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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
Here's the view as you step to the front of the outer moat beyond first base.
Reasonable (if not overly generous) leg room
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge.)
This is the Suite Level. There are multiple suites between each pillar, and there will be seating on the area in front of the suites which currently looks like it could be a walkway.
Looking back toward the doorway into the club
A closer look at the louvers
It looks like the Target-themed signage has spilled out to the surrounding area (this was taken from the entryway to the B ramp from Third -- the 394 entrance ramp tunnel)
Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)
Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).
TCF Bank Stadium. Not for baseball, but still pretty cool to watch being built.
This is where the main ticket office will be.
Larry DiVito, mowing
The former Ford manufacturing plant (now Ford Centre).
Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)
Work in progress.
Click to enlarge.
The New as viewed from The Old.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
The Pro Shop
Bronze glove delivered (awaiting installation) with Met flag pole horizontal behind the gate
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
Air conditioning condensation on the floor.
Red is old Yankee Stadium. This diagram comes from FieldOfSchemes.com
From about two blocks away you can finally get an idea of what it looks like. Just to my left (but out of view) was a valet parking stand where a limo was idling.
Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)
Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.