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Officially Nuts

June 25, 2007 6:46 PM

It's every bit as crazy as has been hinted at all along: Land Partners II thinks their low-lying, unstable, former railroad yard is worth $65.375 million. And what's even crazier is that they think they could have gotten that much for it even if no one wanted to build a ballpark there!

Keep in mind that, in theory, the court is to determine the value of the land regardless of the purpose for which it is being condemned. In other words, they will try to determine a value as if nothing special were going on there. The amount which comes out of this should be the same amount that LPII could have gotten on the open market back in 2005 (adjusted for inflation).

I'm no expert at this, so I have no idea what to expect from the court. But I think that mentioning the value of the land sale to the Vikings is tantamount to saying, "My house is worth the same as that other house way across town, even though mine is in a completely different neighborhood, with less bedrooms, worse soil, and a much lousier view." We all know the first three rules of real estate value: Location. Location. Location.

Beyond that, during the introduction to the site provided by the Twins, a representative from Mortenson construction said, in an off-hand manner, that the land could never have been used for high-rise construction because it was not stable enough. High-rise buildings, he said, have all their weight concentrated on one relatively small area. The difference with a stadium is that the weight is distributed more or less evenly across a much larger area. His implication was that almost nothing but a stadium (or perhaps some other low-rise building) could have replaced surface parking due to the geologic conditions there.

Don't blame LPII for trying to cash in, but don't be surprised if the final number is nowhere near their pie-in-the-sky demand. They probably would have done way better without seeming so, well, grabby.

On the other side of the coin, just how bone-headed does Hennepin County look right now? They appear to have made a stupid assumption, dragged their feet, allowed silence to fester into animosity for months and months, and then tried to smooth it all over by essentially whimpering, "I thought we had a deal..."

There's no question that the land is going to cost them millions more than it would have if they'd made a deal within a few weeks of the law being passed (or at least as soon as was possible given whatever had to happen legally behind the scenes). The Twins have saved their asses, that much is for sure.

And let's not let that point go without some emphasis. This really should not have been the team's problem, but they stepped up with some cash (in exchange for considerations, of course, but still). If it's true that the team will ultimately contribute 35% of the overall cost of the park, that's a better deal than almost any other governmental body has gotten from a pro sports franchise in a very long time.

So I guess it's still an open question about how this proceeding will affect the ballpark which is ultimately built. That's for another day.

As much as I hate to, it looks like I have to moderate the comments for a while. Rest assured that anyone who can state their question or comment in a reasonable manner will find that it gets through right away.


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Well, I guess I was a little off when I said they were asking for something in the 40 million range, in hope of negotiating and ending up in the upper 20s. Of course maybe this is a lot less reasonable than what they asked for then....there's no reason for them to not try to break the bank now. The court doesn't care how outrageous the overall claims are.

For what it's worth, people from the county kept mentioning $13 million, but they're now saying $17 million. If that is their minimum, I'm guessing that the final figure will be over $20 million.

Posted on June 25, 2007 at 9:48 PM by Craig in MN Highlight this comment 1

Since you've mentioned that the Twins are still making changes with the ballpark seats, is there any chance that Santee & St. Peter will consider moving the upper decks closer to the field? Click the link for the deck profile.

Posted on June 25, 2007 at 10:30 PM by Chris G Highlight this comment 2

From Dave St Peter's Blog

I’m pleased to report Twins fans will soon be able to monitor developments at and around the new ballpark site from the comfort of their home or office with the simple click of a mouse. Yes, the Twins Ballpark Webcam is in the process of being installed and is expected to be up and running at in a matter of days.

The Twins and are working in conjunction with the technology provider Earthcam on the installation of the high-tech camera which will be located on the top of the 33 South Sixth Tower (formerly the Multifoods Tower in downtown Minneapolis). Fans will be amazed at the capabilities of the webcam as they will be able to zoom-in to the intricacies of the site. Most importantly, the webcam will give Twins fans real-time access to the ballpark site as the project kicks into full gear later this summer.

Stay tuned to for more updates on the Twins Ballpark Webcam.

I’ll be back in touch soon with additional ballpark news and notes.

Win Twins!!!

Dave St. Peter

President, Minnesota Twins"

Posted on June 26, 2007 at 10:32 AM by MOJO Highlight this comment 3

Here is a link with the ticket prices for the new Washington ballpark.

Posted on June 28, 2007 at 11:52 PM by Lafferty Daniel Highlight this comment 4

Wow, 24 separate price levels for the Nationals ballpark. What marketing genius came up with that? The Metrodome has 9 price levels, and that's including the sold-out 3-row "Dugout Box" section behind home plate. How can you even color code that many price levels effectively? And can you imagine fitting that onto a pocket schedule?

Furthermore, the prices are through the roof. Outfield seats are all $10+ more than the Dome's HR Porch, and the $5 bleacher seats are relegated to two sections in the corner of the fourth deck. This is DESPITE the $611 million cost, 100% financed by the city of Washington. The Nationals ballpark seems to represent everything that is wrong with modern publicly-funded pro sports facilities, and the Twins and Hennepin County would be wise to follow a different model!

Posted on June 29, 2007 at 10:38 AM by spycake Highlight this comment 5

For $611 million they are building a bland, boring HoK park that neglects the greco-roman D.C. architecture.

Having 20 or so different prices for tickets isn't a new concept. Unfortunately, we shouldn't compare ticket prices to the Metrodome. Take a look at prices in Denver, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Detroit to get a better idea of how much we'll be paying for tickets in 2010.

Posted on June 29, 2007 at 1:14 PM by Lafferty Daniel Highlight this comment 6

Well, Detroit and Pittsburgh have about 15 different price levels, and St. Louis (whose park just opened last year) has 22. So yeah, I'd say it's a relatively new concept, and growing.

As for prices, Pittsburgh has $9-$14 tickets in LF bleachers, and $17 seats in RF. Their price structure is actually comparable to the Dome. The key will be providing those seats -- current plans look good in LF, not so good in RF. Judging solely on price, Detroit doesn't seem bad either. The newest park you cite (St. Louis) is absolutely terrible for price -- it's $13 for standing room tickets, and Premium games add $5. What qualifies as Premium in St. Louis? Apparently any Saturday game, for starters. ("Grain Belt Premium Games" would be an interesting tie-in, though...) Colorado is probably not a good comparison, as they have 50,000 capacity, but their prices aren't very good anyway, and neither are most of the seats.

The Dome is really the last of a breed -- some would say an ugly breed, but it might be the closest thing to a relaxed, no-frills baseball experience you can get in the majors anymore. I think people will remember the Dome more fondly when they discover they can't move more than 10 seats in the new park without violating ticket price boundaries, and when they realize how much money they spend in the virtual mall that is the wider concourse rather than simply staying in their seat to watch the game. That is, if they can even get a ticket to the new park, much less afford it.

Posted on June 29, 2007 at 2:03 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 7

Spycake, my girlfriend and I go to a lot of Dodger games. We usually buy top deck seats at Dodger Stadium for $8 each and "move up" right behind homeplate almost every game. We did the same thing in San Diego not too long ago. It can be done, and will be done in the new ballpark. You have to be crafty or find an older ticket usher who isn't paying attention. In two weeks we're visiting AT&T Park in San Francisco. We purchased Standing Room Only seats but I guarantee we will be sitting in $100 seats by the 4th inning.


Posted on June 29, 2007 at 2:38 PM by Lafferty Daniel Highlight this comment 8

Look, it's another HoK park with a red brick exterior.

Click the link to see construction photos of Citi Field.

Posted on June 29, 2007 at 5:35 PM by Lafferty Daniel Highlight this comment 9

Any new updates??

Posted on July 5, 2007 at 5:14 PM by ?? Highlight this comment 10

Just an editorial written by Aron Kahn, a complete tool siding with LP II in yesterdays Strib.

Posted on July 6, 2007 at 01:55 AM by Floyd Highlight this comment 11

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"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.

Photo by Tyler Wycoff

One half of those windows are well-used.

Look beyond the gigantic hand (a hounds tooth jacket? really?) and you'll get a glimpse of the main grandstand configuration. The two (or is it three?) levels of suites are visible, as is the design of the so-called "split upper deck," and the extensive use of limestone for decorative accents. Let's hope these little touches don't get cut as costs increase, because they make a nice tie-in from the outside of the park to the inside. Of most interest to me is the way that the very best seats are physically separated from all the rest of the seats by that limestone. There will be virtually no way to sneak into these seats. On one level, that's a somewhat sad design feature...

Just think: It could look like this!

Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.

OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...

The louvres on Fifth have been completely filled in

A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.

The old flour Gold Medal Flour Mill, located next to the new Guthrie theater (Source: RP)

Left to right: Opat, Oliva, Dave St. Peter, Melvin Tennant (Meet Minneapolis), Jerry Bell, Rybak

"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.

Press box, hallway to the print room

This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.

Legends Club seats in context (above the main concourse, below the suite level)

Comerica Park main entrance: Tigers, bats, and much (maybe too much) more (Source: LP)

Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)

Somebody asked how long it would be before the tarp had a sponsor. Well, not very long.

The official ballpark development area

Construction of the stands is moving from left to right in this image.

The Seventh Street facade

They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.

The Pro Shop.

The plaza as viewed from across the park. The right field overhang section will be built just in from where the plaza supports are.

As mentioned earlier, one of the best climate-controlled views of construction is from the 7th floor elevator lobby in the A ramp. (That's Noah getting his first glimpse of the new ballpark.)

Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.

ATM-style ticket machines have appeared beneath the steps to the B ramp (you can also enter the B ramp directly by walking past the ticket machines)

Panels arriving on flatbed trailers in front of the Twins' dugout.

Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)

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

Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.

Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)

Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies


BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

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

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis


First Edition (1992)

Second Edition (2006)


Selected Bibliography - Surveys


Second Edition (1987)

Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title

(2000, large coffee table)

Original edition (2000, round)

Revised edition (2006, round)

(2001, medium coffee table)

(2002, small coffee table)

(2003, medium coffee table)

(2004, very large coffee table)

(2006, very large coffee table)

Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia


Book and six ballpark miniatures

Complete Bibliography

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