Spent some time wandering around trying to get some interesting pictures of the ballpark this afternoon. Gotta say, it wasn't much fun. Feels a little bit like the project is keeping its biggest fans at arm's length right now.
I heard in the comments that FSN is running "new ballpark moments" of some sort during commercial breaks. This is a great move -- for fans with cable. If anybody wants to capture and upload these, let me know and I'll embed or at least link. (I'll try to grab any that I see on Sunday's FOX29 broadcast.) Might be something to make available on the team's official ballpark web site, wouldn't you agree?
I also spent a bit of time today following some anonymous leads I've received to recent photo collections from inside the ballpark. Yes, people are still taking pictures in there (I'm really not sure who or how or when), and you know that I would love to link to these and/or grab some of the shots to show here. But I'm worried that it could lead to the Twins going all RIAA on everybody. (What happened to Josh's Facebook page was Not Cool.) Keep those links coming (rick at you-know-the-drill dot com)!
(Repeat after me a thousand times: Let it go...just...let it go... Breathe deeply. Inhale, exhale.)
Here's a link dump (stuff I've been gathering up which may be of some interest but doesn't fall into any specific category):
It's a great article, but I disagree with some of his conclusions. First, there may not be any cheap seats available unless the Twins suck on the field (which they probably won't). Second, some of the sections he mentions have serious obstruction problems which I have been mapping. (Saying that "there won't be a bad seat at Target Field" is not exactly true.) More on this to come.
This is interesting because very similar changes can be seen between the Target Field fences and the Metrodome. Areas which are rounded in the Dome will become straight fences out at the old railyard, and that will result (when you look at it on a diagram) in a few places where there will be less outfield territory by up to, maybe, 8 feet -- something which isn't obvious when you just look at the published dimensions. Band box? Oh, yeah.
If you build it, they will come -- by train. 40% of fans arriving by train? That's what the Twins are projecting into the future. That could lead to some serious congestion problems. I love trains, but you gotta have the infrastructure. Nice that people are actually thinking about this.
Do we have to worry about birds at Target Field? Maybe, if the web cam image from the other day (a falcon hovering over Target Center) is any indication. And what about mosquitoes? The river isn't that far away...
Finally, here's a shot of D'Amico Cucina (which is closing later this summer). Might make a nice party deck, eh?
A True Story
Earlier this week I bought a tub of Market Pantry Chocolate Chip Dipper Cookies at Target. This is not something I would normally buy, but I was looking for something my parents could snack on while watching the kids so Vic and I could go out for our anniversary.
After one bite, I knew there was a problem: coconut! Not just coconut flavoring, mind you, but coconut chunks -- the kind that get in your teeth and stay there for a couple of hours. I hate coconut.
I checked the label. It just said "Chocolate Chip" with no mention of coconut. But there it was in the ingredient list, plain as day. I knew I wasn't imagining it.
Next to the ingredient list was a toll free number. At the time I was just watching my kids play together, so I dialed the number, more out of curiosity and boredom than anger, though there was something else driving me that I wouldn't realize until the end of the call.
I got a very chipper customer relations agent who was appropriately apologetic and offered to send me a coupon to make up for the trouble. I told her that I mostly wanted to make sure that the product manager for these cookies knew that this product should probably be labeled differently, and that some customers (who hate coconut like me -- there are lots of us) were going to be disappointed when they buy these. Most of the disappointed won't say a word -- and they won't buy again, though no one will know why.
She thanked me, assured me that their system was set up to get such comments to the correct person, and insisted on sending me the coupons.
So, why would I do something like that? Why would I spend 10 minutes on the phone with a big corporation that clearly doesn't need my help? I literally had to ask myself that question.
Well, it may seem weird, but the answer is that if I were that product manager, I would want to know this kind of information. I would want to know if even a single customer was disappointed by my decision-making. I might not do anything differently, but then again, I might.
And it occurred to me that if I ran a company that was doing something (intentionally, incidentally or accidentally) that pissed off any of its customers -- even if it's only the minority who hate coconut (who will, according to research, tell an average of seven other people about their negative experience) -- I would want to know. I would want someone to tell me. I might not do anything differently, but not knowing would be worse.
Let's close with a little kum ba yah moment, courtesy this weekend's opponents:
Ah, I feel better now.
This page was last modified on July 16, 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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, standing: sunshine.
Oh no! Beach ball! But click to enlarge so you can see the wide range of expressions on people's faces. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
A photo taken as my meter ran out.
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)
The plaza as viewed from across the park. The right field overhang section will be built just in from where the plaza supports are.
Wind veil install from across Seventh
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
The former Ford manufacturing plant (now Ford Centre).
This is the back of the Cisco Field scoreboard, showing video to folks out on the plaza.
Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune
Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.
Emergency access viewed in context
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
Hey! That limestone looks familiar!
Items promoting the Twins 2014 All-Star Game bid. I got to bring one of these buckets home, and Noah got his first-ever taste of Cracker Jacks.
The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)
At left, across the tracks by that pile of dirt is where the Northstar commuter train platform will be built, and where Twins fans will apparently NOT be able to get a train after night games. (For reference, that's the Fifth Street bridge, with the ballpark site just beyond it. The east corner of Ford Centre is just visible at the right edge of the picture.)
A mass of rebar and complicated cable runs ready for a pour.
This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.
Here's what they do in April at Comerica Park
Detroit got this part right!
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.