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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):

October 31, 2001

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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Great pics...Thank you

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 02:47 AM by Locker Highlight this comment 1

Still awsome pics.... Thanks!

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 07:43 AM by Mazaratirck Highlight this comment 2

Rick, maybe you got kicked out of the Ford building because you were interfering with their attempts to set up the 2nd webcam.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 08:42 AM by mplsgreg Highlight this comment 3

i'd like to remind twins management that the public is paying the majority of their cash cow ballpark and someone such as the founder of this site, who has been a cheerleader for your cash cow should be given free reign to take photos of the progress of said ballpark. the twins site has been slow to update the park's progress and this site is serving the public's interest in construction of the public's investment. this site is building goodwill and is basically a marketing tool for twins baseball. let the man take his pics!

and great pics as always before you were whisked away from the ford centre viewing perch.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 08:47 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 4

Rick, I'm sure you know but you can get a nifty attachment that will allow you to shoot through glass and greatly reduce, if not eliminate glare. My Wifes father was a professional photographer so I have heard a bit about it.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 09:35 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 5

The view from the Ford Centre really shows how large the concourses are. Great pics.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 10:59 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 6

Nice Pictures. Now i wish the Twins could do some updating of their own.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 12:42 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 7

i was at the dome again on friday and it just bugs me how inconvenient everything is there. i was in the 6th row on the 3rd base side and when i went on the trek to the restroom, i had to go forever and a day up the vertical stairs (when we weren't blocked by a vendor) and when reaching the top, i felt winded. i then had to find a restroom without a line a mile long while following liriano's pitches on one of the few tvs.

the new ballpark will afford us many great things: smoother inclines on the stairs, open concourses, more restrooms, and many other things. knowing that in less than a season and a half i'll be able to enjoy the spring, summer, and autumn evenings outside gets me very very excited.

i also can't wait to see the ballpark on national television (maybe we'll have opening night like the cardinals and nationals did) from overhead while the espn crew talks about all the great features of the park and the city in which it sits.

those are my thoughts for after lunch.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 1:46 PM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 8

This is random, but does anyone know what side of the field they are going to store the rolled up tarp? I would guess third base visitor side, but who knows...Not that it really matters anyways. Just curious

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 2:14 PM by random guy Highlight this comment 9

Thanks for all the good photos.

As someone who actually worked on the design of the building but is not able to get up there to see the progress I enjoy seeing how the construction of the building is going. I am super excited to see the final product.

Please keep the images coming and congratulations on your new addition.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 2:32 PM by kruu425 Highlight this comment 10

Please keep the skyway pictures coming even if there is glare. We don't have enough people posting pictures of the new place so anything I(I'm sure the others like it too :) ) can get is great. Keep up the wonderful work.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 3:20 PM by ML Highlight this comment 11

What a great day. New ballpark pics (thanks Rick), Twins win, Brian Bass to Rochester. I should buy a lottery ticket!

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 4:30 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 12

Now I know why we haven't seen the 2nd webcam up and running, it is probably because the security officers are taking it down every time it gets set up...for terrorism reasons of course!

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 5:42 PM by Uncle Tom, OG Highlight this comment 13


You've gone and done it again - you took the words out of my mouth. Just last night I said to a friend of mine, "If I never see Brian Bass in a Twins uniform again it will be too soon."

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 7:24 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 14

I would like to add to the comment above regarding the Twins & THE BALLPARK AUTHORITY'S (and especially you DSP since I know you're reading) sh*tty updates: As a (corporate) season ticket holder who has already forked out several thousand dollars for club seats, and is planning on forking out a couple more thousand on regular seats when they become available - I am so thoroughly upset and disappointed in the lack of updating regarding progress, photos, specs, etc. on the Twins official site. What really got me over the edge was the recent trip to New York when we got a better feel for the new Yankee Stadium on FSN than we did for our new ballpark that this organization and loyal fans like Rick and the visitors to this site HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR FOR YEARS!!!! I can't write anymore without getting vulgar, so I'll leave it at that...

P.S. - Ballpark Authority - Thanks for the 3 month old slideshows, and thanks for posting construction updates 3 days after they happen.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 7:32 PM by DRo Highlight this comment 15

got an idea: how bout we ALL go down to the stadium site at the same time and take millions of pictures?

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 8:17 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 16

Just FYI. It case anyone missed it, after the squeeze play of the Twins finally against Oakland, FSN said they will be airing a show/tour of the new ballpark called "Under The Lights" at 7:oo pm tomorrow.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 8:19 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 17 must have been while you were kissing me..

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 8:30 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 18

Actually getting a bunch of us to go down there and take pictures sounds like a great idea. Maybe hit up a sports bar and watch the game together after?

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 09:40 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 19

Yeah, I'd be up for a group tour and gamewatch.

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 1:22 PM by David Highlight this comment 20

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."

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Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)

Clemson Memorial Stadium

That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.

Oh, a flag pole will be so much more...dignified

TC meets the Mayor (Photo by Jeff Ewer)

Work has begun on the plaza, and the activity has started to impact I-394 traffic.

Citi Field as viewed from Shea.

Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)

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).

Serious home dugout work in progress.

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T is for Twins

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Photo by Jared Wieseler

Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)

I think this promenade over the railroad tracks needs a name. How about the Halsey Hall Promenade? (Please do not throw cigar butts onto the tracks!)

A very unique space

Scoreboard installation in progress

Time to paint those supports Vikings-purple.

Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)

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 view down Sixth Street toward the ballpark site. A pedestrian bridge will extend this street right into the main entrance of the park. The regrettable facade of Target Center is on the left. Butler Square is on the right. Click on the image to see what it looked like on this very spot about 100 years ago.

Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)

Reverse view, now looking down Sixth toward the park. The Met Stadium flag pole will be right there!

Click to enlarge.

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MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

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