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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.


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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:

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


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

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 3044 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

Peering through Gate 34

The glare problem.

Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.

Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!

Click to see the full-size image.

Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)

Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?

Click to enlarge.

Fissure dude

A few details worth noticing (Kauffmann Stadium, New Comiskey, Comerica Park, Source: LP)

Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...

20 minutes to get from our seat to the street. Miss this place? Nah.

2014 Twins ASG promo bat.

This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.

Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.

Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)

Seventh inning sing-along.

Flagpole historian Ben McEvers at far right (click for the full photo set, graciously loaned to this site by Pat Backen)

View level as seen through the Seventh Street circulation ramp

There's the opening through which the groundskeeping equipment will emerge (and disappear).

Grid for the ironwood louvres is in place

No griping here.

Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)

Photo by Tyler Wycoff

I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?

This is the plaza as viewed from the A ramp.

This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.

The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)

A collection of support pillars for the left field pavilion.

First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right

World Series trophies on display at left

A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)

The entry from the platform to the ballpark.


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

Complete Bibliography

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