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A Major Find

June 11, 2007 8:29 PM

This is not exactly something I ever expected to be doing, but I've been working my way through the Environmental Impact Statement for the ballpark project. This is one very dry document, but if you're willing to sift through all the boring stuff, you never know when you're going to find something really interesting:

Ballpark Color Elevation: Fifth Street

Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)

Ballpark elevation: Fifth Street

A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)

Ballpark elevation: Seventh Street

Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)

Ballpark elevation: Promenade (HERC side)

Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)

So, what does it look like to you?

I gotta say that it looks like a ballpark to me -- I mean a real, modern, attractive ballpark. It doesn't look like an office building, or a retail store, or a mall, or something institutional. And it also doesn't look any other ballpark out there. It actually looks to me like the first of a new breed rather than the last gasp of the old. It looks like the first truly 21st-century baseball stadium.

Also buried within the text is a detail which is still not seen in any of the renderings, but could be the dramatic element I've been yearning for:

Two towers with decorative lighting may be located on the outside edge of the Ballpark in line with the foul lines, one adjacent to the 6th Street N. bridge entrance and one near the LRT station at 5th Street N. They would measure 25 feet by 25 feet by 300 feet.

A pair of large, decorative towers! Vertical elements! Twins! Could that really be a possibility?

To put it in perspective after looking at the new elevation drawings (which conveniently contain scale indicators), these decorative towers would be about twice the height of the rest of the ballpark, soaring up into the sky. It's an amazing idea, and let's hope it makes the final cut.

Now I really want to keep reading this 350-page document, but I have to take some time to digest these new images...


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Outstanding work! I agree with you that this is the first view that really resembles a ballpark. Thanks for all of your hard work sifting through documents and providing great insight into this project. You've got a great site!

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 07:00 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 1

Thanks for all of your great work! I think this will be a great stadium, but (from the promenade) does anybody else think it kind of looks like Jabba the Hutt's Barge from Return of the Jedi? (click on link)

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 09:31 AM by James Highlight this comment 2

yes. great pictures. thanks for doing all the dirty work and giving us the payout! much appreciated.

the link doesn't work james, but yes. it does look like jabbas barge. not a bad thing. Perhaps we will become the vile gangsters of the a.l. central!

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 11:38 AM by mike Highlight this comment 3

You could be on to something here James. Perhaps T.C. Bear could share some of the mascot duties with Princess Leia in the Gold Bikini? J/K.

Great pics Rick!

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 11:57 AM by Jon Highlight this comment 4

James's link was good, but it went to a Tripod web site. Tripod sucks. They blocked access to the image.

It's a funny comparison, so I cached the image here. The link should work now.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 12:01 PM by Rick 5

That would be outstanding if the light towers make the cut.

We should all bombard the planning team with this request.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 12:13 PM by mlb2131 Highlight this comment 6

No red brick, no exposed green steel, no fake & needless exterior border like the new Yankee Stadium design.

The Twins design has hints of Petco Park, PNC Park, and the canopy is similar to Dodger Stadium. The seating may scream HoK, but this is one of the most unique parks I have seen post Camden.

In my opinion, the Twins design is much better than the new Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, and the one in Washington. (which doesn't have much seating behind homeplate)

I like the new A's park, but it still has a forced "retro" feel to me. I think this Twins park will fit in with the contemporary Minneapolis architechture. The new Guthrie & Central Library come to mind.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 12:45 PM by Chris G Highlight this comment 7

This canopy reminds me of Petco, definitely, while the exterior stone is similar to PNC, although our's will be darker. I don't like the National's new park or the Mets'. The new Yankee Stadium is pretty much a replica of the old one.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 1:13 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 8

If I'm sitting in the last 10 rows of the lower level or standing on the concourse, will I be able to track fly balls and homeruns? It looks like sitting in a tunnel.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 2:40 PM by sightlines Highlight this comment 9

One time I sat in the last row of the lower level at PNC park (which is under a large overhang much like ours will be) and I had concerns about that as well before the game started. But it ended up as probably the best seat I have ever had at a game, you could follow every hit perfectly. I too love the way this park is shaping up. It is much better than the new stadium they are building in Washington, which looks like a suburban office park, or the crappy fake retro stadiums being built in New York.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 4:43 PM by Tommy Highlight this comment 10

I looked at the Environmental Impact Statement, saw the proposed Saturday start times, which I was hoping they would change from game starts now, which is 6pm. It says Noon, 4pm and 7pm. I'm assuming that most Saturday games would be noon, nation TV games 4pm and World Series games at 7pm. Anybody have any clarificationon these times?

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 6:18 PM by John Highlight this comment 11


I read those times as simply assumptions used for study rather than actual anticipated game times. It may well be that, for study purposes, an hour here or there can help the situation look better or worse, thus making it easier to justify whatever is needed in the document.

At this point, it seems unlikely that the team would have made such detailed scheduling decisions.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 6:41 PM by Rick 12

I was recently in Houston and was concerned about the view from under the overhang and the concourse, but it wasn't a problem there. You're pretty high above the field by the time you get near the concourses. Either way, the view in the concourses will be much better than the view is in the Metrodome concourses.

Posted on June 12, 2007 at 9:31 PM by Craig in MN Highlight this comment 13

I'm still thinking this outdoor ballpark is a bad idea. I mean seriously. We are talking about Minnesota. Sure the summers are great. What about the snow that comes in April. Are you going to want to sit in a heated dome, or a cold outdoor ballpark. Sure the ballpark is terrific. I'm thrilled. It's just the sun will get in your face, shadows will be on the field. snow will be on the field. we will be sweating or possibly wet or cold. I may seem like a whiner, but the dome is starting to seem pretty awesome at this point in my mind.

Posted on June 14, 2007 at 12:14 AM by Taylor Highlight this comment 14

get outta here! this has been debated over and over and the fact is, its now a dead issue.
get ready-its coming weather you like it (and most of us do) or not

Posted on June 14, 2007 at 4:24 PM by enough! Highlight this comment 15

I see lots of glass wall sections on the exterior. They appear to be broken up into panes of irregular size and patterns. I think it would be a nice touch to throw a pane of colored glass in here and there as a subtle homage to the colored glazed brick exterior of the old Met.

Posted on August 28, 2007 at 4:45 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 16

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.

Mystery door on Seventh Street...

Here are some less intrusive things things you can actually get at the ballpark.

Rod Carew will greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)

The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)

For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.

This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.

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

A view into the Legend's Club

Site plan for the new Nationals ballpark, with the size of the Rapid Park site overlaid

Welding workers

From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.

This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.

The view from section 210

Beams connecting the plaza to the Target Center walkway

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

The green in question (click for very large version)

Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)

Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.

One more time from the third base side.

From the Downtown Council's 2025 Plan, a Metrodome "Revelopment" and a strong indication of where they think a new Vikings stadium should go.

A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...

Viewed from up Sixth Street (that's Target Center on the left), you can get an idea of how the connection is currently planned. As it stands now, the plaza will extend to that support pillar, from which a stairway will empty to the sidewalk below. If they get their wish, additional support structures will provide a walkway along Target Center which will gradually (without stairs) meet the sidewalk somewhere up near First Avenue.

Click to enlarge

Discovered on the upper concourse!

Photo by Tyler Wycoff

Photo by Tyler Wycoff

Here is the most recent outfield configuration, captured from the animation video. We probably shouldn't make too much of the logos seen on the scoreboard: Best Buy, Dairy Queen, Target, Pepsi, Dodge and Qwest...

I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.

View from the batter's eye seats


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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