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Spring Swing (Part 4)

May 9, 2009 10:34 PM

Next up on the tour, a walk around to the Fifth Street side.

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Looking up Fifth, with LRT tracks and B ramp at left


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Ticket window at Gate 29/Carew


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Steps going up at Gate 29/Carew


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Scoreboard installation in progress


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A final glimpse from the street of stadia installation along the left field line

Seeing the above reminds me once again that the days of getting interesting images from the street are dwindling... More and more of the cool stuff is now happening out of sight on the inside.

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Scoreboard in profile against the skyline

From inside the ballpark, the Wells Fargo building will not be visible, despite being one of the three tallest buildings on the skyline. It is perfectly blocked by the Multifoods Tower. The above image shows that if the ballpark had been situated either one block to the north or south, this would not have been the case.

It's a shame, but just a piece of rotten luck.

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A new restaurant going in at Fifth Street and Second Avenue

The above restaurant may have a name and a theme, but none is listed on the development watch (PDF) maintained by the Downtown Journal. They simply list it as "restaurant building" while noting that a rooftop deck has been approved for up to 204 people. Regardless of the details, this will likely be a very cool addition to the neighborhood.

Loose Ends

The other day I thought that the Seville Club looked vacant. Well, it's not.

Yesterday I joined a long list of Block E lamenters, including the illustrious architecture critic Linda Mack, who proposed some fixes way back in October of 2007.

But I want to note that I never felt unsafe in the building. I just felt perplexed, disoriented and inconvenienced. I felt like I was walking through a collection of bad ideas and architecture by committee. If there's a nefarious element associated with the place, I've never seen it -- but then again I've never been there after dark.

Before publishing yesterday's post, I didn't even look at the Wikipedia entry for Block E. It's remarkably detailed, and contains an account of the official celebrating which took place when the last of those memorably seedy businesses closed back in the 80s.

That celebrating seems kind of, well, stupid right about now. They were cheering the destruction of something for which no replacement had even been imagined. There was no plan, and tearing down the buildings (after ceremonially smashing their windows no less) did very little to alleviate problems which weren't actually about those specific businesses or that specific piece of land in the first place.

The history of urban renewal in Minneapolis is positively teaming with outright failure, and I'm thinking that the new Block E may one day find itself added to that long list. The scar left behind when those original Block E buildings came down, much like what happened in the gateway district, has simply been papered over (with some damn ugly wallpaper).

Nice, New, Old Floor

I discovered this article about the company which is refurbishing the floor once used by the Minneapolis Lakers in the downtown Armory. Here are some of the highlights:

More than 1,100 square feet of the court, which was used by the Minneapolis Lakers, will be installed in the Town Ball Tavern restaurant inside Target Field.

...the maple is 70 to 80 years old. It will be installed in the restaurant in a parquet pattern similar to the Boston Garden’s historic surface. (...)

Kevin Smith is executive director of public affairs with the Minnesota Twins. He said the Town Ball Tavern will be open to the public and ballpark patrons.

"It will be located in the left field area," Smith said. "If you come to the park via light rail, it will be on Fifth Street side. It will be a nice, quaint gathering spot."

The Twins want the Town Ball Tavern to serve as a tribute to Minnesota’s rich baseball heritage, Smith said. It will be filled with plenty of memorabilia items. (...)

Champion’s Club, Twins Pub, 573 Bar, Metropolitan Club and the Puckett and Carew Atriums will provide other dining opportunities inside the new ballpark.

"We are right on schedule and are about 70 percent complete with the building," Smith said. "Target Field has to be functionally complete on March 3, 2010."

That's the first time I've heard an official completion date. It's also the first I've heard of the "Puckett and Carew Atriums" -- though I suspect these may just be designations for certain concession areas.

Confidential to ABC Newspapers: Pop-unders are deeply annoying and oh, so 1999.

One Final, Sort of Related

As you all probably know, the second LRT line is about to be built along University Avenue to connect the St. Paul and Minneapolis downtowns. Like the Hiawatha line, the new line will terminate at the ballpark.

I'm a big supporter of adding trains to the mix of transportation options, but I'm deeply skeptical about the Central corridor project. Hiawatha works in part because it has its own right-of-way for most of its length, while Central will be stealing from University Avenue almost the whole way.

If you've ever stayed on a light rail train past the Metrodome into downtown Minneapolis, you know that there is a very big downgrade in the experience as the tracks become part of the regular street grid. Certain measures are planned to mitigate this on University (such as timed lights), but the advantage over buses is much harder to see on this project than it was on the first. (The political advantages, on the other hand, are quite clear to see on the route map.)

I'm mentioning it today just to link to this article in the Strib which talks about how much street parking will be lost along University Avenue to accommodate the new line, and how it stands to affect the small businesses which are the lifeblood of the Midway area. This could be a real shame.

It also stands to confuse things at the ballpark as it will no longer be as simple as jumping on a train. You'll need to make sure you jump on the right train. (There are plans being laid to make this easy, but it's very much a don't make me think moment in terms of the success of the new line...)

I have a few more pix left from my walking tour, and you'll see them tomorrow!

Comments


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Great update. The Seville's website looks like it was made in 1996. I think one the most interesting aspect of the ballpark is going to be watching the area develop around it.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 12:36 AM by earthworm Highlight this comment 1

thanks rick!

man, do i HATE the multifoods tower. HATE IT! wells fargo building is so beautiful and that monstrosity is sitting right in its frickin' way. at the very least i would like to see the multifoods tower torn down and replaced with a skyscraper worthy that is worth of the minneapolis skyline. one that has architectural significance and beauty.

rick - i have to disagree with your perspective on the central corridor line. i think it will be a great thing for minneapolis, st. paul and the midway area in general.

finally, if some suburban or outstate goof can figure out which train to get on, well then that is their issue. i have been on many metro systems around the world and knowing which line you need to get on and where each one is going is not really a problem. i don't see it being an issue in minneapolis either. unless some schmuck is just really naive and that "wet behind the ears".

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 01:14 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 2

You know what we should have a letter or email writing campaign. Tell the powers that be where the old met flagpole should be. Its the publics stadium right. Should we not have a say in the matter as to where it should be. I remember seeing the flagpole as well as the old scoreboard at the old met and at leaste the flagpole should be seen somewhere more visible than what I have seen planned for the thing. I would guess the old scoreboard from the met is toast since I cant exactly remeber what they did with it so I doubt its very visible anymore. One last thing tcf bank stadium is outdoors should there not be real grass instead of field turf just thought.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 03:07 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 3

The "event center" pictured is being built by the EPIC club. The guy who owns both of these buildings is a developer who owns most of the buildings on 1st avenue. All he has stated is that this will be an "event center", but it has been sitting empty since last fall, so it may be a future restaurant for when the ballpark opens...

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 10:32 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 4

As far as parking along University Ave., the city and county have been trying for years to develop a system where businesses could relocate parking behind their shops. It's still possible that it'll work.

A lot of neighborhood folks were hoping that, when Target rebuilt their store on Hamline, they would put their parking lot behind the store. Of course they didn't, and they compromised by promising to hire close to 90% of their employees from the immediate neighborhood. It's hard to turn something like that down when you're dealing with mere aesthetics.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 12:02 PM by Andy G Highlight this comment 5

I was going to go up and take some pictures of the Twins visit to the Colorado turf farm growing the Target Field sod on Tuesday. I won't be going, as I got a response from the Director of new ballpark development, Scott O'Connell today:

"Jim,

The Twins organization is coordinating an extensive media coverage of this visit.

In addition we do not endorse nor cooperate with independent blogs.

We are unable to honor your request.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Twins.

Scott O'Connell
Minnesota Twins"

My original request:

"I am a season ticket holder and Legend's Club member that currently
lives in Colorado. I understand that there is a group coming out to
inspect the turf for Target Field on Tuesday, the 12th.

I've spoken to the owner and he doesn't have any issue with me coming
up to take some pictures, as long as the Twins don't object.

I would like to take and post them for the twinsballpark2010.com site
and the thread on baseballfever.com documenting the construction.
They will not be used for any commercial purpose, just fans
documenting the development of Target Field.

If you don't object, would you please send an email to James Graff and
let him know that it's OK? His email address is .

Thank you for your consideration."

I'm somewhat surprised and disappointed by the response and don't really understand it, but looks like no early pictures of Target Field turf.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 08:22 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 6

Ouch. Pretty cold. (And it would explain a few things...)

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM by Rick 7

It's frickin grass for god's sake!!! Why would Scott O'Connell and the Twins be such pricks about this?

He says they don't endorse nor cooperate with blogs. Well no shit they don't. And for your info Scott, these blogs are doing a hell of a better job than your pathetic OFFICIAL website is doing. Perhaps you and a few of your fellow tools should consult some bloggers for a little insight. By the way, how's that re-positioning of the webcam going? Oh yeah that's right, it hasn't been 8 months since DSP said it would be moved in the coming weeks....

Just for that I hope it's pouring hailstones on Tuesday in Colorado.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 3:15 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 8

amazing pics.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 3:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 9

I hope the Twins aren't getting cocky/arrogant with the upcoming opening of Target Field (which IMO they have been teetering on since the signed doc from Gov. Pawlenty). History shows you might sellout for 1 season, but if the team doesn't win or the ticket/concessions/parking costs get out of line people won't come.

Sorry to hear that jfh. The "tone of voice" of Scott's email to you leaves a lot to be desired. What do you suppose "coordinating extensive media coverage" means? A 3 minute feature on the Twins Pre/Postgame with this no-mind Robby Incmikowski? Ha c'mon....

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 3:33 PM by Max Highlight this comment 10

Fatass Mijares strikes again.....Pass me the Maalox!

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 3:40 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 11

Thatta boy Jesse!!! WILD PITCH! The Twins shut out the M's through 7 innings and it all goes to shit....listen to the boos Billy...LISTEN TO THEM!!!!!! Oh yeah, we didn't need any more relief help did we????!?!?!?!? Oh, what's that??? base hit...4 straight runs for the M's....

Oh and look....Guerrier is coming in....Somebody please shoot me..

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 3:49 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 12

umm yea, that's a smug response there from the twins. it's grass growing for god's sake, not some deep secret. geeze...and they better not be getting arrogant with the team they're presently fielding. it's looking like a 500 year at best.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 4:41 PM by tim Highlight this comment 13

Tough loss today...Ouch!
Did we ever get the Wilson/ Wanda Phillips name change figured out?

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 4:56 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 14

Max - very well put. Think about places like Detroit, Baltimore, Colorado - empty seats everywhere. People arent always going to come for the building - like they do for the Wild. The Wild haven't been terrific...yet they sell out every night. Might it be because we were sans hockey for seven years? Maybe. But regardless of the way the team plays, they sell out like nobody's business.
The Twins will not follow suit. The Twins aren't the Cubs, or the Packers - where people will show up regardless. Nope. If we're not winning, no one will come.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 5:43 PM by luke Highlight this comment 15

A follow up email from the Twins PR director in response to my response to Scott. While I don't agree with their position, I can understand it, though it appears that the Twins may not understand the new media paradigm any better than most of corporate America. I suspect a very small percentage of the fan base is interested in the construction progress to the extent those here are, but you would think a picture of grass growing in Colorado wouldn't spoil too many "ah-ha" moments when Target Field opens. :)

I doubt I'll get to see the story, since (a) I still have no idea when it will broadcast and (b) my daughter doesn't have any way to record a program off air. If anyone can capture the KARE 11 story when it airs and upload a video or cut me a DVD, I'd appreciate it.

---------------

"Jim -

We appreciate your interest in the construction of Target Field. I have been working with KARE 11 here in the Twin Cities and 9News in Denver on an exclusive enterprise story that KARE and 9News have cultivated and I intend to honor their request on this story. Regarding a DVD of the piece, I suggest your daughter record it - whenever it airs - since she is a U of M student here in the Twin Cities as you mention.

As construction gets further and further along, we have instituted a no photography policy - the same as they did with Yankee Stadium and CitiField - to maintain the integrity of the information we distribute to the public. There is a lot of good information in the Target Field section of our Web site - one does not need the MLB Extra Innings package to access this free and accurate information.

While I appreciate blogs and other fan Web sites dedicated to following the construction, much of the information shared is speculation and discussion rather than information based in fact.

Our goal is to provide fans enough information on Target Field while saving some of the "Ah-ha" moments for the day we open in April of next year.

I appreciate your understanding.

Kevin W. Smith
Executive Director of Public Affairs

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2009 9:29 AM
To: O'Connell, Scott

Scott,

Thank you for your response and consideration. I am somewhat
surprised and disappointed by it, but won't make the trip
up to Graff's on Tuesday.

I figured since I was local, taking a couple of pictures of the turf to share with my daughter (who is a U of M student and a big Twins
fan) and her friends, who think it's cool we live a short distance
from where the Target Field turf is being grown, and sharing them with other fans that might be interested wouldn't be a big deal. I thought I might also be able to convince the KUSA crew to do a quick piece on Target Field and/or why a Colorado Rockies season ticket holder also was a season ticket holder with the Minnesota Twins.

I am not a member of the media and do not run or endorse any
independent blogs. I am just a Twins fan, who, like many, are very
interested in, and excited by, the development of Target
Field.

As you are no doubt aware, you have a large fan base outside the MSP
area, most of whom have no access to any official media coverage
outside the MLB Extra Innings package. The two web sites I mentioned, and others, offer those of us who aren't fortunate enough to watch the construction progress locally some ability to follow it.

I don't know what the "extensive media coverage" planned is, but if it
constitutes the local KUSA crew taking footage for KARE, that doesn't
help those of us outside the area. If I promise to not distribute the
footage outside my family, would you be able to provide a DVD of the
coverage to me?

Continued success with Target Field. I can't wait to see it for
myself when I'm back in the area in July."

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 6:42 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 16

"In addition we do not endorse nor cooperate with independent blogs."

Well then Scott, you sir, and the Twins organization are dating yourselves. Local television news stations and newspapers are dying, so I would strongly recommend that you start cooperating with blogs and forums because these new mediums are the future of news gathering.

"The Twins organization is coordinating an extensive media coverage of this visit."

No you're not. It would be extensive if you actually included blogs and forums. Wake up you dinosaur.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 6:43 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 17

It's great to see the Twins running this operation by the book!

-The 1980's School of Marketing

HEY DOUCHEBAGS - WE'RE PAYING FOR YOUR STADIUM! GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 7:06 PM by 80s School of Mktg Highlight this comment 18

Is Rick not going to be able to take pics anymore for this blog, because of the "no photography" policy??

Matter of fact, regarding the turf, one of the previous editions of "Under the Lights" on the FSN North, had a story about the turf farm as well. Gosh, it must have been a couple months ago now...

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 7:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 19

I just wanted to take a minute here to say Hi to Scott and Kevin. Welcome. We know you've been reading Rick's fantastic site on a regular basis since it's inception in 2006.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 8:02 PM by Max Highlight this comment 20

Plenty of information in the target field section? That's a joke right? This blog has so much more information (even if some of it is speculation) and insight into the ball park than the twins site does. The updates on the twins website have been few and far between and, to be honest, are pretty pathetic in term of quality of information and photos. Rick, thank you for this site, you do a much better job documenting this project than the organization that it is being built for.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 8:02 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 21

9809 N. Frontage Road I-76
Fort Morgan, CO 80701
1-800-280-TURF or 1-970-867-TURF
Fax: 970-867-4343

How's this for speculation?

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 9:27 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 22

It sounds like we could all go out anytime we want. Check link

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 9:29 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 23

Oh, come on, guys. Is it a little draconian? Yeah. But it's not that expected. The Twins are definitely an "old school" organization. Remember, Calvin was running this team out of his pocket in the 80's long after the rest of true "baseball men" left the game. This is an organization that still rates players by "hustle". They're a little behind the times, but we know that. Also, I can't think of the last time so many people wanted to watch grass grow. I can only pray Target Field doesn't use paint...

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 10:07 PM by The Legacy Highlight this comment 24

It's not that unexpected. Mi mal.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 10:08 PM by The Legacy Highlight this comment 25

Hey Maz,
How much $$ do you need to sneak out to the Graff turf farm and take a few pics for us?
Hey jfh,
What is the address of the Graff turf farm? We can just go onto googlemap.com anytime we want and see the damn grass anytime we want. SO THERE Kevin and Scott!!

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 9:22 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 26

Luke - the owner of the turf farm explained to me that the Fox Sports segment (presumably the "Under the Lights" segment) was done without approval from the Twins, who were apparently upset with him for allowing it, which is why he asked me to get permission from the Twins in the first place.

Locker -
I know where the farm is - I've been by there before - but I'm not going to go up on Tuesday, since I told both the owner and the Twins I wouldn't without the blessing of the Twins.

I can appreciate what the Twins are trying to do, but the reason that much of the information shared is speculation and discussion rather than information based in fact is because of the position they have taken. It's difficult for many organizations these days to deal with the new media paradigm the Internet has created and find a way to use it to their advantage. But this was never about that - just a fan who thought it would interesting to take a picture of some grass that was going to end up in a ball field and share it. Of course, if you think about it, that's a little silly. :)

For the casual fan, the information on the Twins site is adequate.
Many here disagree. Fortunately, most seem to
think the Twins will hit a home run with Target Field.
The draw of Target Field itself will be transient - a few years at best. The important thing is to see folks excited about Twins baseball.

Personally, I'd like to thank Rick and those that have contributed so much to this site - you are the "eyes and ears" for those of us who aren't local. Just because the Twins don't understand the value of that passion and interest, doesn't mean it shouldn't be appreciated.

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 10:58 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 27

Rick and all,

Central Corridor serves a very different purpose than Hiawatha or the other Suburb-to-core lines. The Central Corridor will primarily serve people starting or ending a trip along University Ave. Not very many people will be traveling downtown-to-downtown on it (though I will be when it opens).

LRT is the plan because it's the only technology that has the capacity to handle the projected ridership in 2020 and beyond. According to the numbers I've seen, you'd have to run a heck of a lot of buses to serve the numbers they're talking about. It's much cheaper to run a high-capacity electric train.

IIRC, the time from downtown-to-downtown is just slightly longer than the 94 express bus, which is pretty darn good considering that bus makes one stop between the downtowns: Snelling Ave. With Central Corridor, you'll have a lot more stops along the way.

Now, there are problems with the current plan. The lack of stations at Hamline Ave., Victoria St. and Western Ave. is a big problem but I think that will be fixed. Parking is definitely an issue. Maintaining the frequency of the local 16 bus service is also important but the plan right now is to reduce the frequency of that service. That makes things pretty rough for the elderly and disabled.

But all in all, the Central Corridor is the key in our planned transit system. It's the link that will allow someone to travel from Eden Prairie to Hudson by transit someday.

Posted on May 11, 2009 at 1:52 PM by David Highlight this comment 28


This page was last modified on January 16, 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.


Sharing and Caring Hands, as viewed from the ballpark site about a block away. Note transaction in progress in the shadows.






Circulation ramps: Wrigley (classic, integrated) and Kauffman (modern, external)



I took this because of the view reflected in the store windows. (The store is cool too.)






A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.



The start of the VIP entrance and loading dock.



Twins in HD on the big board












Walkway overview






August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)









Arrival back at Target Field









Do you need to know the score?



Quote wall









A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.



Integrating the administration building was really a great idea. Actually, there will be more things inside than just offices, but that will probably be some sweet space.






Our conductor in Big Lake









Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.



That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...



Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)



From behind the wind veil






Our cantilever friends will be happy to learn that there will be sections with views like this in the new stadium.



I think AP is in there somewhere...


















The same section seen from Target Center. Yep, looks like bridge supports.



Bike parking available along Second Avenue



I realized I've never shown how the walkway over Seventh Street meets the A ramp









This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?



Click to see the full-size image.






For those who have never seen it up close, that's what it looks like when steam comes out of the HERC plant.


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

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(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
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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