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!
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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Walkway sneak peek
The 1963 team won 91 games! (Click to enlarge and see the names)
T is for Twins
Gate 6 Oliva, with the 573 Club looming large over it (I wonder how Tony feels about that)
Replays on the out-of-town scoreboard!
Looking up Sixth Street, now barricaded for plaza extension.
That's Noah and my brother, Chris, checking out the Loge Box amenities
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
The bridge is Seventh Street.
Double plays will be turned here.
Stay warm while buying tickets.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
An arch under construction.
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond
Look at all that blank space. Canvas! (What should go on those walls? A giant schedule perhaps?)
It's pretty easy to see right into the Twins dugout!
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 on this photo to see what it looked like on this spot 101 years ago (I'm not kidding)
The steel cage expands.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
Storage tracks in the foreground.
Just lighted panels... *sigh*
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.
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
Stairs wrap around the skyway escape tower. A very nice finishing touch.
I could gaze at this streetscape all day. It isn't perfect, but as a model for Minneapolis, I love it. (Except the Biff, of course. Click to enlarge.)