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...
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.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)
This is the HERC Premonade with railroad tracks snaking beneath. (I think this should be named the Halsey Hall Premonade. Seriously.)
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.
Pawlenty makes it official!
Plaza seating installation
The lot within the lot.
Discussions in progress on some very brown grass...
An arch under construction.
I suppose that one day my son will graduate from Mrs. Fields to Hooters. At least he won't have to travel too far. *Shudder*
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
A sampling of seats at Fenway Park
The storage tunnel is barely visible at left behind that guy.
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.
Looking from near the entry doors toward the center, the atrium is just visible at the far right.
Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction
Near the end of the Angels' 4-run second inning.
A trailer village has sprung up to the south.
These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
Note the gigantic -- and very permanent -- M's on the gates at the base of these stairs.
Click to enlarge
I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.
This is the Carew gate covered in plastic.
A very unique space
This is one complicated streetscape.
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!