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Washed Out, But It's OK

September 12, 2008 8:50 PM

Looks like my NYC trip could be a complete washout. It started raining this afternoon while I crawled around Shea Stadium getting some pictures, and it hasn't let up yet.

So I sat with about 10,000 fans waiting for about 90 minutes before the game was called. Damn. Santana was scheduled to pitch...

BUT -- and there's always a big but -- do I wish the stadium had a roof? Absolutely not! The whole thing was a blast. Fans chanting. Watching highlights of past World Series glories on the big screen, accompanied by cheers from the crowd as Buckner once again missed that easy roller.

There was lots of food (though not very good), I have a bunch of souvenirs, and I got to see just about every nook and cranny of the place. It even looks like I'll be getting a refund on the ticket price (though not the airfare or hotel, I imagine).

Here's my short review: The nicest thing I can say about Shea Stadium is that it will make a great parking lot for Citi Field. I empathize with the Mets fans, and have to admit that it's actually a worse stadium than the Metrodome, and not by a small amount.

Someone jokingly suggested that I should get a tetanus shot before attending, and now I understand why. One thing it definitely has in common with Met Stadium is rust. Everywhere. Sometimes painted, but usually not.

Dan Gladden says that the outfield also reminds him of Met Stadium, and I can agree with that. The scoreboard is in about the same place, with similar dimensions, and the bullpens are decidedly low-tech.

But this place is worse than the Met too. It's bad, bad, bad.

I got a ton of great photos, but have no way to upload them tonight. They'll come in a longer review when I get back.

As for Citi Field, here's my short review of the exterior: An interesting homage, but sort of schizophrenic. As you walk around, it loses its Ebbets-ness pretty quickly and devolves into an HOK cookie cutter (which reminded me more than anything of the non-HOK Miller Park).

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so I suspect that I may return without having seen a single inning of baseball. But hopefully I'll have seen -- and documented -- four ballparks, so I'd have to consider the trip a success.

When the out-state folks start talking about roofs, I'll be able to empathize, but my opinion has not been changed. A roof comes at too high a price. Rain is no big deal. There's lots of fun to be had at the ballpark even in the rain. And you may even get to see a double-header the next day -- weather-permitting of course.

Comments


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Hope the weather improves.. Yes Shea is a toilet. I was there a few years ago and I swear the rats outnumbered the fans.

Posted on September 12, 2008 at 10:07 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 1

My name is Mike Demitz. I am from St.Louis, Mo. I am supporting for the Twins' new ballpark currently under construction in the time for the 2010 season. I always visit Twins web site and then click to see web cam live of the Twins' new ballpark everyday. I love it. I would like to order The 2009 Ballpark Construction Calendar " Ballpark Magic". I would pay $ 16.00 including handling and shipping. I can send you my check. I would like to order the calendar. I would love it. Please give me your address so I can mail with check.

Please send me an e-mail My e-mail address is: firebuff@ix.netcom.com.

Mike Demitz

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 07:35 AM by Mike Demitz Highlight this comment 2

going back to kevin from az and winona mike's spat, this is exactly the reason why they should implode the HERC site and build the football stadium there -- then your nearby businessess and neighborhood are cookin' all year long...

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 11:32 AM by mplsgreg Highlight this comment 3

i personally do not agree that the vikings stadium ought to be next to the twins stadium. if the intent of the twins and the city of mpls is to create a uniquely urban ballpark, then keeping it twins-only would be best. the area will have a solely-twins feel to it. what will adding a vikings stadium add? huge expansive parking lots (so mazaratirick et al can tailgate...), identity-conflicted neighborhoods, and a huge strain on the light rail & northstar systems and surrounding parking garages.

i say this: make the west end of downtown twinsville, nuke the dome and surrounding buildings and make the vikings stadium the icon of the east side. or better yet, put it down by moa.

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 12:22 PM by yeahklyke Highlight this comment 4

I'm with you yeahkyle. I think the north loop should strictly be twinsville. The vikings belong either in the downtown-east on Metrodome site or build it out on the prairie somewhere. I still like the sites of Brookdale Mall or the old Arsenal in Arden Hills. Plenty of room for parking/tailgating and near freeways.

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 1:51 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 5

So, why couldn't the Vikings foot the bill for an upper deck for TCF stadium (expanding it to about 75,000) and just have both teams play there? Are there logistical issues that make this impossible? It just seems silly to have 2 stadiums that get fully used about 10 times a year.

Is the snag really just about the athletes getting their own lockers/facilities?

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 1:54 PM by Dale Highlight this comment 6

But there is something intriguing about your idea mplsgreg. I do like it, especially if we could implode even more than just the HERC plant. I like the idea of squeezing a ballpark in an urban setting, however football needs room. Us fooball fans are fat and we need our room. We need room to park, spread out, tailgate, drink, toss the ball around and preferably a ditch to bury the packer fans. It's been 33 years. I watched the replay of that game last night and I'm still steamin mad. OF course in typical NFL fashion, they didn't show Armen Terzian getting whacked in the head by the whiskey bottle, nor did they show the hell breaking loose by the fans in the south endzone...Thankfully I have that version on betamax.

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 1:56 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 7

Dale,

I've been removed for the Twin Cities on a full-time basis for quite some time...But wasn't there an issue about liquor not being served on campus at the stadium during Vikings gamedays? I don't remember, perhaps the laws have changed since 1992 when I moved away. I'm sure someone on here will know the answer.

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 1:58 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 8

Click my name for link to some new pics from today. The limestone looks much better after caulking. Got some of the left field area.

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 9

Ironic how two Cubs-Astros games have been moved to Miller Park or as they say "Wrigley Field North" even though the Astros will be the "home" team. Hopefully this doesn't come back to hurt Houston's playoff chances since they will lose two "home" games in the midst of a wild-card race. Is it just a coincidence that the Brewers are charging "marquee" prices for this game which they normally charge for home games against the Cubs, Twins and other marquee opponents.

Either way, this whole situation is not ideal for Houston and I am sure MLB did the best thing possible under these circumstances. Obviously the main concern is for the people affected by Hurricane Ike and its aftermath as baseball is just a game afterall.

Posted on September 14, 2008 at 12:14 AM by Chad Fredrickson Highlight this comment 10

Target Field sounds excellent, now we can call the area of the Target Center and Target Field the aformentioned "bullseye" how cool would that be.

Posted on September 15, 2008 at 4:00 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 11

New guy, that would be awesome...if Target was keeping the naming rights to Target Center. It will be announced soon - possibly on Tuesday - that this will not be the case, and they are dropping their affiliation with the arena.

Posted on September 16, 2008 at 01:19 AM by JohnK Highlight this comment 12

Why would the Twins have an open stadium?????????????????????//

Posted on January 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM by vinnyp Highlight this comment 13


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"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."

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Section 331, Row 9



This was billed as a diagram of a super-suite. I'm not quite sure just where this (or these) will be located.



Great sign
























Better them than me



Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.



Location for automated ticket machines



Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.



Steps, skyway, and plaza intersect.



The Puckett atrium fireplace is just barely visible at the far left.









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Glare from the IDS never looked this sweet. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)



Seals Stadium



Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)



Flag poles, fencing, main entrance gates






Section 101, Row 27



View from the Overlook






Wrigley Field viewed while approaching on foot from the northwest






A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...



Not much facade left to be finished at this point.



You can get a hand-carved sandwich, or ice cream while pondering the career of Julio Becquer.






Photo by Jeff Ewer



The mounds have grown seating supports



A very busy place, as viewed from Target Center.



Click to enlarge.






From about two blocks away you can finally get an idea of what it looks like. Just to my left (but out of view) was a valet parking stand where a limo was idling.






Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)



Evidence of a food court behind the seating above the batter's eye



The overhang as seen through the unnumbered gate



I know you've seen this, but I can't get enough of it.



Entrance to the Champions Club



This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.






Finished product (Field Terrace)



If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.


Glossary

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

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