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Live at the Meeting

October 30, 2007 1:08 PM

I'm taking notes at the model unveiling and figured I'd just post them as I go along for those who may be interested.

Opat is up first.

(By the way, you can watch live on public access...)

Rick Johnson, rep for the county is putting things in context. This is the "final check-off" for the county with regards to the design.

Earl Santee is up next. He will "walk through" the model changes.

In the room: Bell, St. Peter, BPA members, Mortenson people.

Design Principles
- Pedestrian bridge front and center "Sixth Street Bridge"
- Landscape features, "Basca trees"(?)
- Can watch the game for free from the bridge
- Windows at the street level around the park
- Limestone
- "crowned with this strong canopy"
- Canopy gives "shelter" in the upper deck
- Landscape along the promenade
- LRT "Ballpark Station" 40 feet from rail to seating
- Fifth St facade, more animation provided by "pictograph elements"
- History of site, trains, baseball in Mpls
- Additonal seats in "left field porch"
- Batters Eye club gone, outfield seating all connected
- Entertainment zone for kids in the outfield
- Question about the color of the canopy, Santee says "champagne" will be the color, golden tone, complimentary to the stone
- Lights all in canopy or above the scoreboard
- Lighting is "appriproaite for this buildong"
- Renderings show the final config without the Batter's Eye Club
- Model not yet up to date

Video is quite illuminating. Hopefully this will be available on the Twins site soon...

- At least two parts of the outfield seating hang over the field!
- Planting area spans the outfield wall (did I hear that right?)
- Five entrances, five retired numbers

The commissioners apparently have to vote on approval of the design. They intend to do so next week, and Santee says that this IS the design. Tweaks are possible, but for all intents and purposes, this is it. (What does this mean?)

Sounds like HOK has to deal with suggestions from everywhere -- including county commissioners. Wow.

Dorfman is asking about landscaping.

Santee says they are focusing on pedestrian experience. He says the model shows the landscaping from a "planning perspective." Dorfman is concerned that there aren't enough trees. "This still looks pretty stark over here." (Referring to the garbage burner side.)

"Buffer to the HERC plant."
"Baseball is a spring-to-fall sport."
Opat points out that we're talking about the $390MM part, not the infrastructure portion.
"It's important to note what we cannot afford any longer." Opat with regard to land acquisition cost.
McLaughlin mentions that there's a balance going on between using the max space for the building and landscaping. Things like the Cedar Lake bike trail take up space.

Ther is an issue with "elevator redundancy" from the Northstar platform to the ballpark. Must be only one elevator. OK, this is certainly a problem, but has nothing to do with baseball...

"There's not going to be the italian sausage salesman here that you have up at Fenway..." McLaughlin, with regard to neighborhood atmosphere.

Bike racks on the promenade.

Are their security issues with the bike trail buried so deep in a tunnel beneath the facade? (Good question.)

Ed Hunter, Ballpark Authority, says that the Northstar platform will be paid for by the Northstar project. Apparently the specs only include one elevator.

Opat says that the ballpark project has made many considerations for the Northstar project, but it's time for the Northstar project to make considerations to the ballpark project.

Question about the railroad safety wall. Santee says that the relocation of the track changed the need for that. Columns are bulked up, but that's all that was necessary.

Vibrations from trains are considered within the design.

Opat asks whether this design can be built for the $390MM budget. The answer is (wait for it) "yes".

Koblick is talking about infrasturcture changes. Moving the ESB building (HERC site)?? Ah, this is just being considered. Not sure which building this is...

Construction Update
- 20% complete with pile driving. Scheduled to be done in February.
- Concrete columns being started
- Concrete slab in early December.
- Right on schedule right now, despite weather
- Delays caused by weather? That's already in the schedule.

Jerry Bell up next.

"The Twins are batting clean-up here." (Will cover cost overruns.)
"If we have to pay more to build this ballpark, we will not suffer on quality."
Opat says the team may not have wanted limestone on the HERC side (as an example of how decisions have been made).
"We're big on flowers. There are a lot of things we cannot do in the Metrodome..." Planters along the outfield wall -- flowers. Who would've thought? VERY COOL.
Mention of the $15MM from the Pohlads for infrastructure.

Question about minority contractors. All is well.

Dorfman asks about Santana and Hunter. Bell is clearly perturbed by Hunter filing so quickly.

Steve Cramer, Ballpark Authority, is up next.

Ballpark Authority, owners of the facility, do not run the facility. But they will have a great view of the games!

There are three street addresses for the facility.

No one from the public wants to talk.

Now a mention of people buying bricks to dedicate to family members. Sounds like they would be on the plaza, but no more information is given.

Looks like they're done with the ballpark. Everybody's leaving! (Me included.)

Lots of pictures of the model, which I'll post late tonight.

Comments


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Just saw the 'flyover' video on the Twins website and am very impressed. This ballpark is going to be sweet.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 2:00 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 1

This is great, Rick. I might have some comments on the comments once all is said and done, but thanks for providing the info real-time (or close to it).

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 2:03 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 2

Thanks for the updates. I must say that I don't like the fact that seats will hang over the field. That means if you're in that section you wouldn't be able to see the outfield wall right in front of you right?*

*I have not seen the updated model so this is purely speculation.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 2:30 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 3

Thanks Rick, planters along the outfield wall--flowers, are we the first ballpark to do this?

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 2:43 PM by kdoko Highlight this comment 4

Wow. Your live feeds were top notch. They did keep me from working for the last two hours though on a week during which I am already taking a vacation day. The blame for my ensuing lack of production of course is on you Rick...and to that I say thank you!

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 2:47 PM by John K Highlight this comment 5

Busch Stadium II had flowers along the outfield walls.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 2:57 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 6

Lots of updated renderings and a CAD flyover on the official MLB site. Click my name for a link.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 3:08 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 7

Is the overhang in left then? It's hard to tell from the rendering. The update is improved. They listened to suggestions about the outfield seating and putting the family area out there instead of the club is a good idea. I also like the elimination of that lonely light standard beyond the leftfield wall. And to echo everyone else, thanks for the updates, as always!

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 3:13 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 8

Thanks for the real time updates Rick. Nice work as usual! It sounds like it has the potential to be one of the great urban ballparks over time if all stays on plan over the next couple years. Excited to say the least.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 3:21 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 9

I mentioned that there were two areas over-hanging the outfield fence. One is in right, which has been there in the design for a while.

The other was mentioned quickly in passing by Santee and that's the upper deck in left field. I can't remember the exact quote, but he indicated that it comes out at least as far as the fence.

Keep in mind that the fence in right is pretty tall. It's possible you'll miss something from those seats, but it's just as possible that a homer will land in the front row just out of the grasp of some right fielder.

I don't consider these to be so extreme as to be considered gimmicky. That right field area looks like a great place to watch a game, and its low profile allows for the free views in from the plaza.

Be sure to check out the CAD flyover and new renderings at the Twins site. They are actually more up-to-date than the model (which still shows the Batters Eye Club out in center).

I got some low-res renderings from the team (same ones that are on their site). I'll try and get something higher resolution and post them here.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 3:26 PM by Rick 10

Those seats in the outfield look more like climbing a ladder than climbing stairs!?! If that's the final grade, my grandfather aint getting up there.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 3:38 PM by Derick Highlight this comment 11

Just a question about the entrances. 5 in all. I noticed that they all appear to be elevated on the walkways around the park. Are there any that you could see in the model that are at the base of the building, at ground level, where the bike path will run for instance?

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 4:05 PM by John Highlight this comment 12

John, those walkways are only technically elevated. The grade in the area is substantially below the rest of downtown, therefore the 'elevated' walkways are actually at street level, and will link nicely with the rest of downtown. There's tremendous potential for development on the adjacent parcels, which will also use the street level (rather than the current grade) as their main floor.

As for ground floor (field level) access, I don't think you'll see much. One side is railroad tracks and another is a freeway, so no access there. The north side of the stadium will have access for utilitarian stuff and maintenance, and the south side will have access for the teams, media, deliveries, etc. There may be access there for high rollers heading to the luxury clubs beneath the grandstands for the field-level boxed seats. In short, I don't think you'll see much general access at that level, nor should we expect to. The geography of the site already does a lot of the heavy lifting for us, no need to invest in vertical circulation for a great number of fans - they're already at the main concourse level when they walk in.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 4:49 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 13

Rick,

Have you found out if the outfield stands are going to have actual seats or bleachers?

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 7:09 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 14

Approved!!! This ballpark not only has a lot of personality, it fits right in with the new library and the Walker Art Center. I'm interested to see how the wind comes into play.

Philly also has flowers. They use them as a buffer between the outfield wall and fans reaching down into play.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 9:01 PM by Jeff B Highlight this comment 15

how come the seats are green? they should be blue.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 9:18 PM by te Highlight this comment 16

The completed model is up with a slideshow on the Twins website. One thing I'm noticing (on the 7th pic in the slideshow)is that down the 1st base side there appears to be more club level seats and fewer luxury suites than in the previous renderings. I like it.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 11:06 PM by karl Highlight this comment 17

The design is well... quite sexie for Minnesota. We got are BWCA, state parks, other publice attraction that put us on the map that is non sports related. as those sport venues: the old met didn't stand the test of time, its follower the Dome much less.the target center,well its an an arena,the X, hey How about that! The new Twins ballyard will put a bright spark in Minnesota let alone the midwest. so when they unvail it over Twins fest'07. For the Twins fans in Hennipen County who have there tax dollars go to the new park willhave respect for the mew place, those in outside, probely more. This is quite the state of the art puting a gem in downtown Minneapolis. once the Gophers move in and Vikings move out (hopefuly). the city of Minneapolis,the state of Minnesota will have a smothing to show off for genarations to come.

Posted on November 1, 2007 at 3:48 PM by sam Highlight this comment 18


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This is the upper deck in Anaheim






These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.



Loading dock -- already in use!



Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.



The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)



A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.












Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof






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Here's a closer look.



Detail at Gate 6






Not me, but it might as well be.















Flowers. Real flowers.



The finished product. Note that, at the very bottom of this image, you can just barely see the tops of the windows which look into the Champion's Club. (Home Plate Box)



This is some of the signage in place for concession stands.






The first completed mural






Nearby, workers are finishing a support column. The guy at the bottom is using some sort of personal dirt mover (inset). Very cool.



This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.



The glare problem.



Plaza extension reaches toward First Avenue



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.






Looking north (toward Fifth Street and the LRT station).



A path for workers -- don't touch the plaza! -- in front of three giant Chia pets



The connection from the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue. You can now see where the little grassy area and franchise history board will be (the triangular area in the foreground).












A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!



Stepping inside the circulation building






You can't get there from here.



Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.



The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)



A desolate Marquette Ave



Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)



Seat logos in place


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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

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STH - Season Ticket Holder

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