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.
The view out Gate 6 "Oliva".
The Pohlads were loose. A-Rod looked, um, you decide.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.
Looking across the plaza toward the main ticket area.
I took this because of the view reflected in the store windows. (The store is cool too.)
The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)
A portrait of the 573 Club.
The season was perfectly bookended by Mick Sterling on the plaza
Standing, standing, standing.
Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.
A collection of support pillars for the left field pavilion.
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
The right field overhang is in place, and the first base stands are starting to go in.
A new address for the Admin building
New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)
June 29,1936 - May 17, 2011
A last look on the way out.
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).
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?)
Puckett atrium menu part 1
Ye Olde Tyme Vegetable Cart (and its modern cousin)
Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
Yes, it's pretty tempting to just walk right in...
Storage tracks in the foreground.
Jose Alvalade XXI Stadium in Lisbon, Portugal has towers much like I'm imagining to hold up our canopy while also making a bold statement on the horizon