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Thanks, TK. You Earned This.

September 12, 2012 3:35 PM

In some ways, the 1986 Minnesota Twins looked at least a little bit like the 2012 Twins. Not much was expected of them going into the season. There were some very good players (Puckett, Hrbek, Viola, Blyleven, Gaetti, Brunansky), a bunch of spare parts (the rest of the pitching staff, Ron Washington), plenty of unknowns, and the team ultimately under-performed based on its abilities (71-91, .438).

But one thing happened then that would never happen now: As a result, the manager got the axe.

Was it Ray Miller's fault that the 1986 Twins underperformed? Hard to say. Is it Gardenhire's fault that this year's team has underperformed? Opinions will differ. (Personally, I'm inclined to answer, "No, but...")

There's no question that the managerial swap, which happened 26 years ago today, ushered in the most sweeping systemic change the organization has ever experienced. Tom Kelly may have been a rather unlikely candidate to become the baseball heart of the Twins franchise for the next couple of decades, but that's pretty much what happened.

And it is fair to say that, when the Twins have faltered lately, it's because they -- organizationally-speaking -- have taken their eyes off the principles TK preached. Fundamentals haven't always been solid, the team hasn't always been ready for that first inning or found a way to "make the plays they're supposed to make." Over the past few years, the organization has regularly found themselves dancing around and not quite squaring up on the "Twins Way" that Kelly established.

The reason we can recognize that now is because TK preached it to his teams and, by extension, to all of us. He has taught multiple generations of players and fans how to respect the game, and recognize when the fundamentals are either solid, or not. And he bristled every time he heard that disrespectful word -- "Twinkies" -- applied to a storied, self-respecting baseball franchise.

If you've ever worked for a great leader, you know that they share some important characteristics. They are confident, positive, with high expectations, effective feedback, and meted rewards. They don't flatter (or accept it), and are neither quick with praise nor harsh with criticism unless genuinely justified. They are honest, often brutally so. They know the people around them, draw out the best in each, and instill a sense of common purpose. They don't play politics, and they hold themselves to the highest standards of anyone in the organization. And the best leaders don't often take credit, but regularly accept blame.

In fact, the best leaders lead by figuring out what their charges need and then providing it. By all accounts, Tom Kelly was just such a servant-leader in the dugout. On a baseball field, one of the most important things a manager can provide the players is eyes and ears which catch everything, then strategies which take advantage of what he's seen. As Ron Coomer said in his tribute, Kelly might be "the most aware human being on the planet, especially in baseball." How many times did Kelly's Twins do something you didn't understand until he explained it at the post-game press conference? And when explained, how many times did it come down to him seeing something that you didn't?

If you doubt that, listen to his chatter in the broadcast booth. He's got x-ray eyes when it comes to what's happening on the field. He's seeing things that the rest of us have no chance to notice -- until he points it out, when it becomes obvious. (Among active managers, only Bobby Valentine comes to mind as having a similar level of awareness. But he's nowhere near Kelly's leadership skills, and that disparity may partially account for Boston's record.)

I'll never forget when Kelly described why he decided to retire from managing. It was, he said, because he realized that he had missed something crucial in a game. Not some things in some games -- plural -- but something in a particular game. This was the standard he held himself to and it was reflected in the teams he managed, even when they didn't win very many games.

Former Twins GM Andy MacPhail, in his speech at the retirement ceremony, said that Kelly was always able to get the most out of the players he was handed. And while the teams of the late 90s certainly put that theory to the test, I still believe it to be true. The foundation for the success the franchise has seen in more recent years was laid during those dreadful seasons because Tom Kelly was unwilling to lower his standards to match the payroll. Having won two World Series, his credibility was high, and he spent it wisely.

But even if he'd never won a World Series, just sticking with the Twins through those years would have been enough to earn him the honor he received this weekend. His leadership had legs, and we are only now beginning to wonder whether the changes he brought about still rule the organization. If they do, then the current downturn is a blip. If they don't, then it could be a long time before they have to make room up there to retire the numbers of additional World Series heroes.

I would take issue with one thing I've heard TK say many times. People may not come to ballgames to look at the manager, but they definitely come to watch what he does -- be that strategically or through the players he has prepared. In the case of the Twins, for much of the past 25 years we've been coming out to see TK's vision realized, even after he left the dugout.

That makes him one of the all-time greats in the organization, easily worthy of having the honor of a retired number.

Slideshow Play/Pause Play/Pause Play/Pause Image 1 of 30
Slideshow: tkday
Maria Versalles and Rick Oliva performed the Star-Spangled Banner (beautifully, as always) before the ceremony. 

Events like this can't help but sound funereal at times. You don't want to think such things, but the day will come (long in the future, we hope) when we're telling all these stories again for a different reason. That makes it especially great to have had this opportunity to say thanks with the guest of honor there to hear it -- even if it did make him uncomfortable!

TK, if you're reading this, I just want to say thanks. You did a helluva job, brought a lot of great baseball to Twins Territory, and it's most fitting and proper that you are honored up there with the other Twins greats.

Comments


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Great storytelling, Rick...photos, too! Sure wish the team wore the white pinstripes to honor the years TK coached. Oof, they are trotting out those awful blue softball jerseys far too frequently. (And, for the record, the field does look great. Kudos Mr. DiVito!)

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 1

thank you fiesta! I am also tired of those blue alternates, both on the road and at home. They are fine for one or two games each week, but to wear them as much as they do is a little excessive. Have they even worn the throwbacks at home this year? Maybe once or twice?

And the starting pitcher on Saturday night (Cole De Vries) should have WANTED to wear the white pinstripes in honor of TK. De Vries chose the "M" caps so why not wear the home whites with them in appreciation of TK and his accomplishments as manager.

The Twins need to dump those blue alternates or wear them less. That is what I like about the uniforms of the Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals and Tigers...home white and road gray, none of this alternate stuff.

I will say the Twins marketing department always does a great job with putting on these ceremonies. Home Openers, Killebrew/Puckett memorials, Pohlad and Carneal tributes, "Final" game in Metrodome, Inaugural Game Target Field, Blyleven HOF/number retirement, Kelly number retirement, Puckett retirement in 1997, and so on. They have always done a great job bringing back former greats as well for these special occasions. Great ceremony on Saturday night for a great person!

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 2

Twins release prelim. 2013 schedule....

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 5:26 PM by anitfire Highlight this comment 3

CRAZY RANT:

all the more reason i am just plain done for the season with this franchise and have no interest in giving them any more of my viewing time. that tool dave st. peter, his minions in marketing, and the equipment manager have the audacity to make the twins wear those stupid, ugly, clownish, disney-esque, mickey-mouse-looking "M" hats with our classically beautiful and already perfect old-school twins uniform. YOU DO NOT wear that stupid "M" script hat with those uniforms ever. they were designed back in the day to work perfectly with the classic "TC" hat. the script/font on the jersey and hats don't even match. it looks so cheap and amateurish together.

and yes, it is annoying dave st. peter and the front office knobs who have been pushing the team to wear those stupid looking "M" hats this season on multiple occasions. they tell the twins equipment manager which hat to put out in the locker room before each game. all in a pathetic effort thinking that fans are suddenly going to go out and buy them. all the while ruining the twins branding consistency and logo recognition.

dave st. peter and the twins marketing geniuses have no clue how to do branding, and look like idiots on it. their branding, logo, and look have been routinely and stupidly inconsistent. their branding is "all over the place". they use "TC" on everything around the park, in media, cut into stone, on tickets, on TV, on the scoreboard, etc. yet they wear white jerseys, blue jerseys, gray jerseys, old-school jerseys. sometimes with the "TC" hat. sometimes the "M" hat. sometimes gray pants with blue jerseys, or sometimes with gray jerseys. sometimes white pants with white jerseys, or sometimes with blue jerseys.

what is next? blue pants with blue jerseys and a red hat?!

their branding and logo consistency has been very clownish, silly looking and amateurish. they often look like a men's softball team out there with the uniform looks they allow the players to trot out in. you would never see the yankees, cardinals, tigers, athletics, cubs, giants, dodgers or mets mess with something that wasn't broke like the twins front office knobs have been doing with our uniform branding. those clubs know how to promote a brand/logo and keep their brand/logo consistent.

twins front office: quit ruining the twins branding/logo all in an effort to sell a few more mickey-mouse-looking "M" hats or softball-eque looking blue jerseys.

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 7:45 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 4

btw rick. great piece on tom kelly. as always, it was very well written and put together. kudos.

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 5

There's some hope: Twins wearing the cream pinstripes throwbacks. About time! (Beta, I sure hope they're not soiling that look with the M cap...for your sake and all of ours.)

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 6

Great post..I find TK a dam interesting guy..

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:54 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 7

Betaband - very good post! And you are correct. The Twins do lack an identity with their uniforms/logo.

What a disgrace seeing them wear the "M" caps with the 1960's throwbacks tonight.

Pick an identity and stick with it. While at it get rid of the blue alternate tops.

The throwback should be their primary regular home uniform with the TC cap.

And for the record, the Twins let their starting pitchers select the uniform for that day. That includes choice of cap.

As far as TK is concerned, I hope TK does more broadcast work in 2013 because he is the only reason I am watching the postgame show tonight. His color commentary and his pre/post game analysis is second to none. Better than Bert, Laudner, Smalley and Coomer in my opinion.

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 8

Ya'll realize that the PITCHER chooses the game-day uniform, right? I mean.... I kind of thought people would know that by the age of 11, maybe not..?

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 11:47 PM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 9

TK was a terrific manager. I wish I could have been at the ceremony.

I agree with everyone else on the uniforms. Ugh.

Not very happy with the 2013 schedule. Seems the Twins didn't get the memo that they can request specific items for the schedule. With the possible exception of the Yankees for 4th of July, I don't see anything in this schedule favorable to the Twins. And I certainly don't think the schedule will help favorable with season ticket groups teetering on the brink. April and Septemer overloaded and July empty? No Brewers weekend? Massive fail somewhere.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:15 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 10

The St. Paul saints are getting their new ballpark!

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 11

Kudos to the schedule makers on the twins schedule for next year. A+...now I cant wait for the times. i hope we have zero weekday games...

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 12

Some co-workers and I are each taking a day of vacation and going to the Wednesday afternoon game in two weeks with The Evil Empire. Now that's the way to break up the work week! Luke, you hate weekday daytime traffic and the nighttime crowd in the warehouse district. When do you come out?

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM by terry Highlight this comment 13

Yesterday tix got down to one cent. Who's selling those?

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 14

Ben - I was wondering the same thing...Those people should donate them to the Tix for Tots charity rather than sell them for $0.01

On another note, with the new St. Paul Saints stadium on the way, is there any chance the Saints could become the Twins' A or AA affiliate in the future?

I think that would be a great move for both the Twins, Saints and baseball fans in Minnesota.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 15

Maybe the saints can come up with an awesome scoreboard design like this gem in Nashville.


Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 16

For the record, I will definitely be following the construction of the Saints ballpark. I have some "before" pictures of the site that I took almost 15 years ago when there was a chance that the Twins ballpark would go there. But I'll be making a special trip for some new ones as soon as possible now that the deal is essentially done.

If Nashville gets a guitar-shaped scoreboard, what does St. Paul get? An angel? A cross? The face of Bill Murray?

I've also been following the new Siebert Field construction, but there's not a lot to talk about and I can't get any really good pictures. There's just no good spot to see the project without getting onto a rooftop in the area. If anybody has access to a roof that works, I'd love to get up there!

As for the Vikings stadium, I'm hearing persistent rumors that the delay in announcing the architect is all about money -- namely, the new Authority doesn't have enough.

I'm not clear on whether there should be more money by now, or if they just have to wait. I don't know if all of the revenue streams are in place yet, and I know that the electronic pulltabs haven't started yet. They are due to debut in October.

But I thought that the Vikings' cash contribution is supposed to fund all of this early development stuff, so public revenues shouldn't make a difference. What's actually happening is hard to figure out. If the Vikings are slow-paying, that's a real problem.

I'm also hearing rumors about a lawsuit regarding appropriation bonds on a different project which is headed for the Minnesota Supremes and could affect the Vikings' funding. There appears to be some real anxiety out there that the new Legislature is going to have to act right away in January to keep this project on track.

I wanted to get to the architect parade last week but my schedule would not allow it. Most of the players are well-known, and Populous probably has the inside track because of what they've already done around these parts. But it sure would be nice to see some fresh ideas and a different style in this project.

After my trip to Baltimore and Washington, I'm starting to understand even more just how much of a cookie-cutter -- er, "template" -- seating bowl we got at TF.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM by Rick 17

RE the cookie cutter design issue... New Yankee Stadium seemed pretty similar to TF in basic design as well. Same Club level seating structure, same split level upper deck. Main difference seemed to be size. Both the club level and upper deck at YS had twice as many rows as TF, and the club level went all the way around to the OF.

I'm not sure that's really all that bad. As long as the basic layout works, most people pay more attention to the finishing touches: scoreboards, unique emblems like the Minnie&Paul sign, etc.

Also, fwiw, I thought YS was merely fine, not great. So big it feels impersonal, corporate. Same lousy location and view. But an abundance of amenities and decent food/beverage choices.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM by BR Highlight this comment 18

And yes, I realize that YS and TF were both designed by Populous/HOK. Rick, you've probably already hit on the overlapping designs in prior, now-ancient posts...

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 2:13 PM by BR Highlight this comment 19

I should have also mentioned TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, which I saw in June. It could be TF's kid brother.

As I've been writing about these visits, though, I began to wonder just how much the "template" issue matters to people who only ever go to their own home ballpark -- which is most fans. My hunch is that practically nobody even cares that these parks are clones on the inside with only cosmetic differences on the outside -- kind of like big housing developments where all of the houses are nearly identical in floorplan except some are reversed, some have windows in different spots, different shaped yards or variety in exterior details.

My personal disappointment in Washington really had to do with the fact that it felt so much like TF that I started to feel like maybe I had wasted my time (and frequent flyer miles) to go see it. If nothing else, the overall characters of the two parks are almost identical despite the cosmetic differences.

Obviously, there are some significant detail differences, and you'd never mistake one for another in photographs, so it's not as bad as the "concrete donut" era when these parks were almost literally interchangeable (Pittsburgh, Philly, Cincy, Atlanta, St. Louis, DC, etc.).

But there is something about the HOK/Populous style which appears very generic after you've seen a few parks (which also has to include TCFBS here at home).

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM by Rick 20

The Saints? Who dat?

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 21

I dont care what the Saints' scoreboard looks like, but there damn near better be a bigger than life bottle of Pigs Eye Pilsner in CF to act as the HR Celebration sign...lol

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 5:08 PM by luke Highlight this comment 22

I'm just catching up on my reading here but let me just say that Betaband's rant coulda been written by me as well. Wearing the M hat with the throwback unis is just the last straw - but there are so many other things that are just wrong with their uniform choices. I would prefer the 1960's throwbacks as the full time, but they should at least have the normal white pinstripes at least 70 % of the time. The blue tops really are softballish and should be banned altogether as far as I'm concerned. Wear 'em during warmups if you must but come gametime you should look like major league ballplayers. A little dignity goes a long way.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 23

Two points: so, it sounds like the Queens stadium might be a no-go if they cant get this architect thing figured out? If they really want one, piles should be driven into the ground no later than November 1 if they want to open by 2016.

Two: I dont know if I would classify TFs seating bowl as "cookie-cutter"...its a bit more unique in many respects when compared with like say Baltimore, Fatlanta, Colorado etc. Populous seems however to put the same features in every damn stadium they build, for example those gigantic ass stairwells.

Is Ellerbe Beckett still in the stadium-building game?

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 24

Just curious the ages of those who so hate the "M" ... my generation grew up with it, we won 2 World Series with it. It honors an era just as the "T/C" does. So get over it. I wear my "M" cap with pride. If you hate change so much, go root for the Yankees.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 25

I am 34 and cant stand the M logo. It seems uninspired and a cheap corporate identity drawn up by a Graphics Design undergraduate. I think the best ones are the ones that stand the test of time: the TC, The Packers G, the Red Sox B, the Browns' orange helmet etc. I wish the North Stars N was still around

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 26

So tonight the twins wear the white pinstrpes...with the TC hat. I will say I don't like the M but for goodness sake can we not constantly not mix and match these unis like they are Garanimals?

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 27

PS I'm 53 and an M disliker if not an M hater. Never understood why the M was necessary when the twins went to the current white pinstripes in the 80's. They could have changed the unis but kept the TC hats in a nice nod to tradition. Then in recent years they seemed to realize the error of their ways and go back to the TC, but now suddenly we're back in M land. Where are the branding police?

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 28

I think Calvin drew that TC logo on a barbeque-stained napkin in 1961.

Personally, every hat I ever got as a kid had that classic TC logo, so it will always be the only one for me. But I don't mind the M logo. It did pretty well in the post-season.

And I do agree that their uniform collection is kind of weak, and the mixing and matching is a total crime.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM by Rick 29

Luke, the chances of there being no weekday home games are literally zero. It's something not even worth concerning yourself in advance or getting upset about afterwards.

Rick, what is the matter of concern in the lawsuit that might be headed for the supreme court, who is bringing it, and where are the rumors coming from about legislative concern?

When the stadium passed in the spring and this potential pitfall issue came up, I inquired with several media members about it and essentially got nowhere. When I pressed a Vikings PR person who'd previously put himself on the front lines during the stadium battle, he snapped back effectively that it was state's issue to address and the Vikes were taking a hands off approach. He refused to contemplate the question about what would happen if the court stuck a pin in the balloon and was more than a bit short in the end although I will admit to pressing pretty hard when faced with the Vikings' nonchalant attitude.

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 30

Garanimals...HAH! Good one!

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 31

Jorge,

The suit is apparently related to another, much smaller, project that was funded with appropriation bonds (just like the state's portion of the Vikings stadium). I'm still trying to get the project details, but the suit is apparently moving forward. (I should make it clear that I'm just hearing rumors about this and have no firm knowledge yet.)

Background on the issue can be found here.

The problem for the stadium project is that, if the state's funding mechanism were to get shot down, the project would have to go back to the Legislature for a fix. And while there are ways to fix it, the whole can of worms would be opened up again by a new, and potentially more hostile, Legislature.

Frankly, I'm more worried about why they wouldn't have enough money right now. Again, this is just a rumor. But, if true, it would sure be a stumper.

Are Vikings ticket sales down?

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 01:26 AM by Rick 32

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 02:03 AM by Rick 33

It's pretty heady stuff.

The Vikings stadium isn't mentioned in the article (which is geared toward potential bond investors), but TCFBS is mentioned because a similar (though not identical) model was used there.

But the implications for the Vikings project are quite clear. If the MN AG wins this one, the Vikes will have to go back to the Legislature and try for a quick tweak to the law.

Election day could look pretty interesting.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 02:12 AM by Rick 34

Wide angle crowd shots at Sunday’s Vikings game showed whole rows of empty seats. There were typically two or three rows empty, while the next two rows appeared full in the upper deck. These empty rows were located at the points where the ticket price changes occur. The ticket prices are stratified mostly in the upper deck and it’s pretty obvious that the team is upgrading season ticket holders to the first rows of their respective price locations in an attempt to keep them happy. They offered the same service for me two years ago.
Recently, the NFL allowed teams to lower their sell-out threshold to as low as 85% of capacity. The Vikings took advantage of that and lowered theirs to around 90%, I believe. So yeah, the Vikes are having trouble with ticket sales.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 05:36 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 35

Ruesse brought up an interesting topic yesterday regarding the new Saints ballpark.....Evidently, the lease on Beloit (Twins class A minor league affiliate) is coming up soon and, from what I understand, that ballpark is dreadful. What about the idea of the Twins partnering with the Saints and the City of St Paul on the ballpark and move the Beloit Snappers to the new Lowertown ballpark?

Could this area support THREE minor league clubs?

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 09:23 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 36

The aints better make sure they have a huge surface lot to tailgate on. Or that new ballpark will be a ghost town. Last game I was at years ago 1/2 the crowd did not go in till the 3rd inning. Whats the point in watching a glorified town ball team anyways?

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 09:24 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 37

I would love it if a Twins minor league affiliate were to play in lowertown, but since the Saints are part of an unaffiliated independent league, it's not very likely. I suppose it could happen if the Saints or the American Association (that is what they're calling the Northern League now, isn't it?)folded or the Saints moved, but I don't see any of those things happening in the foreseeable future.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM by terry Highlight this comment 38

Anybody see signs of cheap tickets for tomorrow's Gopher football game? (I can't find any $10 deal on their web site for this week...)

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM by Rick 39

Rick, I don't see anything yet. I know for New Hampshire they had them. Maybe they are expecting a larger crowd this week for W Michigan and not offering them this week. Can still get the $25 with coke and dog. Although I'm with you would rather just fork over $10!

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 40

Goldy Gopher is currently giving away freebies on campus. Otherwise the only deal I know of is linked to my name and below. $25 gets a seat, a hot dog, and a pop. Otherwise there will be people desparately trying to dump tickets outside the stadium tomorrow, deals may there for the taking.

https://www.mygophersports.com/Online/mealdeal?utm_source=GopherSports&utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=MealDeal

Regarding the Vikes and ticket sales, that shouldn't impact their ability to kick in whatever money their obliged to contribute at this stage.

As for those ticket sales, the Vikings are coming off two horrible seasons and the 2012 home schedule may be the least attractive in team history. Apart from the Bears, Lions, and Packers, the slate also includes the Cardinals (no one cares and visiting for the third time in four years), Buccaneers (bad team and a Thursday nighter), Titans (little local appeal), Jaguars (no local appeal), and 49ers (on the rise, but no true superstars or media build up).

The Vikes knew that selling out would be tough, but politically these games need to be on TV. So they went with 90%. This not only aids the goal, but the team doesn't have to rely on Fox9 and WCCO to buy out the remainders which both would, as long as the remaining tickets weren't too numerous, due to Vikings games being highest rated individual TV shows in this market by some distance apart from the Super Bowl. If 100% was still the threshold, the team would bang much harder on ticket sales in the media while the local affiliates would open their check books.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 41

55 inch HD tv sets do have an impact on attendance! Why bother going to the games when you can watch at home in HD?

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 42

"freebies on campus"

Probably just for student sections, right?

Back to the Vikes for a minute...

According to the law, the Vikings agreed to pay for the first $50M of development costs, at which point the state would pay for the next $50M. I always wondered whether Zygi has that much cash on hand. I know he's worth way more than that, and probably has credit worth 10 times that, but cash is king in these deals.

If the Authority has expenses (such as a retainer to an architectural firm, due on signing) and they are not getting paid, that's a problem.

By the way, this morning I read an article that said the architect would be named "in the coming weeks" -- which is a far cry from today (when they originally said they would announce their decision).

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM by Rick 43

Twinkfan - I understand your point for NFL games as tickets are expensive, a majority of fans are intoxicated/obnoxious but nothing is better than college football outdoors on Saturdays in the Autumn.

There is just something about college football whether it be traditions, trophies, school bands, campus festivities, etc that makes college football much better to attend in person than NFL games. Not to mention, NCAA rules are much more fan friendly than NFL rules such as OT, pass interference, one foot out of bounds.

I will say that if the Gophers football team can start winning consistently on an annual basis, they have the fan support in this state to potentially rival that of the Vikings.

However, the Vikings will always be the most popular team in the state regardless because its the NFL, plain and simple. The most popular sport in America.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 44

Are there many scalpers for Gopher football games? Stubhub currently has only 50 tickets available for the game tomorrow. Gopher football is mostly an afterthought around town and I would suspect the ticket speculation business would reflect that.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 45

While I am pleased the Saint got their new stadium, it should not have come for the source it did. There were far more deserving and cheaper projects that could have been built with that money.

Anyway, now that it will be built, it should be fun. I have never been to a Saints game and probably will now go. As for tailgating there is a massive parking lot to the Southeast of the stadium location. Once the new Hwy 52 bridge construction is done, there will be even more space to tailgate.

Now are they going to put a new light rail station in at the mouth of the ball park or are they expecting people to walk from the Union Depot station? Not that many people going the the Saints games are going to take that worthless hunk of metal.

Speaking of light rail, anyone notice that the Southwest line only recieved $2 million out of the $30m asked for. So as of right now I would not consider it a forgone conclusion that line will be built.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:27 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 46

Stevie,

I was down there last week, and there were some, Due to some snaffu with the tickets I had (The guy I got them from accidently gave me one to the Purdue game). I went looking for one instead of making him drive all the way over there. The one scalper I found, near Stub and Herbs, wanted face value ($30) 1/2 through the 1st quarter. I offered him $10, but he said no and walked away. No negotiation. Don't know if he was new or just that stubborn.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 47

Here is a good view of the parking situation

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 48

With the Rodents off to a 2-0 start and nice weather maybe the demand is higher than last week. Be interesting to see what they end up drawing tommorow. If they still are short 10,000 people why not dump some $10 prices out there. Although I can see how people who have already forked out $40 for the game may get a little angry. Will the aints charge $5.00 for the ticket and $10 to park? LOL!

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:53 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 49

I'm thinking the Gophers $25 meal deal will be their bargain offering for the week. With a new marketing group helping out in their sales department, one of the last things they probably want to do is run the same deal two weeks in a row. A discounted offer is still available but people won't get into the mindset that they can wait until the last minute every week and get a 67% discount.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 50

Rick, what is the source of news that the Minnesota Stadium Authority is going unfunded or underfunded?

Goldy's free tickets, said to be upwards of 4,000, probably were for the student section only.

The Gophers probably don't want to start throwing $10 tickets into the marketplace, at least not in great numbers, because doing so can badly backlash with their season ticket holders. They may wonder what they're paying for, especially those in only okay seats.

Regarding the Vikings and the TV situation, big HD screens and few blackouts probably hurt the team and league at the gate a bit. However, there is an energy and excitement you feel live that TV can never match.

Regarding the architects, my understanding was the Vikings and MSA were going to narrow the original five candidates down to two or three this week and then select a winner down the line. Now they're going to skip having finalists and just name a winning bid on October 5.

I don't think it'll be Populous despite that group's local work. My money is heavily on HKS which designed Cowboys Stadium, the most modern and futuristic stadium in the NFL, and Lucas Oil Stadium, the facility the Vikings have publicly stated is their model facility.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 51

Zygi Wilf's credit and the Vikings' credit are two different things. I don't think the Vikes would have agreed to anything that they couldn't swing, and since the stadium deal involves the Minnesota Vikings LLC, that organization needs to pay for what they agreed to pay for. Unless the Wilfs are named in the stadium agreement as an involved entity, I don't think Zygi can just whip out his check book. This has to be something the Vikings, not Zygi, can afford.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 52

Here's the pertinent section in the law:

(19, 2) (b) Prior to the initial deposit of funds under this section, the team must provide security or other credit worthiness in the amount of $50,000,000, subject to the satisfaction of the authority. Prior to the first issuance of bonds under section 16A.965, the first portion of the NFL team/private contribution in the amount of $50,000,000 must be deposited as costs are incurred to the construction fund to pay for the initial stadium costs.

(c) After the first $50,000,000 of stadium costs have been paid from the initial NFL team/private contribution, state funds shall be deposited as costs are incurred to the construction fund to pay for the next $50,000,000 of costs of the project. Prior to any state funds being deposited in the construction fund, the NFL team must provide security or a financing commitment reasonably satisfactory to the authority for the balance of the required NFL team/private contribution and for payment of cost overruns if the NFL team assumes responsibility for stadium construction under section 473J.11. Thereafter, budgeted project costs shall be borne by the authority and the NFL team/private contributions in amounts proportionate to their remaining funding commitments.

And, from the "definitions" section:

"NFL team" means the owner and operator of the NFL professional football team known, as of the effective date of this chapter, as the Minnesota Vikings or any team owned and operated by someone who purchases or otherwise takes ownership or control of or reconstitutes the NFL team known as the Minnesota Vikings.

To me, it sounds like it doesn't matter which legal entity pays up, and there's nothing saying it has to be one and not the other.

And while I agree that the Vikes wouldn't have signed anything they didn't think they could handle, conditions change. Who knows what has happened in the strip mall market...

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 6:00 PM by Rick 53

The Twinkies have 19 games left. IF WE LOSE all 19, we will set the worst record in franchise history! IF WE LOSE all 19, we would finish with 103 losses. 59-103...our worst record was 60-102 , the first year we played in the HHH Piss Can-1982.

I am so happy to be on the verge of history!
TF is going to be a lonely place in 2013. I reckon Grandstand seats might get demoted from Reserved seats to General Admission.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 54

I'm pretty sure that Luke and Twinkfan are the same person due to the fact that they can't post anything without using a stupid made up name for something.

HHH Piss Can?
Rodents?

SERIOUSLY? Every single post.

If they're not the same person, well, that there are two people so similar on this board is more than slightly disconcerting.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 55

Chad, didnt you find HHH Piss Can just a little funny? Come on, admit it, you soiled your Huggies diaper pretty well after reading that cause you laughed so hard. And, TwinkFan and I are NOT the same person, but the insinuation that we might be is the best damn compliment ANYONE can receive. Thank you for that gift, Chad.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 08:40 AM by luke Highlight this comment 56

Does it just seem that way or have the Twins scored an inordinate number of runs the last two years on bases loaded double plays?

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 2:54 PM by terry Highlight this comment 57

I thought they were actually going to pull out another "win" they did not deserve today but Justin Morneau took care of that with his bases-loaded double play in the 9th.

They should have lost Thursday night to Kansas City too. Not saying much though as there is really no difference between 90 losses and 95 losses.

Plouffe is just too inconsistent offensively and defensively so I hope the Twins just don't hand him the 3B job in 2013 because he does not deserve it. He had a nice run earlier in the season but has done nothing since returning from the DL in August.

It's sad I have turned on the Twins the last couple of weeks but the only way to send a message to the front office is to hit rock bottom and lose. Than again, they had 36,000+ at Target Field today so that's not really sending a message to the front office/ownership. The fans just keep showing up just like they did for the Wild for over 10 years.

On the positive side, I have become a big fan of Ben Revere and he is probably my favorite Twins player right now. He has been one of the few positives this year.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 3:56 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 58

Gophers trying to fill The Bank next Saturday night, so they are selling $10 tickets.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 4:09 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 59

Well, the extended forecast shows a high of 58 next Saturday, with a game time temperature probably around 45.

That could be the reason for the discount...

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM by Rick 60

Gogotwins, I saw that on Facebook. I am considering partaking in that, I have yet to go to TCFBS, this might be the opportunity for me to do so.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM by luke Highlight this comment 61

Was TF really that full today or was that just the announced attendance?

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 62

That could be the reason for the discount...

I suppose so, especially since today's Chamber of Commerce weather, and the ticket specials already in place, weren't enough to prevent the 5,000 or so "announced" empty seats against W. Mich.

Still, "game time temperature probably around 45" sounds like pretty decent football weather to me.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 63

Yes, it sounds fine to me, too. But my 4-year-old, who I want to take with, won't last too long before getting cold...

Still, I think we're going to give it a shot and just stay as long as we can.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM by Rick 64

We had a blast at the ballpark, despite the drubbing by a team named after footwear.

Two things:

1. The grass looked completely awesome. All the patches which have been so visible in the past were essentially invisible.

2. The three of us were handed three CFL bulbs as a promo on exit. It seemed like a weird thing, and sort of questionable given the fragility of such an item. Sure enough, within half an hour of getting home I was Googling how to "clean up broken CFL bulbs".

Right now I'm going with the there-are-so-many-toxins-in-the-world-that-a-little-bit-of-mercury-vapor-probably-won't-make-much-of-a-difference strategy.

I appreciate the thought, but that might be a promo worth rethinking.

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM by Rick 65

By the way, I bought today's tix for $4 each on SH. After fees, it came to about $7 each, which is still right in my wheelhouse for a game the kids may not make it through (ultimately, they did great).

And last night I picked up three $10 seats ($12 each after mysterious fees) for next Saturday night's Gopher game. It'll be our first time to an actual game (we saw a Maroon vs. Gold scrimmage a couple of years ago). We'll bundle up and stay as long as we can!

Where do people park and what does it cost?

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM by Rick 66

I was at the game this afternoon as well. On the long drive home I put on KFAN to listen to the "thanks-for-takin'-my-call" crowd. Heard some real ranting. Ty in Saint Cloud? Ask to have your meds adjusted. Made me think of some of the threads on this site about a year ago.

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 8:05 PM by terry Highlight this comment 67

Rick, park at the Downtown East ramp under the Metrldome, and hop the MT Route 16...it'll take you to a stones throw away from TCFBS

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 68

Should have said Metrodome, but you all got it

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM by luke Highlight this comment 69

Going back to the uniform thread that was going on a day or two ago. In addition to all the other obvious objections most of us have to those blue-topped Beer League softball uniforms, the red numbers on the blue jerseys are very hard to read from a distance. From my seats in the 200 level today I could read the Sox numbers easily, but not so the numbers on the Joe's Bar & Grill softball jerseys ... I mean the Minnesota Twins of the American League jerseys.

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM by terry Highlight this comment 70

How long did you stay in those $4 seats Rick?

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 11:39 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 71

The tickets were in section 306, row 7, in that little 8-seat area right above the entry to the section -- which I totally dig. You just never have people walking in front of you. And it's easy to get in and out because the rows are so short (though legroom is reduced a bit).

We were in our assigned seats for innings 1 and 2, then spent the 3rd washing up and getting snacks (which also gave a break to the people in front of us from the chattiness of my four-year-old; he insisted on giving "the power" -- which involves wagging our fingers toward home plate -- to every Twins hitter, mostly because the first time we did it, Mauer hit his homer). Then we went back to those seats for the 4th and 5th.

By then, the lower bowl appeared largely deserted in sections, so we moved down. And with the plan of running the bases after the game, we headed toward the left field corner. We were on the move during most of the ugliness in the top of the 6th, and settled in section 127 by the time the Twins came up in the 6th.

We stayed there through the double-play in the bottom of the 7th, then went looking for water and got some at the coolers just inside gate 6. We watched the end of the game from the bleachers in 129 -- with my kids leaning over the plants in the front row hoping to catch a homer. (I stayed up in the shade.)

After the game, they ran the bases. The only thing which would have made the day better would have been a Twins win...

Here's the financial report:

Tickets: $22.75 (3 x $4.00, plus $10.75 in fees)
Parking: $5.00 (downtown library)
Scorecard: $1.00
Cotton candy/Kettlecorn combo: $10.00 (bought from vendors as we entered through gate 34)
Cheeseburger/soda/Killebrew RB: $18.75

Total: $56.75

We had lots of food with us as well to keep the boys from begging. And that kettlecorn, in addition to being delicious, takes about four innings to eat. A very good value for parents!

As always, the cheeseburger was spectacular. I'm starting to wonder if this isn't one of the best burgers in the Twin Cities. It's certainly the best, most consistent food at the ballpark, a great value, and always top notch.

I also bought a new TC hat at the pro shop after having to throw away the one I bought at Target -- which completely faded after only a couple of months (same thing happened last year). The hat was $28, but that counts as a fixed expense, and not specific to this outing.

I'll be comparing this outing (financially speaking) to the one we've planned for next Saturday. (And thanks for the tip, Luke, but we will either ride the bus directly from home or pay to park, not both. I'm wondering about the closest parking options to TCFBS which are open to the public.)

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 01:10 AM by Rick 72

In case it isn't clear, here's what those little sections look like.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 01:21 AM by Rick 73

The $10 tickets for the Syracuse game isn't b/c of the temperatures. The U wants the stadium sold out for the only prime-time game the team will play this season. They put up the news about the $10 tickets on the scoreboards immediately after the game ended and I had an email notification about the sale 5 minutes after that. It was on Twitter from the U withing a half hour and on their FB page in that same time frame. They clearly planned it in advance of Saturday (i.e. at a time when weather reports are taken with a huge grain of salt).

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 09:56 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 74

On a more Twins related note, yesterday was my first game in the Legends Club thanks to a friend of the guy I share Gopher season tix with. Free LC tix made up for the shellacking (I have a high tolerance for pain at this point since the season is already gone anyhow). Enjoyed the Capicola and Genoa Sausage pizza. Tasty and cheap (by ballpark standards).

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 75

Rick - On Saturday I think you can park at the fairgrounds and take a free shuttle bus to TCFBS. (More info on the Gopher web page under fan relations then under the football fan guide.)

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 76

Took my boys to the Gopher game on Sat against W. Mich. Beautiful day, great stadium, and of course the product on the field wasn't bad either. This is a RAPIDLY improving Gopher team, with a coach who knows what he's doing. Get out and watch these guys if you haven't already, and you're looking for an alternative to the Vikings. I'm predicting that in their next 5 games against my home team (Neb), the Gophers will take at least 2 (though the way my team has played defense recently that's not much a of a stretch, and I certainly don't mean to suggest that beating Neb should be the only yardstick by which the Gophers should be measured).

That climb into the stadium is not for the faint-of-heart. Saw more than a few heavier-set people huffing, puffing, and resting as they reached the top. They should have AEDs and nitroglycerin standing by.

I was ignorant, weak, and in a hurry, and thus sprang for parking on someone's lawn, right across from the Oak St. ramp.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 77

IMO, TCF Bank Stadium will have better attendance figures once they complete the Central Corridor LRT line. Personally, I have stayed away because of the headache (perceived or not) of trying to drive down there and finding a good parking spot, which I think might even be more compounded now with all the LRT construction taking place. I'm thinking it will be more convenient for me if I can just park somewhere downtown and jump on the choo-choo to Stadium Park Village.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 78

The A to Z fan guide page says this:

"Parking for single-game ticket holders is available on the West Bank and St. Paul campuses. Shuttle buses will run regularly throughout the day to bring patrons to the stadium."

Are these free lots?

And how much did you pay for a lawn spot, Expectorate?

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM by Rick 79

$20.

Yeah, I know.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 80

Note #1 on parking:
I wouldn't count on lawn parking. The City has been very active in cracking down on everything that falls outside their stupidly restrictive rules regarding game day. Lawn parking is against those laws (see link). Add this to the "private lots cannot allow tailgating" level of stupid that the City continues to pursue.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 81

Note #2 on parking:
Rick, you have several options for "day of game" parking from the U. I've linked to the 2012 Game Day Guide pdf that the U has. None are free.
- St. Paul lots, $10. Direct shuttle to TCF that drops off at the East end of the stadium (near Gate C, the student section gate).
- Ramps 19 and 21 on the West Bank, $10. From there you could walk (it's a little over a mile so I'm guessing that is out) or take the Campus Connector which picks up by Willey Hall every 20 minutes or so. That can drop you off at either the Rec Center and University or on the East end of the stadium. Pick up after the game would be every 20 minutes or so and would be at either location.
- East River Road garage on the East Bank, $10. No transit to the stadium from here right now b/c of the LRT construction. Prob about a 3/4 of a mile walk.
- Lot C79 on the East Bank (near the Oak Street Ramp), $20. This one tends to fill up more quickly I think.

The easiest with your kids would probably be the STP lots. The shuttles run more frequently and would probably be easier to deal with later in the evening.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 82

If you're interested in the West Bank ramps I'm including a link to the U's PDF on campus transit that has all the Campus Connector info.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 83

This past Saturday, the Washington Avenue ramp next to the Radisson was parking cars for $20 apiece. It may seem steep, but it's also conveniently close to the stadium, the Stadium Village bars, and the food and drink in the Alumni Center. From 2009 through 2011, this was a season ticket holder only ramp. However, season ticket sales have fallen enough that there is room now for single game parkers.

Getting in from downtown via 4th Street and the covered bridge leading to Washington Avenue is a breeze. You have to loop around the River Road to Harvard then take a left and it's a straight shot. You could also cross the Franklin Avenue bridge, turn left onto the River Road and then right on to Harvard for the same effect. The drawback is getting out of the ramp takes a long time unless you leave early or wait quite awhile afterwards.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 84

Can anyone guide me on who I can e-mail about the clown show that was the concession stand at the game Saturday? I was actually sitting where you were Sunday, Rick, near 307, where my cheap season tickets are (besides the LC ones I split). I waited in line for about an inning and a half with my two year old, while witnessing a system that was by far worse than what I used in fast food in the early 90's.

It really brought me to a point of annoyance that I was composing my e-mail in my head as I stood there. Fortunately my 2 year old is a happy kid, and I didn't really care about the game.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 1:59 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 85

Let's hear your story, jctwins. You never know who may be reading...

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 2:06 PM by Rick 86

Rick, I've sat in those 8-seat sections before, too. I love them for the same reason: no up-and-down for fans, no obstruction in front (though the railing sometimes would be in the way depending on how much I slouched.)

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 87

We were at the game on Saturday too - waited in the concession stand line near 310 (seats in 307) for about 15 minutes. About 10 minutes in line and then when we ordered 4 of the kids meals - a hot dog, chips, and a pop - they couldn't find any more potato chips, so that was the other 5 minutes. They also just didn't seem to have enough people working.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 88

Oh no, are we sliding back into Metrodome staffing patterns? I remember being at Eric Milton's no-hitter game, an 11:05 start. Up in the GA sections in LF there were no concession stands open and--worse!--no scorecard vendors, not even the Silent Scorecard Vendor. With no dome dog paper boat to make my own scorecard AND no real scorecard I do not have my own scorecard for a no hitter. (I was only 6 when I saw Dick Bosman throw a no-no for the Tribe in 1973...hadn't learned scoring in Little League yet.)

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 89

You could have saved time and money going to Hoilday for those dogs and or brats.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 90

I've noticed that there are a lot more sections upstairs without an usher.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 4:25 PM by Rick 91

And how bout it Larry? Can we get the traditional checkboard grass cut design the last 6 games of the year? You got 7 days to get it ready! You can do it Larry! Cmon man! Prove me wrong! The current one just plain stinks! Wonder if Larry reads this board?

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 92

Rick it's like the good old days! Sit where you want!

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 4:27 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 93

Chad yes here are the offical names for the sports team in town. No relation to Luke but hey thanks for the compliment. And take a chill pill man!

Twins = Twinks
Vikings = Queens
Wild = Mild
Wolves = Who Cares or T pups
Gophers = Rodents

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 94

FYI for Rick (in case you didn't buy your $10 seats for the Gophers yet).

From Doogie on Twitter:
#Gophers have sold 4,500 $10 tix for the Syracuse game since Sat. at 2:30. 700 of those left, + 1,500 in better locations. Sellout possible.

Those other 1500 would sell at the normal single game rate I'm guessing. In any case, if you haven't bought them yet Rick you probably should.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 5:02 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 95

I'll write a full run down tomorrow in the same format I can send to my season ticket rep to forward to the right person.

I didn't connect the dots on staffing, but the concession stand in center field just left of the Mickey Mouse statue was closed. I don't go by there often, but that's the first time I've ever seen a stand closed during a game.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 96

JCtwins -- My advice is to write your season ticket rep about your experience. Be professional and polite. I had a bad experience at Hrbek's a few months ago, wrote my rep in that manner and he met me before a game a few weeks later and gave me $20 in vouchers to use on ANY food/beverage in the stadium (including alcohol if that matters to you). I wasn't expecting that, but was happy to take it!

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 97

Regarding closed concession stations - I noticed that for the first time I've seen it, the upper concourse concessions from sec 323 and beyond toward sec 327 were closed on Sunday.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 98

Aerospace did a balloon launch Sunday at Target Field when we were at the game..Kinda cool..Clicky

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 99

Speaking of concessions, the Gophers haven't had a true full house at TCF Bank Stadium for quite some time. If they do get a legit 50,805, not only in tickets out, but bodies in, then that stadium and its staff will be under a lot of stress. I'd encourage anyone attending to enter early and stock up on food at non peak times. Lines are likely to be long and frustrating.

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 10:11 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 100

man, do some of you guys worry way too much about a lot of rather trivial stuff. relax and just approach and go to a sporting event (baseball, football, etc.) with a carefree attitude for once. no point in getting "worked up" about some of this stuff.

that is all. good night.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 101

and no, the twins (or a team's) uniforms are not a trivial thing. but some of this other stuff that a few of you routinely focus on, really is.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 102

Rick, I dont know if my dad is blowing smoke up my ass, but we were talking about the parking situation at TCFBS and he told me that there is a shuttle that goes from the state fair ground to the stadium, I know that you have stated that you live in south minneapolis so that prob doesnt make any sense!

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 08:12 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 103

This letter is coming after a visit to a concession stand nearest section 307 during the Saturday, September 15th game, but is coming from a fan that has attended somewhere around 100 games since Target Field opened in 2010.

Last Saturday I waited in line for approximately 10-15 minutes at the concession stand, among many other frustrated fans. We were watching orders that needed to be recalculated, people waiting for food orders, and incorrect collection of payment by the teller working the stand. In the end, I missed an inning and a half of the ball game, which as you probably know was a no-hitter in progress as of the 4th and 5th innings, when I was waiting in line.

This was an especially bad experience, but is pretty consistent with the service I’ve seen since 2010, especially when there are any more than two or three people waiting in line for concessions.

Additionally, there seems to be little difference between the upper level sections and the Legends Club, where I sit for the majority of the games I attend. I am a silent partner in a Legends Club season ticket package, but have a 20 game package in section 307 myself.
To illustrate the issue for you, I was watching first hand two people staffing the first two lines of the concession stand. One of them was very efficient. He would take an order, collect the funds, and then ask people to stand aside while he took the next order. Meanwhile he was collecting the orders for the person waiting and moving them along.

The second line was being staffed by a woman that was clearly not as interested in providing efficient service. She would take an order, walk back to the cooks, call an order, and then come back to collect the funds (while exchanging pleasantries with other staff people along the way). She would wait for the food to be prepared and collected before moving to the next customer. Fortunately I moved to the faster line after watching her provide this slow service to two fans, but others weren’t so lucky.

I happened to order a chicken sandwich, which either was in short supply that day, or typically is made to order for freshness. After paying my $8 for my sandwich, the efficient server asked me to stand aside while I waited, and he estimated approximately 5 minutes. This was frustrating, but understandable as the stand was busy.

As I waited, I witnessed several examples of inefficiency. Specifically, the server needs to walk back to the cooks to call an order? I worked at a Hardee’s restaurant in the early 90’s, and we had a screen that populated all orders to the kitchen as they were received.

There were staff people standing behind the order takers, and apparently randomly filling orders as they were able to. They also were forced to wait for a verbal instruction from the order taker.
Meanwhile, there were additional staff people walking through the busy counter area delivering additional food supplies. They had little regard for what was going on between the counter and kitchen, as this was outside of their responsibility, but they clearly were clogging traffic as they trudged through with an oversized bag of hot dog buns.
Additionally, while the efficient counter attendant would call orders to the kitchen and go back to his counter duty, the inefficient attendant would stand by the kitchen and wait. Of course the sandwich the efficient order taker had made minutes ago happened to come up as she waited. So what would she logically do from her perspective? Take the sandwich! Meanwhile my efficient order taker would go back to the kitchen and find there was no food, and he was left to wait for the next one! (And playing roulette that it would fall outside of the time the other worker wasn’t standing there).

As a business person myself, I have learned that the worst thing a service business owner can do is take his customer for granted. The additional stress the Minnesota Twins have is that they are currently fielding an uncompetitive team. From a business perspective, this seems to me to be an opportunity for your organization to offset the negative on-field performance with above-average off-field performance.

Again, from a business perspective, this is costing the team money! As a fan as anxious as anyone to see the team return to competitiveness, I realize that if you can increase your profits, it increases the potential to bring top quality talent in the future. People standing in lines are not spending money. Fans moving quickly through lines mean they eat their food faster and their kids get hungry again sooner. It also gives them more time to move to the memorabilia shops that I am sure are very profitable for the team.

Since I don’t believe negative feedback is valuable without offering a solution, I would like to do so.

My suggestions:

Implement a system of secret shopping. Pay a staff person to spend the time at the ballpark going from one concession stand to another. If there are specific issues that need to be addressed during the game, this is the fastest way to do it.

Establish a system of efficiency and train volunteer and paid staff people to operate it. Currently it seems each attendant is left to establish their own protocol.

Install an electronic order system that immediately reports orders to kitchen staff, as well as to order prep staff.

Minimize the responsibilities of each staff person. One order taker/money collector, and one order preparer, working with the kitchen. As demand goes down, drop order lines rather than keeping all lines open with poor service.

There seems to be a pattern of ice cream or hot drinks (seasonally) becoming more popular in later innings, and I’m guessing a drink only line would serve a purpose at times, too. Install digital menu boards to allow you to change the boards as needed during the game. Move common items to more visible areas on the board during high volume times.

Install digital signs above the ordering lines to identify what can be ordered where, allowing the fans to self-segregate themselves, creating more efficient service opportunities at the end of the line.

Target Field has been recognized as a world class facility by many outside entities, and the fans alike. The Minnesota Twins have commented regularly their goal of improving the “gameday experience” for fans. I will share with you that dozens of times I have wondered if senior management of the team has ever attended a game with a two year old in tow. Have they stood in line waiting for an $8 sandwich? Have they navigated the restrooms or stood along the painted line behind the railing during a game? Issues such as this concession stand service gives the fans the impression that management is out of touch.

As I referred to earlier, when the team’s performance is lagging, I can only imagine you are looking for any opportunity possible to give people a reason to come to the ballpark.

Should you like to follow up with me directly, I would be happy to provide additional insight into the specifics of my one experience, my ongoing experiences, or anything else about my gameday experience.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback, and I look forward to many seasons of successful and enjoyable Twins Baseball!

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:29 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 104

Beta, your attitude is exactly the one I've had since day 1. I am a pretty laid back guy, but when I see blatantly missed opportunities and service issues, I believe in bringing it to someone's attention for their benefit.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 105

Why drag a 2 yr old or infant to a game? Thats what baby sitters are for! I would recommend bringing your own food into the games no lines then. Never had an issue with lines when I had season tickets last year and the year before. Course we were in the 3rd deck.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 106

First because she has a lot of fun, as do I, and it's a chance to spend 3 uninterrupted hours with her. I'm guessing you don't have one yourself yet.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 107

By the way, we do get a sitter about 20 times a year.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 108

JCT:
Good letter. It is at best perplexing that ballparks (TF isn't alone in this) can't seem to replicate what fast food restaurants have been doing for decades. And the part about management being out of touch with the average fan's gameday experience is spot on, imo.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM by BR Highlight this comment 109

JoJo~
He wasn't blowing smoke up your ass. The U has run a shuttle service from their lots near the State Fair since TCFBS opened.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 110

JCT yep have 2 boys 23 and 20. Yes they have been to many games in the past. I think kindergarden or 5 years old would be my cutoff. But hey thats just me man!

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 111

Great letter, jctwins. Please let us know what, if any, response you get. (Posting here is good, but sending to your rep is probably more direct.)

This caught my eye:

"Pay a staff person to spend the time at the ballpark going from one concession stand to another."

Now there is my dream job -- though I wouldn't want it to be limited to the concession stands. There are so many aspects of how a ballpark interacts with the fans which seem like they just never get passed back to management. TWINS: HIRE ME!

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM by Rick 112

My tentative plan for Saturday night is to park on the street somewhere west of 35W between University and Fourth Street, then take the number 6 bus to and from the stadium.

If you see a flaw with that plan, please let me know!

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM by Rick 113

Expanding on what I wrote above, that's really what I hoped BallparkMagic could be all along -- namely, a place where I would detail my experiences right alongside unedited fan comments.

My best case is that teams would pay me to assess their ballparks. After all, it's reasonable to say that I've become an expert over the past 10+ years of doing this...

(Hmm, maybe it's time to start working on that business plan.)

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 3:09 PM by Rick 114

Rick, the only possible flaw is that sometimes the bus waits after the game can be a bit lengthy. That said, the wait for downtown buses ought to be shorter than for those going to the fairgrounds. You ought to be okay as long as you're patient.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 115

Yes, the schedule says it's only one bus every 30 minutes. We'll probably be leaving early anyway (by half-time the boys will be cold and at least an hour past bedtime anyway). My intent is to stay as long as they last, but time our departure according to the bus schedule.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM by Rick 116

I'll definitely post any followup Rick. If you need a reference, let me know.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 117

jctwins - terrific letter.

However, don't the Twins contract out concession management? Most ballparks should do all those things - few do. But I always wonder how many study what the opportunity cost in lost sales is. If I have a bad concession experience, it usually carries over to the next game (e.g. I won't even try, because I don't want to be frustrated).

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 118

Me: I have some questions about my Season ticket October payment..I'm going to relocate my seats this year and do the 5 pay plan..Do I have to pay the 1,800 for the 1st 3 months(5,400) before I relocate..The tix I plan on relocating to are basically 1,800 for the full year?

Twins Rep: Of course you need to keep up the payment plan for the right to relocate..Where do you want to relocate?

Me: Either 302-307 or 323-327,,basically any of the upper cheap seats..I have 12 years seniority as a Full season ticket holder and can't imagine I would have a problem since I relocate on the 1st day offered....

Twins Rep: Those areas are full and no seats available....

Me: HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa...Yea right....

Me(The next day) Email a different Rep as Joe Blow and within a day offered a pair Row 1 323....Yea I'm pissed....

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 9:03 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 119

Doesn't the Legends Club have in-seat service? I've only sat up there once but thought I seen staff running around taking orders.

When I was at the 9/15 game they had the main concession stand back by gate 3 closed. Which I thought was strange since it's the only concession stand back there other than carts and State Fair.

Also, on 3-4 occasions the family restroom back by gate 3 has been locked/closed and I have had to flag staff down to get it unlocked.

Service on the main concourse in the outfield does seem to be slipping. Seems as if they want to force you to go over by home plate.

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 120

Steve - that's horrible customer service to a 12 year STH. That leads me to believe that reps are paid on retention as well as new accounts (which is fine, but not at the expense of the customer).

Dave - the LC has in seat service for a limited menu. Food was a welcome upgrade, but the best food items still require concession stand visits.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 12:36 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 121

JFH-
I believe you're right that it's a contract (Aramark?) but obviously it's a reflection on the team, and they should have full authority to improve the performance of the contractor.

Regarding in-seat service, I've never used it in all the games I come to. I am sympathetic to the wait staff that is being paid on tips, but at the same time have trouble paying an extra $1-2 in a tip strictly out of convenience, especially when I'm up for food or the bathroom anyway.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 09:11 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 122

You are absolutely right that it is a reflection on the team. I'm just not convinced the Twins see it as a significant problem. Also, some of the concession locations used to be run by charitable organizations - not sure if that is still the case - and it was obvious that efficiency and customer service weren't key considerations. Some of the nicest people I've ever met, but clueless when it came to food service efficiency.

I've never sen any customer sat survey regarding concessions, other than what the Twins send to STHs. You letter was terrific (and I think spot on), but it will take a lot more than that to change the status quo.

On the LC seat service, I'm just the opposite - I don't mind paying for the convenience. I tip well, and for the servers that remember me and my preferences, I tip better. If it were available, I'd pay a premium for runner service to get items not on the menu. I generally don't get up unless I have to and dislike missing game play (though only having seen one winning series in person this year, it is sometimes hard to understand my own thought process!)

Of course, if the Twins were winning, few would complain about concessions. But if the on field product is going to be so miserable, fixing the rest of the game day experience makes sense.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 123

I agree they don't see it as a problem. And you are right, that there is little likelihood something changes until the message hits the right person at the right time, and he or she chooses to make it an issue within the organization. I have to think as a business they are going to see the decline in ST sales and perhaps (hopefully) begin reassessing everything.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 124

The only negative experience I have had at TF concessions was a game last year at which I went to a beer stand at the end of the 6th inning and couldn't be served because the opponent went down 1-2-3 on about 9 pitches before I got to the head of the line. The vendor told me he couldn't sell to me even though he knew I had been standing in line since before the 7th started. Maybe he was being ultr-cautious after the Wally-the-Beerman incident.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM by terry Highlight this comment 125

I'm sure like anyone I remember the bad experiences, and forget the good ones. Considering I go to 40 games/year, though, I give them more opportunities for bad ones.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 126

Beer / alcohol sales are a totally different thing - pretty sure the 7th inning rule is mandated by MLB. Clubs can cut sales off early, if warranted, but they can't extend them.

As for season ticket sales, I suspect the Twins are relying heavily on the allure of the All Star Game, even though new STHs that don't buy full season plans for the next two years will most likely find themselves with nothing more than a lottery entry.

I personally know 11 other STH account holders - 5 are dropping this year, which surprised me. I lost 2 partners I had since 2008. The ondeck circle is practically gone from what I've heard. I suspect this is going to be a very tough off season for STH sales, slightly tempered by the ASG. if there isn't a serious on field transformation in the next season+, 2015 ST sales/renewals are going to be brutal, especially if pricing doesn't drop fom current levels.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 127

I had considered dropping my tickets, but then the Twins cut the cost of them by 25%. Even with the price reduction I did lose two people from my group, but was easily able to find two to replace them. I am hoping they reduce prices through-out the park next year, I would really like to be able to move on to the first/third baseline, but right now the cost is too much.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 128

My question is why they can't install stanchions at each concession stand, or at least, the more popular stands. I have suggested this numerous times with no luck.

This would be a great way to increase efficiency and improve traffic flow in the concourse. The first person in line can simply go to the next available cashier, plain and simple. The lines are usually bunched up and blocking traffic flow. And if you are like me, it seems like you always get stuck behind the person that takes the most time to order or can't make up their minds.

While the Kramarczuk's stands do have stanchions, they are very confusing and people don't usually understand the line. There are two checkouts on each side of the stand but more times than not, people think there is just one line while the other side is usually not busy.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 1:05 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 129

You're right Mike. Many of those don't follow intuition at all. How any executive with the Twins could walk past that and not ask "why" is beyond me. Which is what makes me truly wonder if any of them ever really do walk by.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 130

Jack Kralick died it was just announced. I remember listening to the end of his no-hitter on the family radio in 1962. I came in from playing and my mother said he had a perfect game. I asked what inning and she said the 4th and I thought it was much too early to be talking of such things and went back outside. Came back in later and learned the game was in the 8th and he still had a perfecto going. George Alusik fouled off a 3-2 pitch with one out in the 9th and then walked on the next pitch to break up the perfect game. RIP Jack.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM by terry Highlight this comment 131

"Rail-gating" is coming to Vikings games. A plan from RT to help spread out the fun. I'm actually surprised it has taken this long. I think the city would have been promoting this plan for years. Parking in ABC, grabbing a drink/food around the Warehouse Dist, then jumping on the train sounds easy and very good for the city.

clicky for link to story.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 132

I'll take a good old surface lot with my own grille and cooler stocked with beer over rail-gaiting any time!

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 133

After jc's concessions rant, dont some teams employ smartphone apps whereby you can place an order from your seat, and they will send a txt when you can come pick it up? There is an app called "At the Ballpark" which I believe, at least for some teams, has this option?

CSG, yes I read about that...sounds like a great idea. And it goes along with conceptual drawings of our new palace, which seem to suggest a plaza-like atmosphere on 5th.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 9:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 134

Latest on Vikings stadium from KARE 11.

Part that concerns me and may keep me up all night:

"Bagley is quick to point out that Lucas Oil is just one of the many stadiums the team likes. He says CenturyLink in Seattle and University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona are also great models to look at. Stadiums in Pittsburgh and New England may also influence the Minnesota design."

Please God, let it look nothing like that spaceship in Glendale!

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM by Blurch Highlight this comment 135

From that article:

"Much wider concourses, more restrooms especially for women, more concessions and more variety of concessions," are at the top of VP of Stadium Affairs Lester Bagley's list. ... A team hall of fame... 8-person suites...

Blah, f-ing, blah. I suppose they are also looking to include goalposts.

Let's face it: It's not very likely that this group of people is going to do anything revolutionary or visionary or even, frankly, attractive. It will be derivative, functional, and underwhelming. In other words, they're going to build another, bigger Metrodome. And it will will sulk on the edge of downtown for 355 days out of each of the next 30 years until we get another shot at the problem.

It will have a "retractable feature" that isn't a roof -- probably just a bank of windows on the downtown side. Why anybody would spend money on that is beyond me.

So many things about this project are just plain wrong.

On the bright side, my expectations are so low that it would be almost impossible not to exceed them. And, for what it's worth, that's not just me. It's also the general consensus among the people I've talked to who have a vested interest in downtown Minneapolis. The people who run the Vikings are in way over their heads.

It feels like it's time to roll out some classic Meatloaf:

"I want you... (TCFBS)
I need you... (TF)
But there ain't no way
I'm ever gonna love you... (Vikings/Minnesota Sports Complex)
But don't be sad,
Cuz two out of three ain't bad."

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM by Rick 136

For reference, here are the five stadiums mentioned by Bagley:










Posted on September 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM by Rick 137

Speaking about STH renewals...if i dont find partners in 10 days, I'll be dropping a full and 40-game plan. I'll save my money on games i wouldnt be able to attend (going unused) and spend the saved momey on inflated ASG tix.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 01:20 AM by tk Highlight this comment 138

CLEVELAND -- The Twins agreed to a four-year pact with the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Kernels, who will serve as the organization's Class A affiliate.

"The Kernels have an outstanding reputation throughout professional baseball and the Twins are excited to bring our players and staff to Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the 2013 season," said Jim Rantz, senior director of Minor Leagues with the Twins.

The Kernels, part of the Midwest League since 1962, had been affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels since 1993.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 01:47 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 139

Rick are you STILL grumpy you didnt get the stadium payment plan/location you wanted?

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 03:42 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 140

For Saints fan the design/build team has been selected...

From the article...
The design/build team for a new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) has been chosen: Ryan Companies, AECOM and Julie Snow Architects.

“We are very excited to design and build the next great addition to the city of St. Paul,” said Mike Ryan, director of architecture and engineering for Ryan, via press release. “Ryan is committed to its history of improving Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro.”

Ryan will serve as general contractor and lead designer on the downtown ballpark project; LA-based AECOM and Minneapolis-based Julie Snow Architects will assist.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 05:49 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 141

No, Duffman. That was all about the shortsightedness of the politicos.

Now I'm grumpy that the group of people who will actually build this facility do not appear capable of making it "world class". The architects and engineers are only as good as their collaborators, and it appears that we've got a bunch of duds on this project.

Compared to this group of house painters, the Twins look like Picassos.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 09:17 AM by Rick 142

For those keeping score, of the five stadiums mentioned by Bagley, we have three with Populous (Patriots, Steelers, and Cardinals), one with HKS (Colts), and one with Ellerbe Beckett (Seahawks).

I think Metrodome II, in terms of design, is putting things harshly because whatever we get will be light years ahead of that atrocity, when compared within its era, in terms of design and amenities while not being obsolete before even opening. I'll also add that while the Twins wound up with a really good stadium when all was said and done, my initial thought was "Oh no, construction of the baseball stadium we'll have to live with for 30 to 50 years is in the hands of these knuckleheads." Look at the cast of characters over there.

If we compare the three Pohlad sons to the three Corleone sons, Jim, the one most involved with the Twins, is very easily Fredo. Dave St. Peter is a nice guy, but he's always come across as someone obsessed with getting his name and face in public and lacking any truly innovative ideas. I'll give Jerry Bell credit for steering the stadium to approval in the end, but he also deserves a share of the blame for the numerous failed efforts that preceded Target Field and was party to creation of what became the Metrodome. Other members of that front office, in the late 1990s when fan interest was in a deep valley, had to be dragged kicking and screaming into modern times, believing that innovative promotions and proper fan relations were beneath a Major League club.

Although the likes of Lester Bagley and the Wilfs don’t inspire great confidence when selecting design and amenities are concerned, the Twins brain trust looks a lot better now with a completed stadium than it did before any earth was turned.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 143

Rick-

You say that but without explaining why. What evidence do you have these guys will do any worse than the Twins? How are these guys any different than the Twins. The Twins picked certain parks they would like to borrow from, as are the Vikings. They are just using successful football stadiums as their blueprint.

A open air stadium does not make sense, and a retractable roof may be too expensive. Would it be so bad to have end open up to get some fresh air in? Also it would let in an abundance of natural light.

I think you are stuck on Baseball parks for what is world class. Football is a whole different monster. Look at what is considered world class in Football, Cowboy Stadium. It is huge, modern, full of glass, steel and technology. I would much prefer something like Lucas Oil over Cowboy stadium.

Someone called the Phoenix stadium a spaceship. While yes it does look like one, it serves a purpose. First with the lines it was supposed to look like a coiled snake. Second the reflective paneling helps keep the tempature inside the stadium down by reflecting the rays of the glaring desert sun.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 144

Also Rick that quote you used from Bagely is exactly what the Twins said when asked about the new ballpark during design phase.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 145

The Vikes should do something like the Sydney Opera House. Half kidding of course, but there is an opportunity to make something iconic to the city that doesn't necessarily have to scream "That's obviously a sports stadium!" I fear though when American sports team owner's try too hard think outside of the box(see Marlin's Park) they unfortunately make something quite fugly. I think a lot of soccer and rugby stadiums internationally seem to be on the right track although their designs are sometimes a bit over the top.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 146

I hope your not implying something like that god-awful birds nest stadium in China.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 147

That would be one of the "over the top ones." :)

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 148

Every team building a new facility has to say things like "wider concourses" and "more restrooms for women". So you have to toss those things out and look for what they say beyond the obvious.

So, I admit to mostly reading between the lines here, but I hear quite literally nothing beyond the obvious from either the Vikings or the Stadium Authority. (Check that: There was some lip service paid to neighborhood integration a few weeks ago.)

By this point in the process, the Twins were talking about everything from how to make it a green design, to how it would connect to the city, to how they would incorporate public art, to how they would mitigate the limiting factors of the site, to how transit would be built into the design, to how they would solicit and utilize fan suggestions, etc. By this point they had already decided not to build a retro park. By this point, they already had a team in place to work with the architects.

Regardless of what you may think of the Twins' early stadium concepts, it was clear that they had done their homework in advance. The Vikings? It just doesn't look like they have.

In fairness, we do not know for sure that they haven't done that type of preparation. It could be all deeply secret. But even if that were the case, you might expect to see some hint of their ideas along the way. We have seen nothing. It certainly could just be bad PR (also Bagley's responsibility).

Finally, I have to listen at least a little bit to people who are observing the process more closely than I am. The early reviews of the Vikings ownership are lousy, and the Stadium Authority is generating distinctly tepid comments. (In contrast, the enthusiasm and imagination of Mayor Rybak is heralded by all concerned, even when it seems a little over the top.)

I will officially hold out hope that they hire a great architect who has lots of good ideas and hands them (and us) something we can be proud of.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM by Rick 149

In regards to the design process, you still have to consider the amount of public input that was used in the design of Target Field. Without the public who knows how many of those ideas would of been incorporated into the final design.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 150

Metrodome II? Really? In today's dollars, I believe I recall hearing that the Metrodome would be around 200M...

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM by J2k Highlight this comment 151

I like the lucas oil Indy blueprint. Prefer the traditonal brink & mortar look over any of those others.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 152

Rick better bundle up the kids for that Rodent game saturday night. Wind chills in the high 30's low 40's! What a difference a week makes! Oh well will make em tough!

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 153

On the Vikings stadium front, I am hopeful that there is lots going on behind closed doors that we are not hearing about. They've had 10 years to think about what they do/don't want in a new stadium!

I've been to Arizona's stadium (side note: I hate the name, University of Phoenix Stadium, it sounds like they are playing at a college temporarily) It's a good stadium. Inside it is very bright and airy. I'd be ok with something similar here, just give it a bit of Vikings flare on the outside!

Non football stadium related: Have you guys heard about the new development happening near TF? I'm slightly confused where exactly it's going. I think it's mostly the parking lots that run along the Northstar line. Gotta admit. It was in some of the original plans that there would be developments around TF, and now it's finally happening.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 154

Twinkfan,

I like Lucas Oil, but it always looks like an overgrown basketball arena to me.

CSG Mike,

There is a new apartment building being built on Washington, right up the railroad tracks from TF. It's a very exciting project because the same developer who is building it (Hines) wants to continue replacing those parking lots with housing and high-rise office space until they reach the ballpark.

I attended the ground-breaking yesterday, and will be posting some pix over at FoundTwinCities.com.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM by Rick 155

Duffman~
FWIW, the Cardinals stadium was designed to look like a barrel cactus. That said, I can totally see where you got the snake thing. I've never been bothered by the look of that stadium to be honest.

I'd hate for it be Lucas Oil looking though. Just too retro-ish for me. Brick for TCFBS made sense given the history they were looking to emulate. I'd just prefer something more modern for the Vikings. That's all just personal opinions though.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 156

And let's admit that there isn't much in the way of history for the Vikings to draw on. Their two stadiums have been pretty unattractive.

Their best bet would be to build something which looks great on the skyline. That might suggest a glass facade, or maybe a brown limestone like City Hall, or even something art deco to tie in with the Armory (if they really do intend to go forward with making that a space for stadium events). Art deco would also work if they intend to leave the Strib building in place (which looks likely at the moment).

Unfortunately, the neighborhood doesn't exactly offer much to draw on. The HCMC is a mish-mash, and you probably don't want to tie your stadium to a hospital anyway.

There are square brick Borg-cube buildings sort of nearby, but it would be hard to pick up on those.

Part of my fear is that, with nothing to draw on nearby, they'll do something which doesn't relate to anything. That's fine -- to a point. If you're going to do that, it truly has to beautiful all by itself. In the United States, that would be a rare thing indeed (less rare for soccer venues scattered around in the world).

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM by Rick 157

That new apartment complex near Target Field looks interesting.

Being a train geek, I'd love to be on the side facing the railroad tracks!

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 158

I will say this, although it is just my opinion, if the new vikes stadium does not have at least a decent retractable roof I say it sucks. Zygi probably will be cheap,but that does not mean he is right if no retractable roof is in the design.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 159

tk (or anyone) - if you are in a ST group that is folding, I have room in my LC group (section G) and my Home Plate Box group (117, low row, expect to relocate closer this off season).

Games shared at cost. I'm very flexible on number of games,.

(2 seats/game n HPB ; 1,2 or 3 seats/game in the LC)

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 160

Rick,

Do you know if anything is going to disappear? Is it just the parking lots or are some buildings getting razed too? Right on Washington is JD Hoyts and Deja Vu, I'm not sure what is in the older buildings. I could see the city wanting the entire strip redone. From TF to Washington, from the rail line to 394. Keep only the C Ramp.

I am amazed at how much housing is being built downtown. I live in a converted train transfer station and frequently walk around down here. The North Loop is going to be gaining a lot of residents.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:58 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 161

They could tie in the new Vikings Stadium with the Riverside Apts across the freeway which would also be reminiscent of the colored panels off the facade of the old Met. Only half joking if this could actually be pulled off decently, but I doubt it.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 8:01 PM by grizzly adams Highlight this comment 162

Rick, you would be correct in your assesment that LOS is an overgrown basketball arena. That is EXACTLY what they wanted it to look like. The NCAA had as much input into the place as the Colts did. Incidentally, that is the reason that LOS has secured the Final Four ONCE every FIVE years.

And it looks like old fieldhouses that dotted Indy back in the day.Its a great football stadium without being too basketbally. And its a great basketball venue without being too footballish and cavernous. LOS has perfected the court on the 50-yardline setup. Hence, the Final Four every five years. And, given the success of the XLVI event, more Super Bowls are iin LOS' future as well.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 9:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 163

Had the chance to play ball at Target Field tonight. Field was in great shape and--most surprising of all--it smelled great! I'm a little scared to know just how many chemicals go into it, but it was a sweet grass smell out in center field. Maybe as part of the Pentair system they dissolve all the unsold cotton candy and sprinkle that out there. Perfect night to play some catch!

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 164

Fiesta! I'm envious! I've been on the warning track many times, but never so much as touched a blade of grass out there...

How did that happen?

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 11:13 PM by Rick 165

I think the proper terms, Luke, are "Basketballish," and "Footbally."

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 01:27 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 166

GoAHpher,

I recall seeing a program when it was being built, it think it was called "Build it Bigger" that mentioned it was designed after a snake, but I could be misremembering or they could have gotten it wrong too.

As for the Vikings Stadium, Brick, granite, marble, limestone, anything, I just hope they stay away from the steel/glass look of Cowboy stadium.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 02:06 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 167

fiesta- Noticed the "sweet" smell of the grass as well. Similar to the scent in late summer/early fall after the lawn is mowed. It gives the grass a "realness" to me as I never noticed it before. Even being all over the field in August and taking a tour from the warning track the summer of 2010 I did not smell anything.
Super fun event the Twins hosted for families with season tickets. When my 3 year old told me during a Twins game that she wanted to go onto the field I was able to let her know that we would in a few sleeps. We hung out in right field and wrestled with our foam bat & baseballs. The girls also enjoyed piling sand on the infield, running around the bases several times, and of course the bounce house. It led to a very peaceful evening before bed as we capped off the day with a thorough bath.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 06:34 AM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 168

In addition to season ticket holders, some group organizers were invited, which is how I got in. I told my friend not to be too embarrassed, as I would likely kneel down to pet the grass. The one time I took a ballpark tour in 2010, after we were in the visitor's clubhouse and dugout, they were adamant that we not touch the grass when out on the warning track. This event brought out a certain giddiness. A Twins staffer took our photo and asked, "Have you been on the field before?" as if that were such an everyday experience.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 07:16 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 169

Regarding design of the new stadium, I could also see a reflection of Target Field somehow, considering its popularity. They could essentially replicate the home plate bowl on two sides in the exterior design. Use limestone and the floating overhang, depending of course on the roof design.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 08:51 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 170

I want something different from Target Field and wouldn't mind something very daring like with the Cowboys or Cardinals. Ultimately tying the stadium into the neighborhood will be hard due to the location, the limited number of heavy use dates, and, as was mentioned, the lack of anything to really tie into. I expect we'll get a stand alone stadium that's a vastly superior place to watch a game without any greater aspirations.

Thinking about the interest the Vikings have in Lucas Oil Stadium and Century Link Field among others, two things stand out about those stadiums in comparison to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Seating decks in the latter two stadiums have much shallower grades in the seating decks in comparison to the steepness of the former two. Due to site constrictions, the Vikings will most likely have to go upwards instead of outwards. This means fans will be closer to the field in one respect, but dealing with some steep seating tiers. As an upper deck Vikings season ticket holder who gets vertigo in Target Field's left field upper tier and the Trapezoid, I'm not sure what to think.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 171

Here's a random question I'm hoping someone, maybe GoAUpher, knows the answer to... Is tomorrow's Gopher game another "Gold Out" or is it something else because it's going to be cold?

btw- GoAUpher, do you write on thedailygopher.com?

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 172

Here's a fascinating article, written by a Yankees fan to inform other Yankees fans about the basics of seeing the Yankees play the Twins at TF:

How to Be a Yankee Fan in Minnesota - 2012 Edition

You get to see how an outsider views us, our new ballpark, all of our sports teams and facilities, and our overall culture.

Much of the info is obviously cribbed from other sources, but he's clearly done some of his own research. And while there are plenty of inaccuracies, they're mostly benign.

And I may have actually learned something from this paragraph:

"At Section 133 (right-center-field bleachers), they have 'State Fair Classics,' including Pork Chops on a Stick, Roasted Corn on the Cob, Corn Dogs, and Walleye Fingers – this is not something I would eat, but walleyes, a native fish, are very popular in Minnesota. The start of walleye fishing season, usually around May 10, is so big there, the Twins always request to be on the road that weekend, so as not to hurt attendance."

Is this really true?

And if you see this guy out at the ballpark, be sure to give him one of your Walleye Fingers!

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM by Rick 173

There is no Gold Out or other special promotion apart from the U of M discounting some tickets to $10 in an effort to get a sell out crowd.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 174

Two more articles which may be of interest:

1. What will happen to the Beloit Snappers now that the Twin have abandoned them? Snappers facing uncertain future

2. Do you ever wonder just how much the Twins make on each bottle of beer they sell? Well, I can't quite answer that question, but here's some insight (from the weirdest Vikings-related article I've read in a long time):

"I can buy 100 cases of Crown Royal [whiskey] for $36,000, and the distributor will just give me 15 cases of Captain Morgan [rum] that I can sell for $5.25 a shot and [pay off] the whole transaction. I can sell a guy a bottle of beer for $4.25 when it costs me 26 cents..."

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM by Rick 175

I think the Twins did request road games in the Metrodome days and earlier. However, the 2011, 2012, and 2013 fishing openers all occurred or will occur on home weekends.

For what it's worth, my wife is a teacher and organizer for her school's Twins group night. This season, the group date fell on fishing opener weekend. Attendance was down quite a bit from not only the last two seasons, but even the last year at the Dome. Some contributing factors to decreased attendance included an opponent without much appeal (the Blue Jays), the Twins being lousy this year and last, it being a night game for grade school kids (despite being on a Friday), and everyone having seen Target Field with the novelty wearing off. However, enough people mentioned the fishing opener as ruling them out either proactively or when contacted that it was absolutely a fairly significant factor in fewer people coming to the game. As a result, the 2013 group game will be specifically selected to avoid that particular weekend.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 176

Jorge,

I just find it odd that they are going to have a sold out crowd and they aren't suggesting that it's either a Gold or Maroon day. Now I do understand that it's gonna be COLD, but still... Let's crank the home field advantage up a notch or two!

This is what I received from the Gophers as a response on facebook: "Gold Out was last week -- this week we just want you to BE THERE under the lights to watch Golden Gopher Football go 4-0!"

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 177

It's a night game with temps likely in the 40s by kickoff and the sun effectively down by then. It's going to be a chilly night and most fans don't own gold jackets, or even maroon ones for that matter. There's just no way to effectively hold a Gold Out promotion under the circumstances. Even last week with t-shirt weather and temps in the low 70s, the Gold Out was far from unanimous.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 178

I would buy a beer if it was $4.25! Add about $3.25 to that total. No doubt they make a killing on the booze. Thats why I bring my own in man! Just saying!

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 179

I don't understand all the hype and discussion about beer at TCF Bank Stadium costing $7.25 per cup. That price is very comparable to those at Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves, and Wild games. Go to any NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL game in the Northeast or places like Chicago or Los Angeles and that $7.25 will seem like a bargain. As with gasoline, beer prices here lag behind larger markets.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 180

You bring your own booze to strip clubs twink? Read the article, THEN comment on the quote. Just saying!

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 181

A response to my e-mail, sent exactly as I posted. I intend to follow up with him when I'm back at my office Monday. (edited out names)

Good afternoon Name,

I would like to start off by apologizing for your negative food and beverage experience during your last visit to Target Field. There were a few areas of the ballpark that were unexpected and we reacted the best we could once we saw the seats filling up.

We currently conduct secret shops at all of our locations in the field. Should any associate fail to adhere to our guest service standards, we then would coach and re-train until they can successfully create a positive guest experience. These shops are done both internally and by hiring an outside company to come in and shop.

We are always open to and appreciate all of your suggestions to improving the guest experience. This is a very important aspect to us regardless of the teams performance.

I would be more than happy to follow this up with a conversation in the future if you would like.

Hopefully you plan on attending future games. If so, please let me know when as I would like to take care of your next meal. I hope your next experience is a better one.

Once again I apologize for the negative experience. We truly appreciate your feedback as we will use it as a tool to better our guest service and experience.

Feel free to contact me directly should you have any further questions, comments, or concerns.

Sincerely,

Name Name
Concessions Manager
Delaware North Companies Inc.
Sportservice - Target Field
1 Twins Way - Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(Ph) 612-659-3965
(Fax) 612-659-4021

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 182

OK, so the concessions manager wasn't an English major ...

"There were a few areas of the ballpark that were unexpected"

Let me guess - they were surprised that someone put in all that extra space between second base and the outfield wall? Or that there is that pesky centerfield concourse that people actually traverse to find food?

Two points for actually replying though.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 6:49 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 183

Agreed. And I will be interested in finding out what level of engagement they have with what is really going on. I will say, there was little reason to think any crowd took them by storm during that game. It was a pretty average Saturday crowd, which is fairly thin in the upper corners these days.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 184

GoAHpher & Duffman,

Looking back in an old copy of the architectural trade publication, “Architectural Record,” there was an article on University of Phoenix Stadium, and it was stated that the exterior is meant to bring to mind the barrel cactus, a coiled snake, and other southwest elements. Both recollections appear to be correct.

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 10:31 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 185

There is less room for originality in football stadium design than there is in baseball park design. But I do hope the designers of the Vikings Stadium come up with something that allows in as much natural light as possible. The darkness of the Metrodome always created a gloomy, artificial atmosphere regardless of what sport was being played. It also left fans disconnected from the surrounding area and even from whether it was daylight or darkness outside.

I watched a Gophers game on TV one time and the band was shown outside the dome with the flags snapping in the breeze and sunshine glinting off the brass musical instruments. the next shot was from inside the dome as the band entered. The flags were lifeless and the colors of everything had a greenish artificial hue. Natural light - even on a cloudy day - is the antidote to that.

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM by terry Highlight this comment 186

Well terry, I hope you're right, but we do know the new placd will have a baseball configuration for the damn Rodents

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 5:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 187

F_T_K, you're a train geek? So you're one of the foamers that takes pictures of me everytime I go to northtown yard?.. lol :)

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 5:47 PM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 188

I for one love taking pics and vids of trains.
11 more losses to go, and we tie the franchise-worst record! 89 losses after our 8-0 loss to the Tigers today!

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 6:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 189

Oh goddammit! Our franchise worst is 102 losses! Shit, little miscalculation on my part. Well, franchise second-worst then.

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 6:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 190

Luke, why do you insist on throwing pointless profanity into every post?

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 11:37 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 191

163 and 180 didnt have "profanity" as you euphemistically call it...lol.

The D word isnt profane in my book. Now if I had used either of the four letter C words or the F-bomb, now that would be profane.

And just for the record, do NOT ask your mom what the C words are. She will punch you in the mouth.

Posted on September 23, 2012 at 07:56 AM by luke Highlight this comment 192

Definitely not a 'foamer' or 'rivet counter', just grew up next to the train tracks and love to watch and listen to them go by.

I usually can't even identify what locomotive I'm looking at - "that's a red one, that's a yellow one..."

Except for the 261 - that one I can identify!

Posted on September 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 193

There is something about train watching that is just good for the soul.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 06:05 AM by luke Highlight this comment 194

The two wins yesterday mathematically guarantee the Twins a better record than last year's. Of course saying a team has a better record than the 2011 Twins is a little like saying a ballpark is better than the Metrodome. The bar was pretty low.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 07:30 AM by terry Highlight this comment 195

CSG Mike~
Yep, I'm the newest writer over at TDG. =)

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 196

A final thought on the color theme game discussion...

It's a night game with temps likely in the 40s by kickoff and the sun effectively down by then. It's going to be a chilly night and most fans don't own gold jackets, or even maroon ones for that matter. There's just no way to effectively hold a Gold Out promotion under the circumstances. Even last week with t-shirt weather and temps in the low 70s, the Gold Out was far from unanimous.

This would be my take on it too. It's really hard to execute a color scheme once it gets cold. Personally, I'd prefer they just shelve the effort until TCFBS is consistently sold out but I don't really get bothered when the efforts fail either. I'm pretty immune to that particular annoyance at this point. =)

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 197

Looking back in an old copy of the architectural trade publication, “Architectural Record,” there was an article on University of Phoenix Stadium, and it was stated that the exterior is meant to bring to mind the barrel cactus, a coiled snake, and other southwest elements. Both recollections appear to be correct.

Thanks Winona Mike. I like the snake one better anyway. Just seems like a cooler point of inspiration than a cactus. =)

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 198

Rick~
I hope you had a good experience with your boys. Interested to hear what you thought given that Saturday night was far and away a better atmosphere than normal. Hopefully you were able to stay past halftime, as that's when things got really rocking.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 199

Saturday at the Bank was awesome! It was actually much warmer than I thought. I brought a backpack with a winter hat, gloves and jacket, but I didn't need a single thing. My long sleeve thermal wear and tshirt were enough.

I know it's a minor thing, trying to figure out the color scheme. I just didn't want to be "that guy" and miss the memo.

If the Gophers continue to win, I think it will be tough to get tickets for future games. I am trying to find decent lower bowl seats for Homecoming and it's already slim pickens.

GoAUpher - I used to work with Tom "GopherNation" from that site. We could kill hours talking all aspects of MN sports.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 200

How can the Rodents be a 6.5 pt dog at Iowa? Haven't we won the last 2 times vs the Hawkeyes? Iowas is terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible this year!

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 201

GoAUpher,

We had a blast! We bundled up but were able to de-bundle somewhat when we got there.

My parking strategy was a mixed success. They should probably some sort of more intelligent traffic control on University Ave before games (and Fourth Street after). But we made it in and out just fine, after a fashion.

Mostly, the vibe was electric. It underscores just how dead TF has become this season. Unlike TF, where the "Noise" graphic seems a little desperate, a similar graphic at TCFBS seemed redundant. We were already yelling as loud as we could!

And I'd bet most folks in attendance around us (in the $10 seats) couldn't even name the Gophers' starting quarterback. (We never did find out what the Syracuse team's nickname is. The Syriacs? The Accusers? Shows my ignorance, I know.)

So, how do you fill up that stadium? Easy: Night games and $10 seats. They're going to have to win a whole lot more games before they can reasonably charge $50 for some of those seats.

On the other hand, everything I bought at the concession stand felt super cheap. They are certainly leaving some money on the table there.

All in all, it was a great night. The boys loved it and would go again in a heartbeat!

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM by Rick 202

Syracuse team nickname, for both men and women: The Orange

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 203

Hmm, a shame. Nothing rhymes with it...

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM by Rick 204

Rick~
Excellent! I'm glad you guys had fun. I knew the game had the potential to be special when my wife and I went out to dinner at The Newsroom on Nicollet and the manager was talking about how he wanted to go but couldn't find cheap tix on StubHub. He said he wasn't a huge Gophers fan but was excited by the 3-0 start plus night game. When non-superfans are actually sad they couldn't go that's a good sign.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 205

Some thoughts/questions based on your post:
They should probably some sort of more intelligent traffic control on University Ave before games (and Fourth Street after). But we made it in and out just fine, after a fashion.

It definitely seemed worse than usual. Not sure why.

So, how do you fill up that stadium? Easy: Night games and $10 seats. They're going to have to win a whole lot more games before they can reasonably charge $50 for some of those seats.

This has been Indiana's strategy in recent seasons and it has worked well. I'm hopeful that the new AD will be pushing for more night games on BTN, especially early in the year. Signs are pointing towards this as the plan...the U is finalizing a deal to move all their home openers over the next 4 or 5 years to the first night of CFB (Thursday of opening weekend) so that the State Fair doesn't lose access to the STP lots on a Saturday. The added bonus would be the night game for the U though.

Hmm, a shame. Nothing rhymes with it...
It was what the school moved to when they scrapped the "Orangemen" title back. I'm assuming they did so b/c it kept the same basic branding, played on the colors, etc.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 206

On the other hand, everything I bought at the concession stand felt super cheap. They are certainly leaving some money on the table there.

Do you mean you thought it cost too little or was cheap in quality and are leaving money b/c people won't want to buy it again?

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 207

Not sure on the Vegas line myself, but frankly all I care about it W's. "Respect" from Vegas and national press is a luxury item for the Gophers. They need wins to sell here in town to make sure that future games are more like Syracuse.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 208

CSG~
Very cool! GN is a great guy. I really appreciate him asking me to contribute...it's been a lot of fun thus far.

I feel sorry for you personally that LL tix are hard to get, but encouraged overall. This is a good season for the Big Ten to be horrid. The more games the Gophers can win the better it will be for the program. Plus, TCFBS is too nice a facility to feel dead. Same for TF. I much prefer it when at least one of my fave parks has a solid pulse all game long. =)

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 209

I meant to imply that I would have paid more for what I got. Everything I got was quite good, but cost less than I expected when it came time to hand over my cash.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 5:44 PM by Rick 210

Good to know! Many STH have a tendency to grumble about concessions at TCF, but I'm sure part of that is due to comparisons to Target Field. It's nice to hear from an "outsider" on the subject. =)

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 211

A friend of mine posted a pic on Facebook from tinights game at TF. Good grief, there are all of about 185 people there. Pathetic.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 7:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 212

Long time reader; first time poster...

I was at the Bank on Saturday Night for the first time this year and thought the atmosphere was great. The crowd seemed really into the game and was it loud. The weather wasn't nearly as cold as I thought it would be and my winter jacket and stocking cap proved unneccessary. Tailgating across the street was incredibly fun.

I thought the concessions were ok, not nearly the rip off they are at TF but not tasty enough to warrant any praise either.

I was surprised at how many people were walking around with two beers in their hand, because of the one location for sales I'd assume. I think the beer and alcohol sales are gonna have a much bigger impact on The Bank than I ever expected they would.

Putting my cancellation in the mail on Wednesday for my 307 4 pack on the aisle. As much as I'm disappointed about the play of the team the past two years, I think I'm more frustrated about having to look at that monstrosity of a black box in center field. I miss the trees dearly but replacing the green wall that matched the decor of the surrounding areas with the black box was a travesty. Whoever made that decision should be fired.

Nice job with this site, Rick.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM by crystalpistol Highlight this comment 213

I thought that just maybe they would do something different with the batter's eye this year, what with Cuddyer gone and all. DSP seemed to hint that the trees might come back, although he may have been hinting that they would be planting flowers.

My vote still goes to a waterfall that cascades over the top of the batter's eye and into that basin between innings.

I think my bigger frustration with this configuration is that it makes it nearly impossible for someone my height to see any of the action from behind the wall. I sure wish they'd put a little step there or something if they're not going to take down all that blackness.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 8:24 PM by Rick 214

I'm 6'2'' and with that batter's eye deal they installed, I can barely see anything over it.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 06:11 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 215

4'0" and I don't see anything the whole game.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 08:30 AM by 'lil Louie Highlight this comment 216

I've had the same thought about the seat pricing at TCFBS. With no recent history of winning and little demand for tix from students, I don't know how they expect to get $50 or so for upper deck end zone and corner seats. $25 with a meal deal, or the $10 for nonconf games, seems smart to me.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 09:20 AM by BR Highlight this comment 217

Even the meal deal is a little steep. I didn't check the actual prices, but I think that's about $8 worth of food plus $17 for the ticket.

$17 is still too much for the ticket. And I may not want a hot dog and soda. (I may want cheese curds and cotton candy, or even just the freedom to choose the food according to the whims of the kids.)

Bottom line, I went to Saturday's game with my two kids for $30 plus snacks, and the meal deal would have been $75 plus snacks. That's a pretty big difference (250%).

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 10:17 AM by Rick 218

Agree in principle, Rick. Although the $10 ticket is a particularly good deal - cheaper than the cheapest seats at TF, which tmeselves are a very good deal. Compared to Wild games, and taking into account that the U only has 6-7 home games/year, $25 is a reasonable price for a major sports venue to charge.

In genral, I think TCFBS needs more price tiers. They have, what, just 3 or 4 price levels for non-suite/club seating? There's a mammoth difference for me between sitting in regular v. bleacher seats, but not all sections reflect that. And there's a big difference between the first 5 rows of the upper deck on the 5 yard line and the last 5 rows in the upper corners or end zone - again, not reflected in the pricing.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 10:51 AM by BR Highlight this comment 219

Anyone think there will be an special deals for the NW homecoming game on 10/13? Right now, cheapest seats available are $50 and I do not really want to pay that much for NW. Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska or Iowa, most definitely, but not NW.

We were hoping to get some tickets off the street before the game, but who knows how high those prices will be. Two big factors that will drive demand are a win/loss at Iowa and the weather. A win at Iowa and a good forecast will drive demand higher. On the other hand, if they lose at Iowa and it's cool and rain in the forecast, demand will not be very high.

I just don't want to pay $50 right now when I can probably get some for half that price on the street before the game. Anyone know if the U will offer any specials for NW? There was also a poster that previously mentioned a site to get ticket deals.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 220

I've had the same thought about the seat pricing at TCFBS. With no recent history of winning and little demand for tix from students, I don't know how they expect to get $50 or so for upper deck end zone and corner seats. $25 with a meal deal, or the $10 for nonconf games, seems smart to me.

The U has been slow to adjust to the backslide that Brewster caused. Keep in mind, when the stadium opened it was completely sold out with season tickets. The only single game seats available were the ones that showed up if the visitors returned some tickets. Unfortunately, the U took a "build it and they will come" mentality and did little to make big strides in the gameday experience. In fact, they managed to do a lot of little things wrong for 3 seasons. For instance, replays on the big scoreboard were rarely full screen, even on TD's. The ads around the edge stayed up instead. That's gone this year (though it seems to be in exchange for slightly wider ads on the sides the rest of the time (good tradeoff IMO).

The other thing to remember is that in the past few seasons as the STH base has slipped, they've been able to get those higher pricepoints via visiting fans from WI, IA, NE, or through quality non-con opponents like USC that drew single game buyers in. As long as the money came in, atmosphere was secondary.

This is the first season where they've had the combination of a further reduction in STH, no marquee non-con opponent, and no B1G fans who will be traveling in droves to snap up single game tickets. And thankfully the new AD and the U seem to be acknowledging that fact and offering options that more accurately reflect demand right now.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 221

[i]In genral, I think TCFBS needs more price tiers. They have, what, just 3 or 4 price levels for non-suite/club seating? There's a mammoth difference for me between sitting in regular v. bleacher seats, but not all sections reflect that. And there's a big difference between the first 5 rows of the upper deck on the 5 yard line and the last 5 rows in the upper corners or end zone - again, not reflected in the pricing.[i/]
Well, it depends on how you look at it. For season tickets, there is technically 1 pricepoint in the non-premium seats ($275). But seats between the 20's require a per seat donation at one of 3 levels ($100, $250, $500) depending on location. For single game sales, there are multiple pricepoints as the seats in those donation zones step up in cost from the rest of GA.

Again, the U is adjusting their business model to reflect the change in demand for STH. The previous AD ran a model that works great if you are selling out or are very close to selling out with STH. It starts to fall apart when you've got approx 10K seats that aren't being sold out by STH. The new AD seems to get that, though we are talking about a small sample size thus far.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 222

The other thing to remember is that in the past few seasons as the STH base has slipped, they've been able to get those higher pricepoints via visiting fans from WI, IA, NE, or through quality non-con opponents like USC that drew single game buyers in. As long as the money came in, atmosphere was secondary.
This is what's most frustrating, I think. It's not just about atmosphere, it's about building the fan base. Sure you can grab a quick buck from visiting fans, but where's the sea of maroon and gold? You have to have a vision of what you want the experience and the program to be and a plan for getting there (beyond tugging at alumni), in good times and bad. The U under Maturi never seemed to fully understand this.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM by BR Highlight this comment 223

Anyone think there will be an special deals for the NW homecoming game on 10/13? Right now, cheapest seats available are $50 and I do not really want to pay that much for NW. Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska or Iowa, most definitely, but not NW.

I dunno. You'd think that they might given that it's an 11am game and there is momentum coming off the sellout. But I'm also sure they are cognizant of not undercutting their STH too much. College sports are different for many STH, with school affinity and such playing a bigger part of the process, but that won't help if you constantly make not being a STH a better deal then STH perks.

I'm going to guess they wait until after Iowa to decide. An Iowa might drive demand up enough where they don't feel they need to. It's a tough line. If you offer the deals you probably set up another sellout which is good for the atmosphere and (ideally) for the team's competitiveness. But again, STH getting undercut.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 224

This is what's most frustrating, I think. It's not just about atmosphere, it's about building the fan base. Sure you can grab a quick buck from visiting fans, but where's the sea of maroon and gold? You have to have a vision of what you want the experience and the program to be and a plan for getting there (beyond tugging at alumni), in good times and bad. The U under Maturi never seemed to fully understand this.
Trust me, I agree completely. Maturi wasn't a horrid AD overall, but his handling of the business side of things in the last 5 years leaves A LOT to be desired. The fact that he readily admits he hated treating Gopher sports like a business only makes the facepalm worse.

Teague does not appear to suffer from the same syndrome. Thus the simple and obvious move of hiring a outside sales group (happened under Maturi but smacks of "we need this running ASAP and the new AD is going to do it anyhow so get it running now"), some of the ticket deals, the proper execution of small items like the replays, etc. They still have a long way to go but after years of inaction it's encouraging to see this much change (even if much of it is on "small stuff") so quickly.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 225

I can remember what it was like in the early '60's when the Gophers were selling out 60,000 seat Memorial Stadium on Saturday and the Vikings were playing in front of 30,000 fans and 10,000 empty seats at the Met on Sunday. Hard to imagine that today. It would be wonderful if that kind of interest in the Gophers was seen again.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM by terry Highlight this comment 226

I agree that the U of M needs more price tiers. The lack of more tiers may be due to sake of ease in their ticket office and a feeling that so much open space will encourage fans to buy cheap and then relocate to better seats.

The current Big Ten schedule rotation doesn't do the Gophers many favors. The three best draws, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, all visit in odd numbered years, leaving things pretty thin in even numbered years. The only real draw is Michigan, but they don't compare to any of those regional teams for appeal and no rivarly exists, Little Brown Jug or not.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 227

YES!!! Agree with everything being said about the Gophers needing more price tiers. We ate it and bought some of those $50 seats today and I am really not too happy about it. Everyone else saw the prices going up, up, up and didn't want to risk paying even more. I think the cheapest on StubHub right now it in the $75 range (before fees).

One of my favorite concessions at TCFBS is Paninos. They are perfect size, price, and have a few different flavors. Check it out if you haven't yet.

Luke, What time was the picture from last night's TF game? It was fairly full early on except for the trapeziod and 300 level of the Home Run Porch. After the Yankees hit Liam around, it started to clear out. I think announced attendance was roughly 30,000.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 228

I'm interested to see if they move on price changes. Typically, most schools in CFB have 1 or 2 price points for STH. More complexity is added with the seat donation levels, but those are 80% tax deductible so they factor in to people's decision making a little differently than a simple ticket price would (though prob not that much of a difference). So more price points would require the U to start thinking outside the box, something they haven't shown a penchant for in the past.

The other thing to keep in mind is that while atmosphere and building the fanbase have to be priority in order to grow the program, this is also the primary revenue driver for the whole athletic department. So any decision that gets made will be critiqued under the "will change risk our current revenues?" standard. That probably leads to less creative thinking.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 3:03 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 229

I think the Gophers prob have the most inequitable home/away schedule in the B1G right now. When it looked like a 2 year "get Nebraska acclimated" quirk of the schedules being put together on short notice that was fine. But now that they've been extended for 4 more years it's a huge pain for the U and the fanbase. I had hoped Teague would be in the AD chair before the decisions on 2013-2016 happened, but that was not to be. If he's smart, getting IA, WI, and NE broken up on the home/away schedule will be a huge priority for him in his future dealings with the B1G.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 3:06 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 230

"I think announced attendance was roughly 30,000."

33,xxx --- probably within 10,000 - 12,000 of the truth.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 3:09 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 231

Ben,

So from your comment, you think that there were only 20k fans at the Twins game last night? I agree that attendance has slipped, but I don't think it's gone that far. Especially for a Yankees game. If I had to guess I would put it around 25k actual attendance.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 232

CSG ---

Subtract 10,000 from 33,000+ and see what you come up with - then compare that figure to "20K".

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 233

It's another 90+ loss season, but a come-from-behind win against The Evil Empire is still one of nature's great treats. A fun time was had last night at the ball yard.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 07:13 AM by terry Highlight this comment 234

If the Gophers are going to continue to offer discount tickets (whether this year or in the future) I suggest something similar to the old Twins "Knothole Day" promotion they ran on Sundays. Buy one adult ticket, get 2 or 3 free kids tix. It puts butts in seats and might start building a new fan base.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 235

I don't remember who said you can not notice the new grass anymore at Target Field, but I was there on monday, and the field still looks terrible.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 236

Stevie B,

"Buy one adult ticket, get 2 or 3 free kids tix."

I like the sound of that! Seems highly unlikely...

Duffman,

I'm the one who said it looked great (Sunday, Sep 16), and it did -- even up close when the kids ran the bases.

It looks great on TV these days. What are you seeing?

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM by Rick 237

Ben,

Your comment makes you sound like a jerk. It's comments like yours that make me really hate online message boards/comment sections. Sometimes less is not more. Use your words to make what you are trying to say be clear.

I see now that the box score attendance was 33,720. Meaning your 10-12k remark would put attendance in 21,720-23,720 range. I was working off my "roughly 30k" then minus your 10-12k, which puts it at 18-20k. I see now that your estimated attendance is much closer to mine (25k), in fact we are within 1,280. Thanks for giving me a real world situation to brush up on my math word problem skills.

See how wonderful using MORE words can be?

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 238

Gardy and the coaching staff along with worthless and weak Devito should all be put on double secret probation for next year. Cmon Larry put an effort in will ya??? I still say hire the old man George Toma and send Larry and that crappy grass patern packing! I mean what has it been 2.5 years of the same old dorky look? And don't have that sill goat ropping concert there next year. Have it over at the bank!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 239

Rick, grass looks terrible on my 55 inch HD set. Last game I was at was August 14th and it looked pretty sad in person also.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 240

"Thanks for giving me a real world situation to brush up on my math word problem skills."

You're welcome.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 241

Rick - the math could actually work out in the Gophers favor, at least over the $10 ticket option. If the ticket price is $40 for an upper level ticket, adult pays that. Get 2 kids "free" and the U is still getting $40 rather than the $30 they would get with $10 tix. If 3 free tix (I like that since I have 3 kids) it still works out to $40 for 4 tix.

The $10 ticket option is great but as I have mentioned before I don't see them offering the same deal all the time so mixing it up with a "Family Day at the Bank" works to the same end - fans through the gates. It also has the potential to sell the tickets to some in a different audience. Even if they did a 1 adult/1 free kid it would sell tickets to some part of the metro that sees that as a bargain.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 242

You're going to have to expand on "terrible" and "pretty sad". It looks fine on my 37-inch, and looked robust, green, evenly-toned, without glaringly noticeable patches on the 16th.

(And don't say there are worn patches where the outfielders stand. That's part of playing at 45 degrees north latitude.)

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM by Rick 243

Stevie B,

Do the Gophers actually think in those terms? And could they actually handle promoting such a thing to make the most of it? (Their web site is truly terrible, and I only knew about the $10 offer because people told me here.)

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:55 PM by Rick 244

It's simple you win and you will be able to sell those $40 tickets. You don't you might have to sell em for $10 to get anybody in there. Trust me they ain't gonna do no buy 1 adult ticket and kids get in fer free. Rick yes there are huge patches where the outfielders are. Larry can't get the grass to match. Maybe with a nice tradtional checkboard cut you wouldn't notice it as much. But hey that may make our outfielders mad about how the ball comes of the grass? Epic fail for Devito!!!!!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 245

I was sitting in the first row of the Grandstand. Had I not gotten up to get a beer and $1 dog, propbably would have had a shot at Swisher's homerun. The field looked terrible. Reminded me of a municiple golf course. Speaking of golf courses, they can not blame the enviroment. Golf courses are more heavily used (Carts, spikes, walkers) and divoted than this turf and somehow are able to mainting a nice look, especailly at a distance. Hire the greens keeper from Madden's (Sub in any decent course), I bet he would give you a near perfect playing surface or at least make it look good. Plus he would probably has that cross cut look perfected.

Twinkfan- I saw a photo a friend posted on facebook. National's park has the same design as Target Field. I guess Devito's remaining acolytes are keeping to his ways.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 246

Has anyone ever seen twinkfan and George Toma in a room together?

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM by Rick 247

I'm not sure what their marketing strategy is. I agree the website could use some work and they need to push their product more to the general public instead of just the student/alumni base. They aren't the "only game in town" like many campus programs get the benefit of.

I haven't been to TCFBS yet, though I consider myself a big sports fan. Not being an alum the Gophers are usually more of an afterthought and while I would have taken advantage of $10 tix, I didn't find out in time to avoid having schedule conflicts.

If they are going to have teams like New Hampshire and W Michigan on the home schedule they are going to have to get creative and marketed in order to draw fans for those games. Even if they go to a higher level bowl this season I think their 2013 home games of UNLV, Western Illinois and San Jose State are going to be less than sellouts without a boost.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 248

In other ballpark news...

Click my name for the view from behind home plate at the new Seibert Field. Not sure if you can ever get used to brown turf base paths...

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:37 PM by Dust Highlight this comment 249

Look at any other field - any one - with the same scrutiny as you are looking at ours, and you will find just as many "imperfections." Saw a game on TV which was at Detroit the other night - worn patches in the outfield, worn patches on the periphery of the infield dirt, around the pitcher's mound, etc., etc. Same thing at the Rangers' park only way more noticable. Same thing at St. Louis. Same thing at Wrigley. And have you seen the field in Miami??

The only field which looks noticably better than TF on TV, in my opinion, is US Cellular. I suspect this is mostly due to the fact that they let the grass grow way longer there, and as has been suggested before, I think this choice is out of Divito's hands.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 250

Twinkfan - "Trust me" that's a good one

Would you care to explain your economic model that says they will sell $10 tickets but won't sell a $40 ticket and "give away" one, two or even three tickets?

I agree tickets will sell themselves (somewhat) with a winner but the Gophers aren't there yet and a weak non conference schedule will not exactly crash their ticket sales server.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 251

Agree Duffman the Nats ran him out of town just like we should!! George has about 23 years on me Rick! Toma is 83! LOL!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:05 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 252

Just saying Stevie. I can see them selling the $10 seats for the crappy non conference schedule. They can fill the house when hosting N Dakota State, Wisconsin and Iowa selling $40 seats.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 253

It's simple! Fire Devito and we too can have a field that deserves praise amongst the rest of the leaugue. Maybe that colorado turf is just not durable!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:13 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 254

God this grass talk is so annoying. Weren't any of you happy as youngsters playing ball on whatever "Field" you could find? When did we lose the love of the game for what some piece of grass should look like. Get a grip! Geesh....end of rant!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 255

Well Jo Jo the club kinda stinks right now!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 256

Just got back from ht game, and I am now 0-10. The special sport grass grown in Fort Morgan,Colorado that is also used at Wrigley Field, Notre Dame Stadium,Lambeau Field and many others in my opinion looked great today. The green was very vibrant and in great shape. I don't know what some of you expect the field to look like, honestly.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:44 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 257

And that has to do with the checkerboard pattern and patches. Well played dude! Go cheer for the cubs!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 258

There seems to be some serious irrationality going around about the grass and the head groundskeeper. Until rationality returns, I'm done with the subject.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM by Rick 259

The new Siebert pic looked good...thanks Dust. Its SporTurf, yes? And are they installing actual seats, or bleachers? From Dust's pic, it looked like they were merely building wooden planks to hold bleachers. Come on Rodents, enter 1960s ballpark construction standards if nothing else. Geez.

I heard angels singing on the way home from work today as it was the Twinkies' final weekday game of 2012!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM by luke Highlight this comment 260

"Just saying" what exactly, twinkfan? You still haven't explained why "they ain't gonna do no buy 1 adult ticket and kids get in fer free."

Obviously the N Dakota St, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska games will sell easily (and with a large army of fans for the visiting teams). They don't need any kind of ticket specials for those games, even though they sell those same tickets for $50 and $60 for the more in demand games.

It's the crappy games they do need help with but I don't think it is in their best interests to just keep going the route of yelling "$10 TICKETS!" The marketing group has to get creative with multiple kinds of offers - meal deals, family offers, BOGO, pair up an offering with a restaurant chain. Have a different one in place for those games that need some help in making those sales.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 261

That is kind of what I was trying to say with post #255, but some people can't catch a hint!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 262

Stevie B~
That's an interesting idea! The 2 elements of it are nice...slightly higher revenue plus build the fanbase. I have to disagree with you on the comments RE: alumni. If anything, the U has done TOO LITTLE to engage alumni and try to get them to attend. That's why they hired the outside sales staff. Alumni are your easiest source of potential fans because there is already a connection to the school (and ideally, to athletics as well). There is a huge # of U alums within easy driving distance.

That said, they do need to work on the wider marketing a little bit. The website is a bit tricky to find things on, they don't make it easy to find the gameday guide type stuff that newbies to TCFBS will want to see, etc. And I think they need to do more to draw in STH over the summer.

But all in all, things are improving. They are finally working with grad students at Carlson to craft a better student marketing plan (great business school with what is essentially free talent ready to work and they never did anything like this under Maturi). As noted before, the outside sales reps seem to be getting it done. I'd also argue they are doing a pretty decent job this season when they have run promotions. After all, they were able to sell out the night game with only 1 week of promotions, and I'm pretty sure most of it was social media plus all the free plugs they got in the papers and on TV newcasts (guessing, since I don't live in MN to see the newscasts). And they got a huge student ticket bump by being smart and handing out free 1 game passes for UNH to all the incoming freshmen as part of orientation.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 263

It's the crappy games they do need help with but I don't think it is in their best interests to just keep going the route of yelling "$10 TICKETS!" The marketing group has to get creative with multiple kinds of offers - meal deals, family offers, BOGO, pair up an offering with a restaurant chain. Have a different one in place for those games that need some help in making those sales.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. If they only do $10 ticket sales then they WAY undercut the STH base and give those folks no incentive to retain their tickets. If you mix it up, you draw people in while also using sales that not all STH would want all the time (thereby keeping most folks from getting cranky and removing the intellectual "I could save money w/o STH" argument as well).

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 7:36 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 264

Last night the Twins got good pitching and timely hitting and they had a come from behind win against the Yankee$. Today they had neither and the result was a loss. But the big news sports fans is the pattern of the grass mowing! Call Greg Gumble! Where is Bob Costas? Maybe there should be a grass pattern addendum to Ken Burns' baseball documentary! Baseball hasn't seen a scandal like this since the Black Sox 93 years ago! Here I thought the Twins' top need was starting pitching; turns out it is a bag or two of Scott's Turf Builder!

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 8:21 PM by terry Highlight this comment 265

Any STHs bothered by the Twins plan to expand variable pricing next year, with only the guarantee that "individual game pricing will not ever be lower than season ticket" pricing?

It's bad enough that most secondary market prices undercut season ticket pricing this year. It's not going to help season ticket sales for 2013 and 2014 if the Twins start selling walk up tickets at season ticket pricing in May or June (which seems to be a possibility if the team doesn't improve dramatically).

I'm all for variable ticket pricing, but then give something back to the STHs that have to pony up for a full season by October 1st - how about a rebate for every game the team ends up out of first place or under .500?

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 266

Looks like after several years, I will be dropping a full season and 40-game plan. I will save my money up on the unused games and spend it on some ASG tickets, if I would be even interested at that time.

I figured I couldn't give away 10 games this year, even putting them available on here for me to email people the tickets.

The secondary market is the way to go until this team starts to show that they are turning the corner. Until that happens, cheap tix with a new location each game it is.

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 10:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 267

The expansion of dynamic pricing really could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they have the chance to capture all the extra revenue if the team gets hot. On the other hand, they have the potential to seriously further alienate the STH base if prices should ever get down to that level.

With the secondary market being pretty much fully mature, it's really smarter -- especially when a team sucks and/or is projected to suck -- to rely much more on the secondary market.

My own personal experience is that this season I had a bunch of tickets that were worth exactly $0 by the time the game rolled around.

How long are STHs going to continue to pour money down those kinds of holes?

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 11:34 PM by Rick 268

The problem is that for 2013 (and probably 2014) it is far more likely that the team is not going to be a contender. Why risk the possible STH alienation by expanding variable pricing now? Do that when the team is near the top, not near the bottom.

Appeasing the casual fan at the expense of the STHs seems to be a foolish move. The most significant reason to buy season tickets is the price discount. This move essentially shifts all of the risk to STHs (and their partners/groups). It seems the Twins should be dong everything they can to shore up the STH base. As an STH, this is NOT a double-edged sword - it's a guillotine to my wallet if I end up with unallocated shares in my group.

I guess th only good news is that the more STHs drop seats, the fewer seats will be available on the secondary market ...

Rick, to answer your question on how much longer STHs are willing to pour money in, it's pretty clear that the Twins are planning for that for at least two more years, thanks to the ASG carrot.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel after so many years, but if there isn't a clear plan to win again in the next two, I'll lead the exodus in the fall of 2014.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 01:06 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 269

The difference is that it has taken almost all year for those fields to look like shit. Target Field looked like that after one homestand and hasn't improved over the course of the year.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 02:56 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 270

Duff, it wasnt so much a homestand that did shit to the TF turf...it was the McChesney concert.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 06:45 AM by luke Highlight this comment 271

You have to wonder to what extent STH dropping out will be replaced by fools buying the hype that they will "secure" ASG tickets or "ensure" themselves of same.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 07:45 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 272

Twinkfan, you're 60? I don't believe it.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 08:32 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 273

GoAUpher - re #263

I guess I was assuming they were marketing heavily to the alumni (I am not a U of M alum). Definitely a big mistake to not hit up that market. Of course, most of the alumni from the past 30 years skipped games at the dome as well so many don't have a football attachment to the U but it's never too late.

I agree they have done well marketing these past few games and selling some tickets. My comments were more directed towards next year (and possibly some of the 2012 Big 10 schedule) and the need to keep the marketing efforts fresh. Good to hear they are tapping into the Carlson students. That is a great "real world" experience for them and saves some $ for the U.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 08:38 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 274

One upside to being out of playoff contention: On a beautiful Fall weekday, I was able to take a long lunch, walk over to the scalpers on First Avenue at noon, and buy a ticket in section 101 for $5. Grab a beer (wish those were $5; shoulda gone to Fulton!) and watch 4 innings, then head back to work.

Oh, and since there weren't more than 25,000 fans there, I moved to other sections, chasing seats in the sun.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM by BR Highlight this comment 275

Re: variable pricing and STHs. I agree, the price discount is a big reason for shelling out $ in October for the following season. Not much need to do that when the team is lousy, as demand will be low enough that good seats to good games will be there when they go on sale to the general public. Maybe they should drop it to STH levels only in the cheaper sections (where my tix are).

There IS the 10% food/beverage discount starting next year. That's a decent perk.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM by BR Highlight this comment 276

The U really is going in new directions for ticket sales. The Daily just put up an article yesterday on a new partnership between the Greeks and athletics to sell tickets to Greek alums for homecoming.

In an effort to boost attendance at Gopher games and also offer opportunities for fraternities and sororities to raise money for their philanthropies, athletics is having greek groups compete to sell the most season tickets with incentives for the greeks.

Greek organizations will compete to see which groups of three to five chapters can sell the most tickets to alumni, said Katie Kolberg, Panhellenic Council’s vice president of programming. Each ticket will cost $50, $10 of which will go to the University’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

Looks like the athletic department is already going down the "multiple sales avenues" idea. Seriously liking this new direction.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 277

GoAUpher,

This comment from Stevie B caught my eye:

"most of the alumni from the past 30 years skipped games at the dome as well so many don't have a football attachment to the U"

I'm a U alum (1985), and this is definitely true for me. Whatever attachment I may have developed to football while in school was completely undercut by the games being played off campus. (My freshman year was the last year at Memorial Stadium. I lived on University Avenue, and the whole gameday atmosphere completely disappeared after the move.)

This sounds like a problem which may be insurmountable, meaning that what they are doing now is actually starting to rebuild a base from which to draw on in future years (rather than tapping an existing base).

The costs of the Metrodome may be even greater than first imagined.

And I can never remember getting any promos in the mail about sports tickets at all. All I ever get is a newsletter once in a while from the Department of Philosophy (where I studied), and requests for donations a couple of times each year.

Hmm, maybe they are assuming I'm too big a nerd to care about sports...

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM by Rick 278

Sounds like an awesome gig you had, BR. $5 in Sec 101 huh? Not bad...

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM by luke Highlight this comment 279

Rick/Stevie B~
That is a HUGE problem for the U. And in many cases, might be one that can't be overcome. But what's crazy is that the dept wasn't trying to make additional inroads at all. Which is silly b/c even given that "Dome effect", that's still the group with the best chance of having an affinity for the Gophers. It's also a problem because (anecdotally) the "Dome effect" seems to have waned as the years went on. Alums from the Mason years don't have the same problems with the Dome based on my interactions with them, based on the comments you find online, and based on the actual student crowds at those games. They don't care for the Dome (really, who does?), but the tailgate scene around the Dome was strong back then and that drew bigger student crowds.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 280

Sounds like an awesome gig you had, BR. $5 in Sec 101 huh? Not bad...

Honestly, I was just looking to get in for as little as possible. Funny thing was, I had to ask 3 scalpers if they'd sell a single for $5 before a guy overhead me and offered that ticket. The others all wanted $10 minimum - even, presumably, for Field/Skyline view seats. Doubt they sold those!

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM by BR Highlight this comment 281

Wonder why the Twins changed the starting game time on Saturday??? Their screwing up my plans/reservations made months ago.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 1:42 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 282

Fox changed the starting time so they could broadcast the game.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM by Rick 283

When in doubt, it is almost always the fault of a TV change. That's the rule I live by for sports now. =)

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 284

The Twins, Saturday, on national TV? What the hell did we do to deserve that honor? I thought only good teams and playoff contenders got showcased on FOX..not the cellar dwellers.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 285

We're playing the Tigers and they just retook first in the Central. Only 1 half of the matchup is a cellar dwellar.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 286

I'll be at the game on Sunday. Anybody know where I can get a good gas station hot dog near the ballpark?

TTH

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 6:13 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 287

...and the Cabrera triple crown threat, and Mauer in contention for .BA.

will varible pricing really be so horrible for STHs? Worst case is the games where they go down to STH price, but the secondary market will be undercutting us for those games anyway. And buyers still have to pay fees, etc. Many games will be priced well over normal face value, which is already higher than our price.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 7:09 PM by robin Highlight this comment 288

TTH- Holiday has the best in town. And many, if not all have a deal: 2 dogs and any size fountain for $3.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 289

robin~
It shouldn't be that bad, but if there is one thing I've learned is that many MN fans can find plenty of reasons to feel slighted by the teams, logic like "the secondary market already undercuts you" be damned.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 7:41 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 290

TTH Luke knows his dogs! I prefer the brats 2 fer $2.22. Can't bring the pop in anyways. I always put some clear rum in a water bottle. Grab a large Diet Coke 1/2 ice at the ballpark and your set. I did see some people bring a Dominos pizza box in last time. Bring all the food you want into the yard! Should be a warm afternoon! Rick I think I predicted 68-94 for the season!

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 8:24 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 291

Thanks for the info Luke and Twinkfan! I don't think anyone was aware that such a good deal could be found so close!

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 9:02 PM by FD Highlight this comment 292

Unscientific poll on the STH conference call with Terry Ryan and Gardy:

79% of STHs plan to buy ASG tickets
8% d not
13% undecided

Willing ham not likely to be traded, starting pitching will be the focus in the offseason, payroll dollars is not an issue, but don't expect anything north of $100M.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 293

HKS selected as the new Vikings stadium architect.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 09:05 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 294

Dallas-based HKS is the architect

Will be interesting what they come up with. They designed Cowboys Stadium and Lucas Oil Stadium, both retractable roof facilities but very different venues.

"I Promise we won't let you down," said Mark Williams of HKS. "A few years from now, when we walk in there, it's going to be an absolutely incredible experience that will change people's lives in this state."

I wonder how this venue will change people's lives? Fans going bankrupt for what it will cost for tickets?

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 08:37 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 295

Mike, people said the same thing about a convenience store-served sausage served on a bun, garnished with ketchup, mustard and relish. And look what it has done to the lives of two individuals on this message board.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 296

Nishi is officially no longer a Twin - and lighter in his wallet. Classy move on his part. I'm sure the F.O. will find a way to squander that extra money.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 297

As ling as there is no giant obstructive scoreboard hovering over the football field, it's all good by me.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM by Blurch Highlight this comment 298

Here's a better link:

Nishioka asks for, and gets, released from his contract

Yes, TTH, who says professional sports don't change lives?

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM by Rick 299

LaVelle makes it sound like the narrative behind the scenes is that Nishi might have been successful in the majors if he hadn't broken his leg -- that he was never the same after that.

Do we buy that?

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM by Rick 300

I don't think the broken leg is the only reason Nishioka failed, but the injury did contribute. He fell behind in his fitness and adjustment to the Major Leagues while also likely losing some mobility. Combine that with the mental issues of failing at a game you always excelled at and the broken leg fits into things.

HKS getting the Vikings stadium contract is what I expected. The Vikings had expressed too much admiration for Cowboys Stadium and especially Lucas Oil Stadium to overlook HKS. Based on the designs of those two stadiums, the seating decks at the new stadium being more vertical than horizontal seems even more likely.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 2:42 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 301

I've spent a little time today trying to tease out the signature elements of HKS designs, but haven't got much.

Their big projects mostly appear to have been built on superblocks, generally without much requirement for integration with surroundings, so it's hard to gauge their range on urban projects. (That may fall to local partners anyway.) Lucas Oil, for example, despite being innovative in appearance, has a site plan which pretty much ignores its surroundings:


Outside of Lucas Oil's facade, much of what I'm seeing also looks like it could have just as easily been designed by Populous. The differences in details are pretty subtle. (I'm still processing how stands are configured, so I'll trust you on that, Jorge.)

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 3:22 PM by Rick 302

Here's Cowboys Stadium and the Ballpark in Arlington (both HKS):


Once again, with a blank slate superblock, in this case surrounded by a whole lot of undeveloped territory, they have not needed to do much integration.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 3:27 PM by Rick 303

Here's a YouTube interview with the guy who may be the principle architect:

Interview with lead architect Mark Williams on the design of the Cowboys Stadium

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 3:47 PM by Rick 304

Even though they are baseball stadiums, HKS also designed Miller Park and Ballpark at Arlington

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:03 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 305

The Journal Minneapolis claims it has two of the images HSK put in their presentation to the MSFA (images came from sources at MSFA supposedly):



Posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 306

Image 1: ugly. Image 2: uglier. What are we building...Olympic Stadium?

Rick (or anyone) in the above images of LOS and Cowboys Stadium, I noticed that the orientation of both stadiums is at an angle...is that an HKS trademark (a la Populous' gigantic staircases)...or did they just build them that way? Seems both had plenty of land mass, whereby they didnt NEED to situate it at an angle to "fit" it in to a certain footprint. Just curious.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 307

Wow. Both of those look highly imaginative, and definitely World Class.

But I'm mindful that sketches from this early in the process rarely bear any resemblance to the finished product which, unlike concept sketches, will be greatly impacted by budgets and practicality.

After looking at Cowboys Stadium for a while, I'm just hoping that ours doesn't look like a damn football...

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:48 PM by Rick 308

So, dumb question time: Looking at the way Cowboy and Lucas Oil stadiums sit at an angle to all the roads around them - is that just to set up a specific view out of the stadiums?

Or is there another reason I'm not seeing?

Farewell, Nishi. I hope you find your game again, sorry it didn't work out with the Twins. A tip of the cap for the way you chose to leave the team.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 309

If I could divert from the HKS/USBank Stadium news for just a moment to bring back to light our ASG in 2014...looking about on Al Gore's internet this evening I happened upon the following (clicky).

Is it possible this is "official" and has been leaked? It looks pretty cool and creative.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 9:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 310

Cowboys Stadium and The Balllprk/Arlington weren't built on huge plots of undeveloped land. Land was taken through eminent domain for The Ballpark, and Cowboys Stadium was once the site of a huge number of tract homes. I guess Jerry Jones and the consortium of Rangers owners had a little more clout than the business owners and working folks occupying the area.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 01:52 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 311

Rick-

What is you definition of world class? Sorry but those two designs are completely awful. Also why would you not want a foot ball stadium to look like a foor ball stadium? You wanted Target Field to look like a ball park.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 02:47 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 312

Duffman - Rick said he doesn't want it to look like a football, not a football stadium.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 06:45 AM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 313

Speaking of land acquisition...will the Vikings continue to pursue the StarTribune land always talked about, or will that be swallowed up by eminent domain?

Heres my design idea...an octagonal seating bowl...ala Target Center with a translucent retractable roof ala Houston and Dallas...and multi level parking ramps connected on either side. From the air it would look identical to MOA...hence we can STILL call it MOA Field. Thought$?

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 09:29 AM by luke Highlight this comment 314

Luke, in a nutshell

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 09:52 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 315

They have said those "renderings" were simply schematics used for their bid/presentation to the stadium authority and that the actual stadium design will probably look much different.

The official design is expected be unveiled in January.

Even with the Twins ballpark, we saw the official design unveiled in April 2007 and they later unveiled even more changes in August 2007.

It will be an exciting next few months as we start to hear some details regarding the design. Let's just hope they go the extra mile and do it right the first time. Make it unique to Minneapolis and Minnesota.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 316

That 2014 All Star Game logo is just a concept at this point as the Twins will unveil the official logo in July 2013.

I wouldn't be surprised if the official logo is very similar though.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 317

Well, let's start off by admitting that the definition of "world class" is highly subjective. Your definition will be different from mine -- quite possibly very different. (And I did say I'd be disappointed if it looked like a damn football, a la Dallas, though I continue to support the idea of it looking like a football stadium -- whatever that means.)

So my personal definition of world class would involve creativity, imagination, distinctiveness, innovation, and anything the opposite of what tends to get built in the United States. If that sounds like an indictment of recent stadium designs in the United States, well, it is.

What's happening elsewhere in the world, especially for soccer and Olympic venues, is on a completely different scale of creativity than what tends to happen here. Out there, the general idea appears to be building something distinctive and "beautiful" which also happens to be functional. A stated goal is often public art and city-branding. The architects think big and try things which haven't been tried before. (In baseball, outside the US, both the Skydome and Olympic Stadium in Montreal fit that model, while the last American stadiums to do so would be Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in 1954 and the original Yankee Stadium in 1923.)

Here in the US, the idea is to focus primarily on the revenue-producing aspect of the building, with only passing attention to how it interacts with its surroundings (the assault-on-humanity that is Reliant Stadium being a prime recent example, with TF being a spectacular exception).

Since the Vikings stadium will be so little-used, I would at least hope that it represents a large piece of "art" (whatever that means) on the skyline, something which can make Minneapolis as instantly-recognizable as, say, Sydney, Australia (the opera house) or San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge).

Frankly, I think it's unlikely. Sports teams tend to define "world class" by whether it meets certain operational and revenue guidelines (such as being able to host a Kenny Chesney concert), and not by how it identifies the city in which it was built. Also, distinctive architecture costs a whole lot more to build, and as a result, distinctive elements tend to be the first ones cut as the design progresses.

You may not know this, but a whole host of distinctive elements (including a couple of very large, soaring decorative towers at the foul poles) were cut from the TF design along the way. Despite its success, TF could have been a way more distinctive presence on the horizon had anyone in the process been willing to spend maybe 10% more money. But that's not the American way.

(As I'm putting all of this in a comment, I'm not including all of the examples which are flying through my mind, suggesting that maybe this would be a good subject for a full post later.)

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM by Rick 318

By the way, here are two additional concept drawings which were part of the HKS presentation:



Posted on September 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM by Rick 319

I hope you're right Mike...I liked the mock-up logo, even if it is just conceptual. I dont think the actual name of the venue is part of the "official" logo though, so that should have been a tipoff to me it probably wasnt a leaked logo...lol.

TTH, comparing me to Steve Martin, ESPECIALLY in Planes Trains and Automobiles is the nicest compliment a man can receive. You sir are a better person than I give you credit for.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM by luke Highlight this comment 320

Those Fox announcers have proclaimed that today's "chamber of commerce weather" is bad for the hitters. They conveniently omit the fact that it is the funky late afternoon start time, especially this late in the season, that causes the game to be played in bad shadows and sun angles. And just who or what is responsible for a 3:10 start time?

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM by terry Highlight this comment 321

Winona Mike,

My choice of words was bad. I didn't mean to imply that the lots had been undeveloped, but rather that the non-urban setting required less in connection to surroundings, and thus makes it hard to get any sense if how HKS will handle a more urban setting.

On a satellite photo, the facilities in Arlington look like they are in a large-parcel industrial area. Compared to historical satellite photos, it's clear that a conscious decision was made to repurpose that area into superblocks for redevelopment. It does appear, at least in the case of Cowboys Stadium, that a lot of people were displaced (which appears not to have been the case with the baseball facility).

And TTH, you may have been too subtle.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM by Rick 322

Went to my final game of the season today and the grass looked as good as I have ever seen it. I sit high up in section 307. There were a couple of minor patches in the OF, but in general, the grass looked as good as I have ever seen it at Target Field.

Now the pattern, that's another story, I would like to see them change up the pattern on occasion but that's not up to me. Would not mind seeing some more of the traditional checkerboard design.

The weather was simply amazing for late September, but the 3:10 start just felt a little different with the shadows and the sun being lower in the sky. Seemed kind of weird leaving the ballpark at 6:30pm as the sun was setting.

At the end of the day, no matter how good or bad the team is, it's always kind of sad leaving the ballpark for the final time of the season knowing you have a long 6 months ahead of you before Opening Day.

As I was telling my dad on the way home, there would have only been 12,000 - 15,000 at today's game had it been at the Metrodome. There must have been less than 500 fans in the entire LF home run porch/terrace levels and the OF grandstand today.

And I must say I am very impressed with the 2013 Calendar after the disappointing 2012 version. Nice to see so many great photos submitted by fans.

Will be interesting to see what changes are made this offseason but we have 6 long months ahead of us before we see the hometown nine take the field again at Target Field on April 1 Opening Day.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 323

Having a 6-month layoff from this team just might not be a bad thing.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 07:29 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 324

TTH- well...yes and no. Yes because it has been yet another difficult season. But, with the absence of the Twins...we are left with the mediocre Vikings, the brought-to-reality Rodents football, the locked out Wild and the nobody-cares Twolves. We have some lonely winters around here...mild weather or not.

Gosh i wish i had MLBTv. Does Xfinity offer MLB TV on any of their digital tiers?

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 07:47 AM by luke Highlight this comment 325

I just read in the Star Tribune that the Twins are going to remove the obstructed view seats in the right field bleachers and are going to re-do that whole right field bleacher area seating. I wonder how it will look when it is done. I wonder if they will change the right center field area as well,maybe lower the high wall a bit past the 365 sign to about 12 to 14 feet instead of 23 feet but I doubt it.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 09:12 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 326

Tom, do you have a link to the story? I couldnt find it online. And Walters' little birdie only told him about an "extra fan plaza on the right field side" of the park.

Man, that little birdie needs to start speaking specifics...not tidbits.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 09:44 AM by luke Highlight this comment 327

Heading out to the last home game of the year in a bit, I splurged on a ticket in the club level for the occasion.

It's definitely going to be a long off-season, after two 90+ loss seasons in a row.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 09:54 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 328

The Strib mention of the RF bleachers was in Sid's column. Here's the text:

Changes coming at Target Field

The Twins, set to play their final home game of the 2012 season Sunday, will soon announce a modification to the right-field bleachers seating section at Target Field. The section currently features a number of obstructed seats that will be removed.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 329

Getting rid of the obstructed-view seats? Crap. Now I need another Christmas gift idea for my mother-in-law.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 330

Good to hear they are reworking the right field area - I always thought it was the one "mistake" area in the park. With the change, perhaps we will be able to truthfully say that there is no bad seat in the park.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 331

I just chatted with Kevin Smith, Twins PR extraordinaire on Facebook...more info on the right field situation on Thursday.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 332

Good day at the ballpark, except for Fielder clearing the left field wall by about six inches.

And as for the grass, here's my take: One poor area in left field. Center field is less than perfect, but considering there was a concert stage on it a few months ago it looks pretty good. And the first base line just as it hits the outfield grass looks pretty bad - I noticed that's right where the first base umpire stands, so it must get a lot of wear. I'm sure it will look fine again in April.

Got my fingers crossed that Mauer can stay hot and win another batting title this season, that's at least one thing to root for.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 7:22 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 333

When the last game of the season turned up in my ticket package, I would never had guessed that it would be one of the warmest games of the year for me. Nice day at the ballpark. Unless you are Liam Hendricks. We had lots of company from other bikers riding to the game on the Cedar Lake Trail.

I just thought of a way Twins could boost season ticket sales. They could offer a package of 20 games with a guarantee of no public marriage proposals.

And one more thing - a friend and I agreed they could run the Harmon Killebrew "Fly me to the moon" tribute once in a while - kind of miss that from last year.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 334

For anyone at the park today - do you think there were really 32K there?

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 335

@ClarkAddison -- The Killebrew tribute would have looked great Friday night with the Harvest Moon 24 hours away.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 336

JFH- While at the game today I would describe the crowd at 25,000. Different experience with another PA announcer, Mauer got more than half the ballpark standing for his final home at bat of 2012, and Twins gate staff asking if I would be back in 2013 and catching the All-Star game. I responded definitely to 2013 and maybe to the All-Star game. Rather go to the Homerun Derby.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 9:34 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 337

I am sad that the next Twins game at TF will be roughly 3013 days or 8.143532575368907425688 years from now. Man, thats a looong offseason.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 338

NotMendoza, The "annother PA announcer" is Rusty Kath (AKA Ryan Seacrest). Rusty is the in-game host for Wild in winter and does the same thing for Rays during the season. I wonder if the Twins were testing him out to get him in Minnesota year round and to expand their fan interaction, as Rusty is a great host. I guess time will tell.

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM by tk Highlight this comment 339

Depending on how you define obstructed view, there are many other seats in TF that are obstructed in one way or another. Along with seats that have pretty severe viewing angles to home plate. Not a bad seat in the house is a pretty far stretch.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 03:58 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 340

I really like that ASG logo. They use a star, tieing the game to the state motto. Minnie&Paul are a must, so it all works.

Re: football stadia. I agree that putting them in a suburban locale reduces the "need" to blend them into any environment and tends to result in an office-park-like structure. For the Vikes, I think they should go with either a prairie-style approach stressing horizontal lines or a craggy stone facing that mimics the geology of the lakes country up north. The latter might be too similar to TF, but could be varied enough to be connective without being derivative. Some decent landscaping, with trees and a water feature, should also be included.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 09:30 AM by BR Highlight this comment 341


I know this is just a rendering and the actual stadium may not look anything like this.....but I LOVE it. Extremely daring. I'd be disappointed with Lucas Oil Stadium 2.0. I'd like to see something that has never been done before. No brick, no retro. Modern, sleek and original is what I'm hoping for.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 09:49 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 342

As a season-ticket holder, I was selected to received a Josh Willingham bobblehead as part of the sweet spot awards.

I pay attention to detail so I was a a little shocked to see that the Willingham bobblehead had the pre-2010 "Twins" script as well as the sleeve patch with the pre-2010 Minnie & Paul logo.

The Twins probably see this as a minor issue but for someone like me who collects these things and pays attention to detail, I must say it was a little surprising that the Twins could not get the details correct on this. I must say I like the AGP (Alexander Global) bobbleheads better than the current manufacturer.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:09 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 343

Do you suppose the Koskie proto was used?

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:29 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 344

I find myself wondering Fred, what exactly is the Retractabke Feature on that stadium mockup? They want one...I just dont see it in that rendering.
To me, it looks a little bit like the grey metal exterior of U of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. I for one am not a huge fan of that stadium.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM by luke Highlight this comment 345

Should have said "retractable"

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:36 AM by luke Highlight this comment 346

You think old Larry boy is cutting a nice checkboard pattern now that the season is ova??

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:37 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 347

I have one word for that retro stadium! ISH!!! Looks like something from Lost in space! Danger Will Robinson! I'll take the Lucas Oil look anyday over that pretzel! FCOL!

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:39 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 348

I *sorta* see Viking horns in that ribboned rendering. Either that or great-grandma's coffeecake.

I could care less what their stadium looks like, but would suggest that it be specifically designed for viewing baseball and have Vikings fans endure sitting it for 20 years or so...

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 349

BR: "Some decent landscaping, with trees and a water feature, should also be included."

If they build it like the Metrodome, they could have a snow feature.

(Yea, it's a groaner - but what can I do now that baseball season is over?)

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 350

The Vikings did play in a baseball stadium for 21 years. I have fond memories of those games at The Met, but there could be no doubt the Met was designed for baseball just as there could be no doubt the Dome was designed for football. Hopefully everyone has learned their lesson about "multi-purpose" stadia. I think Oakland and Toronto are the only two left, aren't they?

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM by terry Highlight this comment 351

Luke-

Lack of retractable features aside, what I like about that mock-up is the fact that it's original, creative and daring. Not a spec of brick, retro, or "warehouse-look" to be found. I just hope the Wilfs don't play it safe and do what's already been done time and time again.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:19 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 352

Big News for the Southwest LRT.

We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Announces Transit Projects in Minnesota and Ohio to Be Expedited (click for link)

Sounds like the Interchange project is gaining another rail line connection. I've always been a fan of this new line. I hope it will ease nasty congestion in the SW corner of the cities. Hwys 100, 169, and 394 can get REALLY bad. I do wish it had a better Uptown link. Stopping behind Calhoun Village is close, but not quite to the Lakes.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:32 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 353

I will admit Fred it certainly is a unique design...but I would prefer an LOS look alike to that one. To me, it did look more like something they would come up with for the Olympics.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 354

"it did look more like something they would come up with for the Olympics".

I agree Luke, and I kind of like that. I think the Euros are light years ahead of us when it comes to architectural design of their new stadiums. Over on this side of the pond, we've gotten into kind of a rut when it comes to our ballparks/stadiums. The whole retro look has become incredible boring and tired.


Beijing's National Stadium......imaginative, original, creative, and daring. Very cool.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 355

Gophers baseball had their first practice at the new Siebert. Pics from Gopher Sports at the link.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 356

Good point Fred.I have heard stories about the above mentioned stadium aka the Birds Nest has sort of gone unmaintained and is basically now a white elephant?

But good point about Euro stadium architecture.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 357

I would rather have something as generic looking as Cowboy stadium than as ugly as Beijing's bird's nest/bedpan looking thing.

Also the press release for the LRT, one more reason, not that we need any more, to vote Pres. Obama out.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 358

Because the most effective place to stump for your guy is via anonymous political posts on a stadium focused internet comment section...

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 359

Yes, the level of imagination present in that Beijing design would be very welcome. Unfortunately, I think it would take a miracle to get anything other than a serviceable design.

As for politics, well, we are all one in our disappointment over the 2012 Twins.

Did anybody else at the game yesterday notice that, after the game was over and they finished playing the season wrap-up video, they played "Purple Rain"? The first lyrics caught my ear:

"I never meant to cause you any sorrow...
I never meant to cause you any pain..."

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM by Rick 360

By the way, I had a look back at the contest entries, and it's going to be fun to bring those out again. We sure had some crazy ideas. I'm also working up this year's playoff contest. It'll be available as soon as the slate of teams is set. Should be wild.

I'm realizing that the Twins were 4-7 in games I attended this season, thinking that maybe next season we'll have a "rabbit's foot" contest to see whose presence is the luckiest for the Twins.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM by Rick 361

WOw the only dirt on that new Siebert field is home plate and the pitching mound? Good luck sliding into 2nd or 3rd base on colored turf! OUCH! I guess a vacuum is all you need out there to maintain it. Maybe Larry Divito should apply. He could use the vacuum to make some of the same silly grass patterns like at TF.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 362

Rick I was 3-0 this year! A miracle!

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 1:54 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 363

I thought I would be OK with the turf decision at Siebert, but I have to admit I'm pretty disappointed.

I'll say this, it looks good, and they really had no choice, and it will save money, but...there's something just wrong about it -- especially considering how beautiful the grass looked.

(Oh dear, I've mentioned grass again. Oh dear.)

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM by Rick 364

Some other interesting ideas:


Donbass Arena - Ukraine


Telstra Stadium - Australia


Amsterdam Arena

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 365

I just read that the Red Sox - who have joined the Twins in losing 90+ games this year - are offering STHs a chance to take BP at Fenway for free on one of 3 different upcoming days. Also included: tours of Fenway, photo opps all around (including on top of the Monster), and half-price concessions.

Cynicism aside, that's a pretty decent perk, and one that I'd jump at if the Twins were to offer the same at TF.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 2:54 PM by BR Highlight this comment 366

Great idea, and it probably costs them next to nothing! 90-loss teams need that type of creativity if they hope to keep the STH base healthy.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 3:03 PM by Rick 367

The Twins do offer BP as a perk, but I believe it was to 12 STH accounts and only a few times a year. I was able to join NotMendoza and F_T_K on a Monday in August. As a current town ball player, it was an amazing experience to take BP in a MLB stadium.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM by FD Highlight this comment 368

Speaking of STH, the Gophers have wisely decided to offer Big Ten mini packs for both students and single game buyers. For the full price single game buyers I'm not sure if the deals are enough to move the needle, but the student packs will hopefully have some success (assuming the team doesn't play the rest of the season the same way the played in the first half of Saturday's game of course).

The other smart thing? Offering students 2 versions of the mini-pack. One that doesn't have the Michigan State game (which takes place over Thanksgiving Break) and one with. That way there's no complaining or reluctance over having to pay for something that might not get used.

Details at the link.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 369

Re: above stadium pictures -

Is "Telstra Stadium" the Olympic stadium from 2000?

I'm all for making the stadium iconic and externally unique, but would be surprised if that came to fruition to the degree suggested by the concept drawings. With this in mind, I hope they go with the "two massive lengthwise arches" skeleton, like "Telstra Stadium," Cowboys Stadium, Century Link Field in Seattle, etc. Whether or not the roof is retractable, this option to me seems more elegant than Lucas Oil Stadium's roof.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 370

"Is "Telstra Stadium" the Olympic stadium from 2000?"

Yes it is...

Here are a couple of previous conceptual drawings that have somethings I like and I don't like. What I like about both of them is that they are unique and modern-looking. Football is not baseball. Baseball is a game played in a ballpark. Football is played in a stadium. Stadiums are not ballparks, and as such, have a different "feel" and serve a different purpose. Intimacy should not really be a concern, IMO, when designing a stadium. It should be more about form and architecture. Incorporate lots of exterior lighting into the design....Anyone notice the lights on the new 35W bridge? Something along those lines, but on an even grander scale.

They have an opportunity to take that neglected part of downtown and build something that could really "wow" us all. Let's just hope they don't let us down in that regard.



Posted on October 1, 2012 at 5:55 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 371

Just to expand a bit on what I was talking about with the 35W bridge...What I like about that is the vibrancy that is added. I'd like to see the new stadium tie into that somehow. Create alot of color to that "blackhole" section of downtown.


In addition to the bridge, you also have the Guthrie, with it's modern feel and added color:


Does anyone really feel that Lucas Oil Stadium 2.0 with it's brick exterior would really fit in that area? I certainly don't.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 6:20 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 372

Rick - totally on board with the Picture of the Day idea! Kudos and cheers to you good sir!

Fred - If it was built on the Farmers Market site as previously thought it might be, then I believe a Lucas Oil Stadium 2.0 would have looked very nice in accordance with its surroundings. You have the historical features of the Warehouse District, the Limestone facade of TF, the brick facades of the ABC Ramps nearby, yes, I do believe it would have looked quite nice in that locale.

The Metrodome side, however, has NONE of those features nearby. An LOS Version 2.0 might look out of place, but then again, so does the existing Metrodome. I do believe there is an opportunity to be creative here, to some extent. The likelihood will be they will still shoot the Mpls skyline from that side (although I wish they would switch to the west side of downtown with TF in the foreground), and to have something flamboyant might not look great in skyline photos of Minneapolis future IMHO.

They'll come up with something great. I am really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 7:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 373

If you are looking to join an existing STH group (for as few as five games), drop me a line (rick at you-know-the-drill). I know of a large group which is accepting new members at a variety of levels.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:42 PM by Rick 374

"An LOS Version 2.0 might look out of place, but then again, so does the existing Metrodome"

I agree...the Humpty Dome looks like a white head zit in an area of nothingness...and it looked that way from Day 1. I'm plenty old enough to remember when that hole opened, and I thought it was ugly as sin from the get-go. And the promised growth around the Dome never took shape for a multitude of reasons; two of them being: poor economy and no one visionary to take the lead and get stuff done.

The Wilf's have shown to be good owners on the field (no one can deny that) and I'm very anxious to see what they have in mind for an area of downtown that desperately needs a facelift.

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 07:52 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 375

So the Twins have apparently have scheduled a press conference for Friday to address the coaching staff and starting pitching issues.

Anyone want to guess which coach/coaches will not be back? Anderson? Vavra? Liddle? I can see Brunansky up here next year as hitting coach. There has been talk that Liddle has been contemplating "retiring" too.

Obviously there will be some changes on the coaching staff due to the timing of this announcement. Ryan has said numerous times if you are going to make a change, you need to do as soon as possible following the season so that it gives everyone time to prepare and adjust going forward.

GM "re-assigned" last year and coaching staff changes on the way this year. Definitely not the "Twins way" of doing things....but its obvious they need to shake things up. Will be interesting what changes are made.

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 376

You know for sure that Rick Anderson will be back. No way in Hades that Gardenhire will stand-pat allow his BFF to be handed walking papers.

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 377

My Guess Liddle retires and they should give the boot to Vavra, Mr Whipple will not let Andy get the boot as mentioned above! Will Molly coach 3rd and bruno the new hitting coach?

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 378

The house needs to be cleaned. Let go of everyone and start over. That includes Gardenhire.

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM by FD Highlight this comment 379

I think it is time to do some major restructuring...accountability needs to happen, no MN nice should be applied. The sub status quo is not working.

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM by tk Highlight this comment 380

And what about those ushers and ticket takers? I saw an usher who didn't smile at me and those ticket scanners are way too slow. Gotta go into the free agent market and acquire some speed at that position. And the lawn mowers? Out they should go! Vendors too. I don't like the way they pour the beer and put the dogs in the buns. Two losing seasons; everyone should go. [And can you imagine what they're saying in Boston??]

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 07:18 AM by terry Highlight this comment 381

tk are you Tom Kelly? Terry I could care less what the ushers or ticket takers look like. Your right DiVito should go! I bring my own dogs or brats into the park. Did somebody mention Holiday Brats? Beer prices should be marked down to $5.00. Looks like our boyz are laying down for the sweep in Toronto. Can you say 66-96? 30 games under! Accountablility??? LOL!

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 08:26 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 382

Twins will finish with the worst record in the American League for the second year in a row, after winning the Central Division in 2010.

Yikes, this team has fallen far, and fast.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 09:14 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 383

Terry, they did some restructuring in Boston. The transition was rocky and new rules were put in place that put players on edge.

Fundamentally, something needs to occur with the Twins to know that people will be held accountable.

Also IMO, there needs to be a public leader in the clubhouse.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM by tk Highlight this comment 384

Sarcasm: a satirical or ironic utterance.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM by terry Highlight this comment 385

How can this be? The metrodome site is surely the worst possible site and will undoubtedly fail miserably.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 386

I just want to know where is the accountability in the Twins organization? Back-to-back 95+ loss seasons with worst record in the AL.

For winning 6 division titles within 9 years, they have won just one postseason series. And that was 10 years ago during Gardenhire's first season meaning most of those players were brought up under TK...

Tampa Bay, Colorado, Florida, Texas, San Francisco, Detroit, Houston, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis have all made it to the World Series over the last 10 years. And that's not even counting the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Phillies.

You can't blame the division when teams like Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland have been successful in the postseason.

Remember when the Twins sent the "we will rally" letter to the fans and season ticket holders following the 2011 season? Well they sure rallied....from 99 losses in 2011 to 95 (or 96) losses this year.

Positives from 2012: Doumit, Willingham, Scott Diamond, Mauer healthy, Morneau healthy, Revere, Span

Concerns from 2012: starting pitching, injuries to pitchers, instability at 3B (is Plouffe really the answer??) a regression in fundamentals as there seemed to be an excessive amount of errors and baserunning mistakes throughout the year

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 387

I think you have to ask, "Could a different coaching staff have gotten a better result from the same batch of players?"

I go back and forth on that one. Generally, I don't think you're going to do better than Gardy and Rick Anderson. And when I hear Vavra talk, he seems like the real deal. Ullger is sort of an enigma, but he's been serviceable at third.

Really, the problem with this club has been starting pitching. In my heart of hearts, I think they are basically three or four solid starters away from contention. That's a long way, to be sure, but it's mostly a front office problem.

Think about this tandem: Revere-Mauer-Willingham-Doumit-Parmelee-Plouffe. That's a serious core. (I'm just assuming that both Morneau and Span will be flipped for pitching before next spring.)

But there's another principle which tugs at me. There have been studies about groups of collaborators and what it takes to get the most out of them. Too much familiarity among a group of people working together turns out to be just as bad as too little. There's a sweet spot where the group knows each other pretty well, but also has new energy to propel everyone forward.There has to be an influx of new ideas to prod everyone into performing at their peak.

That may very well be missing from the current staff. They may know each other too well. So adding a fresh face or two to the mix of the coaching staff may actually be a requirement -- even though, individually, there's nothing really wrong.

And I think it goes without saying that the training and medical staff needs some serious reevaluation. They currently have a culture where important injuries are being misdiagnosed and mishandled.

And scouting? Well, it stinks. You may not want to totally clean house there, but a serious shake-up is long overdue.

They shouldn't jettison quality just for the sake of change. But they do really need change. Hopefully, they know that already. (You never know. Sometimes organizations put on blinders and can't see what everyone looking in can see.)

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:13 AM by Rick 388

Moda's article is a bit sobering. The recession is not to be overlooked, but the fact that LOS has experienced the same kind of no-area-development that the Dome produced has to be concerning given the Vikings' reverance for that stadium project.

But here's my specific question: What needs to be done in terms of design to make the new stadium neighborhood/development friendly? Is it just how it looks? Is it a certain kind of plaza? Is it built-in bars/restaurants that can serve people year-round?

Seems to me there has to be some unique football/sports-related amenities built-in that both support the gameday experience and can attract people on non-game days. A Vikings Hall of Fame? (Maybe a Minnesota football hall of fame would be better?) Maybe a relocated or reimagined Gameworks type of venue? What are others thinking would be good?

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM by BR Highlight this comment 389

"But here's my specific question: What needs to be done in terms of design to make the new stadium neighborhood/development friendly? Is it just how it looks? Is it a certain kind of plaza? Is it built-in bars/restaurants that can serve people year-round?"

My opinion is that the development of the stadium and neighborhood (bars, restaurants, plaza, etc.) needs to happen simultaneously. If it's built with a HOPE that future development takes place in the surrounding area, it will be doomed to fail, IMO.

I also agree that LOS is NOT the model the Vikings should be using to design their new stadium. L.O.S = B.O.R.I.N.G. Modern, lots of glass, lots of color, and something creative is what I want to see.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 390

moda,

The Vikings stadium project is now about making lemonade. I'm rooting for them to succeed, but not seeing hopeful signs yet. (I do not consider selecting HKS to be particularly "hopeful". It's a fine choice, but the local partners will be much more important in how the overall connection to the city is developed. The more I look at the site plan for Lucas Oil, the more I realize how much they bungled a huge opportunity in urban planning.)

And Tom Fisher may be an expert, but I've read several interviews with him about this project, and he's said some seriously crazy things -- things which are just not compatible with reality.

For example, he keeps saying he sees the site as a "blank slate", which ignores all of the systemic problems. In reality, it's a slate which not only isn't blank, but it also has a whole bunch of bumps and divots, some of which (such as distance from the downtown core and infrastructure connections) are essentially insurmountable. (No site is ever truly blank.)

But that doesn't mean they can't create a successful project there. Of course they can.

It will certainly be "transformative" for the neighborhood, no matter what. But in order for that transformation to be wholly positive, it will take a relentless vision, creativity, lots of money, plenty of development partners, some good luck, and a fair bit of sleight-of-hand.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM by Rick 391

Rick:

I agree generally with your points but remain a bit more pessimistic. I don't actually those 6 hitters represent a "serious core." They're ok but not great. Sure doesn't match up with Detroit's top 6, and the bottom 3 for the Twins this year was often pathetic. The core is also soely lacking in middle infielders.

Moreover, spinning Morneau and/or Span into top pitching will also be difficult. Right now, the Twins don't have anyone as good as Fister let alone Verlander. And they're not getting a Verlander-level ace in any trade. The best they could hope for is to trade for a prospect who develops into a top of the rotation guy in a few years.

I think Morneau costs too much given his recent production to get a top prospect in return, so he'll stay with the team. They should focus on getting a big time arm from the lower minors for Span. Would Tampa be interested? They're loaded with young pitchers, are likely to lose B.J. Upton, and would appreciate Span's low cost.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM by BR Highlight this comment 392

What needs to be done?

First, admit that you're building next to a hospital -- one that is going to continue to grow in your direction.

Then, admit that you need parking. (Put the surface lots out of business.)

Then, admit that you need something besides football in the project to bring people there the rest of the year. (Housing? Hotel? Corporate campus? Movie theaters? Shopping mall? Wal-Mart? OK, I'm cracking myself up.)

Then, don't get too hung up on plazas. If they serve a development purpose, fine. But if they will be empty on 355 days of the year, you're asking for security problems and are better off without them.

Then, solve tail-gating. It's likely going to have to be remote unless you can integrate it with your parking solutions.

How about a big building which is parking and retail on the bottom, hotel and housing on top, and features special gameday suites with big, terraced balconies overlooking the stadium which can be rented on gamedays?

(I'm trying to think creatively here.)

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM by Rick 393

The main problem with the Twins - from a fans perspective - is that winning baseball games is too far down the priority list.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 394

Ben,

What do you see as above that on their priority list?

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:19 PM by Rick 395

$

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:23 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 396

For those of you like myself who think the Twins wear their blue jerseys too frequently, I asked Joe C. about it today on the Star Tribune chat

Comment From Mike
This is not roster-related, but why do the Twins wear their navy alternates so frequently, especially on the road?
12:12

Joe C.:
This bothers me, too. The pitchers decide. Frankly, when Esmerling Vasquez says the team should wear the blue jerseys, I wish some veterans would tell him, sorry, no we want to look like a big league baseball team tonight.

Alternate jerseys should be that -- alternates. The gray tops and gray pants are a solid look, but you NEVER see them.

And for the record, thru 80 road games, they have worn their blue "alternates" 56 times...that is 70% I looked it up when I was laid up sick not long ago.

56 -- blue "Minnesota" alternates
22 -- road grays
1 -- 1994 gray throwback
1 -- St. Paul Gophers throwback

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 397

Hmm, I wonder where you find that sort of information. Maybe that's something I should add to my scorecard. (I'll admit that uniforms generally don't catch or hold my attention.)

I'd be curious to see the breakdown for home uniforms.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM by Rick 398

You're probably right, J2K.

So, here's the question suggested by the comment: Are the Twins actually in the business of winning ballgames? Or are they merely in the business of playing ballgames with just enough success to maintain desired profit levels?

The book Scorecasting suggests that the best way for fans to get a winning team is to punish the ownership financially when they do not win.

That would mean dropping season tickets and not going to games or buying merchandise until the team starts winning.

Could be a tough sell to MN fans.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:35 PM by Rick 399

I actually add the uniforms to my scorecard just as a personal thing as it can be fun to keep track of. This was never a problem when there was either home white or road gray. But now its another element of the game.

The home break-down is:

41 -- Blue "Twins" alternate
33 -- home whites
5 -- 1960's throwbacks
1 -- Minneapolis Millers
1 -- home white Jackie Robinson #42

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 400

I agree 100% Rick. That's why I dropped my season tickets for 2012. I was fed up with paying high MLB prices to watch AAA baseball. Once that Saints ballpark is built, I think I will watch my live ball there instead.
BTW - Those blue jerseys are terrible. If you're going to lose like they have been the last two years, at least look good doing it!

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 401

Mike: One more thing to track on scorecards this year: M hat or TC. Should we be happy at least that the pixie vests are gone altogether?

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:29 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 402

Burn the blues! Burn em!!! The only thing on our pitchers minds should be pitching! FCOL!

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 403

FCOL? Fire Crappy Old Larry?

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM by Rick 404

I would feel better if they were telling us "We promise to improve starting pitching, clutch hitting, infield defense, on-field management, etc." - that would give me hope, even though there are no guarantees. Instead we get "'Secure' or "ensure' your place at the 2014 ASG by renewing or purchasing blah, blah, blah" - which gives me no hope and is an outright lie.

The playing v. winning point is well taken - a "good enough" corporate philosophy is in play. If this team were on the East Coast the ownership would be riding rails.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 5:19 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 405

Watching the implosion of the Texas Rangers right now. If Oakland can pull off what it's doing with its roster of no-names, then the Twins front-office should be even more embarrassed because of what they assembled.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 406

Rick, FCOL!!! For Crying out Loud!!!

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:15 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 407

Fire Crappy Old Larry was funnier, FCOL...lol.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 408

Well, the season ended the way it began - suffering a sweep at the hands of an AL East opponent. 2 lost seasons in a row. Could be much worse - the Pirates are at 20 and counting...

One thing to look forward to is that tonight was the final AM1500 broadcast. Headed to FM next year!

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:45 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 409

and they managed to lose their final game of the season in those beer league softball looking blue jerseys and those equally clownish looking, 1980's, disney-esque font "M" caps. good riddance. almost forgot we have an MLB franchise in this town.

if you are going to play like crap and have the worst record in the american league.....well i guess you should at least look like crap doing it. ;-)

seriously.......letting your starting pitchers decide which uniforms you are going to wear and thus determine your franchise branding and franchise logo branding is SO bush league. sounds about right for a clueless rube like dave st. peter.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 12:27 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 410

The 2012 Playoff Challenge is up and running.

Be sure to get your predictions in before the first pitch on Friday.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 12:36 AM by Rick 411

In losing the final two games of the year by one run each, the lads went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Of course it was a very spring training-like lineup they were putting out there.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 07:05 AM by terry Highlight this comment 412

Some more info on the right field seating design change for next season...

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:27 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 413

Mike (aka Mike), re posts 397 & 400 do you know what the won lost record is in the Blue Alternates?

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:30 AM by trebor651 Highlight this comment 414

The Twins fired Stelly? This was all Stelly's fault?

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:46 AM by gone buggy Highlight this comment 415

Two straight last place finishes and the problem is the bullpen coach?!!

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 10:54 AM by terry Highlight this comment 416

I have the feeling this house cleaning is going to be a bit more than originally anticipated if that are taking out old man Stelly! Maybe my hope for Francona in a TC hat isn't so far-fetched! (even though we all know that it is)...

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 417

I am not sure what their win-loss record was while wearing their blue "alternates" but to wear them in 57 of 81 road games is beyond ridiculous in my opinion.

And of all of the problems/issues facing the Twins, its the BULLPEN COACH that is the first one shown the door? Rick Stelmaszek was with the club for decades.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 418

I wonder if they figured out that the Bud Roof deck were HORRIBLE seats and that is part of what went into the change in RF? I never watched a game from up there, but I have made my way up there during tours and the open house. It is a LONG way to home plate. I am still trying to understand if sec 141 is being totally eliminated? Kinda seems like it is. I like the change.

I can't believe Stelly was the first to go. He's 64 and has been with the club for 32 years. He's given half his life to the Twins and he gets the boot, even though the bullpen was a bright spot this year. Maybe Andy and Vavra are next.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 419

Wow, I am in utter disbelief. Stelly gets the boot?

Reminds me of what the Brewers did in July, Click name for link.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 12:56 PM by tk Highlight this comment 420

Now if they would only kick FSN off the plaza so more people can stand there.

Does anyone here really have any confidence in a rebuilding under Terry Ryan? The best thing the Twins have done in the last few years was replace him. The 2nd to worst thing they have done is replace him with his old right hand man, Bill Smith. Obviously the worst thing they have done is bring Ryan back.

He has no vison of winning, and no eye for talent. People want to compare the Twins to Oakland, which I don't like, but the difference in that comparison is Terry Ryan is no Billy Beane. The best part of that comparison is that neither of them have one anything.

At least the Red Sox know when to cut their losses.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 421

Our front end of the bar isn't performing, let's fire the bar back.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM by tk Highlight this comment 422

Gardy seemed confident that today was going to be the day the Twins were going to have a Press Conference to announce the removal of the "Interim" role on Ryan.

This could get interesting with the developments, could there be a bigger story?

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM by tk Highlight this comment 423

I am going to assume this is onely the first of many moves. If not, it will be a looooong offseason for the front office.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:12 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 424

Liddle Fired, Vavra Resigned

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM by tk Highlight this comment 425

Liddle canned, Vavra reassigned. Keep 'em comin'!

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 426

Reassigned...dang autocorrect.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:23 PM by tk Highlight this comment 427

Not sure why I get such satisfaction in seeing heads roll. These last 2 are overdue. I bet Ulger will be next.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 428

I do hope Jerry White is reassigned and not dismissed.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM by tk Highlight this comment 429

Condolences to Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee.

Their first child, Gehrig John Neshek, was born on Tuesday, and passed away yesterday. Absolutely heartbreaking news.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 430

That's awful about Neshek's kid. I couldn't imagine.

As for the Twins, this is a start, but the problem still remains in owner's misplaced trust in Terry Ryan. I can't imagine letting the bullpen coach go, without letting Anderson go too.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:40 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 431

Ullger needs to be the next to go.

Liddle was a horrible 3B coach in my mind, sending runners when he shouldn't have and holding runners when he should have sent them. Always seemed indecisive.

I have said all-along, if these coaches were so great, than why do we never hear of any of them being interviewed for other managerial openings? Ullger was mentioned as an early candidate for Atlanta in 2011, but nothing ever materialized. Its not like other teams are knocking on the Twins' door to interview members of the coaching staff. For the most part, this staff has been together for 11 seasons and you just never hear of any of the coaches being considered for other jobs. Even if they were not interested in leaving the Twins, you never hear their names being mentioned as potential managerial candidates in other cities.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 432

Souhan tweeted: "I've heard Brunansky new hit coach,Gene Glynn 3b coach, Bobby Cuellar new BP coach."

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM by Rick 433

If that is true Rick, that means Gardenhire isn't going anywhere. IF he were, the new coach would get some say on his staff.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:53 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 434

Sorry, new Manager.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 435

If these changes are meant to make fans feel good, they're working -- at least on this fan.

(I'd have to guess that Gardy and Anderson are probably not going anywhere. I'd be completely OK with that.)

Can't imagine what Neshek and family are going through. It's hard to imagine anything more terrible than losing a child.

My dad is in the hospital after suffering a small stroke earlier this week. He's 75, otherwise healthy, and we're relieved that it looks now like the damage was minimal.

Still, one's perspective shifts.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 1:58 PM by Rick 436

Souhan on ESPN: "Ryan isn't making these changes to please the fans. He's making them because they need to be made."

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM by Rick 437

Of course, my earlier point was not to suggest that these are cosmetic changes, or somehow simple appeasements based on the need to just do something, but rather that, personally, I like them.

As I said yesterday, there comes a time when collaborative groups need to be disassembled and rebuilt in order to bring the best out of everybody. I'm not sure the Twins would use that type of language, but that's what they are doing. It's a very important first step. Now, on to pitching.

Souhan talked about the lack of any fluent Spanish-speaker on the coaching staff -- a problem which adding Cuellar solves, and the need to have somebody other than the manager who can put some fear into the young punks -- a problem Brunansky solves (and Molitor would also be big with).

I'm shocked that they didn't already have a Spanish-speaker. That's inexcusable. And not having enough major league credibility that can kick some ass also could explain a few things.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 2:30 PM by Rick 438

If they did bring in Molitor to be bench coach as Reusse has mentioned, it would be a strong sign to Gardy, don't F-up or we already have your replacement.

How would Mauer or Morneau react to someone confronting them about their lack of leadership and fragility?

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 2:38 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 439

With all of the coaching staff changes today, the ballpark authority meeting got pushed to the side. Any word on the ballpark authority meeting today? Apparently there are renderings out there with the RF bleacher modifications. Would be nice to see them.

There are also rumors that the spruce trees will be coming back in 2013 but have not heard anything.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 440

In Jeff's comment (#413) there is a rendering in the link.

It's hard to tell exactly what it will look like. I did just realize one thing... they say it will have a canopy at the back of the sections. Wouldn't that be shading the plaza and not the seats? Silly designers.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 3:40 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 441

Here is a better rendering of the new drink rail area that is replacing the bench seating.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 4:29 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 442

CSG: I think the point is to give the event area people a place to go for shade/heat, not to shade the actual seats.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 443

Here's the full fact sheet.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM by Rick 444

Here's the full fact sheet on the bleacher replacement project.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 4:34 PM by Rick 445

OK, that fact sheet answers everything!

1. RIP sec 141.
2a. The canopy will be similar to the ones on the plaza. It will probably shade the last row only during afternoon games.
2b. The canopy also helps define the section as "special" for the group.
3. They are raising the whole sections to avoid the obstructed view from the overhang.
4. 200 seats total. How many seats were in the old sections?

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 446

I didn't read all your comments so sorry if this was mentioned.

Re: Blue Alternates
I remember Dick and Bert discussing why they blues get worn so frequently. I don't remember all of the details but apparently it has something to do with the construction and fabric used. Apparently, the blues are thinner, lighter and breathe better and even though they are darker, the guys prefer them on the warmer days as a result. Almost as if the whites and greys are a sort of two-ply or wool versus dri-fit. Someone correct me if I heard wrong. You would think that it wouldn't be that way but I guess you never know.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 5:02 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 447

If memory serves, earlier renderings of TF has a drink rail section in RF...those were the renderings that still had the restaurant in CF.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 448

I guess I was spot on about Liddle and Vevra see post 378.... Time for Molly & Bruno also. Condolences to Pat and his wife. Pat graduated a few years ahead of my sons at Park Center H.S.

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 449

"NotMendoza, The "annother PA announcer" is Rusty Kath (AKA Ryan Seacrest). Rusty is the in-game host for Wild in winter and does the same thing for Rays during the season. I wonder if the Twins were testing him out to get him in Minnesota year round and to expand their fan interaction, as Rusty is a great host. I guess time will tell."

Rusty Kath is an amazingly good guy from Buffalo, Mn. He graduated a year ahead of me and was one of the nicest friendliest guys you'd ever want to meet. Even back then he was a voice throughout our school that you knew would have a big future and success. Would love for the Twins to lure him back up here and be apart of their P.A. team.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 12:37 AM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 450

So the Twins fire head trainer Rick Mcwane and will likely promote assistant trainer Dave Pruemer to head trainer....that really solves a lot of problems if their ultimate goal is to have a new philosophical approach with the training staff.

And what has Vavra and Ullger done any differently than Liddle, White or Stelmaszek?

Could this be the beginning of the end for Gardenhire? I would expect the Twins need to be at least a .500 team next year and show some significant improvement to warrant his return in 2014.

Than you read comments such as Morneau's and its clear there are no leaders on this team. If you cared so much about the coaches than maybe try a little harder to win some games or light a fire under some of these players a**es throughout the season. No one on the team ever shows any emotion other than complaining about a called third strike.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 08:09 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 451

200 seats total. How many seats were in the old sections?

CSG Mike : Using the Target Field 3D Seat Locator 2012, my best estimate is: Sections 139-141 had 682 seats crammed into those limited view bleachers.

If I am anywhere near accurate with that number, the new design will loosen up that area considerably.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 08:25 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 452

Unless our boyz have a miracle money ball year like the A's Mr Whipple will not be renewed. He only has 1 yr left on his current contract anyways. The battled your tails off can only go so far!!! I would say 75% chance of him being out of here by mid season or end of the year! Where is Molly in all of this? What a run by the Money Ball A's! Can we trade Ryan for Billy Beane? FCOL!!! Fire Crappy Old Larry!!!!! Has a nice ring to it! Why not let the groundskeeper go??? Thanks Rick, P.S. Glad your old man is doing ok!

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 08:31 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 453

Well they wont miss those seats! With crowds of 20-25 thousand next year! Back to the days of sitting where you want! Buy your cheap seat and move behind the plate like the good old days at the Met! About 25% of the current crowd wanders around and never sits anyways!

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 08:42 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 454

I like the RF changes. Makes sense to replace mediocre seating with specialty seating, and that area looks to have a variety of advantages over the Bud Roof deck - easier access and better views being two. Looks like they'll have some days available for individual seat sales, which is good. I'd like to sit out there. Wonder if they'll create food/beverage deals for the section...

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 09:21 AM by BR Highlight this comment 455

I think the bud deck will have to drop its prices big time to get any demand to sit way the hell up there! Maybe $10 to get in! You might as well be accross the street at cowboy jacks!

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 456

DAMN!!! Gophers just released $20 tickets for 10/13 Homecoming game vs. Northwestern. I bought $50 seats about 10 days ago. FML.

When is the press conference about coaching changes?

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:28 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 457

I can confirm the breathability of the blue jerseys. In my comparison I'll use a Game Worn (Rauch) 2009 Blue Jersey and an Authentic (Mauer) 60s throwback jersey. The blue jersey is much lighter, a little stretchy, and has a label touting it's wicking ability. The white jersey is definitely heavier, doesn't stretch as much and feels much more wooly and substantial. The blue jersey does feel much more comfortable on warm days and seems to breathe better. I love the looks of the throwbacks, but on warm days I wear the blue.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM by Schda Highlight this comment 458

Beat me to it CSG. Sorry about your bad luck though.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 459

Jerry White was the problem? And Stelly? --- that was just cruel.

Gardy must have some pics of Pohlad and a goat.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 460

As I've watched the Twins' version of the Saturday Night Massacre, I've thought of the possibly apocryphal statement attributed to Joe McCarthy (the HOF manager, not the drunken demagogue from the state across the river). He is supposed to have said that after careful study he had concluded he was a much better manager when DiMaggio was playing centerfield.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM by terry Highlight this comment 461

GoAUpher, Thanks. Your sympathy is appreciated. I had a feeling they would do something to ensure another sellout for homecoming.

The only good thing I can hang my hat on, is that the seats we have are better than what I can find out there for $20. Not a lot better, but better.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 11:49 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 462

CSG Mike - I was going to do the same thing and bite on the $50 tickets but had a gut feeling I should just wait in hopes they would have another promotion for homecoming. Sure enough, I checked the site this morning and there were $20 tickets available so I bought a pair. Glad I waited and was able to save $60-$70. We are up in section 217 row 20.

Since we are going to the game regardless, we were ready to pay the $50/ticket next week, but from the U's perspective, you can't sit on empty seats forever, at some point you need to either drop prices or risk not selling the tickets. And there were quite a few unsold seats as of earlier this week. So I figured there would be a promotion to get people in those seats and fill the stadium.

It could turn out to be a very good game and hopefully a Gopher win!

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 11:49 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 463

I'll definitely be waiting for any other games this year.

It was the others that I am going with that insisted on jumping on the tickets BEFORE the Iowa game. They were positive that they would win down in Kinnick Stadium and it would be impossible to get tickets. Oh well. C'est la vie.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 1:37 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 464

I’m truly stunned by the firing of Rick Stelmaszek. I never saw that coming and wonder if he’s in the same boat. Retaining Rick Anderson out of all the coaches puts him in the bullseye now, Gardy too. It comes off like TK retaining Dick Such for years against all logic, quantifiable results, and fan/media opinion. If the staff limps out of April in the same condition it did this season, Anderson is going to become a target for a lot of fan unrest over the Twins’ decline.

The Twins removing those right field bleacher seats is no big deal. The team will generate more revenue from the new party area than those sections provided. The canopy is necessary to give those patrons some privacy and shelter, but it’ll be interesting to see if it interferes with the standing views on the open area behind the stands. I still can’t believe those bleachers ever got green lit with such serious obstructions from the Overlook. Reprofiling either section to eliminate that awkward meet up would have been easy and inexpensive.

I’m not sure if the additional concourse space created by removing section 141 will make a dent in congestion however. The bottleneck by Gate 29, the Majestic Shop, and the escalators is irrelevant to that section.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 4:33 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 465

How long has Stelmaszek been with the organization? If memory serves, I believe he was with the 1991 WS squad, I cant remember if he was with the 87 squad?

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM by luke Highlight this comment 466

Anyone have a picture of the current right field area from the same general perspective as the mock up for the new change?

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 467

Luke, you're an idiot..."if memory serves me correctly" why dont you check with your alleged sources who made you knowledgeable of the 2014 ASG? 2012 minus 32 years.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM by tk Highlight this comment 468

(I'm pretty sure that Stelly's length of tenure was mentioned in every single article I read. Every. Single. One.)

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:14 PM by Rick 469

JFH,

Best I can do at the moment:


Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:20 PM by Rick 470

I'm surprised that no one has an opinion yet on the controversial call in the Cardinals-Braves game.

I grabbed the rule book, read the rule, and the call looked like it met every single one of the criteria.

The TBS announcers were going on about "ordinary effort". But when a guy is standing under the spot waving off another player, that seems like the exact definition of "ordinary effort" to me -- even if he then runs away from that spot thinking he's been called off.

To made, it looked like the ump made the call at the exact moment the fielder got to the spot, implying that it didn't represent "ordinary effort" until that moment, which makes sense to me.

But the whole thing brought back memories of Chuck Knoblauch Night at the Dome, and Bob Casey's clumsy attempts to calm the crowd -- which only served to incite them further.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM by Rick 471

Rick,

Applying the rule, i think you have an arguement, but i fundamentally disagree with the call timeline. Decision shoild be made more than 1 second before play ends and not 50 feet info the outfield.

I have had conversation in the past how i feel about rule 2.00 and how it seems like over time the infielder gets more and more range to get call... and if thats the case, lets have Revere and Hicks play infield and take hits away.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 472

Well, apparently it doesn't matter where the play ultimately happens, or even who catches it.

In this situation, if the fielder had intentionally dropped the ball (unlikely as that is) he could have started an easy double play at third because the runners had to hover near their bases waiting for the catch to be made.

Despite where it happened, it's clear that it did actually protect the offense -- they only suffered one out instead of two, and their runners did successfully advance.

Even if the ump had called it right off the bat, the outcome would have been identical.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:55 PM by Rick 473

I would argue there is very little chance they get an out if intentionally dropped that far out.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 11:21 PM by tk Highlight this comment 474

I personally don't agree that a successful catch by that infielder required only "ordinary effort." When the call was made, the infielder was still backpedaling, and it was clear that either he or the outfielder could have made the catch. They still have to communicate, in a stadium full of opposing screaming fans, and make the play. They didn't. We see that ball drop all the time because that play is not always "easy."

And, as it turned out, that particular call didn't protect the offense, because it was far enough in the outfield that the runners advanced before they could get the throw in.

Should have been bases loaded with one less out.

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 11:49 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 475

(This is one of those discussions you gotta love about the game. Please don't take offense if we disagree!)

From listening to the analysts and all the reaction, I think we can all agree that this kind of play shouldn't intrude on the game. Let the boys settle these things without interference. In fact, I think that's what is behind a lot of the reactions: a simple sense that this kind of call just should not be made -- that it is an intrusion on the action by the umps.

But when you look at the criteria, I think the ump did the only thing he could according to the rules:

1. Less than two outs
2. Force play at third
3. Pop fly in fair territory
4. Catchable by an infielder...
5. ...with ordinary effort

Of these, only (4) and (5) are in question.

The reason why (4) applies is that the shortstop was able to make the catch. (According to commentaries on the rule, even if the left fielder subsequently made the actual catch, it fell under the rule because the shortstop could have made it.)

We know for sure that the shortstop thought he could make the catch because he was under it and was clearly calling for it. That's enough to satisfy condition (4). (Watch the replay and note where he is standing when he calls for the catch. He runs away from that spot, but the ball ultimately lands right exactly where he had been standing.)

The reason why (5) applies is the same: the shortstop was already standing on the spot where the ball would ultimately fall. He subsequently ran away from that spot, but he had been there and quite clearly could have caught the ball easily if there hadn't been some sort of communication problem between the fielders.

The communication problem itself isn't relevant because that's not a factor when deciding whether something requires ordinary effort or not. "Ordinary effort" is a purely physical determination. Brain farts, for example, can't turn ordinary effort into something else.

So, in this case, physically, it was clear that the shortstop could have made the catch. He was standing there, looking up at it. If he'd touched the ball and then dropped it, it would most certainly have been ruled an error (the other case where "ordinary effort" is taken into account).

The final consideration in the rule is this clause:

"When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare 'Infield Fly' for the benefit of the runners."

Analysts are all keying on the word "immediately", which is certainly reasonable. But, again, that's exactly what the ump did. It wasn't apparent that the conditions were met until the player set up to make the catch. In that clause of the rule, I'd focus on the word "apparent".

As the shortstop backpedals toward the spot where the fly will come down, there's a reasonable chance that he won't get there. It's not yet apparent that he'll be able to make the catch -- easily or not. If he gets nowhere close, then neither (4) nor (5) apply, and the rule cannot be invoked. So, as long as the infielder is backpedaling, it's not an "infield fly" under this rule.

But as soon as the infielder is in position to make what appears to be a simple catch, then conditions (4) and (5) are satisfied and the fly most definitely does become an infield fly.

If you watch the replay closely, you'll see that the ump makes the call at the very moment that Kozma gets to the spot and calls for the ball -- with plenty of time to make a routine catch. In fact, this is how the ump himself is explaining it:

(Umpire) Holbrook defended the call, even after he looked at the replay.

"Once that fielder established himself, he got ordinary effort," he said, referring to shortstop Pete Kozma calling for the ball, then veering away at the last moment as left fielder Holliday drifted in. "That's when the call was made."

Asked if he thought he made the proper ruling after seeing the replay, Holbrook replied, "Absolutely."

It's wacky and illogical and feels wrong, but it's clearly the correct call if you're applying the rule as written.

I think the ump should be given a special award for getting the call essentially perfect despite some very unusual circumstances which made it look to most of us (who have to reread the rule again every time it gets called) like it couldn't possibly apply.

It's a long way from turning an obvious double down the line into a foul ball. Just saying.

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 12:41 AM by Rick 476

In listening to all the former ball players discuss the play (and listening to the interview with Matt Holiday), it's pretty clear to me that "ordinary effort" did not apply. No one agreed that the shortstop was "camped" under the ball.

Besides, if it takes until just about when the ball is to be "caught" to invoke the rule (as opposed to every other infield fly we've ever seen) as opposed to immediately upon leaving the bat, something is wrong. Also - look at the replay again - the runners weren't going back to tag - they were more than 1/2 way to the next base. If Holliday catches/drops the ball, MAYBE he has an outside shot at the runner going to 3rd, but the SS (running away from the infield) wouldn't have had a chance, so there was no reason to "protect the offense".

I'm glad the Cardinals won, but the call was a bad one.

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 03:46 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 477

When I saw the play in real time I thought it was bad, but "on further review" to use NFL-speak, I agree with it. The infielder wasn't running after the ball when the infield fly rule was invoked, he was stopped under it and was waving his arms in the universal "I've got it" motion. Had the left fielder not entered the picture he would have caught it and the Atlanta crowd would not have done that imitation of a NASCAR crowd that they did.

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 08:23 AM by terry Highlight this comment 478

I don't think the call was that big of deal. The ump called it and the guy moved. Such is life with the infield fly rule.

Back to the Twins. A lot of people are mentioning about the thought of Rick Anderson being fired, it's not his fault because of the amount of talent on the team. I would disagree. He is responsible for the development of all pitchers in the organization. If the players are not developing correctly, it is his fault. If they are not developing due to the lack of talent in general, then that is the fault of the scouts and none of them have been let go either.

So as of now, the biggest problem the Twins face has not been addressed.

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 479

terry (tito) francona to be new manager of the indians. nice work twins.....you bring that failure gardenhire back when you could have gone after a two-time world series champion manager (i.e. a manager who can actually get his team to win in the post season). instead he is going to a division rival.

once again, beautiful work by our fearless front office "brain trust". somebody punch me in the face that these are the people running this franchise into the ground the last two years.

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 10:17 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 480

Like the Twins even dreamed of offering Francona a job.

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 10:43 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 481

Isn't it just assumed that the next manager of the Twins will be Paul Molitor? (In other words, even if the Twins had fired Gardy, they would not have considered Tito -- or anybody else, for that matter.)

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 10:47 PM by Rick 482

That is because the Twins way is to think small.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 02:18 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 483

Lol...if Molitor becomes the next manager of the Twins, I will henceforth become a fan of the Yankees.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 09:18 AM by luke Highlight this comment 484

Am I missing someethi9ng in all this? Is Molitor seriously being considered as a manager? Statistical excellence in the field does not necessarily translate into managerial genius. Ted Williams is the greatest hitter in baseball history, yet when he was managing the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers (4 seasons total), his career record was 273-364. That’s a winning percentage of just .428, and his clubs finished an average of 34½ games behind.
That’s not to say that Molitor wouldn’t be a good manager, but let’s not simply jump to the conclusion that his on-field prowess guarantees success as a manager.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 10:29 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 485

Folks are thinking Molitor - I believe - because he is local, popular, associated with the Twins, and generally thought to be a good student of the game.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 486

And --- since when does "managerial genius" have anything to do with the selection process employed by the Twins' braintrust?

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 487

The same thinking went into promoting Gardenhire and signing Mauer to his huge contract. The results have been no World Series trophies and an overpriced singles hitter.

I'm not saying the Twins shouldn't hire Molitor; I'm simply saying that spectacular results aren't a lead pipe cinch. And after years of playoff failure and the last two years of mediocrity, aren't we looking for spectacular results? Isn't every team?

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 488

" --- aren't we looking for spectacular results?"

I think competency would be a good place to start.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 489

If they're not in it to win it all, what's the point?

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 7:01 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 490

Anybody notice how great the grass and pattern look in Baltimore tonight???? Now thats how a major leaugue field looks!!!Get a clue Larry!!!!

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 491

Lew Ford is the DH in a playoff game? What year is this?

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM by Rick 492

The grass might look good in Baltimore, but it's doubtful that $2 brats are available within blocks of the stadium.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM by FD Highlight this comment 493

FD I've been to Camden yards a couple of times! First of the retro parks. Those Brats are $1.11 each by the way! Inner Harbor just blocks away!

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 8:44 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 494

The hot dogs at the Metrodome are 100 times better than the crappy Schweigert dogs at Target Field. They are made by Sheboygan.

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 10:01 PM by FD Highlight this comment 495

Back to back 90+ loss seasons, Gardy is terrible, Mauer is overpaid, Morneau is a baby, they can't pitch, the front office makes all the wrong decisions, the grass is dead, the hot dogs are gross. Anything I'm missing?

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM by Mjwarnke Highlight this comment 496

Yes. The trees are gone and it's a state-wide calamity.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 05:29 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 497

Does Molitor have any interest in being a manager/coach? I would think if he did he would at least have been hired by minor league team. He was a bench coach here for a few years but has seemed content to do some spring training work and maybe a little roving minor league instruction.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 08:11 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 498

I can't imagine Molitor would be at all interested in managing a team that plays half its games on that grass pattern.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 08:44 AM by terry Highlight this comment 499

Anyone else unhappy with this new postseason format?

Oakland has home-field advantage over Detroit, but yet they are facing elimination before they have even played a home game in front of their own fans.

Sure, Oakland could go 3-0 at home and win the series, but how sad is it that you are the higher seeded team with "home field advantage" and are facing elimination before you even get a chance to play in front of your own fans.

Cincinnati is a different situation since they actually went on the road and won the first two games in San Francisco.

And the new wild card round is a joke. At the very least, make it a 3-game series. If you must shorten the regular season than do so. And there is no need for the unbalanced schedule now with expanded interleague play and the addition of a second wild card team. Those wild card games are no different than the game 163 tie-breaker games we have seen in the past.

You play 162 games for a reason. If you clinch a spot in the postseason, your entire season should not depend on one game (unless its a true game 163 tie-breaker).

There are just so many things wrong with baseball right now and it's concerning to see the direction in which the game is heading as far as schedule format and postseason. Aside from the DH, Is there even a difference between the AL and NL these days? How long before we see the DH in the NL?

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 08:55 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 500

Terry! Agreed! Larry boy wouldn't know a cross cut to safe his life! I think Molly would like to get back into coaching full time. Mr Whipple maybe told Ryan he didn't want him breathing down his neck thus no bench coaching job for Molly!

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 09:38 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 501

Mike...along with the playoff format, the league in and of itself is a joke as long as Donald Trump's clone runs it. Rich bastard. Things were better when Uberoth ran the show

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 09:44 AM by luke Highlight this comment 502

Mike - I agree it is not quite right to be having the series opening in the lower seeded ballpark. I suppose they did it this way to avoid a second travel day but it doesn't seem right.

This also put the Yankees/Nationals in the spot of having to wait until the WC games were finalized in order to sort out their travel schedule. It hasn't hurt them (and big boys should be able to play whenever/wherever) but it is a drastic change from clinching home field and opening up the series at your own ballpark.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 09:48 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 503

The 2-3 format for the LDS series was a one-time thing, necessary in order to fit in the Wild Card games. It's unlikely to happen again.

And MLB loved our recent spate of tie-breakers, which led directly to the whole idea of an "exciting" way to start the playoffs with the Wild Card teams. I think it worked quite well, but you'll probably see lots of folks inside the game trying to get that turned into at least a three-game series.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 09:57 AM by Rick 504

Lesson 2. Sarcasm: irony or satire.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM by terry Highlight this comment 505

Twinfan -- I noticed the a majority of the other parks of teams in the playoffs have the same grass cut as the Twins. Just sayin.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM by anitfire Highlight this comment 506

A puff piece on the Vikings stadium architect. Seems he was a Vikings fan, which gives hope that the stadium won't look like some "world class" museum or performing arts center, but more like a football stadium.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 507

So did everyone read the "thank you" from the Twins that was sent out this weekend in the paper and via email? Dusting off the dirt of 2012...

I remember last year at this same time when the Twins said they would be much improved in 2012 and that the "Twins will rally in 2012"

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 2:13 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 508

I have a random question about the infield fly rule -

I was remembering a game in 2010, when Kubel launched a popup during a game in Tampa Bay. It hit the highest "ring" in that stadium, its path changed, and it dropped right next to the pitcher's mound for a hit.

The criteria for an infield fly did not exist on that play (there were 2 outs), but what if they did? Presumably it would have been called right after contact, before the ball struck the ceiling and the difficulty of the play was increased beyond the realm of "ordinary effort." Would the infield fly rule still have been invoked?

That hit allowed the Twins to score the go-ahead runs and they ended up winning the game. Becuase of that play, the ground rules for Tropicana Field were changed so that a ball striking that same catwalk was deemed dead, regardless of where it hit or subsequently landed. But that change lasted only through the playoffs that year; the following season, they were changed back.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 509

Getting back to the new vikings stadium for just a minute if you guys don't mind, we know know that we will not get to see the final design until probably January or so, but do you guys think any of the 4 other design firms' renderings will be released so we can see what they had in mind? I read that the Vikings and HKS will be changing design ideas as many as 40 times over the next months.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 8:09 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 510

Cal Ripkin was just talking about the ball taking bad bounces or "snaking" in the outfield because of the cross-cut grass. No problems like that at Target Field. Thank you Larry!

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM by Mjwarnke Highlight this comment 511

Sure glad that the TBS crew spent 5 minutes proving that it was the cross-cut Camden grass that led to the misplay at first and not just Teixeira f'ing a simple grounder. I'd hate to be left to think that a Skankee could ever make a mistake.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 9:37 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 512

A cross cut pattern does make the ball snake in the outfield. I've witnessed this at TF, and I thought it was mentioned somewhere that it's why the grounds crew changed the grass pattern.

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 10:41 PM by FD Highlight this comment 513

I dn't see how you turn the Wild Card into a best of 3 without shortening the regular season. No way the owners will give up that revenue.

We need to drop to a 154 game regular season, but I don't see that happening.

Besides, if we loose the "excitement" of the one game WC, some idiot at MLB will propose another expansion of the WC system.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 12:09 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 514

I do not buy that the grass pattern has anything to do with affecting the path of the ball. Not at the length MLB fields are cut to. If it is anything it would be the uneven imperfections in the dirt/sand underneath.

If the cut of the grass really effected a baseball, why is the field not cut in only one direction, instead of back and forth?

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 03:52 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 515

Spot on Duffman! Larry Boy has no imagination and not a clue how to change it up!Maybe Mellnor could teach poor Larry a lesson or 2! Somebody can post this link and read it and weep! The Boston grounds crew has been cutting different patterns for years!

http://www.nesn.com/2012/04/red-sox-groundskeeper-david-mellor-shows-how-to-stripe-lawns-create-patterns-like-those-at-fenway-pa.html

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:08 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 516

I do not buy that the grass pattern has anything to do with affecting the path of the ball.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, but if it's a question of how ground balls behave, I'll generally believe what Cal Ripken says.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:23 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 517

I do not buy that the grass pattern has anything to do with affecting the path of the ball.

I guess I have no clue what I'm seeing out of my own eyes then.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:41 AM by FD Highlight this comment 518

I like the one game playoff for the wild card round; it rewards teams for winning the division. I do NOT like that the team with the better record must play on the road the first two games in the divisional series. It should be a 2-2-1 series opening at the team with the better record's park.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:47 AM by ole Highlight this comment 519

Balls are hit with top spin and back spin and will come off the grass different no matter how its cut. Just more excuses by the players in my book. Maybe Delmon Young said something to Larry? LOL! Ripkens excuse sounds like Gore blaming altidute for Obamas beating last week in Denver!

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:51 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 520

I agree Ole, clueless Bud will go back to the 2-2-1 format next year!

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:53 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 521

If the cut of the grass really effected a baseball, why is the field not cut in only one direction, instead of back and forth?

Just a guess, but perhaps because that would look boring on television?

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 09:57 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 522

The 2-3 format is just for this year, and they only needed it because the schedule was made up before there were two Wild Card teams. It will return to 2-2-1 next year.

In our backyard, baseballs do all sorts of funny things when they hit the ground.

At the baseball field in the park near our home, balls do all kinds of crazy things when they hit the ground.

In every Major League park I've been to, balls do funny things when they hit the ground.

My takeaway from these observations is that baseballs do funny things when they hit the ground.

Ascribing this to any particular factor is pretty much impossible -- there are too many to consider. If you leave the grass long enough, it will impact the path of the ball. If you cut it too short, the underlying surface will be more of a factor.

If you cut the grass a certain way? Maybe. Hard to say.

Perhaps more to the point is to say that, if a Major Leaguer thinks something is adversely affecting his performance, then it is, even if it's not. As always, perception is reality.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM by Rick 523

Golf courses experiment with and use different cuts in part to influence how the course plays. How the grass is cut on a field certainly can affect the bounce or roll of a ball, but length is far more determinative (obviously) than pattern. Multiple cross cuts will tend to slow balls by creating more opportunity for friction. All in all, though, the pattern is a relatively minor variable.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM by BR Highlight this comment 524

I personally think there is a difference between a golf ball and baseball in regards to impact of grass.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM by tk Highlight this comment 525

Check out these paterns!

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 11:37 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 526

I think fans who are suffering serious vexation because of the grass pattern should follow the example of all those Vikings fans who were writing such agitated things on this site while the stadium debate was going on. Tailgate until the pattern in the grass looks just the way you want it.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM by terry Highlight this comment 527

I'm not sure where the Gophers are for tickets sold, but the weather on Saturday is not looking good with steady rain anticipated throughout the morning and afternoon. The diehards will turn up regardless, but they mostly have tickets. It's the casual or lapsed fans the Gophers want to recruit and that segment isn't likely to sit in the rain for three hours. TCF Bank Stadium affords almost no shelter at all.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 1:34 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 528

Jorge~
Yea, that is a bummer. It's one of the moments where the missed opportunity in Iowa will hurt. If they were 5-0 and playing for bowl eligibility then I think the buzz would overcome the weather for a lot of folks.

Still, I'm pleased with the efforts of the U to promote ticket sales and the games (see the link for their latest game specific hype video). They are really selling the "game is a party" theme and putting out promotions desired to catch the eye of the casual fan. Now they just need to improve the gameday atmosphere around campus to match the promos (something that will take a lot of work given the City's intransigence).

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 529

GoAUpher:
Here's a marketing idea for the Gophers (free of charge)... Create a merchandise set with a theme or common design. For example, a matching "2012 Gopher Nation" set of hat, mittens, scarf. Sign up merchants around the U/Stadium Village area to hawk one piece of the set. Don't sell the set as a whole anywhere! Treat it as a "giveaway" for every X amount spent ($50? whatever makes sense). Or you could sell it for cost - get your $5 hat with a $25 purchase! -only at those select participating merchants. You then market it and encourage fans to "collect the whole set!" Don't like clothes? Do a 3-piece print set of Memorial Staidum, the Dome, and TCFBS, perhaps with a frame to display them all. The specifics are limited only by their creativity, but the marketing concept is to get people excited about the team and shopping/milling around the stadium on gamedays. Multiple gamedays...

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 2:35 PM by BR Highlight this comment 530

Saturday is still a ways off. I am hoping the weather forecasters are going to continue their historical accuracy and be wrong.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 531

FD- are you sure it was the grass that caused the ball to "Snake"? Did you inspect the ground underneath the grass to see if it was perfectly level? I understand that last question was facetious, but it goes to original point that grass kept at 5/8" should not affect a ball that weighs 5 oz. Just as the grass that short on a golf course does not affect a golf that weighs just 1.6 oz. Just look at all the different cuts in gold. They have the back and forth, the checkered, and Augugsta National mows in only one direction. (Which negates the "looking boring" argument since Augusta is held as one of the most beautiful courses in the world.)

No matter how smooth the ground was when they first placed it, it will become uneven. The constant players running on it, and balls hitting the playing field will slowly dent and disfigure the ground. Never noticable to the eye but possibly enough where it may affect the ball.

I did not see Ripken's comments, was he speaking of ground balls in the outfield or infield? There was a time where Target Field had a checkered patteren in the infield while having the straight lines in the out field. Never heard the infielders complaining.

As Rick points out "perception is reality", this is where the Twins need to step up with the selection of the new coaches. They need coaches that would tell the player that preceieves the grass pattern as affecting the ball, they are an f'n moron.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 532

Tear Bear no need to get your undies in a bunch. My point is simple. Mix up the mowing job! Everyone else does! Or is Larry getting orders from Ryan or Mr Whipple to keep it as is?

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 3:28 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 533

The coaching staff has been quoted as saying they like the current mowing pattern, that it "plays well" (my paraphrase; can't find the exact quote at the moment).

The bigger issue may be how some Twins players are psyched out by TF. Late in the season, the Strib guys described Josh Willingham as the only hitter on the team not intimidated by the new ballpark.

If so, it's just another reason to hate the Dome: It screwed up the franchise's ability to appreciate a real ballpark.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM by Rick 534

Duffman,

The ball had an obvious, consistent "plinko" like effect on a ground ball in the outfield with the checkerboard pattern. After the pattern was changed, the ball didn't do the same thing. If the grass length was the same height in both instances, wouldn't you think the pattern is the culprit? My season tickets are in the LF Bleachers so I have a had a good view.

I also don't think a golf ball and a baseball will act the same on grass. There are too many things to consider when trying to compare the two.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM by FD Highlight this comment 535

Ok so with the current pattern all those balls hit between our outfielders skip by to the wall and become doubles? Not a good idea with our pitch to contact pitching staff!

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 4:33 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 536

Oooh... can we please determine whether the ball acts differently if the first hop is one where the laces contact the grass first? or if a bounce on the trademark affects the spin or direction? or if the weight of the ink making up the words 'Allan H. "(Not My) Bud" Selig' has an adverse effect on the ball's centrifugal (or perhaps centripetal) force as it interacts with the ground?

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 5:23 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 537

The public can now submit comments and questions about the Vikings stadium design. Click my name for the link.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 538

Target Field gave up 167 home runs this year, or an average of 2.06 per game making it the 14th easiest ballpark in the major leagues to hit a home run. It seems the layout of the field dimensions is working out just about perfect. The Twins wanted this ballpark to be nuetral and favor neither the hitter or pitcher and this is exactly what we have. So much for the Twins complaining and being babies about the ballpark not producing enough home runs.

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 5:09 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 539

Do you know the home-visitor breakdown? (Is that from the HitTracker web site?)

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM by Rick 540

Can't believe no one has yet mentioned the full-page ad the Twins ran in Sunday's paper, "Dusting Off the Dirt of 2012."

It can't be fun writing those things...

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM by Rick 541

Re: the ease or difficulty of hitting homers at TF. I met Bob Feller at a memorabilia show in about 1982 or '83 and we spoke of the Metrodome. He mentioned that it was called "the homerdome". As I look back on it, I think that moniker had more to do with the horrible pitching the Twins had in those days than the ease or difficulty of hitting HR's in the dome. The same is probably true of TF. It used to be said that Harmon Killebrew could hit one out of any park, including Yellowstone. The Twins have had some pitchers the last two years who could give up homers out of Yellowstone.

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM by terry Highlight this comment 542

Speaking of Bob Feller...I have an autographed bobblehead of Feller..probably one of the coolest things I own.

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 7:47 PM by luke Highlight this comment 543

According to Yahoo Sports, the Twins hit 131 home runs (69 home 62 away). That would mean 98 visitor home runs at TF in 2012.

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 544

I was really loving seeing a pinch hitter coming in to replace A-Clod, until that happened.

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 545

Yet another magic baseball moment, but of course it has to be the stupid Skanks... $#!†

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 10:15 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 546

Rick - was the ad the same text that was sent to STHs ?

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 547

Rick - Mike mentioned it back in post #508.

jfh - it was the same as the email that was sent to STH

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 09:18 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 548

If anyone is interested in seeing the vikings new stadium design that Ewing Cole had in mind you can find it on UrbanMSP's website. The last post has a link to the whole proposal including pictures of what it would look like. It had a triangular shaped retractable roof and it looked pretty cool.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 09:20 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 549

Thanks for that info Tom D! Very interesting indeed even though those designs were simply concepts for the bidding process.

I would be curious to see Populous' proposal if that is out there anywhere.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 10:31 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 550

Tom, send a link of the drawing / post you are referring to...the "last post" was about Target Center renovation...from last year. Thanks

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 10:39 AM by luke Highlight this comment 551

Here's the basic idea:


The other images are mostly rough schematics.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM by Rick 552

It's interesting that every concept drawing I've seen eliminates Fifth Street on the south side of the site. Makes me think it was in the specs somewhere.

The question is: What's going to happen to that inbound connection from I-94? Re-routing to Third Street would make sense but be very expensive. Re-routing to a two-way Sixth Street doesn't actually seem like a good idea. Re-routing to a reversed Fourth Street wouldn't be much easier than Third, but would make a little more sense. A tunnel under the stadium? Nah.

This is not a small issue because it directly affects the site's freeway connections.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM by Rick 553

I thought the Twins apologetic ad was somewhat cringe worthy. Clearly the club intended to make amends, but its tone suggested the Twins don't fully understand the depth of feeling among the fans, the organization's own culpability in the terrible 2011 and 2012 seasons, and just how bad off things will likely still be in 2013 and maybe 2014.

The pitching staff is way too far from what a decent, let alone contending, team needs. Last in the Majors in strike outs. Near the bottom in WHIP. Second from the bottom in opponents' batting average. Third from the bottom in ERA. Second worst in hits allowed. Third worst in runs allowed. Third worst in earned runs allowed. Tied for second worst in home runs allowed. Second worst in shut outs.

There's no one, or at least not enough of them, on the team, on the farm or that this team can acquire in free agency that will put in to motion the kind of turn around the team suggested was possible from its ad. I get the marketing aspect of the ad, but its tenuous grasp on reality got under my skin.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 554

Its a creative concept...might look very nice in Dwntn Mpls.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 555

Despite the fact that they lost only 3 fewer games this year than last, the Twins did make some significant improvements over 2011 in terms of additions, returns to health and continued development. Unfortunately, all those improvements, e.g. Willingham, Doumit, Span, Mauer, Morneau, Revere, Burton, Perkins were completely overshadowed by the abomination that was their starting pitching. Three starters who were counted on last off-season, Baker, Pavano and Marquis, contributed nothing and that put them behind the 8-ball right from the get-go.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM by terry Highlight this comment 556

Isn't that stadium set too far west? I thought they were moving the Xcel Elliot Park substation and 11th ave. was going away. That stadium seems to completely encompass the current footprint of the stadium.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 557

I'm with you, Jorge. That ad was filled with "cringe-worthy" BS. "Our tomorrow begins today." Yikes! Who writes that crap?

It's gotta be hard to figure out what tone to take when you want to instill some hope while also admitting that things did not go well. The goal of that ad is clearly to make people less likely to drop their season tickets, but I don't think it's likely to have that effect at all.

Part of me thinks this is a moment to say, well, nothing but "Thank you". Just let people start to forget -- or at least allow the edge of the disappointment to dull.

But if you absolutely have to say something, how about this:

We want to thank you, our fans, for sticking with us through a season filled with frustration.

We know that we lost too many games in the early innings. Fixing that is at the top of our off-season agenda.

We know that too many times we could not get that clutch hit. There's too much talent on this team to let that continue.

We know that our defense gave away too many runs. That's something we can and will change.

We know that our minor league system is full of raw talent, but we could be deeper and we could prepare them better.

We want you to know that we are not satisfied to simply play baseball games. We are committed to winning -- and we will.

Every day between now and April 1 we will be taking steps to make this team and this organization better. You will see these efforts on the field next summer. That's our commitment to you.

Today, we salute your commitment to us, and we hope to hear your voice out at the ballpark when the grass is green again. When you cheer, we get better. (We'll have beer and nachos waiting when the gates open again!)

Though we did not live up to it this year, "Win" is our middle name. We want you to be proud of us and we'll do everything we can to make that happen.

Until we meet again for that next pitch, we want to say thank you for making the Minnesota Twins part of your summer.

(Maybe these aren't the exact words, but you get the idea.)

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM by Rick 558

I don't know who has seen this one yet, but on HKS's website they have an interior rendering for one of their proposed stadium designs. Click my name for the link.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 559

Duffman,

The site does not include either 11th Avenue or the substation. Those would have been too complicated to include. (There was talk of it at one time, so your memory is correct.)

But it's interesting to see that their site plan essentially required the whole mega-block. There's no "building to the east and leaving space for a plaza on the west."

That could be why they didn't win, but it could just as likely be that there isn't enough room to do both things.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM by Rick 560

My only comments on the grass topic.

1)I find it hard to believe anyone disagrees that a ball could be affected by a grass cut pattern. I have seen it and experienced it myself as a baseball/softball player and a golfer. Length of cut doesn't matter. If air friction is enough to help a curveball curve, then it would be pretty obvious that since the coefficient of friction is significantly higher for grass, that it could have an impact on the direction of travel of a ball. Naturally, if the ball spins with the lie of the grass its more likely to slip, whereas if the ball spins against the lie of the grass, there is more to grab on to, thus affecting rotational velocity and direction of travel. Remember we aren’t typically talking about a 180 degree directional change. A ball curving to the right field foul line may hit the turf and move across the line into foul territory, whereas a ball with more grab could hit and bounce down the line. Of course these things are all mostly determined by rotational velocity of the ball and how that velocity angle aligns with the grass.

I have heard some people argue that grass cut that short doesn’t have a directional lie, so I will address that now too. If no directional lie, then how do you even see the pattern? You can’t see a cross cut pattern without grass laying in varying directions. That is…unless the pattern is painted on. If someone says the pattern was rolled or stamped or something along those lines, then they are getting the grass to lay a specific direction.

2) It doesn't appear that they are going to change it so deal and let’s move on. Frankly, its annoying that every other day the stupid topic is resurrected because twinkfan thinks he should bring it up. Bring Back The Trees was fun for a few days. Everyone is tired of the $1 dogs at the Holiday thing. Whiny Mauer/Morneau was justified for a short time but now should be shut down considering the seasons they had. And who the hell is mr. whipple? I apparently don't care but these stupid names are ridiculous. Luke can't say “Dome” without a poop reference and a 7 year old snicker every time he says "Dump", much less say anyone player/owner/coaches name without some childish nickname and others are following. It's stupid and we're adults. You gotta know when it's past it's prime and time to move on.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 561

Agreed. Great post Jared.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM by FD Highlight this comment 562

Here is the message from last year. The rallying obviously didn't occur.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM by FD Highlight this comment 563

Jeff- I hope it doesn't look like that. That stadium looks like a super-sized "mega-church".

Rick- If that is the case the Vikes will definately be playing at least 2 seasons at TCF Bank stadium.

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 564

so the weather forecast for the Gopher homecoming football game this saturday at 11am is looking much better than it was earlier this week. the rain forecast and predicted amounts for minneapolis have been dropped/downgraded dramatically in the last 12 hours. let's hope that is the case.

we will be going to the game and are looking forward to it rain or shine. after all, it is football.....the players and fans can deal with a bit of weather. unlike mlb and the baseball weenies. ;-)

Go Gophers! Ski-U-Mah!

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 565

Beta- its just the Twinkies who cant deal with weather and postpone games the minute the sun disappears behind a strata cumulus cloud. The rest of MLB can deal with it in their outdoor ballparks...lol

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 09:09 AM by luke Highlight this comment 566

Hey Larry!!!!! Remember when the field looked like this???? Those were the days my friends! PS Mr Whipple is Gardy! Beta yes I hope the rain holds off during the afternoon also. Then rains like hell! We need some! Guess I won't be winning that pickem challange this year!

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 567

This is a nice shot also! Looks pretty pretty pretty good!

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 568

Check this out:


Best concept drawing ever?

Meet The New Stadium Architect On October 15 At The Minneapolis Convention Center

Wish I could go, but I'm already booked elsewhere...

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM by Rick 569

Ill take that Rick! MOA Field Nickelodeon Universe 2!

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 570

Impressive. I like that concept image. One issue: must EVERY new stadium have a center hung video screen? Please Thor, no. Those belong in arenas, not stadiums.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 1:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 571

A Rod benched for game 5, win or go home game. If the Yanks trail in the game, can they even use him as a pinch hitter? $29M for a healthy player to sit on the bench in a deciding playoff game.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 572

New Gopher deal. Tickets are just $10.

I'll admit I am confused. Is it $10 for BOTH a football and a hockey ticket or is it $10 for either football or hockey?

Today until 5pm, get Golden Gopher Hockey (standing room vs. Michigan State) and Golden Gopher Football (homecoming vs. Northwestern) tickets for just $10! Click here (http://on.fb.me/UXwtn5) or the tab on our page to order!

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 573

Don't forget the "Country Strong" concert (as I like to call it) that happened at TF this summer. Probably did quite a number on the playing surface and may have taken a bit more recovery than initially expected.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 574

CSG Mike - The way I am reading it is that it is $10 for a gopher football ticket AND then another $10 for a gopher hockey ticket. Football and hockey can be bought together or separately. Either way, if you have time to do both games, only $20 bucks to go to a gopher football and gopher hockey game is a really sweet deal. i would do both football and a hockey game.

can go to the homecoming football game on saturday at 11am and then either the friday or saturday night hockey game for a really good price.

i really like the new promotions and marketing that the new gopher AD (norwood teague) and his department are coming up with. much more innovative and social marketed than anything that dud joel maturi and his old AD crew ever came up with in 10 years on the job.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 575

CSG Mike: and as you noted, the promotion ends today at 5pm and is a facebook-only promotion. so one needs to get on the deal now if they want to take advantage of the pricing.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 576

I just think the wording could be better. I keep seeing it posted on Twitter (@GopherSports) and they continue to use AND where I think it should say OR. How sweet would that deal be???

"$10 to get in for @GopherFootball & @GopherHockey"

Sadly, I have my $50 Gopher football ticket and can't go to either of the hockey games.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 577

UMN tailgating question... I see the lots open at 7am tomorrow. Does anyone know if there are long lines to get into the lots? What is the best time to get there and have a good spot. I am in Lot 33 tomorrow.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 578

csg mike: from my experience, yes, there can be lines to get into the tailgate lots. particularly for the tailgate lots close to tcf stadium like lot 33. if you want to get a good spot (i.e. one which is where YOU would like to park and set-up vs. have to park and set-up) i would suggest getting to the U of M by NO later than 7:30am just to be safe. that gives you a good three hours to set-up, cook, drink, mingle and still get into the game on time.

because it is homecoming, i am thinking it may be pretty busy. you might even just shoot for getting there at 7am if that is cool with your crew.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 579

Also, that concept design, I really see no Rodent baseball accomodation in it, the one posted on the UrbanSpoon has a schematic drawing of the Rodent baseball configuration.

And, you cant play baseball with a center hung video board. So kudos to HKS...and I guess Norwood Teague will have to sell the Rodents to Charlotte or something, they are a bit peeved having not gotten the Twins back in 1997.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 580

Thanks Beta, I think we are meeting around 6:45 in North Loop (where two of us live) to get everything into one SUV, then heading over. We were hoping to squeeze in an extra hour of sleep, but I think we have resigned to the idea that it's gonna be early.

BTW - I love the interior view for the Vikes stadium! Cool stuff.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 581

Your right DeePee that goat ropping concert and all future concerts should be held at the bank! Hell you can get beer there now! Why ruin the field even more than Larry already is??? The bank was good enough for U2 it should be good enough for any goat ropping concert! FCOL!

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:23 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 582

Looking at that fantasy image, all I can imagine is a March snowstorm dumping a foot of wet snow on it, and it all coming crashing down.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 583

FTK, just a thought, but would snow build up on a steeper slope of a dome like the concept? Or is this where we got into trouble the 1st time?

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:34 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 584

can the Vikings just make the new stadium look like the Ice Castle? that would be iconic right? no seriously I've begun to really like the "Ribbon" design. Like Rick said it would give a Sydney Opera House icon for the skyline. I hope for something unique, I absoluely hate the new Dallas stadium and Lucus Oil is such a yawner. Something to think about is the 2008 Bejing Olympics was one of the most memorable in part because of the bird's nest and the water cube. I don't even remember what this year's facilities look like. I want something original and not something that looks like every other stadium ever built.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM by Eric in TX Highlight this comment 585

Good point about the Olympic 2012 venues Eric. Remember though, it was in London, Brits are more unimaginative than Americans, so yes their venues are more forgettable.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM by luke Highlight this comment 586

I have to take issue, Luke. Monty Python was the funniest, most original program to ever hit TV. Far and away, it's superior to ANYTHING American television has ever produced. Brits unimaginitive? Hardly.

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 587

Winona Mike, not sure if was intentional, but reading your post reminded me of Billy Madison at the lunch table taking O'Doyle to task.

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM by tk Highlight this comment 588

luke - there is only one "rodent" around here. take a quick look in the mirror. :-)

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 01:12 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 589

Has anyone seen the new Rays ballpark renderings that came out on September 28th of this year? There are two types of stadiums in their proposal, and one is includes a clear plastic membrane which is transparent and is the same material used during the construction of the WaterCube olympic swimming venue. I bet this is the same material being shown for the one idea of the new Vikings stadium. The stuff was first developed I think in about 2003 and is the next generation of non-heavy type roof material which can used for sporting venues.

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 08:27 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 590

If there's one movie out there that really gives me a headache, it's "Billy Madison." Since seeing it once, years ago, I've avoided it like the plague; so I don't know what you're refering to.

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 09:29 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 591

Duly noted: yes Python was great and Ricky Gervais is the funniest person alive. Note I said Brits are unimaginative when it comes to building public venues. Case in point, Olympic Stadium this year. Boring, uninspired.

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM by luke Highlight this comment 592

Here are the Rays images mentioned above:



Certainly an interesting concept.

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM by Rick 593

Rick- agreed. Its a very nice concept. It looks less...oh how should I say it, overbearing than the RR ballpark in Miami

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 594

There is a stadium that just opened in 2011 in Dunedin,New Zealand that is called Forsythe-Barr Stadium and has a EFTE membrane translucent roof and has a natural grass field. It is the only permanant roof stadium in the world that has a grass field. If you are wondering what the vikings new stadium could possibly look like- you need to check out this stadium. It is quite a cool looking stadium even though it has a dreaded covered roof.

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 595

I would rather have Miami's stadium than that thing, if it's roof is not retractable.

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 596

They tried something like that in the Astrodome originally and it was too hot and expensive to heat so they blacked out the glass panels and invented AstroTurf. I know technology is way more advanced than the 60s but I don't understand how that stadium is not gonna be super hot especially in Florida during the summer months. Can someone explain this to me?

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM by Eric in TX Highlight this comment 597

Sorry that I couldn't stay awake for the 12th inning last night... all of these postseason late-night games are doing me in. But on the play Jeter breaks his ankle, do I hear the TBS announcer assure America, "He's all right..." at around 2:23 of this video??

From what became obvious later on, this comment sounds like more Stankee-biased media wishful thinking...

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 598

My recollection of the origin of Astroturf is that after the Astrodome opened, they had to spray paint the roof panels to cut down on the glare and that when they did that the grass died thus necessitating the artificial surface. Contrary to popular belief, they did not remove the grass to stop incessant whining about the pattern in which it was mowed.

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM by terry Highlight this comment 599

New interior image from HKS for new Vikings stadium. Click name...

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 600

Like it. Build it.

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 601

not a fan. this whole roof on the football stadium is a bad idea, is nothing but political vote trading, and i am not going to like it regardless of how it turns out. wanted open air and will always demand open air when it comes to football stadiums. pro or college.

multi-purpose, fixed or retractable roofed stadiums will always look like crap to me. example ford field in detroit.

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 11:41 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 602

Yes, EJ originally said Jeter was OK.

No matter what you think about the Yankees, you have to feel bad for Jeter.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 04:54 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 603

I can't believe luke (or anyone else) has not mentioned this yet but I found this nugget in Shooter's column. Looks like the trees will be returning to Target Field in 2013!! They should have never been removed in the first place!

Pssst: Look for the Twins to return spruce trees as a center-field backdrop at Target Field for next season.

Fourteen popular black spruce trees were removed from the batter's-eye area after the Twins' inaugural season in 2010 because some Twins hitters complained they adversely affected being able to clearly see pitches.

The Twins in 2010 hit .273 as a team, third in the American League behind Texas (.276) and Kansas City (.274). The Twins won their division in 2010.

After removing the trees, the Twins in 2011 hit .247, 11th in the AL, and finished last in their division. This season, the Twins batted .260, tied for sixth with Boston, and again finished last in their division.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 08:18 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 604

Yes I see trees and a nice grass cut pattern! Click name. Lets get back to what worked! FCOL!!!

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 08:32 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 605

Vikings: I love the look of that "pastry" concept stadium, but I'm not sure what part of it would open and really want some fresh air option built in. The shadows cast would also drive players bonkers!

Twins: If they got one rotation horse - maybe Dan Haren on a make-good or incentive laden deal - plus one more good bullpen arm, they could make a couple of big strides back toward competitiveness. They could also then trade Span for middle infield help instead of a minor league picthing prospect. Would Texas deal Andrus for him? The Rangers have Profar ready, could well let Hamilton walk, and might like a cost-controlled CF to offset the cost of reupping Cruz and signing more pitching.

Target Field: I was wondering about the black batter's eye. If not trees, couldn't they do one of those multidirectional billboard-like displays, which could show different pictures at 45 degree angles and appear blank from head-on?

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM by BR Highlight this comment 606

Jim Ranz done after 52 years. Anyone think he was encouraged to retire or did it on his own in a time of change within the team?

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 11:35 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 607

Here's the image Jeff mentioned:


Clearly, it's the interior view of one of those exterior concepts we've seen ("the pastry").

Do shadows matter as much in football?

There's really no reason why grass couldn't survive under a roof -- as long as it gets enough sun. The Astrodome grass never really thrived, but it was OK until its sunlight was stupidly cut off. A translucent roof could easily solve that, while also creating a potential greenhouse temperature (or even wind sheer) problem.

But just imagine if they could make it work. The place would smell like fresh-cut grass all the time!

Betaband: The Vikings stadium will have a roof. They could never get away with building an open air stadium, and have indicated at every step that they have no intention of doing so.

schweady/jfh: Like the announcers, I first thought that Jeter was just goofing around on the ground and would bounce back up with a smile. It was a true shock when he didn't. And I feel bad for him personally, but not for the team. Can't get enough of hating the Yankees! Go Tigers! (But really...Go Cards!)

twinkfan: Let it go, already. It's tired.

Mike: Once again, Shooter is way behind on this one. The Twin Cities papers really need some new crotchety old columnists. (At least Reusse is maturing naturally and quickly into that role.) Rumors about the trees returning are legion -- stoked by DSP, of all people. But I won't believe it until I see it.

BR: I think the Twins are three solid starting pitchers (including an ace) away from contention.

And the batter's eye represents an opportunity for creativity. The current black hole? Terrible. Trees? Meh. Ivy? Nah. Water seems like a good idea (as long as it can be off during play).

But I think the right idea for that spot may still be out there somewhere...

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM by Rick 608

Oh, forgot to say that replacing Rantz, even if it wasn't part of the shake-up, is probably a good thing. Nothing against him, but it's just time for someone new there as well.

Creating a new braintrust was a good first start. Now, go get some pitching!

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM by Rick 609

By the way, before watching all these playoff games, I'd almost forgotten just how much fun it is to watch great baseball teams compete.

When I was in Washington, the vibe was so different than TF, and mostly because the team was just plain fun to watch.

Can you buy fun on the free agent market?

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM by Rick 610

" --- I'd almost forgotten just how much fun it is to watch great baseball teams compete."

Pretty much the same as comment as last year, etc. --- the level of play in the playoffs really puts how terrible the Twins are in clear focus.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 1:34 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 611

I was disappointed to see Washington and Baltimore lose now I am finding myself cheering for St. Louis and Detroit.

Just goes to show, regardless of how pathetic the AL Central may be, good teams with great managers find ways to win in October. Something that can't be said regarding the Twins. In just 3 days, the Detroit Tigers have just as many postseason wins (2) against the Yankees that the Twins have over the last 9 years. (1-3 in 2003 ALDS and 1-3 in 2004 ALDS)

Last win against the NY Yankees in the postseason was game 1 of the ALDS in 2004. Since than, the Twins have lost 12 consecutive games in October.

Detroit beat the Yankees 3-1 in the 2006 ALDS and even the Cleveland Indians beat the Yankees 3-1 in the 2007 ALDS. Obviously the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 so we can't blame the poor division.

If you take out the 2002 postseason, the Twins are 2-15 over their last 5 postseason appearances.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 2:27 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 612

More concept renderings from the other proposals for the new vikings stadium. Click my name for a looky.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 2:46 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 613

Wow, a lot of those proposals were extremely boring and unimaginative, especially the populous one, it's almost as if they didn't want the bid. As far as retractable roofs go, you probably don't want one. Living here in houston we have reliant and it might as well not open, they never open it for games because they want the crowd noise and even when it's open for other stuff it's just a glorified sun roof. They do have natural grass but it's always in bad shape as noticed on Sunday night football last night with players slipping all over the place. I think a dome and turf is fine for football, the turf these days is much better than when the dome was built.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM by Eric in TX Highlight this comment 614

The AECOM (formerly Ellerbe Beckett) design was stellar. Reminded me a bit of UOP stadium in Phoenix.
The Ewing Cole interior design was nice. I preferred AECOM's interior.
And yes, I too think the Populous design was uninspired and pretty bland.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 615

To me, the HKS "glass pyramid" design stands out as the most imaginative, and most likely to meet the criteria of landmark, skyline-defining, work of art.

HKS's "pastry" comes in second for me, and everything else is pretty lousy.

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM by Rick 616

I don't like that most stadium architects think a large airplane hanger is the best venue to play football. I think UoP stadium in Phoenix is awful, it's a large metal box, no thanks

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM by Eric in TX Highlight this comment 617

True Eric. I think with the sheer size of football stadiums and the fight for optimal capacity, aesthetics do take a back seat a great deal and MOST football stadiums will end up looking like an airplane hangar regardless, probably including our new one. Of course aesthetics did NOT take a back seat when it came to TCFBS...so maybe we can get another one of those...

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 6:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 618

Does anybody else watching the playoffs on FOX miss the pitch location box from TBS?

FOX shows it every once-in-a-while, when a pitch is close, but I so loved having it there for every pitch on TBS. You really get a much better sense of what the pitcher is trying to do, and whether he's doing it well.

(You can get the same thing by loading up Gameday on the computer, but it doesn't update in real time, and it's a pain to go back and forth.)

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 8:12 PM by Rick 619

Oh boy. Would fans get to wear mouse ears too?

"'Ever since I was a kid, I thought that it would be really cool if the Vikings played in something that looked like a castle,' said Fraher of Burnsville."

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 620

From all that has happened so far on the new Stadium front it appears kinda obvious in my opinion that the new stadium probably will not include a retractable roof in the final design. It will have a gigantic "arch" type window that will face downtown that will probably be translucent and probably will retract at least a little, and yes the roof will be fixed although we do not know yet if it will be a new generation light roof structure or a heavy structure, or a combination of the two, but I still will not like the new design unless it includes a decent retractable roof. Just my thoughts.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 621

Who is gonna clean all that glass??? Just do the one like in Indy and be done with it! FCOL! Must admit I've seen no post season baseball!

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 622

Rick~
It annoys me as well. Don't know why they don't leave the pitch tracker up.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 623

Why do you need the pitch tracker? Are you not watching the pitches themselves?

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 624

Just like online, the tracker on the TBS screen accumulates pitches and lets you see where all of the pitches have been so far in the AB. It lets you see where the ump's strike zone is, what the strategy is against the hitter, and whether the pitcher is hitting his spots.

It's funny to watch video of old games when not even the score was on the screen more than once at the end of every half inning. The amount of info available now at all times continues to improve, and I'm convinced that the pitch tracker will become one of those indispensable items.

Unfortunately, TBS appears to be the only outlet that gets it (it's been the same way now for a couple of years).

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM by Rick 625

"Who is gonna clean all that glass??? Just do the one like in Indy and be done with it!" - twinkfan

What a horrible idea. I really hope you're being sarcastic. Seeing that the 2 HKS concepts are fairly different from each other, I think what we will get will be a completely different 3rd design. I am very encouraged by the artistic thinking in the 2 we've seen so far.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 626

"artistic thinking"

Yes, that appears to be within HKS's abilities. Here's hoping that it doesn't get drummed out of the process through bureaucracy, budget, or bad taste.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM by Rick 627

Just "officially" cancelled two sets of seats for season tickets after several years of being a dedicated season ticket holder.

In cancelling and providing my reasoning, did not get the sense that they really cared to be losing 121 games of revenue for next year and the years to follow. "If you decide in future years to continue, be sure to call us again."

Now it won't seem like such a choir to have to find people to take my free tickets and when I do get to go to a game, hopefully it will seem like a treat.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM by tk Highlight this comment 628

Just like online, the tracker on the TBS screen accumulates pitches and lets you see where all of the pitches have been so far in the AB. It lets you see where the ump's strike zone is, what the strategy is against the hitter, and whether the pitcher is hitting his spots.

Exactly.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 629

I forgot that the little pitch tracker also includes pitch count -- another very handy stat to have close at hand.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM by Rick 630

tk - did you cancel by email or phone?

If you spoke by phone, did you get the impression that the rep cared?

(Where did you get the 121 numbrt?)

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 7:56 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 631

Jfh - 1 full package (81 games) 1 partial (40 games)

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 8:12 PM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 632

tk - Did you always have 121 games at TF or add the partial pkg the 2nd
year at TF to try and make some $$$s like many people were hoping to do?
1st and 2nd years there were some $$$s to be made, but the third year there were $$$s to lose.

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 8:31 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 633

Don't usually say this, but "Go Tigers!"

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:38 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 634

Jfh,

I had not called to cancel and I was awaiting a phone call. I did get busy and was able to make the official call today. From our conversation, I did not get the sense the Twins really cared about my reasoning for cancelling or really wanted to give me the time of day. No response to my concerns (not sure if I was expecting any, but thought for sure there would be some empathy or apologies for my displeasure) and a short farewell.

GogoTwins. I had had a 41-game plan at the Dome for a few years, and went to about 25 games a year. When Target Field opened, I wanted to get to more games and new demand was going to be high, so I recruited a group and went in on a full season plan.

In 2010, I went to 44 games, including post season. When I had additional tickets, they were easily sold.

In 2011, I went to 31 games, and I had no concerns selling the additional tickets when necessary.

In 2012, I went to about 21 games, had 8 games that I couldn't give away. My group members were in the same position and also could often times find better/closer locations closer to game time online at the STH (minus fees) or 70%off on StubHub.

I am glad to no longer be a Season Ticket Holder, as I will invest my money when I feel appropriate and not feel obligated to watching prospects develop at the Major League level.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 01:00 AM by TK Highlight this comment 635

And for the record, the watching prospects develop at the Major League level is not one of my stated reasons I provided the Twins for cancelling. I had my other reasoning that had substance (or at least I feel).

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 01:02 AM by TK Highlight this comment 636

TK,

That's sad that the rep didn't care that you were cancelling. Was it actually 2x the 121 games or did you have just 1 seat? I have seen my own LC STH group shrinking as more and more of the guys combine and reduce the number of games they want to attend. I am taking advantage of it and increased my share. I hope the Twins don't make a fool out of me.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 08:20 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 637

The part about getting tickets at 70% off on the secondary market is what really makes it tough to hang on to a lot of seats. I've thought in the past about joining a STH group that has better seats than I do, but when I can pick and choose what game to go to and where to sit and get seats to most games at a huge discount, what's the point? It's not clear to me that the Twins as an organization, or their individual reps, really and fully appreciate this reality.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 09:53 AM by BR Highlight this comment 638

The rejected Populous design reminds me of CenturyLink Field in Seattle with its two massive grandstands, covered by roofs, with little endzone seating. That's probably not an accident. Unlike the Seattle stadium, designed by Ellerbe Beckett, the rejected Vikings proposal would have been retractable based on the picture. The Vikings, while not building it up as much as Cowboys Stadium or Lucas Oil Stadium, have expressed admiration for CenturyLink Field.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 639

CSG Mike, I did have two seats in both of my sets. As far as the ticket rep goes, I lost my previous rep to other opportunities and was reassigned a new rep who I am not sure was prepared for the exodus.

I remember a few years back, when the Twins were crying foul that the secondary market was allowing their profits to be shortened, by not being able to capture additional revenue on demand.

Now the Twins and other MLB teams are being undercut by seeing their tickets at steep discounted prices online. MLB gets a cut of the commission on each sale and gets advertising revenue from StubHub, but that deal is about to expire at the end of this season. Will the partnership continue? I have yet to see any information on any progress on a deal or movement away from StubHub.

Do the Twins have the knowledge that the deal will no longer be in place and are banking on people crawling back? I do know that in June there was talk about the Yankees dropping StubHub.

I have attached an interesting article that I have read about the StubHub relationship with MLB that has given a two fold examination to where a lot of work and research was placed on the club and secondary market.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM by TK (aka tk) Highlight this comment 640

tk - it is very disappointing your rep didn't seem to care. For most people that put in the effort to having season tickets, the decision to cancel altogether is a big one. You would think the Twins would want to gather as much data as to why the decision was made.

I don't think whether MLB continues with StubHub will make a significant difference. STHs will still sell on SH. But at some point those that are selling at 70% off are going to decide they can no longer afford to take that kind of hit.

BR - your approach works as long as there is little demand. But everyone benefits from long term season ticket partnerships. The entire team becomes unsustainable if everyone wants others to subsidize tickets for them at pennies on the dollar.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 641

I've expressed here before my frustration at the lack of sales training the ST reps have. It's amazing. I spent almost two hours with my rep during batting practice once, and then a few weeks later got a routine service call to check in, and there was no acknowledgement of our conversation. Incidentally, I suggested I might consider an upgrade if there were better seats available and never heard anything.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 642

The reps haven't had to be salespeople from 2008 through last year because of the Target Field demand. I suspect some of them are relying on the ASG to continue the "tickets will sell themselves" approach.

They will need an entirely different approach in the fall of 2014.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 643

Great link, TK. That article hits a lot of the important points about the secondary market, and shows that some teams understand the problems and opportunities, while others do not.

I was surprised to see the Twins included in teams selling above face value, then realized that this article is from a year ago. Do you know of any more current articles which talk about what ultimately happened with the new deal?

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM by Rick 644

Twins ticket motto? Buy cheap and sit where you want! Don't forget those Holiday dogs! 17 games 2010, 15 2011, 3 2012! 2013???

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 1:52 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 645

You probably won't see the vast quantity of tickets at a deep discount on Stubhub any longer. A lot of the tickets you saw were from scalpers and other STH who would unload the tickets for anything. If those groups do not renew (as expected), you'll be looking at paying for tickets closer to face value.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM by FD Highlight this comment 646

Rick, I have not been able to find any recent articles (so I posted one I saw last year), other than some SportsNation articles talking about the Yankees blaming StubHub for their empty seats.

I attached an article from NBCSports with Yankees blaming

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM by tk Highlight this comment 647

FD, I completely understand that the fewer scalpers/STH have invested, the fewer amount of tickets will be available.

I know that you were only making that small point, however, I am going to take my stance a step farther.

Right now, it appears from the Twins lip service, there is not an issue with them losing STH equivalents or I am certain I would have gotten a tougher sell (maybe not, it is the Twins).

Besides, this is Minnesota and people buy into spin. I am sure there will still be available seats, as I know of at least 2 businesses that will continue to put their company tickets online for last minute.

One of my main reasons surrounding purchasing season tickets, was it allowed for me to have the same location at each game and at a discounted price. This year, I could many times find seats in my same seating price point closer and at the same price I paid starting 6-9 months prior, as the Twins went to Dynamic pricing.

To me, this takes the value away from STH to putting money up front.
Why purchase tickets up front now, when it appears that I can wait the season out, buy when they are low and I am certain I can go to the game of my choosing.

If there are not tickets available on StubHub, I would have no issue paying the Twins their asking price. In looking ahead, my assumptions will be that I will not have an issue paying the STH price on a per game basis for the next few years.

When I go to make my decision to stop buying 45 games (of the 121 on my account) I looked at it economically as an investment on entertainment. I could spend the next 6 months spending $100s of hard work, knowing that not much appears to be changing or being righted.

From that perspective I need to ensure that money is going to bring me value (entertainment). I looked at the cost to me just more of the same.

I may be wrong in my assumptions, but I will become an ordinary Joe next season, but it will not seem like a daily choir to find people to take free tickets.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 3:13 PM by tk Highlight this comment 648

FD:
That's right. Last minute buyers this season benefitted from an unusally large supply of unwanted tickets. Fewer STs sold = fewer unwanted tickets available.

But that doesn't really solve the Twins' problems. I went to a couple of extra games this year because I could get nice seats very cheaply. I wouldn't have gone at all to those games if I'd had to pay full value - even if that value had been lowered using "demand pricing." So the team won't sell those tickets at the front end, won't sell them near game day, adn won't get the concessions revenue from those empty seats.

That's a big looming problem, and if the team reps are being nonchalant about decisions not to renew, then they're doing a lousy job.

JFH: I agree with your points. I'm not suggestting that my approach this season is a great way for the system to "work," just saying that that's been the result from rapidly decreasing demand.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM by BR Highlight this comment 649

All of what has been said about tickets, prices, sales reps, etc. would I suspect quickly be changed for the better were the Twins to add two or three quality starting pitchers. That's obviously easier said than done, but the point is ticket demand has more to do with performance on the field than any other factor.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM by terry Highlight this comment 650

Maybe they know they've got a deal with Greinke.

Would that change anybody's mind?

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM by Rick 651

I bet they lose 25-30% season tickets next year, even with the all star game. I hear Gibson has been tearing up the fall leauge so far. Who needs Grinke?

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 652

TK,

I agree with you that buying from Stubhub will still be cheaper and a better plan than buying season tickets. I was just saying that it won't be as good as it was last year and at the end of 2011.

I am also in a similar situation that you were in. I have not renewed my season tickets and have not notified the Twins, either. I was expecting some sort of contact from the Twins by now, but I am only on a 20 game package so maybe they don't care. Also, my STH rep provides excellent service. I've never had any issues with him and his response time to my emails is great.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM by FD Highlight this comment 653

Aren't you intrigued by the idea of both Gibson AND Greinke? Why can't the Twins have them both? You have to spend money to make money.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 6:00 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 654

TK,Rick: I concur, that was a great article, very informative. I suspect that game they researched (a Friday in August 2011), was a Fireworks night for the Twins. Now I think I understand better the plan this season to vary the face value of Season Ticket holder games individually, by more than the basic three levels they had before. Now their dynamic prices can go close to actual market value for the low demand games, because our ticket price might say $15 instead of $45 (the value price), but our average cost will still be $40, for example.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM by robin Highlight this comment 655

robin - Don't you think that any variable price printed n a season ticket that is lower than ST cost devalues the ticket?

If my ST cost is $50 a seat (or whatever)., I don't want any of my tickets priced less than that (or priced less than that by the Twins for single game pricing).

All variable pricing does for STHs is reduce value. I don't want to pay $50 for a $35 game. Yes, I also pay $50 for a $65 game, but (a) there are far more "duds" and (b) I'm taking a risk on a full season.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 656

If fewer season tickets and single game tickets are purchased, that'll lead to fewer tickets on StubHub and result in prices leveling out in the secondary market.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 657

Robin, the August 5 game was the Gant/Hrbek, the most popular game in both sets of my tickets in 2011.

Jorge, I think that is right on point. I hope ticket prices level out, because just buying/selling tickets on StubHub is just going to cause for this club to go further into restrictions with putting a quality club together. I would gladly pay higher prices to see a competitive team.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM by TK Highlight this comment 658

Thanks, TK. I had in the back of my mind that there was an extremely popular promotion around that time, and that was the one.
JFH, I see your point, and understand how that could influence your decision to buy seasons. I think, however, that the ticket is already devalued by the market, in a case like that, and the team is trying to reflect that.
Of course the supply/demand for a particular game will change for various unpredictable reasons from the time they are printed with whatever price, and the time the game approaches.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM by robin Highlight this comment 659

An example is the Viking season ticket package. Same face value on the ticket for exhibition games and regular season games, including Green Bay. Mentally, I figure my price for exhibition games is $10 to $20 per ticket, and I add the difference from face value, either averaging it into the 8 regular season games, or more accurately,add most of it to Green Bay, maybe Chicago, and lesser proportions to other games. Offhand, I don't think I would mind if the Vikes put a very high price on the Green Bay game, and a more realistic price on the exhibition games, if the total was the same as the season ticket package price.
Incidentally, I hear the Vikes are going to play a home game vs Steelers in London. So 2/9th of the package will be games that don't count, where the top players don't play much, and what otherwise would probably be a high value home game (with pittsburgh) won't be included. Maybe they will make some compensatory adjustment. but with new stadium coming, and the team winning more games, they might start raising prices again and not worry about that.

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM by robin Highlight this comment 660

Winona Gibson already is with the Twins. I think Greinke asking price will be too high. He already is making 13.5 mil a year! I can't see them throwing 15-20 mil at a pitcher!

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 08:55 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 661

SHOCK!!!

DSP says "no plans to change the outfield wall dimensions (distance or height) for the 2013 season, and there will be no change to the batter's eye, such as the addition of trees..."

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 09:42 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 662

Dammit DSP. Are they still going to'renovate' the RF seating and ditch the bleachers? I hope they were wrong about that too and keep it the same.
Ah...the "Twins way": get people all revved up then take it all away.

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 09:53 AM by luke Highlight this comment 663

Luke, the work is already underway on the RF bleacher change. They have posted pictures of the benches being removed and shipped off to area baseball diamonds.

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 10:03 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 664

White Sox are reducing ticket prices in response to attendance issues. See link.

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 665

The White Sox were in contention throughout the season and obviously have a larger population from which to draw and still the Twins outdrew them. If you look at the ratio of attendance to wins or to number of days in contention, the Twins' attendance was actually pretty phenomenal. Now let's get some starting pitching.

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM by terry Highlight this comment 666

Twins should follow suit if they want attendance to be anywhere near respectable the next few years. $10 should get you into any of those outfield upper deck seats!

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 667

I have not been so bummed heading into an off season...where is this team heading and what are the Twins doing to rev us up again.

Next thing you know, they will take away Autograph parties...

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 668

Congrats to the Tigers for winning the AL Pennant! Teams from the AL Central can actually win in October afterall...

Maybe it will be another re-match of the 2006 World Series between the Tigers and Cardinals.

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 669

And congratulations to the MVP of the ALCS (and of the Tigers' post-season so far) -- I can't believe I'm going to say this -- Delmon Young.

(Young clearly does better for a team he believes has a chance to win.)

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM by Rick 670

Yes, congrats to the Tigers.
And, as I always say, they become celebrities AFTER they leave the Twins. Congrats to Delmon.

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 671

You can't believe you're going to say this... Geez Rick, give Delmon some credit. He was a stud in the playoffs last year for Detroit as well. That's probably why the Twins traded him. They don't want clutch playoff players on their roster! I always liked Young. He is a very good hitter with power. Let's forget about his defense though!

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM by J2K Highlight this comment 672

J2K - your definition of a very good hitter must not include any statistic that is currently tracked for players. I'd like to see some numbers that support your conclusion for Young.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 2:17 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 673

2010 w/ Twins Delmon Young BA .290 21 HR 112 RBI---career average (7 years) .284 BA 16 HR 89 RBI. I dont see a problem w/ his hitting. I think everyone thought he would hit 40 HR a year here but cripes the guy hit 7th in the lineup and knocked in alot of runs for us. Not saying he puts up Josh Willingham numbers but he hits 25-30 pts higher than him average wise.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 2:34 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 674

Would young have blossomed if he had hit fifth as a Twin?

2 - Mauer
3 - Morneau
4 - Cuddyer/Kubel
5 - Young

More to the point, would he have been enough protection for the clean-up hitters? Gardy must not have thought so. (Of course, I'm remembering typical line-ups. Perhaps it was tried at some point.)

It is funny how perceptions develop. It often has nothing to do with numbers, which is pretty old school. Is this part of The Twins Way -- and therefore part of the problem?

But if Young becomes some sort of elite player, he'll have to be added to the ever-growing list of players who left Minnesota and suddenly found themselves.

The day Young was traded, I felt almost exactly the same as I did the day David Ortiz was released: relieved and with not the least bit of regret.

Shows how completely clueless I am. (But I wasn't alone.)

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM by Rick 675

My recollection is that David Ortiz' biggest problem while with the Twins was staying healthy. He'd show brief signs of becoming the hitter he later became with Boston and then would come another injury. Hand injuries I recall being especially troublesome. As a result, his time with the Twins was a time of fits and starts.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 3:26 PM by terry Highlight this comment 676

And Ortiz did not sign with Boston until late January 2003 because a lot of teams were hesitant due to his history of injuries. Its not like some team nabbed him up as soon as free agency began in November. He was on the market quite a while.

On another note, the University of Minnesota is now offering $20 tickets for Purdue and Michigan State and $30 tickets available for Michigan.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 677

Thanks Uffda. Good numbers I agree. Also note that Jason Kubel hit 30 Hr's for Arizona this year - we didn't need him either!

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 678

Lets face it Delmon drove Mr Whipple nuts! He was a pain in the azz in the clubhouse. He was always in la la land!

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 3:57 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 679

So having good guys in the clubhouse is better than having good players? I think the Twins need to get rid of this "Twins Way" crap. Delmon was cheap and productive. I think it was a mistake to let him go for nothing, just because he supposedly had a bad attitude.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM by FD Highlight this comment 680

Give Delmos some time he will implode show up drunk or show up 70 lbs overweight. Plus he was twinkle toes in the OF. Just a train wreck thats bound to happen.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 4:20 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 681

Babe Ruth showed up drunk many games and it worked out for him. I don't care about anything other than production on the field. That's his job and the man can hit! Quit hating on Delmon. If I had an office full of jerks that produced, I would take that over a bunch of lazy nice guys any day.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 682

I don't think a .284/.317/.742 qualifies as a very good hitter at all, especially for a LF. His career WAR is 0.6. That's not good.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 7:18 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 683

It has been announced that as punishment for Norwood Teague cancelling the Gopher football home-and-home series with North Carolina, the Gophers' non conference schedule for next season will be:

Vs Clemson @ TCFBS
@ LSU
vs Auburn @ TCFBS
@ Florida State
oh and just for fun, the Gophers will play Notre Dame AT Notre Dame the Thursday night before the LSU game.

That will show Teague not to make idiotic, Dwight Schruteish decisions. What a jackal. This team needs hair put in its chest. That nonconf schedule ought to do it.

Posted on October 20, 2012 at 8:11 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 684

New coaches announced.

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 685

I've heard good things about Brunansky as a hitting instructor. And he certainly has some credibility, just show the boys that World Series ring if they're not listening!

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 686

These are some good moves, now lets move to the starting 5 makeover.

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM by tk Highlight this comment 687

Brunansky...will replace Joe Vavra -- reassigned...to third base coach and infield instructor...

Steinbach...will replace Scott Ullger -- who will coach first base and instruct outfielders...

Is it just me, or does this seem considerably less like the shake-up it was originally presented as? This now seems way more like rearranging the deck chairs...

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 1:27 PM by Rick 688

I agree with Rick, this is essentially rearranging the deck chairs.

Sure, it's nice to see some new blood with Brunansky, Steinbach and Cuellar, but lets not forget these coaches (including Steinbach) all worked together during Spring Training in February and March.

Is Ullger still the man in charge when Gardenhire gets ejected or is absent? He has been 3B coach, bench coach, hitting coach and now 1B coach...is there really a difference between 3B coach and 1B coach? How many more times is he going to be "demoted?" I guess they could all be gone after 2013 if there are no improvements.

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 2:10 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 689

I think Mr Whipple knows unless this club doesn't finish well above 500 he is done!

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 690

There's a huge difference between 1B and 3B coaches: 1B coaches never get criticized by the fans for sending a runner to an unsightly demise at home plate!

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM by BR Highlight this comment 691

I agree, huge difference.

But isn't the idea to find the best possible person to make those decisions? I'm not saying that Vavra isn't the best possible person -- I really have no idea -- but it certainly appears as if the Twins are simply admitting that the last one didn't work out and are flipping open the Pez dispenser of coaches to fill the open spot.

Seems to me that the first base coach has to be the very best guy in the organization to read pitchers/catchers and guide base runners, and the third base coach has to be the absolute best at reading situations, knowing defenders, and knowing what runners can actually do.

Again, not saying that Vavra or Ullger isn't right for either position, but just having coached at another position within the organization isn't really sufficient qualification. In fact, one has to think that if either of these guys was the absolute best fit for these new positions, he would have been doing it already!

That flicker of optimism I had when the changes were first announced has almost faded to black.

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 4:22 PM by Rick 692

I agree that this is less of a shake up than what it seemed when first reported. I was not expecting to see Vavra and Ullger in the major league dugout. Here I thought they were reassigned to the minors. Hopefully Vavra is good at controlling the runners at 3B.

It is nice to have this out of the way early. Now TR can focus on finding some SP and IF help.

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 4:22 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 693

Cripes! Following this logic, we can solve our starting pitching woes by having all of the relievers move to the rotation.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 07:59 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 694

What's the deal with the Mr. Whipple references to Ron Gardenhire? I must have missed the boat on this one...

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 08:11 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 695

Rick:

I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek about the 1B/3B coach distinction. They have slightly different tasks but the roles do not require significantly different backgrounds or skill sets. Both coaches need to know the strengths/weaknesses of their baserunners, the tendencies of their hitters, the arms of the defenders. They need to monitor defensive positioning for the runners. Keep track of game situations. 1B coaches tend to have more base stealing background, but that's not of great consequence for most in-game situations. The best runners usually have the discretion to go when they want; otherwise, the bench typically calls for steals or hit & runs.

Most good coaches can coach either of the bases. Some do seem to make better quick decisions (sending the runner) than others, but I'm not aware of any good studies out there that demonstrate what skills influence that performance the most, let alone who does it best. There are too few data points for individual coaches, and too many variables to determine in many instances whether it was the coach's fault that a guy got thrown out or the runner's, or just a good defensive play. (Exceptions obviously exist, such as getting slow runners thrown out at home with less than two outs, etc.)

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 09:06 AM by BR Highlight this comment 696

Don't worry about it Mike - most of the rest of us don't quite understand why anyone would think that is funny.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 09:55 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 697

but I'm not aware of any good studies out there that demonstrate what skills influence that performance the most, let alone who does it best. There are too few data points for individual coaches, and too many variables to determine in many instances whether it was the coach's fault that a guy got thrown out or the runner's, or just a good defensive play.

All you sabermetrics geeks/gurus, get on this. I wanna know Ulger's success rate of sending runners with two outs on foggy tuesday nights vs. the yankees in Yankee stadium and how that compares to his replacement. AAAAAANnnd GO!

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM by jared Highlight this comment 698

If nobody is tracking third base coaching stats, time to start!

I don't agree that the skill sets are that close between third and first base coaches. Well, maybe certain parts of the skill sets overlap, but they are definitely not identical. It's like the difference between pitchers and catchers: each position has to throw and catch the ball but...

As for "funny" nicknames, they are best ignored.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM by Rick 699

The overlapping skill sets of a pitcher/catcher aren't even in the same ballpark as the overlapping skill sets of a 1B/3B coach. Your all wet on this one Rick.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 700

Clearly, Jerry White was costing us games.

/hyperbole

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM by Rick 701

Those 2013 season ticket plans are not evenly distributed

20E only has 2 Saturday games but yet 20F has 5 Saturday games.

Also, plan E has Friday July 19 and Sunday July 19 against Cleveland.

I won't be renewing my 20E plan that is for sure! If I renew at all, it's going to be C, D or F. The Twins entire 2013 schedule is not very appealing.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 702

**Sunday July 21

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 3:24 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 703

Twins release their five tier ticket pricing. When i figure out the accounting and math, I'll be able to articulate a response.
click name for info.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 704

Ozzie Guillen fired from the Marlins after one season.

I wonder if he'll catch on with another team...

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 3:32 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 705

Any chance Scott Ullger will be mentioned as a candidate for the Miami Marlins??

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 706

Text for STH variable pricing:

"As in previous seasons, the Twins will apply variable pricing to all tickets for the 2013 season. Per-game prices for both single game and season tickets will be expanded from 3 tiers to 5 tiers and will be based on factors such as time of year, date and opponent.

The advantage for Season Ticket Holders

You'll continue to enjoy a savings off box office prices with the assurance that the price offered at the box office will never drop below the price you pay as a Season Ticket Holder for any game.

What's more, 2013 season ticket package prices remain unchanged from 2012 even though the price you pay per game will be variably priced."

What an ABSOLUTE FAILURE. This provides NO advantage to an STH (and, from my standpoint, makes life more difficult - now I have to figure out a way to allocate cost by game, rather than cost x # of games or some partners will likely feel they paid "more" than others.

A Home Plate Box seat that costs me $53 now has a "value" of somewhere between $26 and $80. Uh huh. No one in my group is going to value so-called elite games at $80 each.

The Twins say I "save" $9 per game. But that only assumes that I would have bought the same games and the same number of games at the box office. I guarantee you I wouldn't be paying $89 to see the Yankees play a Twins AA team at Target Field.

IMO, the value proposition just went WAY DOWN for STHs. And, I haven't done the math yet, but somehow this further hurt my ability to break even on any tickets I end up having to sell.

Does anyone have a thought on just exactly how this is supposed to be a benefit to a season ticket holder that doesn't personally go to about 70 games?

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 707

tk -

Would love to your the "logical" reaction to variable ST pricing. Mine was purely emotional, after reading the email and looking at the chart.

Too pi$$ed off at the moment to look at it logically.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 4:09 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 708

Last year Plan E included no Yankees, Red Sox, or Angels games - the only plan to be so deprived. You would think that when they decide which STH to screw the worst they could at least spread it around a bit.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 4:47 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 709

We don't (and won't) apply the variable pricing when allocating cost in our STH group. Each partner takes the same number of games, and total price of the season's tickets divided by number of partners = amount each partner owes. Makes life easier, and nullifies some of the curious values assigned. (Tue 4/23 vs Miami is a "Value" game, but Mon 4/22 vs Miami is only an "Extra Value Game,"??)

Also, most in our group actually attend the games they select, so we avoid most of the inequalities in perceived value on the secondary market.

With the team in its current state, I don't think there is any way for a STH who "doesn't personally go to about 70 games" to achieve any sort of benefit - no matter what pricing structure is in place.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 710

I have to agree that, at first blush, the new way of handling STs and variable pricing appears to, well, suck. I don't remember variable pricing taking the single game price below the "average" season ticket price, last year. Did it? It does now, and more often, given 5 price tiers. You're also right about dividing games up among others, JFH. Pricing it will be harder and keeping it "fair" will likely be harder. Ugh.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 5:02 PM by BR Highlight this comment 711

Am I understanding this correctly - My ST field view seats (Sec 307) for the extra value games will have a face value of $5 printed on them?

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 712

The reasoning behind the variation in prices on season tickets is nicely explained in this article (thanks, TK).

I know some STH folks with large groups for whom this change in face values will likely be a serious nightmare...

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM by Rick 713

gigotwins - Yes, $5 will be printed on the ticket

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 7:06 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 714

Expectorate -

I've already told my group we are sticking with fixed price per game, at least for this year. If anyone wants out, I'll find a replacement. But one person already doesn't think it's going to be "fair" if the cost of her games is less than what she is paying.

Just one more hassle to running a season ticket group.

BR -

I believe you are correct that the VP last year at the box office did not go below the ST cost by seating area, but I would have to fnd the chart from last year to verify.

Rick -

I agree with you on both points. That article is a very good one. Variable pricing at the box office makes a lot of sense. But as soon as season ticket cost is ABOVE box office, the STH loses (or the idea of being an STH loses value).

During the season, if the Twins suck and it's going to rain on a July afternoon when the Royals are n town, a walk up will get a better deal than the STH that paid for that game nine months prior.

Granted, if the 2013 Twins play like this year's Orioles, an STH group may see some benefit, but that's a stretch.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 715

Wow!! I am glad I am no longer a season ticket holder!!!! Sorry to those of you who was still in...

At first/second/third glance, this is absolutely ridiculous to change, essentially, the terms of a contract after you are committed. It is almost as crazy as "reassigning" a coach to another coaching location.

I am still trying to wrap my brain around this, had a very busy day, and not sure if I am going to be able to give this a cognitive examination. And contacting the Twins (regardless of being a STH or not) will only gain me the canned answers that will not help put the pieces together in a logical format.

What we know:

There are 5 tier price points now for STH and Single Game:

Extra Value Games
Value Games
Select Games
Premium Games
Elite Games

In years previous, there were 3 pricing tiers for single game tickets, and only one price for STH.

STH: The price (at least $1 below face)
Single: Value, Select, Premium

In looking at the tier break down, here is the amount of games in each tier:

Extra Value Games = 8
Value Games = 16
Select Games = 32
Premium Games = 16
Elite Games = 9

Now let's do the math should you be fortunate to have a Diamond Box 40-game plan in the 40B.

Extra Value Games ($20) = 3
Value Games ($30) = 8
Select Games ($40) = 17
Premium Games ($50) = 8
Elite Games ($60) = 4

Cost for 2 tickets at each price point:
Extra Value 3 Games ($20) = $120
Value 8 Games ($30) = $480
Select 17 Games ($40) = $1360
Premium 8 Games ($50) = $800
Elite 4 Games ($60) = $480

That would be a total of $3240.00, and one would have been invoiced this fall at $3200.00

The Twins can say you save ($) a game, as the STH price and Single game price fluctuate that ($) amount across the board.

What is the savings per tier for a 40-game Diamond Box:
Extra Value: $20/$27 = 25.9% savings
Value Games: $30/37 = 18.9% savings
Select Games: $40/47 = 16.9% savings
Premium Games $50/57 = 12.3% savings
Elite Games $60/67 = 10.4% savings

It is a bit difficult to compare 2012 to 2013 as single game ticket purchaser, since they moved from 3 to 5 tiers, but here is what I will do, I will average EV and V AND P and E

2012 2013
EV/V: $45.00 $32.00 (roughly Saving 28.9%) from 2012 Single Game Cost

S: $48.00? $47.00 (roughly Savings 2.1 %) from 2012 Single Game Cost

P/E: $53.00 $62.00 (roughly 17% increase) from 2012 Single Game Cost

So all but 12 games, non season ticket holders will be saving money over the single game price from 2012.

I have just done some rough calculations, I do not have time right now to look at it further, but it would be interesting to compare how I drafted last year to see what my cost would have been. It is going to be a logistical night mare if you do not have a group that will agree up front, or each draft an equal number (which is mathmatically challenging itself) from each tier.

I guess the Twins motto is, "fixing right field, leaving center alone, and throwing our STHs a curve ball from left field."

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 8:14 PM by tk Highlight this comment 716

Yes, I get how things balance out...but if you get a Yankees game, you were paying $40 (3 days ago), but now are being charged $60 (50% more). And to the point made above, if you attend all games, that is where the value comes in.

I will gladly save the $40 I had planned on spending on a Royals game, and now spend $27.00. In the end...this is probably what the Twins are hoping for.

It seems like bad timing for a bad club trying to bring back credibility.

Does this now mean that Dynamic Pricing is not added into the mix?

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 8:20 PM by tk Highlight this comment 717

"Ridiculous to change the terms of a contract once you're in" amazing how some businesses STILL dont get that. Hello, anybody from Enron and MCI WorldCom...lol?

Second, it AMAZES me that a team that can find a way to lose 95+ games in both of the last two years can somehow find a way to work the word "elite" in their game schedule. What a joke.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 9:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 718

So how much money would I actually be saving as a STH? God knows I could be spending that extra cash on Holiday hot dogs.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 719

Getting errors trying to post - seeing if this works

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 720

tk - thanks for doing the math. I will do the same tomorrow for HPB and LC.

If you have a group of 4 and each takes 20 games, this new approach is fine. For just about any other group config, someone is going to feel slighted.

I don't understand your example of the Royals game. As an STH, you pay the $40 for a ticket that has $27 printed on it. You don't save anything. Can you explain more what you were thinking?

As for dynamic pricing, it still (apparently) exists, but the listed prices by category are the "floor"

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 721

Continuing my last thought -

The big change here is that the STH is now being asked to "buy in" to the concept of variable pricing per game but only on a full season basis. That concept is ONLY valid if you KNOW FOR SURE you (or your group) is going to go to EVERY game (or close). That would be the case for only a fraction of the STH population. (It's really hard to go to all the games - I went to 65 games a few years back and can't ever imagine being able, let alone interested, in going to that many games again).

The Twins trumpet this as being a value for a STH. I just don't see how this provides ANY value to an STH or an incentive to become one. I don't see this as anything more than a potential headache.

I'd love to read comments from anyone that believes this change is a good one, because I don't see how this benefits the STH masses.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 722

I do think this change may help STH capture a larger percent of their initial investment (although still be a loss), even if a team is stinking.

If you look at the tier price, if a game cost an STH $20 (and it was not a game they would/want to go to), that person will likely be okay with getting $10/ticket, which would only be a 50% loss ($10). In previous years, that would be a 75% loss ($30), as I have seen those tickets go for that low.

Either way, STH are losing money, but not as big of one.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM by tk Highlight this comment 723

You may be missing the point - in your example, the STH is NEVER paying $20.

And % loss on an individual game is irrelevant if you are an STH that must buy the entire season/package. The only % that is a fair comparison is what % an STH would lose over actual cost paid by the STH.

Trying to convince an STH that they are somehow better off because they can sell an unwanted game at a smaller % loss off of an artificially low ticket value (which is UNDER the actual cost paid), is not a winning argument when selling the benefits of being an STH.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 724

Lord knows I wish I had plenty of time to crunch all the numbers, but since I do not, I am going to do a couple snap shots of sections. Not sure if I am going to be making a point, but I am going to try. I do not have lots of access to information and the little I do, I will see if I can make anything out.

Diamond Box 105: Quick calculation 440 seats.

If they sell it out, as they have previously, they will make: $1,434,400.00 from STH in this section:

Extra Value: $20 X 8 games = $160
Value Games: $30 X 16 games = $480
Select Games: $40 X 32 games = $1280
Premium Games $50 X 16 games = $800
Elite Games $60 X 9 games = $540

Per Seat = $3,260 X 440 Seats = $1,434,400

Here is what the numbers bring with only single game purchases: $1,683,800.00

Extra Value: $27 X 8 games = $216
Value Games: $37 X 16 games = $592
Select Games: $47 X 32 games = $1504
Premium Games $57 X 16 games = $912
Elite Games $67 X 9 games = $603


Per Seat = $3,827 X 440 Seats = $1,683,880

That is a net gain of $249,480 should they have no season ticket holders in this section (and suggest a sell out of this particular section).

To me in looking at this number, they are hoping to capture attendees at expected low attended games and have a product that competes during expected high attended games to add to their bottom line.

In my thought process, are they trying to get rid of the large pools of STHs, eliminate the chance for secondary market tickets that have driven down the cost of tickets, and hope to recapture revenue by hoping to put a quality team together.

Is this a reason for the non hard sell when I and many others have begun to walk away?

We can look at another section, one that has been discussed frequently, the empty Grandstand 238. This past year, I believe the tickets were $19, and that was the lowest the ticket cost would go.

This section appears to have about 373 seats:

Extra Value: $9 X 8 games = $72
Value Games: $13 X 16 games = $208
Select Games: $17 X 32 games = $544
Premium Games $21 X 16 games = $336
Elite Games $25 X 9 games = $225

At this pricing, the are anticipating: $1385/season seat and $516,605 given a sell out during each game. Keep in mind, a Saturday, July 28 game against Cleveland was $32.00/ticket with demand pricing.

I have yet to see if the Twins will continue Dynamic Pricing, so who knows tickets for these games could be higher than bench marked currently. However, if the trend continues, could Dynamic Pricing then given the average Joe, like me, the STH price for a cold April game for $7.00 in the grandstand?

It is yet to be seen, heck, the STH just got the news today about their plans. It will be interesting to see where this goes as the Twins try to eliminate the demand on the secondary market and hope to establish those revenue streams by manipulating the market.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 01:01 AM by tk Highlight this comment 725

I'm with those who can't see any benefit for the STHs in this new pricing structure. It has the potential to be devastating to people with ticket groups. All of the advantages accrue to the team and the single-game ticket buyer. While there's no big surprise in that, it's a pretty cold move when the chances of contending next year are so low.

The big advantage for the team, of course, is that they can now use dynamic pricing to sell single-game tickets to many games for considerably less than they used to. Where the pricing floor used to be the STH package price, it is now the "perceived value" of the individual game, which is listed right on the STH tickets. The team can say that they are keeping their deal with the STHs (not selling tickets below the price they paid) without actually doing so -- at least in letter, though not in spirit.

The potential benefit to single-game buyers is that low demand games should get a lot cheaper. This gives the team some hope that they can compete with the secondary market -- which, I think, is what this is all about.

(Before you trash the Twins management, just realize that this type of thing is spreading throughout the game.)

It's a little hard to see how the team will fare in the long haul, but the potential for greater revenues is certainly there.

I think this move seriously devalues the whole idea of becoming an STH at all, so the potential is that they will have to sell considerably more tickets on a single-game basis in coming years. But applying smart dynamic pricing algorithms then has the potential to maximize revenues for each individual seat of each individual game.

This only works, however, if there are enough high-demand games to offset the low-demand games. In the AL Central, with the unbalanced schedule, that's hardly a sure bet.

The next step might be to move to a sort of "Sam's Club" model where being an STH just involves some sort of membership fee, which just gets you into a private pre-sale.

Pretty soon we'll be buying baseball tickets like we buy seats on airplanes...

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 01:03 AM by Rick 726

JFH, in my previously example that you were looking at, I completely agree with you. I was just going based on those groups that are dividing games and paying the going STH rate.

I do not agree with what I was saying necessarily, but a for instance I can see an argument to be made.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 01:04 AM by tk Highlight this comment 727

Rick - great post. You said what I tried to say in a far more articulate way.

Tk may have the key though

"In my thought process, are they trying to get rid of the large pools of STHs, eliminate the chance for secondary market tickets that have driven down the cost of tickets, and hope to recapture revenue by hoping to put a quality team together.

Is this a reason for the non hard sell when I and many others have begun to walk away?"

Bingo - as counterintuitive as it may sound, perhaps the Twins actually WANT to reduce the number of STH and FTEs to reduce the potential secondary market inventory.

(I think the ASG will delay the eventual impact to 2015, but I'll bet a large number of ST groups disband then, taking the pricing risk from the STH and putting it back on the team. I'll keep my LC seats, but can't see any reason to keep my HPB group together)

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 01:22 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 728

I should also say that I think arbitrary section distinctions like "Home Plate Box" and "Skyline View" will ultimately just disappear. People will select tickets by section number, knowing full-well where the seats are relative to home plate, and paying accordingly.

From the team's perspective, this type of change (which can be done when the systems get sophisticated enough) has some real potential to locate under- and over-priced areas in the ballpark.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 01:41 AM by Rick 729

Weren't STH groups already dealing with perceived game value when distributing tickets?

It would seem to me that for some groups this would help smooth out the distribution. Less arguments about Joe getting more high value games than Jim while Jim paid the same as Joe. Now if you want the higher value games in your group you have to pay more. At least that's how I would do it if I were running a group.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 02:17 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 730

Agreed, Dave. Or just explain to the group what your average price is per ticket, continue distributing them as before, whether by draft, taking lists of requested games, sorting them out, etc. (I haven't actually read the plan yet, or thought too much about it, so maybe I'm missing something tragic. It might have a lot to do with the group members, how sophisticated they are about pricing, etc. I can see why it could be confusing. But that's my take for now.)
But the first sentence is the main point. "Weren't STHs already dealing with the problem of perceived game value?" And the price printed on the ticket, though more accurate than before in most cases, will still become irrelevant on a secondary market.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 05:58 AM by robin Highlight this comment 731

Weren't STHs already dealing with the problem of perceived game value?

Absolutely. This problem was somewhat mitigated in our group by the fact that we're small, and we generally attend the games as opposed to dump the tickets. But the differences in perceived value were always there, and the first tickets to go in our "draft" are always the ones that fall in line with the higher tiers (opening day, Yankees, holidays, etc).

I'm sure the Twins are none-too-thrilled that the Yankees are the home 4th-of-July opponent.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 08:41 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 732

It's certainly possible that the Twins have some counterintuitive desire to reduce the STH base, but I kind of doubt it. They still need fannies in the seats, buying overpriced beer and food. STHs are, as a group, more committed to going to more games and spending the money associated with going to games than the average fan, I think, let alone the average citizen just looking for something to do.

Even for ticket sales, it seems beneficial to me to know that you've sold X amount of tickets by October of the prior year, before you've started public sales. Helps set a base of expected income, which is certainly important for teams that aren't expected to be dominant or otherwise have certain high demand for their product in the upcoming season.

So I don't think it's in the team's overall financial interest to alienate and try to eliminate this distinct group. But I could be wrong!

As for me, we have a 20 game package of 4 seats in a cheap UD section, so the impact of this new deal is not great in any case. We already dropped two seats (had a 4 seat/20 gamer and a 2 seat/20 gamer - too many tix for a bad team! Kids losing interest...). We'll probably hang on through the 2014/ASG season but I could see us dropping all tix at that point, unless the team can find a couple of Verlanders in the meantime to climb back into serious contention.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 09:31 AM by BR Highlight this comment 733

Is it possible the "naked walk" will go to Miami?

Marlins talking to Mike Redmond as possible manager. (linky)

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 734

Well we sure don't need Mike Redmond when we have Scott Ullger and Joe Vavra

I hope Redmond gets the job and is very successful. Wouldn't surprise me if the Marlins get back to the postseason and win before the Twins ever do.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 735

BR - As a 20 game holder do you think you will have any better chance of getting ASG tickets than a non season ticket holder? Someone on here stated they were dumping their ST aand using the money saved to buy
ASG tickets. We also kept our 20 game package??????, but with the new pricing we could still take the kids to some games at some reasonable prices - we don't need to see the Yankess, Brewers.....

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 736

HOLY CRAP! I am NOT a fan of this new tiered plan. Let me explain my STH group.

-We have 4 full season LC seats in Sec B. $16,000 price tag (2010-2013)
-We used to be 16 members @ $1000 a season, which equaled 2 tickets to 10 games. But now there has been some consolidation and people leaving, I am not even sure how it's split.
-My boss and I had 1 share each ($1000=10 games) for the past years, this year we decided to up it to 3 total shares. We may split it evenly or he may take a few extra for the office. We paid our group leader evenly, he would buy them off me.
-We always sold Opening Day as additional, $50 a seat. (which I've had 2 or 4 seats each year)
-We pick games in a snake draft. Again I have no idea how this will work with this years consolidation. I'm leaving it up to the guy in charge.

The draft would always seem pretty even. Yes there would be Yankees games picked high and Royals games picked low, but overall pretty evenly spread out. The weekday day games were always last to go. I can only imagine this will DRASTICALLY change in the 2013 draft.

Now I can only feel like I should get out of the group and go to my 10-15 games on the Extra Value, Value, or Select games. Then throw in 1 Yankees game and Opening Day. I will spend less money and still get the product I am looking for.

Here's the thing, I go to watch the Twins. I am a Twins fan.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 737

Just a question - why in the transactions in the paper today does it
say: Twins: Rinstated RHP Cole De Vries from the 15-day DL. Is there an
advantage to doing that now instead of when the 15 days was really up?

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 738

gogotwins, that might have been me. Except I was weighing actually starting a season ticket plan to have a shot. I'm just going to save my pennies for the next couple years and buy the season tickets on the secondary market. Will probably save myself a bit of money.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM by schda Highlight this comment 739

gogo-

I think this has to do with 40 man roster, offseason, waivers, etc. If you look at the link, they recalled a bunch of guys on 10/4.

Back to my last post... I am really tempted to email my group manager and say I want out and I want my money back. I'm really kinda pissed.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 740

Here's something I just noticed... for groups like mine it will be possible to keep equality if games picked are packaged so that in order to get a higher game, you have to also take a lower game. Package the tier 1 and 5 together, 2 and 4 together, and 3's a free for all. We do opening day separate.

The game break down is:
1. Extra Value Games = 8
2. Value Games = 16
3. Select Games = 32
4. Premium Games = 16
5. Elite Games = 9 (8 + Opening Day)

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 741

Weren't STHs already dealing with the problem of perceived game value?

To some extent, but now it actually has dollar amounts involved. If everyone in the group agrees with the game values (now determined by the Twins,rather than the partners in the ST group), you could have partners pay the printed value on the tickets for the games they pick. But that's a nightmare for the STH. That either means I have to front all the money until the draft or issue refunds/collect additional payments after the draft.

As for perceived value, it's in the eye of the partner. Say you have a group now where one person wants all the Orioles games and another wants all the Yankees games. Both get what they want, are happy and pay the same. With the new system, the partner that likes the Yankees is going to pay more if the group uses VP? Is that fair?

Or say someone wants all Tuesday games and another wants all Friday games (and the rest of the group is fine with that). Does the Friday person subsidize the Tuesday person just because Friday games now priced differently by the Twins?

The Twins say this change is a value to being an STH. As the STH, I see it as nothing more than a headache and a lose/lose no matter which approach I use to figure out which partner pays how much.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 742

CSG Mike - fair, but still more work. But what if you have partners that put more personal value on Value and Extra Value games - should they pay less than everyone else in the group?

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 743

Jfh - I agree that it's a mess. I really don't know what is the best way to go. I do know that I will be adding up my own values regardless of what we do in my group. I better come out even.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 744

At the risk of sounding like an elitist, I am catching up on today's posts, and feel like the level of intelligence on this forum skyrocketed since I was here a couple days ago. I love the talk about pricing strategy, etc.

I am in a 50/50 split, and I have to admit that I glanced at this e-mail and basically ignored it.

I suspect there will be others like me that won't notice anything until we see printed tickets with figures below what we paid (assuming that's true based on the posts above). At that point another crowd of STH will go through the fine print again.

I buy my tickets out of convenience and to make sure I go to games. I wouldn't go to nearly as many if I had to buy them on my own, even if they're cheap.

The corporate/business seats is the priority for the Twins, as I'm sure it's the most reliable client (and shared with the taxpayer as well), and I'm guessing few if any of them will even notice this.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 745

Also JFH our rep is offering relocation in LC. I'm not sure if they're broadcasting it, but if you're interested, I'd contact your rep.

My partner wants to move down, but being in row 12 has its advantages. I have the overhang, and no one behind me. I've cooked in the sun enough to know it's miserable.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 746

Just trying to get at the ramifications here...

It seems to me that some types of STHs -- die-hards who actually use their tickets, partial or full-fledged brokers, or corporations who use tickets as client entertainment or employee perks -- will see little or no disruption from these changes. Their overall ticket price still averages to where it did. They still have tickets to every game. Resale prices will likely be minimally affected, and only by the fact that the Twins can now charge less for the games with lowest demand.

But to groups (which the Twins don't really recognize anyway), officially acknowledging the great disparity between the perceived value of games, and measuring it in concrete dollars, has all sorts of bad potential.

I've worked with a couple of different groups over the years. Basically, you buy a share of tickets for a fixed price, then either get assigned a certain set of games or show up on draft day and pick the games you want (based largely on the luck of the draw for drafting order).

But this year, group owners are going to have to decide between A) passing the actual prices on to group members, or B) sticking with the "average price" model. Each method has potential complications.

For version A, each share now has a different value based on the actual games assigned/drafted. Members no longer can be assured of paying $XXX for the share. It may cost considerably more or less based on the actual games you get. (For me, this alone would probably be a deal-breaker because I go into such arrangements with a fixed budget in mind and I'm unwilling to hope that the draft works out my way.) Second, the group owner has a lot more to track and sort through. A group owner who is sufficiently organized won't have a problem, but the days of the "casual" group owner are probably now gone. Third, when you can't use your tickets, trading with other group members is no longer one-for-one. Some money will have to change hands.

Version B's biggest issue is that some people will end up paying a lot more than the price printed on the ticket. While you can tell yourself that it's still the same price you would have paid in the past, odds are that most people won't accept that logic for long (I wouldn't). People who get tickets which have been effectively stamped with "Lower Demand" will certainly want to pay less for them.

I talked to one (very organized) STH group manager this morning who isn't too broken up about the whole thing. He thinks it's the right thing for the Twins to do, but admits that it will make draft day "way more interesting". The "luck of the draw" to determine drafting order will be considerably more important.

But I do still wonder about the long-term ramifications for STHs.

Basically, this pricing structure emphasizes that some tickets are nearly worthless to begin with (unless you actually plan to go to every game). Suddenly, when you become an STH, you're not buying "a seat to every Twins home game", but rather "seats to a few games you'll probably care about and a bunch of games you probably won't care about."

Will the discount on high-demand games (which has now gotten much smaller) be worth the cost of being forced to buy all of the low-demand games? It seems unlikely.

This would then point to the number of STHs dwindling over time. From the Twins' perspective this could be bad or good -- depending largely on whether they can optimize prices for single-game sales.

Considering that STHs theoretically now pay less than market value up front, the Twins stand to gain quite a lot by deemphasizing that model in favor of selling individual games at the real market value.

But that relies on there being more high-demand games than low-demand games -- hardly a sure thing in the AL Central and with the unbalanced schedule.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM by Rick 747

If you have a draft, simply allocate "points" just like the Twins have with their pricing tiers. Elite games are 5 points and extra value games are 1 point. Add up the total points of your package and divide by the number of people in the group to give you the points available per person.

Once the draft begins, you deduct the point value for that game selected and when the person is out of points, they are done drafting or can "trade" or "buy" points.

Or another option is if you select a premium or elite game in round 1, you cannot select a premium game or elite game in round 2.

It all depends on the group...some people like certain days of the week, some people like certain opponents, some like certain holidays, some like weekday noon games. Others may take a balanced approach with a variety. You may even get a person or two who could care less which games they get. It all comes down to your group and what each person desires.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 1:08 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 748

Gogo:
WE had the ASG discussion here a month or so ago. As a 20 gamer who's only had tix for the past 4 years, I'm not assuming I'll get a shot at ASG tix. But there's a chance, especially if the Twins are not very good again this year (more STHs will drop out). After all, if I'm reading the current rules correctly, full plan STHs will only be able to buy as many tix as they have seats, and partial planners will only be able to buy up to 2 tix per account. If there are (at most) 25,000 seats sold to STHs, that should mean that they'll sell no more than 25,000 seats to STHs... right? Leaving 15,000 for MLB and the teams? What I don't know is if the Twins will be allowed to sell that many seats to STHs or be limited to a smaller #. And if it's a smaller #, I guess I'd be hoping that my low-but-not-lowest priority on the STH list will be just high enough to get me in. But who knows...

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 3:13 PM by BR Highlight this comment 749

20 game plan STH will have the same chance at ASG tickets as astronauts who have just returned from Pluto.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 750

I've heard it said more than once here that people anticipate a better chance of ASG tickets on the secondary market. The strategy seems to be dumping STH accounts and squirreling that money away to make such a purchase possible.

Makes sense to me.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM by Rick 751

If I used the money I lost this year in games that I could not attend, due to motivation, last minute plans, or not getting done with work in time, I would have plenty of money to buy tickets 2X Face Value.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 752

Thanks for the analysis and optimism, Ben. Click my name for an article about ASG sales in KC last year, where few tix were available to the general public b/c they ended up offering the chance to purchase extra tix to STHs. That was presumably after all STHs had a shot to get their one ASG ticket per STH ticket. The article also notes that there were tickets available for public sale in Colorado in 2011.

It's not a given, but it's not far-fetched to think that all STHs will get a chance to buy ASG tix. It's not the Super Bowl...

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM by BR Highlight this comment 753

The 2011 ASG tickets in Colorado were not offered as a public sale (except to those that won the MLB lottery).

Colorado Rockies STH were offered the opportunity to buy ASG strips before the MLB sale because of the relationship between the Rockies and Diamondbacks (they split/share the spring training complex at Salt River Fields).

I heard privately that was a belated decision because sales to Diamondbacks STH were significantly less than expected, even though STHs were allowed the opportunity to buy additional strips.

If the Twins already know that they can guarantee all STHs the opportunity to buy ASG strips, why wouldn't they be marketing that? If I were a 20 game plan holder, I wouldn't bank on the ability to buy ASG tickets directly from the Twins.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 754

Rick - I don't buy your logic on type (B) ST groups. You say "people who get tickets with lower prices stamped on them will want to pay less for them", but that ignores the point that (for most of the draft rounds anyway) that they PICK them or otherwise choose them.

As for long term viability of ST groups - I agree with you. I can imagine potential partners saying "I'll join, but you have to guarantee me I don't get any Value games because I don't like them". In almost every group, everyone is going to end up with games that they wouldn't have preferred. VP just makes it worse.

About the only way I can see things being completely fair is to randomly shuffle the games and simply desk them out to partners based on number of games and NO ONE is going to like that.

I have been running ST groups for many years and have been given kudos for bending over backwards to make sure everything is fair and equitable. But this is going to make my job impossible now (whether I pick A or B, someone will be unhappy).

This year, the rules were set before this was announced, so I'm doing anything different for 2013..

But I agree with you this changes the dynamic of being an STH and for the worse. The more I think about, the more I think your analogy of airline tickets is where this seems to be heading. And that's not going to be good for any team that doesn't will consistently or play meaningful games into September.

Why would anyone want to pay tiered prices for all 81 games (at a shrinking discount level) almost a year in advance, without actually getting any benefit from variable pricing instead of just buying the individual games they want at market prices (from the Twins) or lower (secondary market)?

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 755

I have a 20 game plan (2 seats) and have had season tickets since 2010. I spoke with my season ticket rep today and he told me I was guaranteed 2 strips to All Star Game events. It will be in the form of a tiered presale, but nonetheless guaranteed.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM by FD Highlight this comment 756

Did he say All-star game "events" or the All-star game?

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 7:28 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 757

Anti- the ASG is much like the Final Four, the strips include tickets to the Game, HR Derby and Workout Day...plus a ticket to FanFest. One price for all.
incidentally, Final Four tickets include tickets to three games and Hoop City. I do wish Super Bowl tickets included...more than just the game.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM by luke Highlight this comment 758

Scan the AT&T crowd and pick out the folks who paid $100-125 to park their vehicle.
Just another day on the bay.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 7:41 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 759

I believe a strip includes the Futures Game, HR Derby and the All Star Game.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 8:38 PM by FD Highlight this comment 760

FD - I stand corrected. I did not recall the FAQ correctly. I suspect few 20 game plan participants are going to get the opportunity to get seats that are equal (location wise) to what they have in their plan.

However, having any ASG strips gets you started. I took my mid-upper deck 2011 ASG tickets and sold/traded/bought my way down to the 7th row behind home plate for significantly less than it would have cost me on the secondary market.

Order of ASG presale for partial plan season ticket holders:

40-Game plan holders with 7 or more continuous years of tenure.

40-Game plan holders, 20-Game plan and Flex plan holders with 7 or more continuous years of tenure.

20-Game and Flex plan holders whose inception date is 2012 or earlier.

New 2013 20-Game plan holders

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 761

If the Twins have as little success on the field in 2013 as they had this year, I question whether the tiered strategy will result in any penetrance into the secondary market. Looking at Legends Club, the "Extra Value" prices are $25 and $29, depending on the section. As it became apparent the Twins were going nowhere, was anyone able to unload a LC seat for $25-$29 for any game, let alone just the ones which may be considered "Extra Value" in 2013? I seem to remember outfield seats on StubHub consistently under $5 later in the season, still less than the cheapest "tiered" season ticket prices for next year.

You can see the reasoning for the tiered pricing - but if the team doesn't improve, it may still be cheaper for the single-game patron to turn to StubHub.

Teams can say the secondary market "drove down prices" all they want but in my mind, StubHub is merely a vehicle for already-devalued tickets to be used. The reason they lost their value in the first place: the team was bad.

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 10:02 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 762

"unload a LC seat for $25-29 for any game...?" in 2012. Of course they were.
One possible disadvantage of this year's variable pricing is that prior years always had a higher face value on the ticket than the STH price, but I don't think that had much practical value anyway.
It remains to be seen, but I'm guessing (hoping?) that group members will be willing to do the same as prior years - get a variety of game dates that are satisfactory to them, and pay the aggregate average STH price, which is still a discount from individual game prices. It sounds from earlier posts like the Twins have come out with their partial plans. In some cases that works for splitting up a full season package, and adjustments and trades can be made later.
If it does work out okay for seasont ticket groups, and if it doesn't make much difference when having to resell on stubhub, then the next factor might be the occasional sale to friends, neighbors, coworkers, or people who don't join the group but maybe purchase half dozen games a year. In the past, I have felt like I shouldn't ask for face or season ticket price, when I knew the market value was much less. And on the other hand, I would prefer getting more than cost for games with a higher value, knowing I was losing money on others. So you have the awkward situation of trying to explain that, or choosing between getting fair market value on stubhub to an anonymous buyer, or losing value by pleasing someone you know. The new pricing won't be exact market value, as weather forecasts and other events can drastically change that, but it could make it a lot easier to sell for face value and still be close to fair value, on average.

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 04:31 AM by robin Highlight this comment 763

It was 25 years ago today that the Twins beat the Cardinals in game 7 to win the 1987 World Series

Makes you wonder how much longer we will have to wait for our next world series appearance? Heck, even the 1991 World Series was 21 years ago already.

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 764

Looks like more front office employees have been fired by the Twins:

Darren Wolfson ‏@DarrenWolfson

Not only did the #MNTwins fire VP Marketing Patrick Klinger, but told they also let go marketing maven Heidi Sammon. She ran TwinsFest.

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 765

Seems like not everyone inside the sales department thinks variable pricing for season tickets is a good idea. I got an email from the Twins that pretty much confirms what many had suspected - this was done in an attempt to stabilize the secondary market.

I encourage any STH that doesn't like this idea to tell their rep - if they hear from enough of us, perhaps this won't be carried forward to 2014.

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 9:28 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 766

Twins need to standardize the rotation.

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM by tk Highlight this comment 767

*stabalize

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 10:21 PM by tk Highlight this comment 768

Watching Game 2 tonight really reinforced how far away the Twins are from getting back to the WS. Detroit is being outed for the team they were most of the year. Sadly, the Twins couldn't even compete with them.

BTW, the movement on Romo's breaking stuff is absurd! Makes Capps look like he belongs in a nursing home.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 769

I thought the same thing, TTH. Real pitching looks very different from whatever it was that the Twins have had the past few years.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:16 AM by Rick 770

"She ran TwinsFest."

Oh, let's hope this means that event will have some new life to it.

...so much potential... ...so screwed up...

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM by Rick 771

It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:38 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 772

The Giants aren't that much better than the Tigers. The Giants are hot and the Tigers had the long layoff.

I've wanted to see an NL West vs. AL Central World Series for quite some time, but I would have preferred to see the Rockies and the Twins. :)

... But both teams have very questionable pitching. Let's hope the off-season brings hope to the Twins. If 2013 is going to be a rebuilding year, I'd like to see a solid plan so there's some realistic possibility we will see a winning, competive team in 2014 when many more eyes will be on the Twins.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 01:17 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 773

Is there a pun I'm missing? "Stabilize" is the correct spelling.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 05:35 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 774

I think he meant stabilize instead of standardize.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 775

I thought he was refering to the use of "stabilize" in the post previous to that.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 776

Duffman is right...i was referring to my standardize comment. I was on my phone and trying to forget Vikings game and since I spelled stabilize wrong, it autocorrected. It would not give me correct spelling so i went with incorrect in second post, was hurrying to eat my wings.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 6:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 777

I thought I had missed a joke somewhere in there...

Posted on October 27, 2012 at 07:19 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 778

Two years in a row.

Posted on October 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM by FD Highlight this comment 779

Well, now that the Series is over the Twins can get started on some serious dumpster diving.

Posted on October 28, 2012 at 11:43 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 780

Nice work FD. Did you lay any real money on them anywhere?

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 06:58 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 781

Congrats FD. A very unmemorable World Series. Sandoval's 3 HR game 1 is the only thing that really stood out. Well, that and the repeated failures of Cabrera/Fielder.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 08:12 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 782

Was hoping for a more competitive World Series, but congrats to the SF Giants! 3 World Series appearances over the last 11 years and 2 World Championships in the last 3 years. Now we have 5 long months ahead of us before Opening Day 2013.

Another front office employee gone...Andy Price, Senior Director of Game presentation and broadcasting "voluntarily resigned" last week. He joined the Twins in 2001.

When you have back-to-back 95+ loss seasons, it's easy to blame the bullpen coach, 1B coach, 3B coach, VP of Marketing and now the Manager of Broadcast and Game presentation. But somehow Ron Gardenhire, Rick Anderson and Scott Ullger remain with the organization.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 09:24 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 783

Duffman,

No I didn't. But I can imagine those who did had a decent payout.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 09:49 AM by FD Highlight this comment 784

I think I caught about 3 innings of all playoff and post season games! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Where will twinkle toes MVP Delmon end up?

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 10:54 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 785

Hopefully someplace that monitors his calories....dude got fat.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 786

What. Is "Senior Director of Game Presentation"?

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 787

Does that mean the doppy Carsoup guy will be gone too?

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 2:14 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 788

Jfh, that is a position whereby the holder makes sure the game looks good on the telly: make sure the lighting is right, monitor camera angles, make sure the broadcasters dont act like idiots, might have a little bit to do with various graphics. It is a position that at one point was a dream of mine. Matter of fact, a friend of mine has a similar position with a regional network.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 4:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 789

Andy Price was also in charge of the game experience as seen and heard by the fans in the stadium. From what appears on the scoreboard and video boards to when it appears to the music over the speakers to setting the script for the PA guy to which contests are run at what point in the game to making sure those contests start and end on time to putting up fan photos or kiss cam to ensuring no awkward gaps took place between segments and so on. This guy was in charge of it all. His departure could mean the look and feel of the game will be very different next season.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 790

" --- make sure the broadcasters dont act like idiots --- "

So --- Blyleven cost Andy his job?

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 791

I'm going to check this to be sure, but I don't think this position had anything to do with the TV broadcast,. I think it's all about the in-stadium experience.

I've tried not to harp on the in-stadium experience too much, but it's been pretty shoddy. What they've done at TF looks way too much like what they had back at the Dome. I saw some very creative things in other ballparks this summer which made the TF presentation look pretty weak.

If nothing else, let's hope that this kills the first inning "Make Some Noise" graphics, which always seem completely pathetic.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 7:10 PM by Rick 792

Lol Ben, actually I missed the earlier post about Andy Price...lol. it truly sounded like a job at FOX quite frankly.
Do you suppose Adam Abrams, the PA guy, can go too? He already works the Wild games (except for this season). I have never liked him...it seems his KOOL 108 days were never left behind. A good PA announcer is hard to find.
I always liked Bob Reid who did PA for March High school tournaments. I believe he passed away several years ago. Dick Stanford was also a good PA and I believe he still does HS tourneys.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 7:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 793

Well, if that guy was in charge of the Target Field in game experience, I'm not sorry to see him go. I love TF, but the in game experience is more like going to a bad minor league park. I always though much of it was because Sue is clueless on the organ, but maybe it wasn't her fault at all.

Maybe the new guy will get a clue for the 7th inning stretch ...

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 10:42 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 794

Well --- if he was the guy with his finger on the "everybody clap your hands" button I'm not going to miss him either. And, I hope he was the only person who knew where the button was.

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 06:16 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 795

In regards to Abrams, I had question it at the end of the season when Rusty Kath filled in for the last series. Could they have been possibly testing him out? He does do the Rays game and the X during the winter.

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 08:53 AM by tk Highlight this comment 796

If he was responsible for dancing on top of the dugouts, well I suppose I understand the change. That thing is brutal.

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 10:21 AM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 797

Rick, I was curious if you or any of the loyal BPM'ers would have any inside information on an email address for sending requests to the Minnesota Twins. I have read there autograph rules, and it states to send the item and a self addressed stamped envelope to the twins, and that they will pas it on, and try to assist you, yet the disclosure states that they arent responsible for unreturned items. The problem is that this is a 1991 Game 7 World Series ticket that I would like Jack Morris to sign for my Dad. It has been framed and Matted for 21 years now! I cant risk losing it. Any info would be great!

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 798

JoJo, my recommendation would be that you look for a collectors show or Twins Fest to get the item signed in person. You would have to pay for the signature, of course, but you remove any chance of losing the ticket. Unless you can find a guaranteed insider who has a direct connection to Morris you would probably have a high chance of never seeing that ticket again.

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 799

That is what I was afraid of, as I am sure people didnt think to hold onto that kind of thing in the past. It is way to important to take a "Chance" that it will find the right person, and mailed back to me!

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 800

You can also check the "player appearances" section on the Twins website. Not sure if it will be updated during the offseason but they usually list the player appearances on there throughout the season.

A couple of years ago, Jack Morris was signing at Smalley's (or one of those bar/restaurants near Target Field) on a Thursday night and there was not one person in line. My friend walked in and talked to Morris for a bit and got a couple of signatures. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I so wish I would have known about that appearance at that time because I have an official 1991 World Series baseball that I want him to sign.

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 801

I will do some snooping, and Morris just might be out here in SODAK with Gardenhire shooting ringnecks!

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 802

A 1991 game 7 ticket? Wow, that would be awesome to get signed. Good luck!

You could try to get Dan Gladden's signature on there, too, as the guy that scored the winning run. :-)

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 803

Morris was on the Twins Caravan circuit back in January 2011. I haven't attended in awhile, but I remember that was a cheap fun event and an easy way to get autographs. Less hectic than TwinsFest or other autograph events too. (Morris was also at TwinsFest in 2011.)

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 804

Article addressing some options for the Twins' rotation next season. (Did I read Liriano??)

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 11:46 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 805

Twins want bigger piece of North Loop pie....

"Our interest in this is not based on any view of a potential revenue windfall," St. Peter said. "It's much more civic oriented in terms of maintaining and building on a partnership with Hennepin County to create and program a great public space."

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 08:17 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 806

I'm thinking Mr Whipple wants nooooooooo part of Fransissssssssssco next year. Even for chump change!

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 10:43 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 807

Mike Redmond named manager of Marlins.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 11:28 AM by FD Highlight this comment 808

No one ever talks about the elephant in the room when discussing north loop development.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 12:02 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 809

We don't need you Mike Redmond!!! We have Gardenhire, Anderson, Vavra and Ullger!! They won 6 division titles on 9 years!!

Wouldn't suprise me one bit if Miami wins another World Series before the Twins can even get one more postseason victory.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 810

Wow lets hope the Red Dog doesn't parade around that locker room with nuthin on down there!

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 811

What do you mean, DreDogg?

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM by Rick 812

I was wondering the same thing... What do you mean, DreDogg?

There is LOTS of development going on in the North Loop right now.

1. Soltva - Just finished apartments on 2nd St N
2. Greco's new project - conversion of 740 Washington Ave
3. Greco's other project - conversion of 607 Washington Ave
4. Dock Strees apartments - These are the ones called "near Target Field"
5. 222 Hennepin Ave - old Jaguar dealer, includes a Whole Foods
6. Third North Apartments - new construction by Kraus Anderson
7. The Cameron - new apartments on 4th St

This list doesn't even get into everything going on in the core of downtown. This is only what is in the North Loop.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 813

ok, I lied. The 222 Hennepin is not in North Loop. It is being touted as the grocery store that will service the North Loop.

Still... lots going on.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 814

Then there is the restaurant development...

Newer places possibly as a result of TF.
1. Black Sheep Pizza (Oct 2008? really, wow!)
2. Bar La Grassa (Oct 2009)
3. Bachelor Farmer (Fall 2011)
4. Fulton Tap room (March 2012)
5. Cowboy Jacks (summer 2012)
6. slew of other 1st Ave eateries

Coming Soon...
1. Smack Shack is opening soon on Washington Ave.
2. Fitgers Brewhouse opening in the former Trocadero's nightclub space on Third Avenue North.

I am sure there are so many many more.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 815

I'd assume DreDogg is talking about the HERC, and what it's long term plans are. Just a guess though...

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM by jp Highlight this comment 816

I think the HERC has turned out to be an actual asset to the neighborhood...

At the very least, it's turned out not to be an impediment to anything. Worst case, it represents a grand redevelopment opportunity -- say a more elaborate Interchange -- in 20 years or so.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM by Rick 817

Yes, the HERC is what I had in mind...also Mary's Place, but that is a whole different topic. I only bring the HERC up, becasue that triangle of land is the perfect tie-in to everything N/NW of the stadium.

Develpoment around the stadium seems to be all south and east/north east (towards downtown and towards the warehouse district). It feels like an abrupt end to all things shiny and new going NW, with the HERC being a better door than a window. maybe that will change once the new Interchange is complete (and I do love the concept drawings so far).

But I have to imagine the Twins and have plans to make that side of the stadium much more prominant than it currently is. The options of what could go on that parcel of land, and how they could tie it in to the stadium, are endless.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 818

Fitgers... outstanding addition to the neighborhood.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 7:43 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 819

The Fitgers plan is not going to happen anytime soon. There was an article that was published a few weeks ago stating they have so much on their plate already with their development plans in Duluth that adding Minneapolis plan into the mix would cause too big of a strain on their company. I thought I remember reading that they would be looking at a Minneapolis location again in 2 to 3 years.

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 9:22 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 820

Oh yeah, the HERC. Duh. I forget about it all the time.

I was just trying to show that there is definitely development going on in the North Loop. I think we will see another wave of restaurants after all the new housing is finished. There is opportunity there.

If/When the Southwest LRT goes in, there will likely be development on the west side of TF.

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 09:31 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 821

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"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)






From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV












Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.









A close-up of the rooftop party deck.






Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.






They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)



This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.



Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)






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



Stairs down to the sidewalk from the skywalk over Seventh












The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".



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)



The lot within the lot.



Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.



This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.



Life in the shadows



Staircase view






Plaza extension reaches toward First Avenue



Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass



Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)






The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!






Bag checking at Ball Park Lanes was incredibly simple, as was the pick up later. The line was short and fast-moving.



Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?



Perhaps these very bold, Hitchcockian birds picking at left-over popcorn and peanuts were portents of what was to come.









Click to see the full-size image.






Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.



We took refuge for a time in the Twins Pub where you can drink a beer (or just hang out) and listen to some ballpark tunes. The organ is decorated with a TC (of course) and what looked like drawings which Sue has received from kids.









The entry from the platform to the ballpark.



Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)



Cushions!


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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