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Rain, Homers, Seats, Dogs

April 23, 2009 1:14 AM

So much to talk about, so little time. Let's start with the obvious: Before dropping a double-header to the Red Sox today, there had to be a rainout yesterday. Kevin in AZ nailed it:

Twins rained out tonight in Boston. What the hell were they thinking when they built Fenway without a roof. I'll bet there are riots down Boylston and all throughout the Kenmore about Fenway being open air. How could the Red Sox organization thumb their noses at all of the other New Englanders coming in from Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Goodness knows there's nothing else to do in Boston except watch baseball so what on earth are all of those people supposed to do with their time tonight?????

There will be much gnashing of teeth in the Twin Towns next year at this time when the first game is postponed (which, I'm told, would not have happened yet if they'd been playing outside this year).

This may seem a little obvious, but there are 15 MLB teams either in warm parts of the country or with roofs. Why not simply weight the schedule a little bit toward these cities in the most vulnerable months? I know that we wouldn't want the Twins on the road for all of April or September, but why not an extra Texas, California, or Tampa Bay series in each of those months?

NYS

There's much to love about the opening of New Yankee Stadium -- if you're into Shadenfreude, that is (and I'm not talking about the blow-out losses).

Balls are jumping out at a rate that, while it's admittedly a small sample size, certainly catches one's attention. Could it be that there were no wind studies done in advance on that ballpark? Here's one that certainly raises eyebrows.

I'm checking to see if anything has been done on Target Field. I'll let you know.

But that isn't the only interesting thing. Seems that the economy has put a bit of a freeze on some ticket sales. Here's an interesting article (with photo) that talks about and illustrates the "empty premium seats" problem.

I don't want to say "I told you so", but I did write about this very subject well over a year ago -- long before my IRA dropped by 45%. It's one very serious potential downside for creating such a rigid distinction between the various tiers of seating.

Just so I'm clear: This is not a lament about ticket prices. Nor is it a lament about the increased difficulty of moving up to better seats later in the game. I do share these objections, but this is strictly about flexibility for the proprietors.

By creating a large and completely sequestered "premium" seating area, you risk seriously impacting your opportunities to change your plan mid-course. A year ago, no one in New York was thinking it might be hard to sell the most expensive seats (though they might have been if they'd noticed that Washington opened a ballpark and immediately experienced similar problems -- though for a different reason). Thus, no one was imagining that you might have the embarrassment of large swaths of empty seats on people's television screens.

But it was entirely predictable. With such a clearly visible line of demarcation between the uber-expensive seats and the only obnoxously-expensive seats, even the best of times would probably yield some empty seats in the best part of the ballpark. In fact, those seats, the "worst of the best", are destined to be the most likely to be empty -- even more than the ultra-cheap and obstructed-view bleacher seats.

Today, we know it's a real problem. Thankfully for the Twins, they have a year to devise a back-up plan (something the Yankees and Mets should have done). They're clever folks, and I have no doubt they'll be ready. But there's something fitting about seeing this problem raise its ugly head in the new baseball Taj Mahal.

Dogs

0414091849a.jpg

I'm sharing this photo with you because this was perhaps the worst hot dog I've ever eaten (April 14, Toronto game). It was free (with the purchase of a seat in the family zone), but that does not redeem it. As you can see, though I didn't measure it before eating it, the hot dog itself is just over half the size of the bun (that's why I took the photo -- at which point I did not yet know just how undelectable it would be).

The bun was dry. The meat was cool (not quite cold, definitely not hot). The whole thing just barely fit for an animal.

It led to a somewhat awkward conversation between me, my friend and his son to determine whose was smallest.

"Is yours smaller than mine? Really?"

"No way. I think mine's the smallest."

"Looks like they're all pretty small."

* Sigh *

And that terrible dog was served by a volunteer who was just learning the cash register.

So let's use this as a springboard for the latest round of Things I Won't Miss About the Metrodome (TIWMATM):

#5 - Centerplate (the food service company)
#6 - Volunteer concession staff (well-meaning, but always a bottleneck)
#7 - Troughs (nothing quite like getting someone else's piss on your knees)

I'm trying to get to 81. I think that's possible.

Comments


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another great post Rick, you never cease to amaze me! Keep up the good work!

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 06:52 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 1

Looks like the last CHS is onsite. Also, in front of the crane (from Cam 1), there are steel frames that look like those installed at the other end of the canopy.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 06:53 AM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 2

Thanks Rick..

I had a Jumbo Chicago dog at the dome during the Jays game at it was huge.. but cool and the bun was hard... the food at the dome is the worst that i have tasted i stick to dome dogs or food outside on the plaza

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 08:43 AM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 3

rick! that hot dog to bun ratio was pathetic. i wouldn't have believed it if you hadn't taken a photo. i have to say that some of the best dogs i have eaten are served by streetcart vendors outside parks, rather than the ones that roll around on the metal rods in the glass case at concessions stands. I saw a game at Fenway once, and that street on the way in has GREAT sausages with peppers. pipin' hot!

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 08:44 AM by mplsgreg Highlight this comment 4

Back in '99, when my friends and I got Twins season tickets for the insane price of $99, we would often purchase the Jumbo Dog (or whatever the largest hot dog they served at the Dome back then was). It was absolutely enormous. I don't know if it was the teflon making me hallucinate, but it would literally be sweating hot dog juices once you got a few bites into it. Delicious and gross at the same time. Do they still sell those?

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 09:42 AM by Orlando Joe Highlight this comment 5

Mmmmmmmm. Mystery meat.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 10:38 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 6

hey rick,
if you run out out of TIWMATM ideas, just repeat the trough over and over. worst invention ever.

it's also nice to see a flight of stairs with railings already...

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 10:39 AM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 7

Interesting musings Rick. I will say this. I think the Twins are positioned well to sell tickets at the announced price points for the 1st couple of seasons at Target Field. At that point (2012 or so) they are certainly expecting the economy to be significantly improved and thus more disposable income available for tickets.

To me there is a big difference between $2500/seat (this is for the 1st row in the Legends Club, the next few rows drop in price to something like $850 and $500) at NYS and $275/$225/$175 for the Champions Club seats at Target Field. Those prices include food/drink/valet parking and should sell.

More interior TF photos tomorrow??

RE: Concessions at the Dome

I would wholeheartedly agree. They are pathetic. However, I must add that I've had a lukewarm to borderline cold sandwich out on the Plaza before the game from Famous Dave's as well. There is a reason Centerplate is being shown the door. Let's hope fresh and hot are two of the important ingredients next year....

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM by Max Highlight this comment 8

Lafferty,

Continuing the Dodger Stadium conversation; I agree that DS is a retro gem. A great park with some rich history...I think renovations are going to help to brush off some of the slime and dirt that is covering it.

Now, if I could only avoid getting stabbed there after a game...

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 12:23 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 9

This repsonse if geared toward the previous thread regarding other parks.

IMO, sitting in the upper deck behind the plate at AT&T might be the best seats in baseball. You can see the whole ballpark, great view of the bay, mccovey cove and the mountains past Oakland. It is truly magnificent.

This may be controversial, but I think "The Cell" is the most under-rated park in baseball. Especially with the new renovations, I think it is a great place to watch a game (although not in the greatest location).

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 12:34 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 10

Can someone remind me what is happening in center field above the outfield trees? That giant gaping hole above the giant wall isn't looking so good.

Is it still a restaurant? A kids area?

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 12:45 PM by Dale Highlight this comment 11

swine's lips and awholes served at the dome. i didn't know you could make a hot dog out of a republican...

(HEY NOW!)

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 12:46 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 12

I loved the "Cell" nothing around it but the subway picks up and takes you right back downtown...it not great as for looking at from the outside but i enjoyed it and will go back asap

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 13

last canopy support is up. game over.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:21 PM by mplsgreg Highlight this comment 14

Congratulations Greg. You win. Let the Watch for the 1st Seat Installed commence.....

RE: Comiskey Park

I actually enjoyed standing above the bleachers in the outfield. Very open and good sightlines and a terrific place to drink 47 beers with your buddies. The concession, security, neighborhood, and ambiance, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not so much.

AJ: Could you elaborate on what kinds of renovations they have performed there in recent years? Thanks much.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:27 PM by Max Highlight this comment 15

OG,

Other than the bathrooms, what part of Dodger Stadium did you find dirty?

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:34 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 16

it looks like they could fit one more support in the upper deck...but thats just me

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:36 PM by Erik Highlight this comment 17

Charley Walters mentioned that the seats will start getting installed in a month. I don't get why they don't start installing the arm rests for the seats right now on the first base side by the Metropolitan Club. The stadia is just sitting there, waiting to get covered with green & wooden seats.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:37 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 18

I'm listening to the Royals/Indians on gameday audio on MLB.com. It's 49 degrees in Cleveland - no roof and I haven't heard the Cleveland's broadcasters complain about a lack of a roof.

In fact all current temps of current day games being played via weather.com...
Cleveland - 49
Philadelphia - 59
St. Louis - 76
Chicago - 59

And the current temp in Minneapolis is 70 DEGREES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:36 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 19

I just finished watching that game in my office Kevin. Believe it or not, the fans in Cleveland actually looked happy to be there on a chilly day. And those fans are smart too...they wore jackets. What a brilliant idea.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 20

I hate to point out the obvious, but the last CHS is not up.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 1:58 PM by Jimbo Highlight this comment 21

Here's a link to a New York Times article about the embarrassing empty seats at NYS and CitiField.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 2:00 PM by Rick 22

i just walked by jimbo. your webcam link must have a delay.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 2:23 PM by mplsgreg Highlight this comment 23

Twins have a new update for April. Click my name for the link. Check out picture 7. Please tell me we are not having blaze orange as the color in the party suite!

Since construction has started on the rooftop party deck, I would like to imagine renderings to do exist some place.

Dale, for the center field area. From my knowledge the Twins have really not finalized anything yet for up there. Previous renderings have shown an outdoor concourse with tables and umbrellas (It probably won't differ to much from this in my opinion). Also, there has been talk of that being a family picnic area. Lastly, there is the possibility of a large neon animatronic sign of the MPLS/STP guys shaking hands out there too (I really hoping for this). Check of Rick's entry titled "Hello, February! (14 months out...)" for the rendering. The twins are working with Target to come up with some sort of co-branded idea for that sign out in center. Please no gigantic bullseye!!

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 2:41 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 24

Lafferty - My impression of the place is that it is quite worn overall. That being said, the Dodgers have done an admirable job with the upkeep of Dodger Stadium. "At 50 years old it simply needs some TLC", as Vin Scully put it. It's a great venue with rich history.

Dale - A concession/bathroom is going in centerfield. It works as sort of a "plaza" when you're standing up there. I really hope the Twins do an animatronic MN logo, but based on the latest model changes, they're going to oblige to a bullseye.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 2:50 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 25

Having just read that article Rick, all I can say is WOW! I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that last sentence, " For next year, the Yankees plan to raise premuim ticket prices 4 percent." I hope the Twins brass is at least taking notice of this debacle, so as to not have the same type of situation (albeit on a lesser scale) arise at Target Field.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 2:53 PM by Brad Highlight this comment 26

I was talking to someone the other day about the perception of minnesota. I guess in a sports atmosphere, every team in the last 20+ years has been playing inside from the Vikings to the gopher baseball team. National fans have not seen anything outdoors here other than the shocking views of people digging their house out of snow in Embarrass, MN in January. Perhaps people on a national level just believe that you can't do anything outside here with everything being inside.

Sounds ludicrous to us, Minnesotans but perhaps that could shed a small amount of light on the national perception scale.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 3:18 PM by Boof Highlight this comment 27

Oops, I do realize the Twins have already released ticket prices for Target Field, I was just taken aback by the sheer arraogance of the Yankee organization that they could raise ticket prices inlight of what appears to be a backlash by their fans over obvious "price gouging". I'm glad the Twins organization is smarter than that, and won't be alienating fans.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 3:22 PM by Brad Highlight this comment 28

Where has the Ballpark Poet been? He/She must have writers block.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 3:28 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 29

Boof,

Not only that, but even before the Dome, the only team with national exposure was the Vikings. The Twins sucked and were rarely if ever the game of the week unless the Yankees or Red Sox were in town. The Vikings were seemingly in the playoffs every year throughout the 1970s and Metropolitan Stadium IN DECEMBER was on a national stage. So yes, the majority of the USA believes Minnesota is in the arctic circle.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 3:56 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 30

it's so nice to see those empty seats behind home plate at new yankee stadium. it's just ridiculous to charge that much for a baseball game, with 81 home dates. even being in new york and the supposed cadillac of sports franchises. football is more of an event with so few games.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 4:20 PM by tim Highlight this comment 31

Centerplate is not getting the boot. All of the catering at the Dome is controlled by the Vikings, not the Twins. Same with the suites.

You think the Twins wanted a new stadium just to play outdoors? They wanted it so they could have all the revenue.

It's always about the money...

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 4:50 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 32

Centerplate isn't doing concessions at TF so they're getting the boot from the Twins perspective.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 5:08 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 33

I believe Delaware North SportService will do us well at TF. i thought I heard somewhere too that hot dogs are their specialty.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 5:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 34

and doesn't anyone think that "The Cell" is sort of an OYS incarnate? A really steep upper deck...a scoreboard fixture that spans the outfield, and the exterior, just to name a few.
Granted, the renovations did the place nice, but to me, it looks just like OYS, only modernized.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 5:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 35

Just a thought... What about a large neon sign of the twins guys shaking hands with a "bullseye" located where mlps/sp is on Minnesota. It would be way better than just a bullseye that says Target Field. The fans get the logo and target gets their advertising.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 5:35 PM by ManBearPig Highlight this comment 36

#29 Carew CHS is up...Nice job Mpls!
I have a feeling #30 and even a #31 end cap CHS will go up in the next couple weeks. If the contest is over, so be it. If it is not, Maz and Kev have agreed to sit in a dunk tank next March right after the first thaw to have the winners of the CHS contest toss them overboard. What a sight that will be?

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 5:38 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 37

Locker: Look closely it appears that the last CHS is almost touching that foundation block building on the webcam. I don't believe there is room for any more CHS.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 6:02 PM by Max Highlight this comment 38

Either the webcam is really slow, or I am mistaken about the rules of the CHS contest. I thought the green truss on top that is actually the framing for the canopy had to be in place, free and clear of any assistance from the crane. According to the webcams at 5:45 p.m. CT that had yet to occur.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 6:02 PM by Brad Highlight this comment 39

According to the model, this is the last CHS. The end pieces are already on the ground in front of the cranes.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 6:19 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 40

we're absolutly doomed to have a big Target logo in the outfield. If a Twins player hits it, one lucky fan wins $1,000 dollars!

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 7:11 PM by Abe Frohman Highlight this comment 41

i was looking at the the tf seating chart, and if i made a mistake oh well but i think there is room for one more section

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 10:17 PM by BB Highlight this comment 42

New details from MBA's April meeting.

Stone/Brick to be completed by mid-May.
Seat installation starts in mid-May.
Excavation of playing field start end of April.
Sod installation starts September 1.
Daktronics to start installing scoreboard end of April.

Also, construction notice on MBA website says 6th street closed this weekend (04/25 & 04/26) for steel installation of the Plaza extension along Target Center.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 10:18 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 43

Just looking at it it appears there is about three left, and you have to have the green part on top, just the vertical support doesn't count, at least it didn't earlier in the competition.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 11:07 PM by Camden Highlight this comment 44

Thanks for the update David.

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 11:41 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 45

Click for Bud Selig's take on the empty premium seat issue.

As you might expect, there's almost nothing of interest in what he has to say, except for the fact that he calls the other New York team "the Metsies." Really?

You know, theaters have known for a long time that you can fill a whole bunch of seats right before the curtain goes up if you offer a rush line. I've seen lots of shows at the Guthrie that way, sometimes from the very best seats in the house.

Come to think of it, that might have an interesting effect on the secondary market, which could in turn affect the primary market. I'm going to have to think about that.

Meantime, one of the articles I read raises the possibility that those seats have, in fact, been sold, but that the patrons either skipped the game (season ticket holders) or are hanging out in one of the many steak, lobster and caviar restaurants instead of watching the game.

That's a problem of a completely different color...

Posted on April 23, 2009 at 11:58 PM by Rick 46

Click my name for pic 9 that they forgot to put up correctly. As far as the season ticket holder skipping or in the clubs, I don't buy it for that section furthest down the 3rd baseline. In the one picture I saw there wasn't a SINGLE person there, I highly doubt they were all no-shows or in the clubs.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 12:37 AM by Camden Highlight this comment 47

Rick: The rumor is that the exec's don't want to be seen sitting in the $2500+ seats behind the plate on TV as their companies are receiving TARP funds during the day....BTW Selig is raking in 18M this year...

BTW: If you guys are looking for the best blog out there regarding all things Yankees and/or Yankee Stadium (which of course are constantly embroiled in some sort of controversy) head over to Peter Abraham's Lohud Yankees Blog. He does a tremendous effort and lots of great off the cuff anecdotes. No a$$ kissing from the media like you might find in oh say Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM by Max Highlight this comment 48

Hey Rick/OG/Maz/Beta or anyone in the know, where and what are the Puckett & Carew Atriums? Also, I was interested if there where any renderings/ drawings of the a-ramp skywalk?

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 01:02 AM by pf386 Highlight this comment 49

The intimidation factor is history in the Bronx. It reminds me of when the Celtics moved from The Garden to Fleet Center. All the hecklers have been moved farther from the field. Those that can afford tickets right behind home plate or the dugouts spend half the game getting lost in the Great Mall.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 01:03 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 50

Ah, TARP. Just like a rain delay, the TARP comes out and people scatter...

It just occurred to me that they use seat-fillers at the Academy Awards for when stars get up and go to the bathroom. Perhaps the Yankees could pay homeless people $5 to wear a jersey and hat and sit in those empty expensive seats.

Or maybe that could be one of the perks offered to season ticket holders: seat filler provided at no extra cost.

Or, if the Congress is interested, they could alter the legislation to require that executives of TARP-receiving companies have to provide a cardboard cut-out of themselves if they cannot attend a game for which they bought tickets with government funds. That way, we'd still know just who is using our money for such things...

Seriously, though, what about a lottery for folks out in the cheap seats to move up into any unsold premium seats? (Kind of like that superfan upgrade thing they have at the Dome.) You could go all the way from paying $5 and not being able to see first base, to sitting in the best seats in the house just to please the TV cameras.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 03:07 AM by Rick 51

#29 in NOT UP! The CHS stands for Canopy Horizontal Support and I believe we'll have a least 2 or 3 more of those, much to mplsgreg's shagrin. The last vertical support is probably up though uh?

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 08:44 AM by Locker Highlight this comment 52

I really hope they don't mow a circular pattern around the pitchers mound to resemble the Target bullseye. I'm just happy they will be back on grass, but that would be a bit much.

Also, it will be interesting to see if they fill those $225 seats behind the plate on a regular basis. I know that $225 is peanuts compared to what the Yanks charge for the same seats, but $225 is still a hell of a lot of money for a baseball game.

September '09 is going to be a great month---TCF opens and the grass gets installed at TF.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:02 AM by crfire163 Highlight this comment 53

main gates on the Plaza going up this morning

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:17 AM by cam watcher Highlight this comment 54

Vindicated!! The quest for 29 contiues!

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:21 AM by Jimbo Highlight this comment 55

Flag poles have been installed on the plaza this morning.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:31 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 56

Plaza gates have been up for a day or so now. Not to ruin your fun cam watcher :)

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM by BB Highlight this comment 57

Now CHS # 29 is in place.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 58

The 5th picture in this series I think is my favorite of any that have been shown yet. The reason: It really shows how well this ballpark is going to co-exist with the surrounding area. There's no big walls separating the "outside" from the "inside". Like no other ballpark that I can think of. Nationals Park has something similar in left field, but their plaza goes to nothing but the Metro station (rather than a vibrant downtown area) and is MUCH further back from the field of play. Truly great design...

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:58 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 59

crfire163 - you mean like this? (click my name) I work for Target, but that's not why I put that design on our field. I think it looks sweet. I believe Camden Yards was one of the first fields to use that design, and then they starting "sweeping" it into the Dome's infield a few years ago.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM by Steeks Highlight this comment 60

Steve, YOU ARE THE WINNER of the #29 Carew CHS!

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 11:45 AM by Locker Highlight this comment 61

It's fun to see all the constructions workers eating lunch on the stadia today...hanging out on such a beautiful day. How much would you guys pay to be sitting out there today? It would be awesome!!

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 12:14 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 62

About $10-$15.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 12:51 PM by Camden Highlight this comment 63

The last CHS is smaller than the ones before it; it looks like the canopy will taper more tightly in left field than in right.

That "end cap" which was on the ground was just a different-looking cross beam between the vertical supports. Also, there was only one diagonal beam below rather than the two that are on every other section of the canopy.

As an engineer, this stuff is cool to me. Asymmetry is also cool, especially when it's not blatant.

There's definitely another section to be erected, but it won't touch the canopy. There were two end cap sections in right field...will there be two in left? Locker will have to give double prizes if there's only one.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 2:06 PM by other guy Highlight this comment 64

pf386 asked, “where and what are the Puckett & Carew Atriums?

I would guess they are the open areas inside the structure where the ceiling is two stories high and you can see from the top floor over the railing to the floor below and vice versa.

The ones I saw (I’m the guy who took the pictures in this series) were behind the big glass areas overlooking 7th street and the promenade.

There was the beginnings of some artwork on a finished wall and our tour guild said, “there will be several tributes to Twins greats inside the park, this one I believe is for Puckett”. So, Puckett Atrium?

There were a couple pictures of it in the group I sent to Rick, they’ll likely be in one of his next installments.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 2:43 PM by Play Ball! Highlight this comment 65

On pins and needles waiting for Rick's promised new post today...hopefully before Happy Hour!!!!

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 3:04 PM by Max Highlight this comment 66

If they would've rotated me 180 degrees I would have one of the greatest views on all sports parks in America, the Chicago skyline with the Sears Tower front and center.

Instead they have me facing the crappy rail tracks of Chicago's Southside, forcing me to give my lovely city the Cold Shoulder. WHY!?!

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM by The Cell Highlight this comment 67

If Wrigley was facing in the direction that The Cell was, and vice versa, would they both be able to see Chicago's skyline?

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 3:52 PM by Orlando Joe Highlight this comment 68

The Cell,
WHY?
Baseball rule book says something like this:
If you draw a line starting at 3rd base towards 1st base - it would be going south.
This is how the term "southpaw" originated because a lefty is facing south when in the stretch.
This doesnt mean they are all built that way though, especially the
new ones...one that comes to mind is Comerica.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 3:59 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 69

Great, great video update at ballparkauthority.com. Click my name. It goes over some of the street improvements around Target Field. They need to do more updates like this!!!

Here is kinda the run down...
1. 3rd Avenue - 7th Street to 12th Street (pedestrian and bike improvements) – in an amount not to exceed $1.2 million

2. 7th Street - From end of the HERC property (Hoag Avenue) to 1st Avenue North – in an amount not to exceed $500,000

3. 3rd Avenue - 5th Street to Washington (City 2009 reconstruction project) – in an amount not to exceed $250,000

Potential pedestrian lighting and sidewalk improvements in the vicinity of ballpark entrances – in an amount not to exceed $50,000

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 1:24 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 70


Posted on April 24, 2009 at 2:04 PM by pf386 Highlight this comment 71

Rick, I read that stricle also about the premium seats.
TCF Bank Stadium watchers, click my name for a neat piece by WCCO about Serigraphics, a Twin Cities company making the signage for the stadium.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 4:34 PM by luke Highlight this comment 72

J2K - too bad that line runs southwest for the Cell (it would be SE for Wrigley)...

In fact, Nationals Park runs almost due east (call it ESE), and that orientation would have given the Cell a great view of downtown Chicago out LF...

Moose

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 5:15 PM by Moose97 Highlight this comment 73

jeff - this is not directed at you at all, but my suggestion would be that the MN BPA, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis spend more of their time and money on repairing some of the streets in close proximity to the ballpark (in all directions) AND worry a little bit less about building additional frickin' bike paths for the lame ass "critical mass" bike nazis who often frequent that part of downtown and who could give a rip about any type of athletics in the first place. can't stand that "critical mass/hipster" type of biker if you know what i mean.

rant over.....

Beta

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 74

Speaking of rants, I was excited to see that the Gopher baseball team was going to be on the Big 10 Network this weekend (vs. Purdue), and of course, that means that they are playing at the 'Dome. It's 56 right now, tomorrow afternoon it's supposed to be 58 after some morning showers, and only Sunday's finale would be seriously threatened by rain (70% chance and a high of 55). If Target Field had a roof, you can bet it would be closed for this series... Argh! Put on a coat and enjoy spring already! It was 77 here yesterday, and now snowing today and we had an afternoon high of about 40 (in Bemidji)... Gotta love Minnesota!

Moose

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM by Moose97 Highlight this comment 75

Really Moose? Nazis?? like the ones who killed all the Jews? That's pretty low. I don't think it's fair to lump all cylcists into the catagory of "'critical mass/hipster" type of biker'"

A lot of different people use those bike trails. Families, commuters, and even twins fans. There's less traffic on the road and more parking downtown for YOU when these people bike.

I've ridden my bike to a lot of twins games. It's a great way to get around. It's fun. With the state of our roads and gas prices almost sure to rise again, it's nice to have some alternatives to driving now and then.

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 9:03 PM by DuluthTim Highlight this comment 76

Must be a long bike ride from Duluth. But seriously, the dome needs more bike racks. TF won't have bike valet, but it'll be very bike-friendly compared to the dome.
.

also: stop talking about roofs. I know it's frustrating when people say, "should have built a roof." But the complaining here is getting out of hand. Instead of preaching to the choir, go out and convert the heathens.

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 12:21 AM by Abe Frohman Highlight this comment 77

Relax DuluthTim - this is a lighthearted messageboard and I believe it was Betaband who referred to them as 'nazis' not Moose. Also, the term 'nazi' is used loosely these days to refer to someone as a zealot or whacko, not a Jew hater.

I'm Jewish and I took no offense, neither should you...Take a pill instead.

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 12:23 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 78

duluthtim - to be fair to our friend moose if you look again you will notice that it was in fact my post where i referred to the "critical mass" bikers as "scoff-law nazis on two wheels". i think you read way too much into who my rant was specifically directed at.

that being said i don't take back my comments regarding these militant idiots. i have even seen those punks physically assault innocent bystanders simply because they got in their way while they were illegally riding their lame single-gear used bikes in the middle of law abiding rush hour traffic. the jerks are often looking for a fight and they will get one from me every time i see them.

based on your moniker you don't appear to live in minneapolis/st. paul, so luckily you don't really know the problems these tools cause on minneapolis/st. paul streets when they are out. they don't deserve to be called much better.

please note my rant was directed at the "critical mass" biker types and not the average law abiding citizen who utilizes the twin cities bike paths and streets in a respectful manner. i have zero problem with them. in fact i am one of them.

Beta

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 12:37 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 79

Can I come out now?

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 12:48 AM by Camden Highlight this comment 80

kev in az - if anyone would understand what i was talking about i knew it would likely be you! thanks brotha!

and in the spirit of kev in az's post to duluthtim i have just a few lighthearted words for our friend and fellow twin fan from the great lake superior port city of duluth in regards to my 21st century use of the term "nazis": OY GEVALT! TAKE A PILL AND A SHFITZ! :-)

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 12:56 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 81

Man we are all good from az to mpls baby! thats how we roll !

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 01:37 AM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 82

I'm hesitant to offer any general characterization of Twin Cities bike riders, but I can tell you this: They show up for the meetings.

Right from day one, when I attended a press conference under a tent in the Rapid Park parking lot, there was a vociferous group of bike riders looking for info on how the ballpark would affect them. They were kind of mad, and with no real reason at that point.

It seemed weird to me at the time, and still kind of does, because I think the general public is pretty much on board with biking as a transportation option beyond just recreation. We may not do it, but we recognize that other people do, and that it is a good thing. Just like trains and bus-rapid-transit, all options must be available in order to have a healthy transportation system in a big city.

It may be the case that policy-makers aren't quite as tuned in on that (OK, they're kind of ostriches about it, to be honest), which could easily trigger an interest group to go from docile to noisy.

Now, I must admit to having regularly observed behaviors among a certain class of bike-riders that border on "I own the road" type of stuff. As an example, I frequently encounter commuting bikers riding directly on the Minnehaha Parkway, impeding the flow of auto traffic, instead of using the clearly marked bike path about five feet away (the same thing happens on West River Road).

I don't know the laws on this too well, but I do think it's legal for them to ride on the street. And yet, given the presence of a nice patch of asphalt designated specifically for biking just a few feet away, and the inherent danger of biking in traffic, and the need for all forms of transportation to peacefully coexist, one would think that competing with cars would be, at least, not worth the effort.

Unless you have some sort of axe to grind or point to make, of course.

A few years ago we bought a bike trail map for the Twin Cities, and it explicitly shows preferred routes for bike riders on all city streets. I was surprised to learn that the designated bike routes on city streets (when there is no separate bike lane striped) is often one block off the main thoroughfares. It makes me wonder why a biker would fight with traffic when a much safer route has actually been created for their use.

Unless you have some sort of axe to grind or point to make, of course. (Did I already say that?)

Now, as has been pointed out, Target Field will ultimately be a huge godsend to this constituency. Not only will the path to the river be finished, but it looks like the whole bikeway in that area will also get a pricey upgrade. And the lengths to which the Twins have gone to make TF bike-friendly should merit at least a grudging nod of approval from the more intense riders.

Unless they have some sort of axe to grind or point to make, of course.

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 02:14 AM by Rick 83

well said rick, well said

Posted on April 25, 2009 at 2:38 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 84

Did I see the flag poles up in right field?

Posted on April 26, 2009 at 3:31 PM by dave Highlight this comment 85

Rick,

Often bikers ride on the road due to speed limits on the bike paths. Bikers have just as much right to the road as any other vehicle.

That said, as an occasional bike commuter, I get very upset when fellow riders ignore things like red stop lights. All it does is make automobile drivers angry and the whole system becomes more dangerous for me.

And THAT said, I have been aggressively intimidated by drivers while on my bike and I have no patience for car drivers who intentionally try to run bikers off the road.

So while I don't agree with Critical Mass riders who are out looking for a fight, the idea of a movement to reclaim bikers' rightful access to the streets is a good thing. We can all use a little more education.

Posted on April 28, 2009 at 09:41 AM by David Highlight this comment 86

I stitched together a few of the Play Ball pictures and came up with the following panorama of TF(click name).

Posted on May 1, 2009 at 12:55 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 87


This page was last modified on January 16, 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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.




















Gate 29 escalators



The New as viewed from The Old.



Circulation building with construction team on top



Also warming things up are these planters.









Trees now line Seventh Street



This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.



Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)



Larry DiVito, mowing



His body language might as well be the box score.



Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.












Stairs down to Seventh Street now have the start of railings






Artist at (very painstaking) work



Pillows!



I realized I've never shown how the walkway over Seventh Street meets the A ramp



5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.



I would put on this face.



Still some work to be done on the canopy.






From the ground beneath the troubled skyway.



More flowers, more pennants.



(Click to enlarge greatly)



From the roof of the B ramp, you can see just how futile it will be to get a glimpse of the action.



Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)









End of the line.









The sign reads, "Mortenson Radio Channels".






The transit corner entrance (Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune)



The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)



Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.



This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.



The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction



Clemson Memorial Stadium



Love the LC!





Glossary

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
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


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(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(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
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Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
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Complete Bibliography

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