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.
"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.
I didn't check the menu too closely, but it looks like all the standard fare is available, and not much of the non-standard stuff.
A trailer village has sprung up to the south.
September 23, 2007
That's Jacque Jones looking up in awe at the Great Greenness.
Wind veil framing (from the inside)
Scoreboard installation in progress
The view from our Loge Box
The big glove will go on that circle. Note the gap between the plaza and the ramp. That's 394 you can see through there.
Wow! Looking good.
Bruce Lambrecht on the roof of the Minikahda building.
Then you turn around to this!
Kirby Jr. set to take down the last number
The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)
Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.
Workers against green
Looking up Fifth, with LRT tracks and B ramp at left
An arch under construction.
There's the opening through which the groundskeeping equipment will emerge (and disappear).
Section 117, Row WC (applies to all the back rows under the Legends Club seating)
The tower is actually finished, though it looks like a work in progress.
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)
The Guthrie Theater's Wurtele Thrust Stage seating
I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?
Click to enlarge.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Up close, this is what you'll see as you walk along.
The Pohlads were loose. A-Rod looked, um, you decide.
Construction of the stands is moving from left to right in this image.
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
The circulation ramp on Fifth Street is shaping up very quickly.