Here are a couple of quick things I discovered today. The first is simultaneously one of the coolest and one of the saddest things I've seen in a long time. It's a video of the Tiger Stadium demolition in progress (it's now complete but for the dugout-to-dugout section which preservationists have managed to temporarily save) as shot from a remote control airplane:
Here's the link just in case you want to look at any of the related videos, which are mostly additional shots (from the ground) of the demolition.
Seeing this type of thing is always painful, especially for Tigers fans of course. I suppose there are those out there who do not realize that losing Tiger Stadium is pretty much like losing Wrigley or Fenway (which, by coincidence, opened on the same day in 1912). There simply should be gnashing of teeth over this.
I dig Comerica Park, but seeing these images certainly begs the question of whether Tiger Stadium could/should have been saved.
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yes, and it could have been everything Comerica Park is (except in downtown) for about the same amount of money.
But Detroit is one seriously F'd up city. If you ever decide to go, be sure to tour the miles of burned out buildings from a riot that happened some 40 years ago. Oh wait -- you can't help it. They're right on your way out of downtown. And be sure to notice the classic -- and completely vacant -- skyscrapers. You can't really tell it on TV, but Detroit is a pretty sad place to visit (I had family there until a couple of years ago).
On to something more fun. Here's a new elevation of the Fifth Street facade for the ballpark which was tucked into the call for public art proposals issued by the Ballpark Authority (click to enlarge):
The art will be placed in recessed panels on this facade, and also in the oval-shaped portion of the administration building, which is actually the connection between the ballpark and the Northstar platform.
If you apply (or know of someone who does), send me your images. I'd love to see what types of ideas are out there.
Finally for today, here are a couple of renderings that I pulled out of the relocation guide PDF sent out by the team. These were actually backgrounds, but they are interesting in their own right (click either to enlarge):
No explanation is offered for why there are a whole lot of virtual people out in the center field concourse -- and nowhere else!
The whole 3D rendering (from which these images probably were captured) must be something to behold. The seat locator on the Twins web site is a bit disappointing because you can't go 360 degrees like the New Yankee Stadium seat locator which, I hate to admit, is a whole lot cooler, even though their stadium itself will not be.
Also, as you pan from left to right, you get into this sort of "Batman villain's lair" mode (60s series, of course -- what Batman were you thinking of?) where everything is at a weird angle.
Wouldn't it be great if there were a complete 3D model of the new ballpark -- concourses, restaurants, suites, press box -- for all the fans to explore? (I bet such a thing exists...)
"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.
Here are some less intrusive things things you can actually get at the ballpark.
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
Viewed from up Sixth Street (that's Target Center on the left), you can get an idea of how the connection is currently planned. As it stands now, the plaza will extend to that support pillar, from which a stairway will empty to the sidewalk below. If they get their wish, additional support structures will provide a walkway along Target Center which will gradually (without stairs) meet the sidewalk somewhere up near First Avenue.
Town Ball Tavern balcony
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)
Looking out from under Gate 34
These are the outside tracks which go under the promenade
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
You can get a hand-carved sandwich, or ice cream while pondering the career of Julio Becquer.
Polo Grounds from the south
This is the area above the pro shop, with some new support structure
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
Gate 3 "Killebrew"
The Pro Shop.
Notice the temporary railing extensions
At left, across the tracks by that pile of dirt is where the Northstar commuter train platform will be built, and where Twins fans will apparently NOT be able to get a train after night games. (For reference, that's the Fifth Street bridge, with the ballpark site just beyond it. The east corner of Ford Centre is just visible at the right edge of the picture.)
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
Locations for ticket machines near the Hrbek outdoor plaza
The alumni band sounded great.
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
You can finally see how the plaza will meet the street on the north side of this emergency exit tower (which will be converted to a regular entrance/exit)
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
The finished product. Note that, at the very bottom of this image, you can just barely see the tops of the windows which look into the Champion's Club. (Home Plate Box)