September 21, 2009 1:22 PM
Two great games this weekend, and I was lucky enough to be at both of them (and fortunate enough to be napping on the couch through the third of the series).
Friday's game got off to a very weird start as two pitches in the first at-bat were fouled into our section. The first, regrettably, hit a woman sitting in the middle of a group of disabled fans. She was not able to get out of the way and medical help had to be called.
The second, however, came right toward us, eventually hooking directly into the waiting glove of the young woman standing next to Victoria. I congratulated her and told her that Dan Gladden was probably talking about her on the radio because he always appreciates it when a fan is prepared for such a moment. My cell phone captured her, still grinning, during the 7th-inning stretch:
Those front row seats in the upper deck are sweet if you're tall enough, but murder if you're not. I am just barely tall enough, but Vic had to constantly shift in her seat to see the plate between the bars of the railing. It made me wonder just how it is that no one has ever solved this all-too-common stadium problem (which will likely be found at Target Field as well).
I also got a chance to see part of the game from the Terrace Suite out in the right field corner. Those large suites, despite being quite obvious, are something of a well-kept secret. They're more affordable than you may imagine, and feature free beer and snacks throughout the game. It was one of the nooks and crannies of the Metrodome that I'm glad I got a chance to see. (Special thanks to my host!)
Oh Yeah, New Baseball Venue Being Built Across Town
I took a couple hundred pictures out at Target Field last week in service to a specific article that I'm still working on. Since it's taking longer than expected (and I've got a few other things brewing), here are a few quick shots that were not specifically for the feature I'm working on.
Branding on the plaza
The mounds have grown seating supports
T is for Twins
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Locations for ticket machines near the Hrbek outdoor plaza
Artist at work
The electronic sign has been corrected (and never forget that ballpark is one word, not two)
This is what will count as a knothole (actually, it's a gated entrance)
I heard an interesting story last week from someone who bumped into the Metrodome organist, Sue Nelson.
You may recall that the Twins plan to move the current organ from the Dome to Target Field. But Sue told my source that they offered her a new organ, which she turned down. For one thing, she's quite happy with the current instrument, which hails from the 1970s. (I'm with her on that. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever from a fan's standpoint.)
But she also was not interested in dealing with the potential for a sponsorship deal for a new instrument. Though it was just an idea, apparently the Twins considered selling the naming rights if they acquired a new organ.
I actually think that's pretty creative, but Sue must have thought it might intrude on what she does, and you have to give the team credit for respecting her wishes. It shows that they're being creative -- but not heartless -- about generating new revenue. And they value their employees' opinions.
Get Your Tickets!
By the way, in case you missed it, there have been continued suggestions that we start our very own ticket exchange club here at BallparkMagic.
I never really thought much about it until I was the victim of highway robbery at StubHub last week. My fees and shipping charges were roughly equivalent to the price of one of the tickets (in other words, 1/3 of my total cost was fees and shipping). And the seller also had to pay a steep fee which probably meant a large loss on the sale. Worse, I couldn't see any of those additional costs until I'd entered all of my personal and payment information. (I've always believed that wherever you find "convenience" charges, you will also find anti-competitive, or at least sneaky, business practices.)
Also, I was dismayed to receive an email directly from the Twins which referenced my purchase. Just how would the Twins know that I purchased tickets on the secondary market? Turns out, it's all a big syndicate of sorts. Though StubHub isn't the evil Ticketmaster (it's owned by the nominally less evil Ebay), I'm reminded again that Pearl Jam was right (but I don't have to tell you that).
So now I've pondered the prospect of a ticket exchange at some length, and put together a proposal of sorts. For more info, drop me a line: trade at ballpark magic d0t c0m (that's code, by the way, which YOU should be able to convert into a real email address, but the spam bots probably cannot).
Now let's turn our energies toward the south side of Chicago!
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This page was last modified on September 21, 2009.
"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Noah is checking out the ample leg room and truly exemplary sight lines.
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.
Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).
Open house skeptics
Some fun field facts. (Click to enlarge.)
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
The service entrance area in left-center, now with bench seating
Here's the view from the main concourse out through Gate 3 "Killebrew".
Click to enlarge.
Nine spots for hops bats.
Detail of Entry Plaza #4 (north entry from Fifth Street)
Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.
Here we are waiting for the first train to arrive at the station (Nov 14).
Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).
Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
At Comerica Park, some aisles have railings and some do not.
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
This little item stands just to the south of the site, where the volleyball courts used to be. It has to be related to exterior finishing elements, which means this is the first glimpse of the actual stone to be used. Very buttery.
Secret entrance exposed!
The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
(Click to enlarge.)
Double plays will be turned here.
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
Inspecting the delivery
The Seventh Street facade
Target Plaza in model form
Can you name that field? (Braemer Park, Edina)
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)
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