From above, Target Field looks something like a spinning baseball. The building projects constant motion, with jets of energy leaping from its corners into the surrounding space.
It might have been enough just to have these jets as superficial elements of the facade, but all have been finished off into dramatic, and highly functional, spaces. The Metropolitan Club and pro shop reach out with the canopy on the plaza side, while the Town Ball Tavern balcony extends the other end of the canopy toward Fifth Street and the trains.
In between, at the home plate corner of the ballpark, an equally dramatic jet honors perhaps the greatest Twin of all, and his Hall-of-Fame, home-run-filled career.
Harmon Killebrew's career home run total is appropriately carved into the signature limestone, to give the 573 Club its name. Carrying the theme throughout the room are large photographs of his classic swing.
This mural is behind the staircase. The window looks onto the promenade, and the door goes to a kitchen.
This looks from the base of the stairs, behind the big pillars, toward the street.
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
Killebrew's autograph adorns a bar which evokes the gigantic piece of lumber that home run hitters bring to the plate. (An earlier idea to have the bar made entirely from an uncut piece of ash was scrapped when the cost estimate came in close to a million bucks.)
The purpose of the space during games is really just for lounging. But it is available for rental for special events on non-game days.
Night (about the 7th inning)
Compare this picture, from the open house in March, with the one above and you'll see that some furniture reconfiguration has taken place.
Unlike Hrbek's (which is directly below this space), I have never seen the 573 Club teeming with people. It definitely has a "club" feel, but not a "bar" feel at all. And while there are monitors available to keep up on the game, they are sort of downplayed. This is a place to come when you need a little quiet time away from the game, perhaps to take or make a call.
Balconies extend the space over the sidewalks and out into the neighborhood.
Looking from the doorway to the south, across Seventh Street
Looking up Seventh Street to the west
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony
The Hrbek gate is directly below. It's a lively place after a game.
Looking back toward the doorway into the club
And, like the other spaces in the Legends Club, memorabilia is on display.
Two additional spaces are directly adjacent to the 573 Club. This map of the Club Level should help in orienting your view.
As you exit the 573 Club back into the Legends Club hallway, you run right into the famous "quote wall" which is just outside the press box.
To the left of the quote wall, around a corner, is the security desk for the press box, one of the many places in the park where small gatherings of people can be seen preparing for the event just before the gates open.
Directly across from the quote wall, to the right as you exit the 573 Club, is a fairly large retail store.
The Legends Club retail store is just visible at the right of this picture.
Finally, you've probably seen this in plenty of images, but right at the turn in the hallway, where the three Legends Club areas meet at the press box, a gigantic Twins logo is embedded in the floor.
There's no mistaking who this place belongs to, or who among the legions of players which have worn the uniform has made significant impact on the character of the club.
I fully intended to squeeze seat width and sightline talk into this post, but it got a little long. I had a rare opportunity to do some actual measuring and was more than a little surprised by what I found. That will have to wait until next time.
When the tour resumes: Metropolitan Club, Town Ball Tavern, Hrbek's, Twins Pubs, and the Suite Level.
"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.
A path for workers -- don't touch the plaza! -- in front of three giant Chia pets
A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
The finished product.
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
Off-topic, but this gigantic, cool, retro sign is just across the street from S&CH. Why? I don't know. Might look nice on top of one of those municipal parking ramps...
This is the staircase (ramp?) leading up to the trapezoid. Nice flagpole too. You'll be able to find me and Ben McEvers at the base of that flagpole on opening day in 2010!
Pile driving in progress
Denard Span ready, in a swoop of sunlight.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
The season was perfectly bookended by Mick Sterling on the plaza
TC meets the Mayor (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Left to right: Opat, Oliva, Dave St. Peter, Melvin Tennant (Meet Minneapolis), Jerry Bell, Rybak
Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond
This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).
The view from my seats in Section 237 (The Trap), Row 1 (can't see much of center field without standing up...)
These are the outside tracks which go under the promenade
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Lower deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
The saddest event
This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.
This would be a beautiful streetscape if there were ANY people.
Perhaps these very bold, Hitchcockian birds picking at left-over popcorn and peanuts were portents of what was to come.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.