out of room?"

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 44

Hmm...that seems a little weird...
How will they count "seats" in the LF and RF bleachers?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:33 AM by luke Highlight this comment 45

every bleacher seat is numbered, but that does seem odd they wouldn't have a confirmed capacity at this point. we should all make predictions on the final seat count. tcf bank stadium is like 50,750

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:47 AM by tim Highlight this comment 46

Wow this ballpark is a huge fail, I hope they do the smart decision and throw it in the garbage burner it sits next to.

........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')

On Wisconsin!

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM by dirwin17 (aka MATT) Highlight this comment 47

until they actually put the seats in they won't know the exact number. There are always little things that change during the construction process that might be a tad bit smaller here or a little more wiggle room there. It's not that hard to imagine that they don't know the exact number yet to me.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 48

Ummm, yeah dirwin yer post is /fail.

Guess you wanted to be another edited post eh?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:55 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 49

dirwin17 is not me, dirwin7, someone is clearly trying to sabotage me.

dirwin17 is apparently MATT, not me, I haven't posted for a couple days, til now,

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 50

Doesn't the seat selector have exact seats? Doesn't this mean they have to be ready and able to offer all of them? That seems strange to me also. I understand wiggle room, but I'd be pissed if they told me a seat I bought never existed.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 51

for anyone who is really confused, I'm a huge twins fan and a huge TF fan, I just went to Wisconsin so I obviously have some serious badger pride, I'd personally rather be talking about the twins rather than college football, I have enough on my plate battling whitesox fans all day long here in Chicago. MATT clearly was not smart enough to

1. Get my name right, as he wrote it wrong and

2. Know that from the same computer you cannot post under different names w/o your real name being in parens

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 52

Sure dirwin... sure. Actually I didn't think it was someone posting under their regular moniker.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 53

To be fair I think dirwin might be right about this

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM by Just a Test (aka Camden) Highlight this comment 54

Well, Dave finally updated his blog. Click my name for the latest "insiders" view on Target Field. How is his blog an "insiders" view of the progress on Target Field? Its been over 2 months and the information he gives is information that is common knowledge to anyone who reads the paper or checks out any sporting web site. Any Average Joe could supply the information that he does the majority of the time.

Lastly, here is a promise from Dave St. Peter back from October 2008.

Note: Apologies to fans across Twins Territory for my delinquency in updating this blog. The work on Target Field is fast and furious - as is the pace across the Minnesota Twins organization. With the World Series heading toward conclusion my intent and hope is to continue to share an "insiders" view of all aspects of the development of Target Field. Thanks for your support. - Dave St. Peter

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 1:52 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 55

Back to the Saints, Seigo Masabuchi is very much a real Japanese man. He has helped the Saints in foreign affairs really well. The past couple years have seen a couple Japanese teams playing against the Saints all because of Seigo.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 2:08 PM by BB Highlight this comment 56

thanks for the link Jeff, DSP mentioned J Nathan & M Guerrier Trying to decide which bullpen they wanted. I saw that area before it was walled in (corner of 5th st & 3rd ave)and if BP Rest Rooms are any indication, the upper BP has two fairly good size rooms, and the lower BP has only one room

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 2:08 PM by hans Highlight this comment 57

We are going to have a closeup view of the finishing of the canopy from web cam 2.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 3:17 PM by roadwarrior Highlight this comment 58

Sorry for a somewhat non-TF post, but click my name for a report from the Twin Cities Business Journal about the Vikings looking for a naming-rights sponsor for the SportTurf at the Metrodome.
Not the Metrodome, the playing surface.

I wonder if the Twins would consider doing the same. Land O' Lakes Grass at Target

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 4:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 59

This might be grass ignorance on my part, but isn't the grass going to be some kind of blend, and not Kentucky bluegrass as DSP says?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM by Nick in CO Highlight this comment 60

Great post by St. Peter this morning. Looks like he had some pimple faced College Freshmen Intern write it for him.

My thinking is that this organization better get a grip quick (Administration, Yes I'm looking at you Billy Smith, Dave St. Peter, The Pohlads, etc.). People are clearly excited about the new ballpark. But ultimately the number of fans in the seats will be determined by the success or lack thereof on the playing field. Years and years of mediocrity or just barely making the playoffs only to get swept out by the Big Bad Yankees will not be acceptable. If the team thinks so, let me know what the attendance at Target Field will be in 2012.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 4:52 PM by Max Highlight this comment 61

"I wonder if the Twins would consider doing the same. Land O' Lakes Grass at Target"

Are you joking? We are going to have everything from the "Dodge Batter's Box Rake" to the "Hormel Urinal Cookie" - the Twins are complete whores when it comes to a fast buck.

One note of interest to bobblehead collectors (and I suspect few people here fall into that category) is that the Twins only handed out two this year because they were "unable to find a sponsor"!!! Imagine that - unable to locate a sponsor for their most popular promo when the Dump is wall to wall in advertising!?!?! Dead rat anyone?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 4:59 PM by B.W. McEvers Highlight this comment 62

Many clubs had to cut back on promos this year as sponsors cut back, so I don't really think you can fault the Twins on this one.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 5:40 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 63

lol B.W. - Well, they've already got Target. US Bank has the Home Run Porch. Some clubs, I don't know if the Twins will follow this route, but some clubs have sponsors for their scoreboard.

The "Hormel Urinal Cookie" Nobody will be buying hot dogs at TF if they do that...

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 6:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 64

slowey is done for the year. fan-effing-tastic...

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 8:24 PM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 65

THANK GOD we have Swarzak in our system to replace him. It is so much more convenient and safer than trading for someone like Roy Holiday. I would much rather have a potenial four starter in six years than the best pitch in the AL.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 8:46 PM by Mr. No Highlight this comment 66

Is anyone concerned about the twins not spending the money to get the high end net behind home plate? To me it would be like the X not having seamless glass.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 8:52 PM by sec117 Highlight this comment 67

It's kind of ironic they're not putting in the "high end net" since everything else about the stadium is geared toward the high rollers. I'll never sit down there so I couldn't care less.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:03 PM by Elston Gunn Highlight this comment 68

I *really* don't like Juan Rincon. Didn't like him with the Twins and don't like him with the Rockies. Walked the bases loaded in the 8th in a tie game, pulled from the game. Yea. Then a pinch-hit grandslam. Sigh.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:04 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 69

"high end" meaning a netting system a la Nationals Park??

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:17 PM by luke Highlight this comment 70

If they are indeed not putting in the new "invisible net", I'm disappointed, as should anyone with seats behind the net on any level be.

There's no reason I can imagine (other than cost) not to put it in. How much more could it be as a one time expense? I don't get this one - the Twins are putting extra money in improving the Target Field experience, but not in the one area anyone sitting behind the net will notice every game?

It's an amazing difference, but probably not one people would notice if they haven't seen the new tech netting.

I really hope this isn't true. Does anyone know for a fact that the Twins aren't using the new netting?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:18 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 71

Yes, the same netting that is used in Washington. Really nice.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:19 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 72

Yes Lafferty, I decided to go at the last minute....I did miss you on yesterday as I went to the Dodgers instead, then spent the evening at Venice Beach...I had enough of the Twins after watching Joe Nathan choke on Thursday, Liriano suck on Friday and Blackburn implode after 3 perfect innings on Saturday.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:36 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 73

Yes like nationals park. I hope it is not a done deal or that it is just a reumor that they are not using it. Like jfh said it is just a one time expense.

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:50 PM by sec117 Highlight this comment 74

where in the world did you read/here what type of back-stop netting will be used? if all people nhave right now is hear-say without confirmation then no need to perpetuate it.

anyone know how to confirm one way or the other?

Posted on July 27, 2009 at 11:24 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 75

The net information came from a post on this site.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 07:17 AM by sec 117 Highlight this comment 76

Believe everything you read on this site.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 08:28 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 77

That is why I said I hoped it was just a rumor as I do not believe everything on the site. I was just looking to see if others thought it was a problem. Sorry, if I made you think that I had some inside information.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 09:06 AM by sec117 Highlight this comment 78

Exactly. The Twins are installing invisible netting made from the fibers of Wonder Woman's lasso, Bill Smith is a very talented general manager and the structure supports for the retractable roof can be seen at far left on Webcam 1.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 09:22 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 79

target field services says that they "think it's gonna be pretty much the same netting as in the dome", they say however that the dome netting was replaced 2 years ago and it was updated, and "this netting is pretty much as invisible as it gets". I then asked if it was going to be the same netting as nationals park and the guy I talked to did not know what they had in nationals park. But to be honest what I got out of the conversation is that they don't really know what type of material is going to be put in there, they know it's nice somewhat or invisible nettting, but the person I talked to doesn't know if it's the same. I then asked if they were going to be just bringing the netting from the dome over, and he said, "I really doubt that". So, this means to me that they are going to buy new netting, if they are going to buy new netting, I would certainly think they would upgrade to the nationals netting you all speak of, especially b/c HOK had it put in nationals park, I think they are taking a lot more pride in TF than Nationals. But the bottom line is, the person I spoke with at Target Field Services doesn't have a definitive answer.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 09:35 AM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 80

Sorry, I sat in dugout box seats a few weeks ago at the Dome and have sat a little further behind the net at the Nationals park. No way is what is in the Dome now "as invisible as it gets".

I do agree with the rep that it doesn't make sense the would bring over the existing netting.

I would hope HOK would spec the new stuff, but if other options cost significantly less (and I have no clue as to what those costs are), the Twins still have to OK it.

Sounds like the TF services guy should've just said "Gee, I don't know. That's a good question. I'll get back to you" rather than speculate on something he obviously didn't know anything about. That's exactly how the misinformation that the Twins want to avoid gets started in the first place.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 09:53 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 81

I wonder what's with the plastic tarp over the seats by the event suites on webcam #2? That would be something if they actually DID have to chage out the seats but we too ashamed to do it on front of our ninja-webcam eyes.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 10:41 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 82

I think that they are covering the seats so they won't get damaged or exposed to the elements before opening day.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 11:56 AM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 83

Upon closer inspection it looks like there are construction workers installing a railing above those seats so I'd imagine they don't want all the dirt/dust/debris cascading down upon the seats belowing the drilling etc. They are standing where the handicapped accessible spaces will be.

Also, it looks like they are installing glass or some other partition inside the walkway connecting Ramp A to the Ballpark over 7th Street. Rick or Ballpark Ninja can you confirm this? I thought when I was perusing the latest Ballpark Authority Minutes/Agenda/Report that it mentioned this was, in fact, going to be glassed in from the elements.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM by Max Highlight this comment 84

And people seriously wonder why the Twins want to have a little more control over information about the new ballpark?

Netting - case in point.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 2:06 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 85

Anyone else notice Favre to MN is no more?

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 4:34 PM by Hebrew Hammer Highlight this comment 86

regarding brett favre: as a viking fan all i can say regarding his decision to stay retired is: THANK GOODNESS!

favr is past his prime and i am not sure if he is a big upgrade over sage rosenfels at this point in his career.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 4:44 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 87

Maybe we should just get Vick...J/K

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 5:02 PM by Tom OG Highlight this comment 88

I so, so, sooooo badly wanted the Vikings to trade for Cutler. We should have traded up in the draft to get him, and we should have traded up this offseason to get him from the Broncos. Now we are completely SOL. Oh well....2 years till Minnesota's second team makes LA its new home.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 5:02 PM by Hebrew Hammer Highlight this comment 89

Aren't the seats that are tarp-covered the ones they screwed up on, and have to re-install because they had the wrong metal for the supports?

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 5:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 90

now that brett favre wont play for the vikings i can see him becomeing the new second basemen with the twins!

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 5:54 PM by dickey Highlight this comment 91

Here's a question, I'm not sure if it's been addressed yet or not - where are some good places around TF to eat?
My dad and I were talking about this over dinner...Block E is all but dead, City Center the same...International Market Square, is half loft apartments now.

So where are we all gonna get a bite before the game? Is Nicollet Mall all that's left??

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 6:34 PM by luke Highlight this comment 92

maybe they can put a MLB City next to NBA City

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 7:12 PM by twinlves Highlight this comment 93


There are lots of options in the warehouse district just a couple blocks north of TF. There are still a couple options in and next to Butler Square.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 7:17 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 94

"Also, it looks like they are installing glass or some other partition inside the walkway connecting Ramp A to the Ballpark over 7th Street. Rick or Ballpark Ninja can you confirm this? I thought when I was perusing the latest Ballpark Authority Minutes/Agenda/Report that it mentioned this was, in fact, going to be glassed in from the elements."


They are installing glass now. I drive underneath the pedestrian bridge every day. The bottom section that shows up on cam is frosted glass. There is clear glass above it.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 7:22 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 95

hebrew hammer - please dude. the vikings are not going to los angeles. don't be such an idiot.

luke - seriously? do you live in the suburbs/outstate? there are a ton of places to eat, drink, hangout well within easy distane of target field. expand your horizons a little.

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 7:36 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 96

ah nice W, 2gb det!

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 9:56 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 97

I am not sure if anyone put this up yet but there are some very nice pictures here on the MN Ballpark Authority site for the July installment. I didn't time it but I think the slide show is about 3-4 minutes long (there is no way to pause it that I can tell). I especially like the panorama pic at the end. My mouth is definitely beginning to water!

Posted on July 29, 2009 at 10:46 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 98


Posted on February 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM by BULLDOG Highlight this comment 99

This page was last modified on July 26, 2009.

"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.

Main concourse, looking toward the admin building.

Grid for the ironwood louvres is in place

Off-topic, but this gigantic, cool, retro sign is just across the street from S&CH. Why? I don't know. Might look nice on top of one of those municipal parking ramps...

Camera mounts

Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)

"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.

This will be a bar/restaurant.

A mini-freeway! (Police action in progress...)

Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.

He'll always be a fan favorite, but did you know that he's making $18.5 million this year? The Twins' entire outfield today, combined, makes $7.45 million.

Mussina's first pitch. (Playing 3rd: Not A-Rod)

An alternate route into downtown. (Click to get an interactive map.)

Instrument of evil.

Miller Park: Gymnasium with skylight (Source: RP)

1885 Sanborn Map Image (Source: Sanborn Map Collection, Minneapolis Public Library, Copyright © 2001 by The Sanborn Map Company, Sanborn Library, LLC)

Air conditioning condensation on the floor.

I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.

Looking out from under Gate 34

This is what passes for imagination at Miller Park -- they didn't even get the shape right! (Source: LP)

Larry DiVito, mowing

I have no idea what this is or does, but as gear goes, it's totally boss, man. (Attached to a railing just off of the Trap)

This is a closer look at the steel work.

A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.

What has been actually built so far is only a tiny subset of this vision.

Section 331, Row 9

Looking back toward the ballpark from Third Avenue and Fifth Street. Again, the track configuration is now clearly visible.

The main concourse.

This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.


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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