Plaza Particulars (Part 1)
March 7, 2009 2:31 AM
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.
It's food for thought.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
From the best seat in the house (Section 8, Row A), the right field corner is blocked. (No one may care. Fine with me. People should know.)
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
Limestone facing and flowers on the right field overhang
That's Tony Oliva checking out ballpark construction from the roof of Target Center.
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)
Millers fans leaving Nicollet Park after a game in 1923, where a trolley was waiting. (Click to enlarge.)
Overview of the storage tracks.
Looking up Seventh Street to the west
Dramatic night-time lighting.
Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.
Click to enlarge greatly. See yourself?
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.
Because of the scale, it's sometimes hard to realize that there are actual guys down there doing the tough work! Here they are getting ready to pour a footing.
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
Hit gap, win suit!
From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.
Click to see the full-size image.
The windows have started going in.
Fun with section counting!
Looking the other direction, again from Ford Centre, you can see what's going on over the tracks. This will be a public promenade.
A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures