Getting back to the plaza design for a bit, here is some additional detail on the player/fan appreciation wall. First, this from the renderings which were released with the unveiling:
From the overview, this shows the entire wall from behind -- freeway directly below.
Up close, this is what you'll see as you walk along.
Next, here is a front elevation of the concept plan:
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
Along the same wall area will be pennants -- one for each year -- containing the complete roster for the team. Presumably these pennants will begin in 1961.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Combining the information from these views, it looks like there will be eight 300-name boards, and lots and lots of room for pennants. This fencing goes all around the plaza, providing protection from falling to your doom in traffic below.
The quotes across the top are a great touch, and the whole thing is a great idea, though I can imagine that some fans will wish they could just "buy a brick" somewhere. They should be thankful that the process has been classed up a little bit.
Like many of you, I spent some quality time last week in the "virtual waiting room" at the Cubs online ticket office. Unlike some of you, I never even got to sniff around for spare seats. I just plain never got through.
A quick check back later confirmed that almost everything had been completely cleaned out. About that time reports started surfacing that most of these tickets were now for sale at nearly twice the face value on one of the ticket "broker" web sites.
This set me to thinking a little bit about the economics at play here and the role that these rules must play in the Twins' decision-making regarding ticket prices at Target Field.
See if you agree with the following:
1. The true value of a ticket is whatever someone will pay for it.
2. If a ticket can be acquired at below its true value, it can be resold at a profit.
3. Conversely, if a ticket can be sold for a profit, it was originally purchased somewhere below its true value.
4. Selling tickets at below their true value leaves money on the table.
5. Teams should, in order to capture the maximum revenue, immediately raise their prices to something approximating the levels at which tickets are selling on the secondary market.
It's really pretty simple supply and demand stuff, but the implications for getting a cheap seat to a Major League baseball game are somewhat dire -- especially in a 40,000 seat venue.
There are certainly some downward pressures on prices. For example, the price increases which would be needed to match the secondary market would immediately cause a backlash among the fan base. That backlash might not result in less tickets being sold, but it certainly could result in less interest for TV and radio broadcasts of the games. There's nothing like a sense of elitism to turn off the population as a whole.
There is also the risk that tickets which seem valuable now will not be nearly so valuable by the time the game is actually played. If the Cubs start stinking up Wrigley again, prices will tumble and the brokers will be left holding the proverbial bag.
Also, in the case of the Twins, there was a commitment made to keeping at least some seats cheap so that anyone can get in.
That's a laudable goal, but if the market will bear, for example, a doubling of those cheap prices, then the scalpers -- er, ticker brokers -- will snap them up as fast as they can and get them resold at a market rate. Simple economics.
The truth is that demand will be setting the actual prices at Target Field for the first few years. Oh sure, you may get lucky and get through to buy some tickets at face value on the web site -- surely not every ticket is being bought by a broker or his agent, right?
But the chances are greater that anyone wanting a seat in the new ballpark for the first couple of years may be forced into the secondary market, where the team's decisions on pricing have no sway.
"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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Looking north (toward Fifth Street and the LRT station).
You can't get there from here.
The spruced up triangle really doesn't show much connection with the ballpark.
From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.
A few details worth noticing (Kauffmann Stadium, New Comiskey, Comerica Park, Source: LP)
Fifth Street louvers way up close
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
Better them than me
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
Seventh Street circulation
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
The completed promenade
Though there's nothing there now, you have to believe they'll find a way to add a party deck up there at some point.
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
Puckett atrium menu part 1
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
Just up the foul line, it looks like the base of the wall in foul territory on the right side.
Looking back toward First Avenue
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
From the ground beneath the troubled skyway.
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
One of the many supports being built over the tracks.
Here is a close-up of those funny little islands of seats (HRP View).
Sign installer dude
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
Some baseball legends (and Ron Coomer)
The Northstar stop has a name.
Main concourse, looking toward the admin building.
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
This is the left field pavilion in the original concept model. The restaurant pictured to its right has been moved, and the seating area has been extended at least one full section toward center.
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)