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Piles to Rails to Cranes

September 28, 2007 2:31 AM

It's a muddy mess down in that former ditch that's becoming a ballpark. But if you look closely, you'll see footings and distinct signs of something magical taking place.

Fan Pile

Today, as reported by the TV news, the white pile that we all signed finally went into the ground. I don't know if that means they're done with piles, but it's a pretty cool thing. I signed it right on the end (see photo). I'm assuming that the word "top" was scribbled by a construction person and not a fan. That would mean that my initials were probably pounded into oblivion...

Bigger news is that the first crane has gone up, and two more will be coming soon. According to Dan Mehls, the Mortenson guy-on-the-site, the outline of the ballpark should start to emerge over the next couple of months and be visible before winter.

Medium-sized news is that the railroad tracks have been successfully moved and are operational. This happened amazingly fast. Maybe that shouldn't be a surprise. After all, people have been laying tracks for more than a century. But it seems like such a gigantic task that I fully expected it to take many more months.

Smaller news is that the wrangling over the land price continues. There was an interesting editorial in yesterday's Strib -- interesting mostly for the odd stance taken by the writers. They chose to complain about the Fifth Street bridge, half of which was torn down and is being rebuilt flat to accommodate the light rail line (amid more general fear about urban design principles being abandoned).

This was the first time I've heard anyone mention publicly the desire to flatten the entire bridge -- though it's been mentioned quite a bit privately. In fact, everyone I've talked to has said they'd love it if the whole bridge was flat, but can't find anybody willing to pay for the other half. The editorial points out that with a two-part bridge, pedestrians will have trouble crossing Fifth to get to the park.

Pouring the footings

It's very weird reasoning, because there's absolutely no way that Metro Transit is going to let fans cross its light rail tracks anywhere but in designated crosswalks -- flat bridge or no. Walk around the Metrodome a bit and you'll see just how carefully controlled pedestrian traffic is when it comes to the trains (as it should be).

The whole motivation for the editorial is mysterious. Who are these people and what's their angle? I can't answer that question -- yet.

I do agree that a flat bridge is better than a split bridge, if only aesthetically. This sounds like work for the city of Minneapolis, which has been something of a silent (and rather passive) partner in this whole project so far. I'm sure that's political, but does the city government appreciate what's being done right there on their behalf? Time to give something back, R. T.

But talking about that bridge is a distraction. The bridge which is of much greater concern is the pedestrian bridge from Sixth Street across the freeway. Signs in the neighborhood of the ballpark say that construction is set to begin soon, but that's just on paper. Insiders say that the thing will likely be built (in other words, it's not really in jeopardy because it's so integral in getting fans in and out), but that it's absolutely unclear how it will be paid for, and by whom. The answer to that question depends on the price for the land.

I've gotta run for now, but I hope to be back to full capacity here soon. As much as I want to spend time writing here, another gigantic project has pretty much taken over my life. I'm producing a 4-CD set which will be added to this list in about a month. I have essentially 10 more days to wrap it up, and then I'm back here for a while. I've got lots of pictures to sort through. Thanks for stopping by, and for your patience.


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Rick, I think you're right about the hump. It will be somewhat of an eyesore, but even if the whole bridge were flat, there would probably still be some sort of fence or barricade in the median to prevent people from jaywalking across traffic and LRT tracks, instead forcing them to crosswalks and other safer areas for pedestrians.

I think the biggest issue with flattening the other side of the bridge would be with development to the north of the stadium. When that happens, you'd want that bridge to be flat like a normal street. As I understand it, that would be part of the supposed subsidies Hines wants for the rest of their development - that and other infrastructure.

However, we can cross that bridge when we come to it (tee hee). I agree that in the here and now, the 6th St bridge is far more important.

Posted on September 28, 2007 at 3:12 PM by Alex B Highlight this comment 1

I hate to change the subject, as I love the new Twins stadium (Wheaties Field?) just as most of us who visit this site do. But, has anyone else experienced issues with the webcams for the new Gophers (TCF) stadium? Sometimes they work for me and other times they don't. If you know of a fix, please let me know via email, or maybe Rick will let you post it here?? Many thanks!

Posted on September 29, 2007 at 12:39 PM by Erik Highlight this comment 2

Maybe the Star Tribune writers are upset because the Twins are leaving the Metrodome. All of those parking lots that the Star Tribune owns near the dome will see a decrease in profits 81 days a year starting in 2010. I'm not sure what the angle is, but the newspaper industry is hurting, Zygi backed out of the deal to purchase some of these parking lots near the dome, and the integrity of many journalists throughout the country is in question.

Can't a local company like 3M purchase naming rights for the bridge to help pay for it? They could put up a feel small kiosks that sell scotch tape and other lame products that accountants use.

Wheaties Field sounds pretty cool...much better than naming it after a bank. It's sad that we're ruling out a non-corporate name.

Posted on September 29, 2007 at 2:35 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 3

I still think General Mills Field is the best.

Posted on September 29, 2007 at 4:36 PM by Andrew Highlight this comment 4

Land o' Lakes Field (the 'tub')
I don't care if it isn't feasible - thats how I'll refer to the ballpark until it gets an official name

Posted on September 29, 2007 at 5:52 PM by Dan Highlight this comment 5

Land o'lakes field sounds good, but wheaties field is sweet

Posted on September 30, 2007 at 02:51 AM by Jason Highlight this comment 6

If General Mills does indeed win the bidding war for the naming-rights to the new ballpark, you have to go with Wheaties Field. Wheaties have such a strong tradition in sports and "Wheaties Field" would sound like such a simple name, considering it would be a corporate name. You can already nickname the new ballpark the "wheat field" or the "Ballpark of Champions" T.C. Bear could also have a slide and slide into a bowl of Wheaties after the very rare Twins homerun.

Wheaties Field would also sound better than "Target Park/Field", Best Buy Stadium, Northwest Airlines Stadium, Wells Fargo get the idea

In all seriousness...Does anyone know when we can expect to see the naming rights to the new ballpark become official? Usually the name is one of the first things following the commencement of construction, but who really knows with this stadium project anymore.

Posted on September 30, 2007 at 11:29 AM by Benjamin Highlight this comment 7

hmm.. "Wheaties Ballpark of Champions" or even just "The Ballpark of Champions" would be cool and clever if General Mills would go for it. Just "Wheaties Field" alone still seems like a bland 2nd to "land o' lakes park" in my mind though.

Posted on September 30, 2007 at 6:17 PM by Dan Highlight this comment 8

In regards to Benjamin's question, don't expect the name to be unveiled until closer to opening more often than not. Target Center didn't get it's name until August, 1990, two months before opening. Xcel Energy Center's name didn't come about until June, 2000, 2 months before opening. Heck, the Nationals new park has no official name yet. It'll take time for someone to come up with enough cash to pay for the naming rights.

Posted on September 30, 2007 at 8:05 PM by Pikachu732001 Highlight this comment 9

Click my name for the article I wrote last year on the subject of naming.

If it can't be Killebrew Field at "____" Park, Wheaties Field does have a nice ring to it.

realistically, however, I have to believe that a large financial entity will step up. After all, the Pohlads have a strong connection to Wells Fargo...

Posted on September 30, 2007 at 10:01 PM by Rick 10

Instead of Wheaties Park for General Mills how about Doughboy Park.....

Posted on September 30, 2007 at 10:16 PM by Link Highlight this comment 11

wasn't "citi field" announced pretty much as soon as the ballpark was - same thing with Cisco field? It seems there really isn't any way to even guess when it'll be decided.

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 08:56 AM by Dan Highlight this comment 12

Some naming ideas:

Gold Medal Field at North Loop Park
Creamette Park
Pillsbury Field ("Park" is too cheesy an alliteration)
Some General Mills Brand at Washburn-Crosby Park

And in homage to all of the money problems around this project:

3M Diamond at Lucky Charms Field at Rapid Park at the Wells-Fargo Grounds at Centerpoint District.

I do like both Land o' Lakes Park/Field and Wheaties Field.

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 11:23 AM by David Highlight this comment 13

how about brucey's trench or richy pogin's whiner's field or maybe aron kahn's extortion field at fingerpointing park. i also like blameless scum park, and we can have the mike kazsuba pressbox devoted to one-sided reporting. by the way, nothing on the mediation in the paper, it supposedly took place friday. come on mike, go get your quotes from the wrath of kahn and his 65 million dollar boys. they're winning the "pr battle" afterall, that's what you keep telling us.

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 12:24 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 14

I think it makes sense from a business and marketing standpoint to get the naming rights deal locked up as soon as possible so that it allows time to market the product (new ballpark) and its new name. It is much easier to establish an identity a year or so in advance rather than just a couple of months in advance. Also, the new ballpark will have to have some color scheme/logo for signs/concessions and such to go along with the name. I also think Wheaties Field would be a great name, and more importantly, it would go away from the recent trends of the banking/insurance/telecommunications names. Nothing would be more sickening than seeing the Twins have to re-name their ballpark after 5 years due to a merger/acquisition, etc. Good example of this is Pac Bell Park, SBC Park, and most recently AT&T Park in San Francisco (three names in first 7 years). Enron Field in Houston was another fiasco, now known as Minute Maid Park. I realize the Twins will get the best deal possible for naming rights and this may come at the expense of Thrivent Financial or Wells Fargo (in which Pohlads have strong connections with). If all else fails, maybe Anheuser Busch will step in and name this stadium Michelob Park. We could also name it Pohlad Park or Pohlad's Palace. He is afterall, the sixth richest sports owner in all of sports with a net worth of $3.1 billion.

I still think the most logical choices would be 1.) Wells Fargo 2.) General Mills 3.) Thrivent Financial 4.) 3M 5.) Best Buy 6.) Northwest Airlines 7.)Land O' Lakes...just some ideas with local affiliations

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 12:36 PM by Luke Highlight this comment 15

Despite their current troubles, I think Allianz also is in the mix (big, local financial company with lots of cash and a brand identity to support/repair).

For now, until all the land value stuff gets settled, let's just call it The Ditch.

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 1:01 PM by Rick 16

here it is

Ameriprise Park

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 10:05 PM by MOJO Highlight this comment 17

Did anyone hear how it went last week when a mediator met with HC and LPII? I am going to guess it was a miserable failure.

By the way, Nick Coleman Field has a nice ring. I'm sure he'll have great seats.

Posted on October 2, 2007 at 07:15 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 18

I herd they are unveiling updated designs November 9th

Posted on October 2, 2007 at 2:15 PM by Jason Highlight this comment 19

A few photos of the construction site are up on the Twins ballpark page.

They're under "Sights & Sounds."

Posted on October 3, 2007 at 1:22 PM by K Highlight this comment 20

In regards to the naming discussion above...looks like the Nats are going to open their new ballpark without a name (see link)

Posted on October 4, 2007 at 09:58 AM by Zaq Highlight this comment 21

Check out this pic of the Phillies clubhouse at CBBP.

Posted on October 5, 2007 at 11:43 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 22

Metropolitan stadium sounds good to me but damn why do I think we cant do that oh well. Maybe Casey stadium never had one named after an announcer I dont think Yea I know dont make money on that one but it would be cool though I think. What happened to the good old days when stadium names had more meaning oh well I guess its just the sign of the times dont like it but thats life.

Posted on October 7, 2007 at 11:28 AM by Twins fan Highlight this comment 23

I agree with Twins fan's point about the good old days of stadium's unfortunate how the times have changed with the millions of dollars these days. It was just nice to see the old Metropolitan Stadium, County Stadium, Veterans Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Arlington Stadium, Memorial Stadium, Astrodome, Fulton County Stadium, Candlestick Park, Comiskey Park, Cleveland Stadium, Tiger Stadium, get the point.

Unfortunately the times have changed but it would be nice to have a great name with corporate ties that's not "too flashy". I like the idea of some of the previous posts such as Wheaties Field. There are too many former Twins greats that are worthy of name recognition, thus that idea is pretty much eliminated and is why the Twins are "numbering" the gates at the new ballpark to honor the numbers of some of those former greats.

Posted on October 7, 2007 at 12:56 PM by Eric T. Highlight this comment 24

Regarding naming rights, I think people throwing out names like Land O Lakes and wheaties are missing the crucial idea of naming rights: This is a name that's going to get national attention, and thus it's going to want national appeal. I don't think that's what Land O Lakes is going for. Likewise, I don't know that General Mills would buy them (since they aren't necessarily selling the GM brand), but their individual brands like Wheaties probably don't warrant the kind of investment the Twins are going to want.

Target and Best Buy are obvious candidates - easily recognizable, locally based companies with a national scope. Banking and financial interests are always in the mix.

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 12:03 PM by Alex B Highlight this comment 25

Wheaties is an international brand name, as is General Mills. Wheaties is probably more well known internationally than Target or Best Buy. It's a natural fit for a ballpark to be named after a brand that has such a long history with the game of baseball. (wasn't Babe Ruth on the first box? can't remember) Target already has a commitment to the arena across the street, so I don't see that. You're right about financial institutions. The new Indy Colts stadium is being named for an oil company.

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 1:45 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 26

Click my name for my earlier article on the subject.

As much as I like sentimental names ("Killebrew Field") and cool-sounding names ("Wheaties Field"), it is HIGHLY likely that it's going to be a bank, insurance or other financial services company which steps forward. That's just how the industry works.

So, these boring and tedious names are among the most likely:

- Wells Fargo Field
- Allianz Park
- Ameriprise Park
- St. Paul Travelers Park

In the not-quite-so-boring-but-still-not-cool category are:

- Best Buy Field
- Target Field (they can afford it and adding a sport isn't a bad idea when you're fighting Wal-Mart all across the country)
- 3M Park

There are probably a couple of non-local companies which could show up as well.

Frankly, this is an issue I try not to think about too much, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate the name -- whatever it is -- but simply accept it as a sign of the condition of the game.

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 1:58 PM by Rick 27

So the MBA has moved up their meeting to the 12th. Any idea why the change of date, Rick? And there's been no news regarding the mediation.

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 3:16 PM by Tim Highlight this comment 28

Alex B, Minute Maid and Tropicana are 'individual brands.'

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 3:56 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 29

I agree with Lafferty...It doesn't necessarily matter how the corporation puts their name on the stadium. Wheaties is a very strong brand name and has a strong's up to General Mills or whoever wins the bidding war for the naming rights to determine the name they want to put on it after consulting with the Twins to determine a final name.

As Lafferty mentioned, Minute Maid is a product line of Coca-Cola and Houston didn't name it "Coca-Cola Stadium". Same goes with Tropicana Field, they didn't name it "Pepsi-Co Field". If a large enough company is willing to pay the dollars for the naming rights, it shouldn't be surprising if they choose one of their stronger product lines instead of the actual company name. Also if "Wheaties Field" was the name, maybe General Mills would get more attention from the people who research "Wheaties" and find out it is a product line of General Mills, based in Minneapolis.

On a different subject, did anyone read the news that Jacob's Field in Cleveland has its name up for sale? It will be interesting what kind of corporation will seek out that deal considering it won't be as significant as a brand-new ballpark since the Jake has been opened since 1995 and most people will still refer to it as "The Jake" no matter what kind of name it gets.

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 10:11 PM by Michael L. Highlight this comment 30

I know Minute Maid and Tropicana are individual brands. Still, those are relatively old naming rights deals. Minute Maid was replacing Enron, somewhat damaged goods there. That's two baseball stadiums out of 30. It's still not all that common, and it's not something I think fits in well with the potential sponsor's products.

Aside from the blindingly obvious sports connection, "Wheaties Field" just sounds awful to me. Still, I can't see General Mills forking over all that dough (heh heh) to advertise just one of their brands, one that's not even one of their best sellers.

It's a fair point that those two ballparks both use brand names, as they should. When I drink a Pepsi, I don't think of the company. For that reason, any of the homages to General Mills or Pillsbury aren't going to happen.

Ballpark naming rights (and those of sports stadiums in general) are lucrative because many, many people know these names on almost a subconscious level, particularly the demographic of males aged 18-34. I think Target, Best Buy, or one of the financial firms would be the best bet. I'm not sure about 3M, but that's an interesting possibility - just not sure what they'd get out of it.

Of course, the best naming rights deals are the ones that sound like, well, names. If Cargill ponied up the bucks, that would roll off the tounge nicely. But I don't see that happening.

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 08:14 AM by Alex B Highlight this comment 31

Can someone tell me...why did they need to "flatten" the bridge to the right of the stadium? I remember people talking about that before, but didn't really realize what you guys meant until just now (when you can see the bridge construction on the webcam).

What was wrong with the bridge before? Did they do that construction because of the potential ballpark or was this a separate project? Why wouldn't they have just made it curved like the other "half" thats already there? Haha.


Posted on October 9, 2007 at 10:52 AM by Confused Highlight this comment 32


The south half of the Fifth Street bridge was torn down and is being rebuilt flat to accommodate an extension to the light rail line. There would have been no way to build a train station there if the bridge stayed rounded as it was.

But the more interesting story may be in why only HALF of the bridge was torn down and is being rebuilt. Clearly, a flat bridge would also be better for the condo development which will likely be built to the north.

But it comes down to who is paying for what. And I'll admit that I really don't know who is paying for the bridge-flattening. But I do know that no one wants to pay for flattening the other half.

It just means that when the other half is inevitably flattened, it will be disruptive and much more expensive to do. It's a perfect example of the many inefficiencies of government...

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 11:06 AM by Rick 33

Rick, the 5th St. bridge is not an example of "government inefficiency." It's an example of the corporate shortsightedness that has starved funding for our transportation system.

It's a textbook example of why a gas tax increase is both necessary and beneficial. Many people in government would like to see the whole bridge rebuilt, add more pedestrian and transit amenities around the stadium, etc. But the fact is that the anti-tax crowd has starved our ability to do any of that. The $90 cap on infrastructure was just another slap in the face by the Taxpayer's League and their cronies.

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 1:51 PM by David Highlight this comment 34


That's a great point, though I'm not sure I'd blame the cap DIRECTLY on the TP League. They were definitely responsible for creating the current climate in which necessary things simply won't happen and, I'm sorry to say it, bridges will probably continue to fall down (at least metaphorically).

And you are definitely right that there are lots of people in government who would love to, for example, flatten the entire Fifth Street bridge at one time.

Maybe it's more accurate to say that the reason it isn't happening is a study in how government -- in the broadest sense -- really functions, and what it actually accomplishes versus what everyone really wants and/or needs.

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 2:41 PM by Rick 35

"It just means that when the other half is inevitably flattened, it will be disruptive and much more expensive to do. It's a perfect example of the many inefficiencies of government..."

It should also be pointed out that the bridge is not in service at this time either. When the time does come to "flatten " it, it will then be very disruptive to traffic in the area. Regardless of the reason, both bridges should have done both at the same time.

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 3:23 PM by John Highlight this comment 36


I would go even beyond that and say it's a study in what happens when the people disengage from their responsibility to participate in public life. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with people who want a gas tax, want more public amenities, etc. but refuse to even sit down with their legislators due to some imagined brick wall that
separates them from "the government."

I've had suburban residents tell me that talking to their legislators is a waste of time because "they don't listen," or, "they're part of that XYZ crowd I don't agree with."

Well, so WHAT? Legislators aren't going to listen when no one's talking to them.

As Franklin said, "A republic if you can keep it."

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 9:02 PM by David Highlight this comment 37

If you want something done, I've always found you go to every event that gets you at least in the same room as the targeted politician/government "official," sit through the meeting (which is usually their way to make us think we have access to the governemnt entitiy) and then talk to them afterwards. Still not guaranteeing anything will get done but it's a thought.

Contributing to the bridge discussion, I checked out the webcam and noticed that the difference between the flattened half and the originial curved half really isn't going to be that drastic. All throughout this debate, I had a picture in my mind that the difference would be much more drastic. Also the flattened half isn't sitting flush on the group as I had invisioned either. So when/if the other half gets inconveniently flattened to the same level, it really won't be "flat" on the ground. IMHO, I don't think that is really going to enhance the attractiveness of the location to future developers. What do you think - is the height difference really going to make a difference here?

Posted on October 10, 2007 at 09:27 AM by John K Highlight this comment 38


You've nailed a big part of the process: showing up. The other important parts are phone calls and email. Even then you only get so much pull. The real decisions are made by the caucuses these days and not the individual legislators. If something is going to happen, it will be because the party leaders want it.

That could be changing here in Minnesota where some caucus members (especially in the DFL) are increasingly disappointed at their leadership's inability to get anything meaningful done. Without having been a legislator it's hard to know just how much freedom individual lawmakers have and what types of punishment they suffer when they don't follow the party line to the letter.

With power concentrated in such a way you'd think that things would actually be easier to do (less people to convince). But it turns out that leadership is often much more concerned with playing team sports (us vs. them) than actually getting things done. Closely tied to group identity is ideology. Unless you stick closely to your ideology you may lose an election, they think. Decisions seem so often made just to make it possible to win the next election. Thus power is RETAINED (sometimes) but never actually USED.

It's a twisted system. Ideas are ALWAYS diluted; progress -- when it occurs -- is glacial; waste (of time and money) is absolutely inevitable.

And, we should be quick to admit, that's exactly how the system was designed to work. It's really a wonder that bridges or ballparks ever get built -- let alone flattened or maintained.

Posted on October 10, 2007 at 5:34 PM by Rick 39

Funny. The myopic government being criticized for the bridge failure and other amenities is the same government responsible for imposing additional taxes for the stadium. Sounds like you guys want it all. Proof that its never enough and why pursuing funding for things that make sense is like pulling teeth.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 10:37 AM by db Highlight this comment 40


Scoff if you want, but in the case of the ballpark the government saw a need and did something (albeit much later and for much more money than it would have had to). In the case of the bridge, the government saw a need and did, well, nothing.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 2:50 PM by Rick 41

I could scoff plenty. My observation simply is; you cannot have it all. Infrastructure and a stadium were both "needs" by your definition. One received funding, the other didn't because there isn't enough money to go around.

And, as far as your naming debate goes; most of you also have illusions (or delusions) of grandeur. This stadium in flyover land will never be a "national" landmark. The few games per year that are actually seen on the small, regional cable channel will bring nothing to whomever choses to purchase the naming rights. From a media perspective; a baseball field in the upper midwest, especially here, is practically worthless to a national company. I'm thinking 'Sipes Osseo Marathon stadium' would be a good fit.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 4:35 PM by db Highlight this comment 42

New ballparks don't become national landmarks right away. It took Wrigley Field many years to be considered a classic landmark...funny that Wrigley is also in flyover land. PNC Park in Pittsburgh could also be considered in flyover territory, and despite how awful the Pirates franchise has been the past 15 years, that ballpark is already shaping up to be a landmark.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 5:48 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 43

I agree with you Lafferty...It takes time to develop good things. PNC is a crown-jewel ballpark along with AT&T Park in San Francisco. These parks are both under ten years old. Ultimately, it comes down to winning and losing. The more you win, the more tickets you sell, the more exposure your "landmark" will receive. And as far as naming rights goes...I feel the baseball stadium would have the biggest influence (compared to NFL stadiums and NBA/NHL arenas)since the baseball season is much longer and consists of 81 home games. There will be plenty of companies waiting in line to get their name onto that "landmark".

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 6:24 PM by Luke Highlight this comment 44

I'd also like to add that if any of the post Camden ballparks have a chance to be known as a landmark, the new Twins park could very well be one of them due to the very unique Libeskind or F.L. Wright type of facade, and the aggresive cantilevered left field decks that bring back memories of pre-classic & classic ballparks. (without the support beams) I mean, despite HoK's involvement in creating almost identical grandstands in the post 1990 parks, the new Twins park will most likely be the most unique. Just look at how different our park's design is compared to Citi Field, New Yankee Stadium, and the Nationals Park. When some of the clubs build new parks in 20-30 years, I wouldn't be surprised if they ditched the red brick and exposed green steel look in favor of something unique like the Twins are building right now. Of course I also wouldn't be surprised to see a new wave of parks that emulate the pastoral settings of Dodger Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. Simplicity that blends into the site.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 6:47 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 45

I guess "delusions of grandeur" were correct. Who would ever compare Minni and "Sipes stadium" to Chicago and Wrigley.

What I'd like to read is an intelligent take from somebody who thought baseball popularity was on the rise try to explain the abundant ticket availability fiasco for the NLCS?

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 9:31 PM by db Highlight this comment 46

hey db - please tell me does "db" stand for "douche bag"? ha, ha buddy. and you thought no one would ever know! obviously you are from some lame-ass state (probably in the northeast) and a hater of one of the greatest states in the Union (Minnesota) so go feel better about yourself & spew your crap on some other board, mr. douche.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 9:40 PM by betaband Highlight this comment 47


Give us a link. I searched ESPN and couldn't find any mention of a "ticket availability fiasco for the NLCS".

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 9:51 PM by Rick 48

anyway, getting back to names, I think Target Park, or Target Field, makes the most sense, and how about a target logo in the outfield to hit a homerun into?

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 10:07 PM by Paul Highlight this comment 49

I thought db was STM from the Greet Machine.

Anyways db, back to my original point... it takes years for a ballpark to become a landmark; Wrigley wasn't looked at favorably for decades, then most of the post-classical and classical stadiums were getting demolished so Wrigley became charming and endearing.

The only way I compared Wrigley to our park is that both are located in flyover land, which you seem to have a problem with. Earl Santee of HoK has said that our park will be a 'modern Wrigley,' nobody on this site ever claimed that.

However, there are a few things that could be compared to Wrigley. First, the size of our Rapid Park site is about the same size as Wrigley. Second, Wrigleyville and the Warehouse District both have numerous bars, restaurants and clubs within walking distance. And last, both outfield dimensions aren't forced...they fit in appropriately with their surrounding areas.

As for Phoenix and the NLCS, who cares? Even the Yankees and Red Sox media darlings have had years where the fans didn't sell out regular season and playoff games. Every market is different, and to compare the rich history of Major League baseball in Minnesota to the brand new history in Arizona is a moot point. I think it's odd that Americans are now obsessed with ratings and ticket sales. If a market like Atlanta or Phoenix struggles to sell out a playoff game (mainly day games) most of the country makes a big deal out of it. If we didn't have so many blogs and mainstream media outlets constantly pointing out that the NHL is struggling to retain viewers, then maybe more people would watch hockey. Americans love following things that are already popular. That's one of the reasons why the mainstream film industry constantly re-makes movies every summer.

You don't seem like a baseball fan db, so why are you on Rick's site? Without looking it up, can you name five players in the Colorado/Arizona series? Please, humor us...

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 10:20 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 50

Haha I agree with betaband

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 10:29 PM by Jason Highlight this comment 51

Here's your link.

What we all can thank this stadium for is clarifying for everybody what the role of government should be. Nothing like this will ever happen again for such a small group of people. The Vikes however, will get twice as much. As it should be proportionate to their popularity.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 08:04 AM by db Highlight this comment 52

well, let's see, record ticket sales again for mlb, yea, it's certainly on the decline "db", hehe, geeze. go back to the other forum you ruined and leave this one alone. your act and mancrush on mike opat is well known.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 08:25 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 53

Tim's right, if we want to talk about attendance numbers, baseball has never been more popular.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 11:24 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 54

I guess its not a lie if you believe it. After factoring out population growth, your sport is dying from apathy.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 1:43 PM by db Highlight this comment 55

This site is for people who love baseball and ballparks. We won't be debating baseball's resurgent popularity. It's an established fact.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 1:49 PM by Rick 56

Channel 11 had a story about the project process. There's two videos: a report from the MBA and Mortenson, and the other was an animation of a time lapse from now until completion.

The animation was not very detailed, though.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 6:05 PM by Kup Highlight this comment 57

Yes but facts mean nothing to STM. He's proudly displayed his ignorance across the internet.

Phoenix is much the same as Atlanta. Millions of people from somewhere else. People hold their allegiance to where they're from. It takes 2-3 generations of people to establish a true fanbase. Atlanta for years has had trouble selling out playoff games, while the Braves have been established in Atlanta far longer than the D-backs have in Phoenix.

Game 1 of the NLCS was a harder sell to the locals in PHX due to the starting time. 5:37 local start time is at the height of rush hour. PHX rush hour has become so busy, we've been nicknamed East LA. The game did sell-out with a large walk-up and late arrivals due to traffic and the fact that many roads near Chase Field are torn up due to rail construction.

The history of the D-Backs is something else that needs to be taken into consideration. They were extrememly popular when they first started out. They spent lots of money on key free agents. They won a WS against the most hated/loved team in baseball. Then just like the Florida Marlins, they had a fire sale and ticked off their fan base. They've been slow to come back. Now they've stocked their team with a bunch of young no-names with talent, much like the Twins have done. These no-name players are not "sexy" to the casual baseball fan, but after a year or two of consistently winning, the fans will come back.

As for the Vikings popularity??? Yeah, they're really popular right now, aren't they. They have been by far the most diseased and pathetic franchise the state of MN has ever seen. More pathetic than even the North Stars. They won't need a new stadium, they can play in a half-empty gophers stadium come 2011 while they wait for a new stadium to be built in either Albuquerque, Mexico City or LA. Besides, the Vikings are not nearly as popular locally or nationally as they once were.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 6:51 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 58


Hennepin County and Hines have reached a deal on the mediated price of the land!
More details to follow.


Posted on October 12, 2007 at 7:17 PM by Pikachu732001 Highlight this comment 59

That's great news and a most worthy threadjack. Good eye, Pikachu!

I have another batch of construction photos from earlier today. Hoping to get those posted over the weekend.

On a separate note: It's a mystery to me why people who are neither baseball nor ballpark fans would bother coming to this site -- let alone post comments -- unless it's to pick a fight, that is. Rest assured that such crap will get weeded out here.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 9:09 PM by Rick 60

Thank you for that Rick. As much as I like Shane, he allows too much crap to litter his blog and has somewhat ruined it.

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 11:18 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 61

I agree Rick, if these people are not ballpark fans or Twins fans or baseball fans in general, there should be no need to come to this site.

On a side note, I don't know if it's just me or what, but it would be nice if Dave St. Peter would update his blog a little more frequently. If they expect the fans to come and pay money for the new ballpark, well I think the Twins should be making a little more of an effort to update fans of the progress of the new ballpark. I know it is easier said than done, but even if it requires a small paragraph or press release, that would be plenty. I just feel the Twins could give more updates than just once/month, if that. Again, I know it is easier said than done and I may be asking too much, but it would just be nice from a fans standpoint to see some more updates from the Twins organization.

Posted on October 13, 2007 at 01:15 AM by Luke Highlight this comment 62

well you have to admit the driving of piles isn't exactly the most exciting part of the construction process. i'll cut st. peter some slack. they were working this past saturday, btw. the process of putting up columns on top of the piles has started also, the first baby step indications, at least, in the rightfield corner.

Posted on October 15, 2007 at 08:07 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 63

Final price of the land in 28.25 Mil...

Posted on October 15, 2007 at 1:02 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 64

With our luck we will end up with Best Buy purchasing the naming rights and calling the park "Geek Squad Field".

Posted on October 17, 2007 at 08:03 AM by luckylager Highlight this comment 65


Posted on April 26, 2013 at 5:55 PM by bulldog Highlight this comment 66

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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

The Ron Coomer corner features a bar.

A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.

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).

Quote wall

Larry DiVito, mowing

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

Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)

July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)

Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium

Night (about the 7th inning)

Window area sketched by the limestone

From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.

The county of my birth!

New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)

Plaza overview

Scoreboard installation in progress

Future home of the Met Stadium flag pole

Seat logos in place

Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)

Better them than me

(Click to enlarge)

New section labels, but some curious choices.

Detroit got this part right!

This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).

This is where the main ticket office will be.

This is some of the signage in place for concession stands.

Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows

A beautiful, glowing sunset after the rain.

This is the plaza as viewed from the A ramp.

7:42 PM It moves to the left in the image and begins to blossom.

Loading dock -- already in use!

Lots of pix waiting to be seen from Bert's memorable night.


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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