The improvements are numerous, starting with getting rid of the restaurant. The new seating is very welcome because these will probably be cheap seats.
But the expansion of flowers along the outfield fence is great (they can be seen on portions of the wall in the first design, but have clearly been expanded). I like this so much better than the Horrible Yellow Line favored in so many places. I have to believe that the flowers will make their way into discussions of the ground rules at home plate before games. How cool is that?!?
I'm not a gardener. In fact, I wish I had the aptitude. But whoever lived in my house before I bought it was a great gardener, and planted a spectacular variety of plants which bloomed at various times of the season. There always seemed to be something new in bloom, with the colors shifting throughout the summer. If that is the type of thing the Twins have in mind, it takes a great idea and nearly perfects it. Imagine a certain color of flower which only blooms in October!
Evidence of a food court behind the seating above the batter's eye
The renderings are ambiguous, but the new animation makes it clear that there is no hand-operated scoreboard out there. I know that some will grumble about this, but for me, building a hand-operated scoreboard into a new park is kind of like installing rotary phones in telephone booths on the concourses.
For parks that were built during that era, keeping those elements of the past is essential. I can't imagine Wrigley or Fenway without them. But adding such anachronisms to new parks seems silly and gimmicky. It is best avoided.
If you've been to Miller Park you know that somebody runs around behind the outfield scoreboards changing numbers throughout the game. Well, through the first few innings at least. Then they get tired. Very, very sleepy. Maybe they get free beer back there.
When I was last there the Twins were in a pennant race, but the scoreboard updates got less and less frequent as the game progressed. By the ninth inning of the game I was watching, the "classic manual scoreboard" had been stalled on the fifth inning of the Twins game for about an hour. In one spot there was a little window where there should have been a score.
Maybe they just have bad help. But really, it's kind of stupid. Technology isn't always a bad thing. On the other hand, gimmickry is always a bad thing.
For those concerned about it, there is clearly a TC logo on the front of the scoreboard. Of course, the scoreboard design will probably be one of the last things finalized, but at least it's clear that the team intends to keep this iconic symbol around. (The newer logos are fine, but for those of us who became fans as kids in the 60s, the TC logo is and always will be the team's official logo.)
Limestone facing and flowers on the right field overhang
This was in the original design and has been retained: the front of the right field overhang will be faced with limestone. It's a great way to connect the interior to the exterior (it also appears behind home plate), but could certainly be a game changer. Balls hitting limestone will probably take a hard bounce back toward the infield and still be in play. A visiting right fielder who thought he was going to make a great catch at the wall may find himself making a desperate throw to the plate to prevent an inside-the-park homer.
To me, that's not a gimmick, nor is it disrespectful of the game. It's a reasonably small quirk, that comes about -- at least in part -- because of the shallowness of the ballpark site in that direction. That's the very best reason to build in something like that.
It looks like the standing room above the bullpens and batter's eye have survived. I'm a little unclear on this, but I think they are just concourse walkways, rather than seating areas or food court or something.
The flag poles have been sited, and a flag has appeared on top of the foul pole!
OK, this is starting to feel like one of those "find 10 differences between the photos" puzzles...
"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 Puckett atrium fireplace is just barely visible at the far left.
A slightly different angle, and you can see some of the structural elements.
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
The Northstar station at night
The admin building (note TF logo on banner)
Click to enlarge.
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
Roped off for the LRT crowd
You can finally see how the plaza will meet the street on the north side of this emergency exit tower (which will be converted to a regular entrance/exit)
New section labels, but some curious choices.
Viewed from a different angle, it seems fair to wonder is some of those seats will have slightly obscured views. Yet, if they're cheap, that's not a problem.
The Target Center rooftop patio. Hardly glamorous, but a great view of the ballpark.
The action drew everybody to the top step. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
TCF Bank Stadium. Not for baseball, but still pretty cool to watch being built.
Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
Yes, it's pretty tempting to just walk right in...
This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!
Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.
Night games are much preferred by the players at Target Field. You can see why.
Home plate mount from Met Stadium (Source: LP, courtesy Clyde Doepner)
The stunning curtains, which skillfully evoke the architecture, keep the atrium from getting too hot in the late afternoon sun, simultaneously hiding the HERC.
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Waiting for a train. Reading on the promenade. How urbane.
No griping here.
Gate 3 ticket window
Section 117, Row WC (applies to all the back rows under the Legends Club seating)
Bench seating? (Click to see hi-res version.)
The 1963 team won 91 games! (Click to enlarge and see the names)