Sent to the Showers (For the Team!)
August 20, 2008 12:11 AM
Maybe this is how Gardy feels after being tossed out of a game. I mean, there's nothing quite as humbling as being shown the door by The Authorities.
Well, that's exactly what happened to me today down at Ford Centre -- that spectacular, Borg-like building on the northwest corner of the ballpark site. My company once had space in that building, and I've been going down there to take photos of the ballpark site (and now ballpark construction -- how cool is that!) since October 31, 2001 when I snapped this beauty (click to enlarge greatly):
Today I was interrupted by a voice which said, simply, "Hello. Who are you?"
Tough question. Um, I'm just some guy taking pictures of the ballpark construction for a web site which is kind of a hobby of mine and that a lot of people visit to see some pictures because it's kind of their hobby too and I've been doing it for a long time and sorry if that's wrong. (That's about how it came out.)
The guard was very professional -- even cordial -- and explained that they had been warned in an email not to let anyone take pictures of the ballpark from the building. No further explanation was given. They must read the Downtown Journal.
I might feel a little less humiliated if I'd gotten something really cool to show you all, but this is what I got before getting the boot:
I'm hoping the management company is willing to consider an exception to this policy (what with the Pohlads owning the building and all), and I'm pursuing that because it would be a shame to lose this perspective. But I will, of course, abide by their wishes.
Meanwhile, I recently got a great offer from another building owner in the neighborhood, who was eager to welcome me to his roof with open arms. I've been trying to find the time to pursue that, and now will make it a priority.
One has to wonder what all the hullabaloo is about. My new camera (the Olympus SP-570UZ, which has been pretty disappointing overall) can get a lot more into the frame when zoomed all the way out. But that comes at the expense of glare when shooting through a window. This means that shooting through the skyway windows just doesn't work anymore.
Instead, I'm outside and down on the street, where the view may actually be better. Even with a little bit of reflection on the subject, I still think the worries about people taking photos from the skyways are perplexing. I've said it before, and I stick by it, that the people who make such decisions are just doing their jobs and their rules must be respected. But there is a point at which it becomes a little, I don't know, sad.
Vigilance is one thing. But when the machinery of society is jittery about a guy with a camera pursuing his little hobby (which, admittedly, may seem strange to some), then it has already given in to its would-be enemies. The battle is already lost.
To the Goods
Here is some new limestone:
Here is where it appears there will be exit from the circulation ramps after the game:
Here is where we will buy tickets:
Here is a rest room (presumably for men):
Here is the current view up Seventh Street:
Here is the steel work in progress on the Fifth Street side (yes, the sidewalk is open again):
Here's a view from the north of the freight tracks snaking beneath the promenade:
Here's the Seventh Street facade (notice the glare I mentioned):
Here's another look at the glorious limestone:
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"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.
Legends Club seats in context (above the main concourse, below the suite level)
Hot dawgs! Getcher hot dawgs!
The steel cage expands.
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
The completed promenade
I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?
An alternate route into downtown. (Click to get an interactive map.)
Name that band. Please. (Mick Sterling)
Pile driving in progress
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
A sampling of seats at Fenway Park
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV
Main concourse, looking toward the admin building.
Up there is where I plan to buy a lot of hot dogs. You can see the vending areas developing rather quickly around the completed portion of the upper concourse.
Work in progress.
The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)
The Puckett Atrium
Wrigley Field viewed while approaching on foot from the northwest
You can't get there from here.
Looking across the plaza toward the main ticket area.
Wow! Looking good.
The media all turned out!
The limestone theme is apparently carried to the area behind home plate. This will look great -- and distinctive -- on TV. But watch out for those foul balls!
All three seating mounds
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).
These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
For those not wishing to suffer through my media rant, please enjoy this picture of my lilacs in full bloom.
This will be a bar/restaurant.
Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
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