Today was a big day with very little fanfare. The final barricades came down from the plaza, the hot dogs were introduced, and the Pro Shop opened. (I've got links to a few other smaller things on the Facebook feed. If you haven't already, be sure to become a fan so you won't miss those.)
I headed down today for a quick tour focusing on the View Level, but spent a lot of time wandering the plaza both before and after my time inside. (Ballparks are very weird buildings, because "inside" isn't really inside at all.)
There's lots to notice out there, and here's just a start.
From behind the wind veil
We finally get a chance to get a close-up look at the wind veil. It is, first, utterly silent. I heard that there was some very minor squeaking when it was very cold, but today, despite a very brisk wind, there was not a single sound.
And second, it's just beautiful -- literally. In concept, I thought it to be a little bit gimmicky, but in it's realization, it's just glorious. I haven't seen it lit up (outside of pictures), but that will certainly add another stunning dimension.
I heard today that it is the largest piece of public art in Minnesota, and that nobody can think of anything which even comes close to its size.
As someone else noted in the comments, it sure was windy out there on the plaza. And I have to say that I can't remember ever being out there when it wasn't. Let's hope there isn't some sort of wind tunnel effect going on, because that could have some freaky effects on offense to right field.
Infield dirt used as accents
Though it was in plain view, I didn't notice until I got up close that it's infield dirt used as accents on the plaza.
I can't wait to get my kids up on that bronze glove for some pictures. Of course, I'm not alone in that, so I probably will have to wait when the opportunity does finally arise.
Peering through Gate 34
Looking out from under Gate 34
The glorious Gate 34
The plaza has some distinct "neighborhoods" just like the rest of the park. Here are some images from the Seventh Street side.
The future history of Minnesota ballparks will go here
Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows
A place to sit (does it look like a pitcher's mound to you?)
The 1963 team won 91 games! (Click to enlarge and see the names)
The pennants are up for all of the years, and the overall effect is pretty powerful. It's possible to trace a player's career, and have a sense of context for the franchise. It's a great idea, very nicely executed.
Shh. Don't tell those people working behind the ticket windows about these automated ticketing machines (underneath the plaza stairs)
Next up is something that I seriously hope catches on. Wouldn't it be great to see distances from home plate sprout up on all the buildings on the skyline? (Nobody's hitting this window, eh Jared?)
And, finally for tonight, here's a little video I took of what is now possible in downtown Minneapolis.
Can you believe it? There's a freakin' ballpark at the end of that walkway!
I've got lots more pictures, and I'll try to make time for them tomorrow.
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This page was last modified on March 9, 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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
New Concept Drawing - No Roof
Then you turn around to this!
Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
That's Bert back at the Met on Photo Day, September 15, 1974.
Secret entrance exposed!
From the ground beneath the troubled skyway.
Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!
Work beneath the scoreboard
Reverse view, now looking down Sixth toward the park. The Met Stadium flag pole will be right there!
Dan Kenney, my tour guide
An ice cream salad cone -- er, Walk-a-Taco
Larry DiVito, mowing
Yep, that's real grass down there, son.
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
Left to right: Opat, Oliva, Dave St. Peter, Melvin Tennant (Meet Minneapolis), Jerry Bell, Rybak
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
Up close, this is what you'll see as you walk along.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?
Another piece of the neighborhood puzzle: the Northstar platform.
Looking up toward Seventh Street.
A cross section of the field construction. (Click to enlarge.)
The model still shows the Batters Eye Club, which is no longer part of the design.
Yes, TC is smiling.
Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007