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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The Ceremony (VIP in the crowd)
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).
Did I mention that the cheerleaders looked pretty sharp?
This is the staircase (ramp?) leading up to the trapezoid. Nice flagpole too. You'll be able to find me and Ben McEvers at the base of that flagpole on opening day in 2010!
An overview of the model display.
The season was perfectly bookended by Mick Sterling on the plaza
Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.
On this day, George was handling fruits and veggies right inside gate 34.
Gate 29 Carew (note the walkway above open to the street where you can shout down at your lost friends to tell them where to meet you)
TC gets ready to release the hounds. (Kids get to run the bases after Sunday games.)
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
10 years ago, Bruce Lambrecht looked at this land and thought, "Why NOT a ballpark here?" It took a long time before anybody else saw the same potential.
Detail of Entry Plaza #4 (north entry from Fifth Street)
The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.
These tracks actually travel beneath the admin building and come out on the other side
Then you turn around to this!
There are some great banners on fencing down Target Way. I'm not sure just who sees them.
Panels arriving on flatbed trailers in front of the Twins' dugout.
This would be a beautiful streetscape if there were ANY people.
Earl Santee, principle architect for HOK Sport, presents some concepts while Mike Opat listens
The Guthrie Theater's Wurtele Thrust Stage seating
Outside the Metropolitan Club, photos of all the other major league ballparks
Viewed from an A ramp elevator lobby.
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.
This is NOT Twins Territory anymore
Seventh Street windows
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Another classic space in the making above the Hrbek gate.