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Model Details - Part 2

January 19, 2008 8:31 PM

The second in a series of model photos. These feature the interaction of the ballpark with train tracks, and include some cool model trains! (Click on any image for a much larger version.)

Trains intersect

This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.

LRT configuration

This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.

Northstar configuration

This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.

Train stations

A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.

HERC side promenade

This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.

Looking north

Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.

VIP entrance

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.

And, again, here are a couple of construction photos for context...

This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.

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.

In case you can't tell, I think trains like Northstar are a huge part of the future of transportation in this region and in this country. The goal is not to force people out of their cars, but simply make it possible. Why anyone would not want to do that is beyond me -- regardless of cost.

Let me take this moment to offer a few words about the Dan Patch corridor which would run from Northfield to downtown Minneapolis (ending at the ballpark site). A few years ago some looney legislators got a bill through the Legislature to ban all future work on this particular route. In fact, the wording is such that no one is even supposed to ever mention this corridor again. Why, you ask? Because they were convinced that if anyone even so much as whispered the name of this corridor again there would never be another dollar spent on a single road between here and there.

I said they were looney.

I mention it here to make sure that as many people as possible know that not only does this corridor exist in the early plans, but it would be a fantastic way to take some pressure off of I-35, I-494, Highway 169, Highway 100, I-394, Highway 7 -- I could go on.

And I'll even go so far as to predict here and now that this route will be built one day -- probably long after those particular legislators (who represented the very districts which would benefit most from this project), and maybe all of us, are long dead. And it will be built last of all the routes. And the people will be screaming for it as they see the success of the other routes which were not blackballed. And they won't care how much it costs, but it will cost 100 times the first estimates because of the delay. And they will rue the day that bill was passed into law.

OK, I'm a little bitter about legislators who stand boldly in the way of guaranteed progress.

My wife thinks I'm a little crazy, but I also believe that personal aircraft will be a big part of the future (some people agree), as well as those nifty Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems you may have seen demonstrated at the State Fair a couple of years ago.

I'm a little more skeptical of Minneapolis' streetcar dreams. I like the idea, but after reading Twin Cities By Trolley -- a wonderful book by the way -- I think people may romanticize trolleys a little too much. It sounds like they were sort of in the way once horses gave way to autos. That's something the city will have to solve before building these.

As you can tell, I love to dream about transportation in the future. And I can't tell you how pleased I am that our new ballpark will sit at such an important crossroads.

Tomorrow we'll look at another aspect to the ballpark that many people feel passionate about: the configuration of the main grandstand and the outfield stands.


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in the first picture, it looks like the cedar lake trail will to the inside of the railroad tracks as well - meaning it will be quite the tunnel under the ballpark to get the trail thru the rest of the way to the river.

i wonder where the bike racks will be...

Posted on January 19, 2008 at 11:52 PM by barryS Highlight this comment 1

Rick - I too am a bit of a "nerd" when it comes to transportation issues (especially in regards to mass transit) in the Minneapolis metro region, so I understand completely where you are coming from here and how cool it is that the new Twins ballpark is kind of at the epicenter of a lot of it. Both current transit projects, that being built, and that which I agree we will see in the future.

That is so long as we keep mindless, nut-job, anti-transit types (I think one can appropriately call them anti-progress, anti-future, anti-growth, or simply stupid) like Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) out of the Minnesota legislature. Man, is that guy an embarrassment to the city from which he hails. Some of the crap that comes out of his mouth regarding the Minneapolis metro region & transit is just plain ridiculous and asinine.

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 12:14 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 2

Having reviewed the floor plans for the lower lever of the park, I don't recall a gate for this level. Interesting find.

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 08:22 AM by Pikachu732001 Highlight this comment 3

Great stuff Rick. We ask and you deliver. These images of the park's connection to the transit elements havn't appeared in the local media. I think the buzz on this stadium is going to be huge as we approach its opening. It looks like that good. The site's characteristics motivated all parties, but most importantly HOK to deliver something unique.

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 11:51 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 4

I've been working on transit up at the legislature for over four years. On my own time and my own dime.

Everyone should be aware that anti-transit types use PRT as a diversion to take effort away from proven technology. Michelle Bachmann was a big PRT supporter.

They support it because they know it will never happen. The software complexity alone is astronomical. We have proven rail and bus technology today that we know works extremely well. We need to concentrate our efforts there.

This session is going to be make-or-break for transportation. The best thing you can do today is call up your legislator and ask for two things:

- A veto override vote on last session's transportation bill, which was very, very good.

- A balanced transportation bill, including a gas tax increase for roads and a half-cent metro sales tax for transit and some metro roads projects.

If a veto override doesn't happen, there will be legislators who will try to cut transit out of the picture to get something passed. We cannot allow that to happen. We need more than token support for transit in our region.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 11:33 AM by David Highlight this comment 5


Thanks for the insightful comment. I certainly hate to see Michelle Bachman's name attached to anything! She's the quintessential political hack.

I view PRT, like personal aircraft, as probably decades away, but so potentially game-changing that it needs to be taken seriously. It's a real shame if it's just being used as a pawn in some stupid political game.

My legislators have strong support for the veto override and gas tax increase, so I'm good there. But everyone else should follow David's advice and get on the phone!

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 12:11 PM by Rick 6


Your legislators may support a veto override but what you need to tell them is that you want an override attempt on the bill passed last spring. Right now, Speaker Kelliher is leaning against attempting an override. She needs to hear from members of the House that they want the attempt made.

Thanks everyone for your help and support.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 1:11 PM by David Highlight this comment 7

If you had ever commuted by rail for any period of time you wouldn't be so enthusiastic about it.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 8:00 PM by John Highlight this comment 8


I have extensive experience with commuter rail in both Chicago and Boston. It's not for everyone, but some people find it preferable to the equivalent commute by car.

The goal is just to give people transportation options. There's a portion of the population for whom that would work well, and that leaves more room on the roads for those without that option (or preference).

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 9:40 PM by Rick 9

This page was last modified on January 27, 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.

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.

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

A whole bunch of guys working on something.

Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.

This shows the area where the Northstar platform connects with the ballpark (that translucent oval). Above that is the area which will house the Twins operations offices.

The shade of the canopy gives way to a brief shaft of light. It would do the same again a short while later when the sun passed through that tiny open sliver between the View and Terrace levels.

The entrance at Gate 3.

This is the view from where the plaza will connect to the walkway on the west side of Target Center. This presumably aids traffic flow back to the A ramp, and perhaps to the skyway connection (though the doors to the skyway right there are typically exit only).

From the best seat in the house (Section 8, Row A), the right field corner is blocked. (No one may care. Fine with me. People should know.)

8:32 PM The glare is gone. Elapsed time: 1 hour (approximately 3 innings).

In case you don't know, that's Earl Battey.

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.

Harmon Killebrew

Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)

It was in and then quickly out of his glove. You gotta make that play.

The Northstar circulation building is starting to take shape.

Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.

This view, also from the same warehouse roof, shows the newly-rebuilt viaduct on North Seventh Street.

Site of the proposed new Atlanta Braves ballpark. Look familiar?

The glove

LRT throngs after the game

Bag checking at Ball Park Lanes was incredibly simple, as was the pick up later. The line was short and fast-moving.


Love the red flowers -- just like the original concept drawings. That NEVER happens.

The spruced up triangle really doesn't show much connection with the ballpark.

Eleven flag poles

The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)

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


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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