Many of us will be heading down to the ballpark this weekend for our first official looks. I'm included, thanks to some of you out there, and I hope to have lots of shots to show next week.
But I got my first hardhat-less tour last week with Dan Kenney of the Ballpark Authority. I specifically asked to see the upper concourse because we haven't seen much of it, and I was not disappointed. Here are some images to whet your appetite for this weekend's strolling about.
Home Plate Terrace -- really great seats; maybe my personal, budget-based favorite
I love these upper neighborhoods.
The view from the upper concourse.
When this whole project began, I was not a fan of the split upper deck. I've forgotten those long ago objections because there's no question that having it open like this keeps you connected to the game -- even if you can't see it.
Without the split upper deck, when you want a snack you'd come out to a concourse pretty much exactly as isolated from the action as we were over at the Metrodome. It's not correct to sell this feature as a view of the game. You can't see so much as a blade of grass. But the openness maintains the whole feel of the park beautifully.
You can't get there from here.
The Budweiser deck is at roughly the same height as the front row of the upper View level (Field Terrace), but there isn't a way to go between one and the other.
But they'll probably need to station some security there, because those fences looked eminently hoppable with minimal risk of injury...
For executive entertaining
A couple of the balconies on the admin building are not for public use. These are clearly set up for entertaining by the team, but make for a fantastic amenity to the office space.
Long ago I heard a story about the schematic configuration of the park, and HOK's insistence that the admin building simply had to go over where the Metropolitan Club is now. You may remember this from the earliest model that was shown at TwinsFest (the one with the retractable roof).
Turns out that it took a lot of convincing by some of the principles on the project to get the architects to even consider putting the admin building elsewhere. The current configuration is the result of that cajoling, and it couldn't be a more perfect set-up.
One thing I learned on this tour was the answer to a long-standing question about the stairways and catwalks from the upper concourse to the upper View level. Many of us wondered, why build catwalks in some places and stairs in others? The answer is pretty simple: concession stands.
If you built stairs at every opening, some of them would empty right into the queues of people waiting to buy concessions. Catwalks allow control of where people come down. (Duh, I said to myself.)
I got a look at the old Minneapolis Lakers basketball floor which is installed in the Town Ball Tavern. If it's open, be sure to check it out.
Print press box
Suite level view
Larry DiVito and staff member (you write the caption)
My host was gracious, as always, but I bet he's weary of giving tours. In fact, you gotta believe the the entire PR staff of the Twins will be relieved that they no longer have to parade people around. I know I would be.
They can now turn that duty over to -- hmm. Will the Twins be letting people pay for tours? I don't know, but it seems like there would certainly be demand for it.
Last summer I joked with some fellow tour members that one day I'll be an 80-year-old tour guide, showing people all the ins and outs of Target Field, and telling the stories of how it all came together, and the many glories which will have, by then, taken place there.
As a last stop, I'll take my guests out to that flag pole and talk about how Ben told me where it was, and I alerted the Twins, and they went out and made it happen. It's a great story, and I'm proud of my small contribution to this beautiful new ballpark. I'll tell you some more of this story in coming days.
I heard on the wind that the Twins are planning a dedication for the pole before the April 2 exhibition game. I wonder how much of the story they will tell.
Jax put out the challenge to get InGameMagic up and running for this weekend, and I can't resist a good challenge.
So even though it's not fully implemented, I got enough of the pieces welded together that you can post comments and photos directly to this article from your phone or email as you stroll around the park this weekend.
Before you send, just register your phone by sending a message with your name (in the subject line for emails) to:
Then when you see something worthy of sharing, send it directly to:
(Let's see. How do they say it? Oh, yeah: Standard text messaging rates apply.)
Your comments won't get through unless you register first. So do that step right now while you're thinking about it.
And if you have one of those annoying signatures from your wireless provider that you can't get rid of, just end the text part of your message with a plus sign (+) and the software will lop off everything after that.
If you want to keep up on what's going on, the comment page will be available to mobile users at:
Now I should mention that this little feature is held together with paper clips and rubber bands. It may not work perfectly, but I'll try to refine and smooth things out as the weekend progresses (and time permits). So, give it a try!
See you at the ballpark! (Thanks to one of our ninjas, I'll be the guy in the fitted Twins cap with the classic TC logo and a 2010 commemorative patch on the side!)
"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
A detail from the above image shows that the section signage is now in place
The glare problem.
The bridge is Seventh Street.
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!
This is amazingly close to completed. It's a short tunnel entrance ramp to 394 underneath the outfield stands.
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.
An ice cream salad cone -- er, Walk-a-Taco
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...
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
The entrance at Gate 3.
If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.
Window area sketched by the limestone
Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)
Looking back toward the ballpark from Third Avenue and Fifth Street. Again, the track configuration is now clearly visible.
The Pantheon (with inset of the magic eye)
Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)
We took refuge for a time in the Twins Pub where you can drink a beer (or just hang out) and listen to some ballpark tunes. The organ is decorated with a TC (of course) and what looked like drawings which Sue has received from kids.
Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.
Mound from the other side
This will be a great sight on game nights.
The Puckett Atrium
CBP: retro in facade only
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.