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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The closed concession stand.
Work has begun on the plaza, and the activity has started to impact I-394 traffic.
Seventh Street circulation
Opening day, 2010
The media all turned out!
Site of the proposed new Atlanta Braves ballpark. Look familiar?
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
The outline of an infield has appeared on the asphalt in advance of the ground-breaking on Thursday night.
Dancing for the cameras
It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.
Looking across the top of the batter's eye
The same section seen from Target Center. Yep, looks like bridge supports.
Wright's Marin County Hall of Justice, San Rafael, California (1959)
Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).
Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.
These openings will facilitate access to the catwalks which run throughout the canopy.
Viewed from up Sixth Street, the tip of the canopy looks like the claw of some gigantic crustacean!
Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the plaza
The proposed wooden screen covering the circulation ramp on Fifth Street (at left is the equivalent screen on Seventh Street).
Where you are, and where you can go.
Scoreboard installation in progress
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
The Northstar stop has a name.
In addition to the Pro Shop facade, you can see more gravel being laid before the final plaza surface is poured.
In March, we were still only imagining baseball through those windows.
One more time from the third base side.
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.
Looking back toward First Avenue
Serious home dugout work in progress.
Larry DiVito, mowing
Now we know what the English phone booths were for...