Over the weekend, it became completely obvious just what had been missing from New Yankee Stadium up to this point: swagger.
The Twins unwittingly provided a crucial piece of the $1.5 Billion puzzle by serving up three consecutive walk-off victories to the Bombers. And while it's no guarantee that the new park will win the same emotional space as the old, a weekend like this can't hurt.
The weaknesses of our team notwithstanding, I found NYS somewhat hard to watch. It looked flat, cold, and somewhat grotesque. It felt like an impostor or some weird alternate universe YS (must resist...urge to mention...new Star Trek movie...oh, damn) -- especially weird in those aerial shots which included the old stadium and its brown grass.
I'm not a wind engineer, but I noticed something interesting: outside OYS's third base line is a block-long area which is not built up (it has now become a tennis court). Outside NYS's third base line is a collection of apartment buildings at roughly the same height as the upper deck of the stadium. In fact, they come right up to the sidewalk on the other side of the street. So, as an armchair windologist, I am hereby concluding that this is why there have been so many home runs hit to right. Air which dropped low to the ground before hitting the outside of OYS now hovers near the top of NYS.
Simple solution: tear down those buildings! What? People live there? Are they rich? No? OK, then, what are we waiting for?
One thing that became clear is that a ballpark is not its facade. I wrote before about the NYS facade and its passing similarity to the original, but the aerial shots make it quite clear that whatever "beauty" may be found there is only a very thin skin. This is a very big building, and the facade is just proverbial lipstick.
Maybe it was the shots of the crowd that made me so sick. Not only are the seats empty, but they are wide and cushy, like first-class airplane seats. I bet they even rock, recline and have massaging fingers! Makes me want to puke.
And every time I see that gigantic moat which separates the best from the rest, it reminds me of spring training or independent league parks -- only with a gigantic stadium built surrounding it. It's like the whole thing was built just for the fans sitting in that area, and all the other seats are just incidental.
And just how big a blunder was it to provide a restaurant/club for those people in the TV seats? Now, even if the seats have been sold, people might not sit in them. They'll be inside sipping champagne and not watching the game on a 100-inch plasma TV.
I'm telling you, that type of conspicuous wealth is what leads to revolutions. Is baseball now a boutique sport? With each new ballpark being built, the answer seems more and more to be yes.
Is this one of the critical vulnerabilities of Target Field? Stay tuned.
Can anybody tell me if these Sunday WFTC broadcasts are in high-def or not? They are widescreen, and the display says WFTC-HD 720P (the max resolution on my TV). But compared to the Saturday afternoon games on Fox (which also say 720P), they look like crap:
"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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Limestone will cover this pretty soon, but for now you can see where the escalator is.
Even today, throw a fastball to that guy at your own risk.
Here's where I was when the alarm went off, and though the siren wasn't terribly loud, at least one guy is plugging his ears.
20 minutes to get from our seat to the street. Miss this place? Nah.
Gate 3 ticket window
Click to enlarge greatly.
Justin Morneau, mobbed after a game-winning homer on June 9
Finished product (Field Terrace)
Click to see the full-size image.
Flagpole historian Ben McEvers at far right (click for the full photo set, graciously loaned to this site by Pat Backen)
For those not wishing to suffer through my media rant, please enjoy this picture of my lilacs in full bloom.
A new restaurant going in at Fifth Street and Second Avenue
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
The windows have started going in.
The official ballpark development area
Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).
From behind the wind veil
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction
Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows
The view from section 210
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
I love this view of the Basilica.
Ullger warms up.
Ticket window at Gate 29/Carew
The equivalent spot on the model.
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)