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Model Details - Twinsfest 2008

February 6, 2008 11:42 PM

If you went to Twinsfest, you know there was lots to see and do. You also know that the center of attention -- the Mecca, if you will -- was the ballpark model. In fact, just like Mecca, there were constant throngs of people circling it very slowly, all clamoring for a divine glimpse. I was there Saturday morning and couldn't get near it.

Fortunately, I had already spent about an hour poring over it with my camera on Friday afternoon before the gates opened. There were still a few people around, and I didn't get my wish of getting shots with the glass removed, but I got a very long look and 120 high-resolution pictures. There was much to see.

Many of the changes were subtle. The biggest change that I noticed was the configuration of the area above the batter's eye. The model now matches the animation video, more or less. There are seats there, and an open concourse, and what looks like a small picnic area.

I'd love to do some detailed analysis, but my time is limited. So I'm going to dump a few of them out for you to see, and you can let me know what other details you're really interested in getting a look at. (As always, these are linked to very large versions. The cost of the added bandwidth is killing me, but I think that the details are important.)

Let's start today with the outfield...

Revised center field stands

This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.


Viewed from a different angle, it seems fair to wonder is some of those seats will have slightly obscured views. Yet, if they're cheap, that's not a problem.


This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.


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".


Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.


Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.


This is the staircase (ramp?) leading up to the trapezoid. Nice flagpole too. You'll be able to find me and Ben McEvers at the base of that flagpole on opening day in 2010!

Tomorrow (or as soon as is practical), a closer look at the plaza.


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So you'll be at the flagpole on opening day....does this mean your idea to bring the flagpole from the Met is going to happen?

Thanks for sharing more pics of the model. I like what they've done in centerfield.

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 12:59 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 1

Thanks for the update, and I didn't know until now about the "hi-def retro" scoreboard. I think that is the best of both worlds. Maybe they will animate the numbers to look like someone is manually changing them when runs are scored. I love it!

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 07:48 AM by James Highlight this comment 2

Nice work Rick!

The ped bridge is starting to cover the highway on the webcam....before you know it we will be walking across that cement!

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 12:50 PM by MOJO Highlight this comment 3

To the author or anyone who wants to answer this question: Do you think, a la Dan Barreiro, that the new ballpark has a "cold" design? (not pretty enough)Myself, I don't think so. I like how the new park looks.

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 1:18 PM by Andrew Madison Highlight this comment 4

The limestone, in itself, takes away any coldness which might have crept into the design (a la the poured-cement Metrodome). But you can also cite the compact size (I'm starting to hate the word "cozy"), the welcoming plaza, the recessed but spacious gate areas, and about a million small touches which are visible even to the untrained eye.

Anybody who would use the word "cold" in reference to this design either hasn't looked very closely or just wants to stir up discussion.

I suspect the latter. And, frankly, I hate when the media uses that technique just to get people talking. It's dishonest. You'll never find that here.

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 1:37 PM by Rick 5


Thanks for the great pics! Have the Twins designated the seating that is the few rows underneath the overhang? It will be interesting to see how they price out - it looks as if they will be a little more protected from the elements...

Thanks again, for the detailed images!

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 1:34 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 6

Thanks for the updates Rick! Very interesting as always!

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 1:55 PM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 7

You should be on the Twins payroll.

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 2:03 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 8

I hear they've got some room on that payroll now. ;)

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 3:44 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 9

I'd need six years and a no-trade clause. Don't want to find myself writing about that new Mets ballpark...

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 4:36 PM by Rick 10

wow, not much of a grieving process on santana. already making jokes and moving on...guess we're getting used to this type of buzzkill around here.

btw, rick, this site is top-shelf. i check this site at least twice daily. great (and i mean GREAT) work. many many thanks for the excellent analysis and postings. give it up for rick, all thread-heads!

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 9:21 PM by yeahkly Highlight this comment 11

Agreed, terrific site and great work Rick. We are pretty lucky to be able to keep up with the construction of this great ballpark day by day. And I feel like when I eventually walk into the park in the spring of 2010, I'm going to know it like the back of my hand because of this site!

Posted on February 8, 2008 at 11:18 AM by KB Highlight this comment 12

Hey Rick GREAT work!
It looks to me that all the way from about centerfield to the right field foul pole that there is greenery poking out the top of the wall...
Wouldn't this partially block views of the people sitting towards the front of those sections?
I'm sure the ballpark planners have this figured out but from every picture i've seen it looks like people sitting in the first few rows are going to have a heck of a time seeing through what looks to be bushes.
Just wondering.

Posted on February 10, 2008 at 1:53 PM by Noah Highlight this comment 13

What are the "streets" of the street improvements that are being referred to. 2nd Avenue? The area behind the bus depot? The north loop? If the Salvation Army and the other homeless shelter remain behind the depot, you can forget about any street improvements there. Also the area around the new ballpark has different zoning (it's the entertainment zone) than the Metrodome. Any lack of tree planting etc, isn't going to stop the sports bars from taking root. You can bet on that.

Posted on February 13, 2008 at 5:20 PM by John Highlight this comment 14

Yet another nice piece! I really must hang out here more often. Do you know where Charlie Walters got his info that the flagpole is definately "in"?

Posted on May 26, 2008 at 3:13 PM by B.W. McEvers Highlight this comment 15

bgfdvvbgf vc gg c gg b

Posted on November 4, 2010 at 9:04 PM by bulldog Highlight this comment 16

This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.

"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."

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Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.

Because of the scale, it's sometimes hard to realize that there are actual guys down there doing the tough work! Here they are getting ready to pour a footing.

These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.

Marquette looking south

Louver samples on display.

The glare problem.

Imagine this!

Click to enlarge.

The Pantheon (with inset of the magic eye)

The media all turned out!

Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.

Just lighted panels... *sigh*

Dome, what have you taken from us?

This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.

No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.

This is a background image extracted from one of the blueprint pages. It's essentially a schematic of the park (Terrace Level). In it you can see the shape of the various seating areas (to a certain extent).

Finally, a night game image -- complete with fireworks! (OK, it's either a construction photo which has been Photoshopped, or some lucky photographer spent the Fourth of July in the upper deck watching the fireworks over the river. Cool either way.)

Another classic space in the making above the Hrbek gate.

Flagpole historian Ben McEvers at far right (click for the full photo set, graciously loaned to this site by Pat Backen)


This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.

The first pitch.

Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.

At Comerica Park, some aisles have railings and some do not.

A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).

Bruce Lambrecht on the roof of the Minikahda building.

Believe it or not, the actual outfield wall will be about where this fence is now!

Sure would be nice to cover that metal grid with more wooden louvers, eh?

In addition to the Pro Shop facade, you can see more gravel being laid before the final plaza surface is poured.

Working on the main concourse right about directly behind the plate.

I think that's a pig up there on that vane!


BPM - Ballpark Magic

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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

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STH - Season Ticket Holder

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(2000, large coffee table)

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