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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Window area sketched by the limestone
Since pictures of the ballpark are forbidden, perhaps you'll enjoy this shot of the lovely apple tree in my front yard.
Note the gigantic -- and very permanent -- M's on the gates at the base of these stairs.
Two train stations
Emergency access as viewed from outside the ballpark
Those two empty seats in the front row are where we started the game.
That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation
A few details worth noticing (Kauffmann Stadium, New Comiskey, Comerica Park, Source: LP)
A spectacular golden hour
Target Plaza looking toward the grandstand
Complicated pedestrian crossing
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.
Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)
Footings for the Seventh Street walkway from the A ramp.
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Seventh Street windows
Fan number 3,030,673 came through this gate a few moments after I took this picture.
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
Lots of self-portraits were taken here after the final out.
Seventh inning sing-along.
Looking up toward Sixth Street.
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)
Work on one of the side panels
That is pretty close... (Grandstand)
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.
Work beneath the scoreboard
Directly above gate 6 "Oliva" on the Club level.
This view is from the roof of a warehouse which stood where the A ramp is today. The HERC is now located where the tracks turned north (toward the top).