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View From the Ground

November 12, 2008 12:39 AM

This post has been modified to correct the characterization of the service levels.

Next up on our tour is a look at the ballpark from its foundation.

The loading dock, which is nestled beneath Seventh Street, has long been completed and is now fully functional. That means there are trucks coming and going, and an unsuspecting tourist runs the risk of being flattened.


Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.

The adjacent parking lot, which will be used by the players and other VIPs, is also nearly complete.



No more than a few steps inside the loading dock, there is currently a large opening. Eventually this will be gone, covered by the lower seating bowl, but for now you can find yourself standing just a few feet from where the field will soon be, with a view of the whole site.






I learned several interesting things:

First, those square cement openings in the last picture will actually be therapy pools for the players!

Second, it will be possible to move all the way around the ballpark on the service level. This is possible because of a very skinny walkway which will be between the right field fence and the support structure for the plaza. Most modern ballparks do not have 360-degree access on the service level. In most cases, they wish they had included it.

Third, in certain spots there are actually two levels beneath the main concourse. This is possible primarily because of the height of the bridges which border the site (Fifth and Seventh Streets). These mezzanines are used for mechanical equipment and other "back of house" operations. It's another example of cleverness by the designers to make everything fit in such a small space.

Here's an image from across the park with labels to illustrate it (the red arrow is where I stood when taking the pictures above):


It's somewhat amazing that, despite the ballpark's compact footprint, operational compromises appear to have been not much of a factor.

Up one level and you can see a few more things -- like shirts hanging on the visitor's dugout.


Also visible in that image are the backs of two limestone panels just being delivered. It sheds a little light on how those things are assembled.

This is as good a time as any for a quick mention of bike-related issues. Here's a quick shot of the bike trail under construction (parallel to the railroad tracks):


Next, here's a view up Third Avenue toward the ballpark:


Dan explained that they hope to make some adjustments to Third to be more friendly to bikes and pedestrians. This is possible because this little section of Third is really nothing more than a freeway entrance. The concept is to realign the street to the right in this image (so it basically hugs the parking ramp), with bikeway and additional pedestrian space on the left. These will lead to bike storage facilities at the ballpark. It's another way to make the site truly multi-modal.


Before closing, here are two great images from the Intermodal Station Study. The first is a nifty ballpark rendering with all the transportation connections highlighted:


The second is a vision for what the area might look like when various planned transportation improvements are inserted:


Be sure to click the link and look at the images with labels. It's fascinating and quite hopeful.

I'll have more to say on this subject when our tour continues...


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Thanks for the illustrations Rick. This area has so much potential, I just hope the state and local powers will invest in those transit options to make them a reality. That would make N Loop a desireable area for developers/residents/retail, etc. To do this the county certainly needs to do something with the HERC. When this rotten real estate market rebounds in the next couple of years, there's going to be competition from other areas of Mpls to attract the developers. It would be in the best interest of Mpls to make this area not only a transit hub, but also a destination. It seems like a tall order for the Mpls city council to be pro-active but I'm hopeful.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 07:04 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 1

Winona Mike,

I have already booked rooms in St Louis and Kansas city for next June 26-july 2nd for the twins road trip... its possable some of these will be rained out... if they are no big deal it comes with the Territory... its just a fact of life...This is somthing that has been talked about for 2 years on this site maybe thats why Kevin gets snippy about it, it gets old...

We love all of the outstate fans and glad they support the twins but the fact remains they are not paying for the park (thank god) or there might have a roof on this place. Also outstate fans come to 3 games every few years as a trip... I for one go to atleast 20 games a year and thats just home games... so I wont call anyone a pussy or weenie but the end result is the same .. Enjoy TF and be happy that your kids can watch baseball in it.. I for one was not as lucky as my kids will be...

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 08:05 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 2

Here's to hoping that the Pohlads build something on that parking lot sooner rather than later.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 08:58 AM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 3

Hear that? It's the sound of my North Loop loft finally gaining value.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 10:07 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 4

Is it just me, or do all of the "Future" buildings in that rendering look like the current Target Corporate headquarters on 11th and Nicolet?

Twinsville or, dun dun dunnnnn.....Targetapolis!?!

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 11:49 AM by Jon Highlight this comment 5

I envy you your vacation time. Having had to burn mine in the hospital the past two years, it has become a very precious comodity. If I need a day off, it now cost me dearly to take the day without pay. I'm fortunate that I only have to drive 2+ hours to get to the Twin Cities. Were I living in the far reaches of the Twins market, Taking a day or two without pay would cost me dearly.
Let me state, ONCE AGAIN

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 7:34 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 6

Winona Mike you are fighting an up hill battle, you will never win.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 7:39 PM by Matt Highlight this comment 7

Let me state, ONCE AGAIN for those who don't seem to catch it, that I DO NOT advocate a roof, either fixed or retractable for the Twin's park. We need to remember that there are new visitors to this site all the time, and not everyone here has been at the site since the beginning, where all of this has been hashed over. Cut them some slack. We don't need to devolve into name-calling children. We don't need to bully people who long-time visitors grow weary of.
Believe yourself to be a baseball and baseball park purist? Fine. But keep in mind that there are folks who don't hold every aspect of ballpark design to be sacred and sacrosanct. They have their reasons for seeing things as they do. Let's be civil to them at the very least.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 7:40 PM by Winona Mik Highlight this comment 8

Winona Mike - I'm going to have to agree with Matt here; Let's quit beating a dead horse. Yes, there are folks that have just found this site, and still want to talk about a roof. That's fine, but the ballpark's being built with-out one, and it will be okay! I live in Bemidji, and while I may not the be the best example since I get free Twins tickets from my work, an open air ballpark won't keep me from going at all (nor will it keep the folks I know up here that don't get free tickets.

And on to vacation days/people using them for sick relatives/etc. You know what? Several years ago, I had to use all my vacation days because my daughter was born with pnumonia, and had to be air-lifted to Fargo when she was born. She was in the NICU for two weeks, and we didn't think she was going to make it. That first medical bill came at $30,000, and I just about fell over. Seven years later, one bankruptcy and several years of not taking vacations for anything, and I'm just glad I've got a healthy daughter.

Bottem line? The economy sucks right now. Get over it. I don't begrudge anyone that can afford to take vacations for whatever they want. I've been on the bottem, and been back up top. Next summer I'm going to New York and Washington to see the new ballparks out there. If a game gets rained out (as happened when I went to Baltimore a couple years ago), so be it. That's life. I'll get over it. It's baseball, and I'll still have my daughter...


Posted on November 12, 2008 at 8:22 PM by Moose97 Highlight this comment 9

I agree with everyone that there should be no roof. I live in Rochester and have to take a small trip for Twins games too. Winona Mike agrees. He is not arguing for a roof or for anyone to donate their vacation time so he can afford to go to a game. Mike was just saying he is willing to sacrifice some time once in a while to go to a game, even if there is a possibility of a rain out.

His plain statement was for us to stop calling people names for being worried about the weather. We can present a logical argument, but stop calling people pansies for it. There is no reason to alienate other Twins fans with name calling because their comfort level, current location, or financial situation differs.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 8:34 PM by AP Highlight this comment 10

I think we all need another poem from poem guy. Poem guy! Where are you??

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 9:56 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 11

Okay boys and girls, it's time to gather 'round the fire and hold hands. Ready...A one, a two, a three....Koom bay ya my lord, koom bay ya.....

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 06:54 AM by Red Wing Robert Highlight this comment 12

oh Lord koom bay ya.......

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 11:12 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 13

I just checked the calendar, yes, today is full moon. Now I understand. Carry on.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 11:53 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 14

Boy, for something which doesn't even exist (and never will), that roof sure knows how to divide and conquer.

I get Winona Mike's point. There are a whole lot of people out there who know next to nothing about this ballpark. In fact, the only thing that just about everybody knows is that it won't have a roof.

This will certainly have an effect on the casual out-state fans. The die-hards don't care. They'll come anyway. But the families will probably have to watch the weather forecasts before making decisions.

(Wait a minute! You mean people can actually predict the weather in advance? What type of sorcery is this? Surely you're not saying that I might be able to find out on Wednesday whether it is likely to rain on Saturday! Heresy!)

Kidding aside, if you're planning an August trip in April, the long-range weather forecast is of little use. It's a role of the dice.

Regular readers know that I rolled the dice earlier this fall and went to New York to see a couple of games, only to find my Mets-Braves game rained out. By myself, I didn't care. But I understand that some heads-of-households would curse Uncle Carl all the way up I-94 as they headed home from a rained-out weekend. Not even the Water Park of America can make up for a missed Twins game.

(Wait a minute! You mean to tell me there are other things to do in the Twin Cities besides attend Twins games? Next thing you'll try to get me to believe is that there are actually other sports besides baseball! Pray tell, what is this "LaCrosse" you speak of?)

OK, OK, I know that people might be mad if they happen to attend one of the average of eight games per season that are rained out (Met Stadium actual results). That means that the real burden here is on the Twins' PR team to help people understand the relatively small (but real) risks, and provide some sort of meaningful insurance.

That's right -- insurance. The Twins need to seek out those family-friendly alternatives and make marketing connections with them. A rain-out stub should be good for something else fun to do in town (comparably priced, of course) on the same day. If the game is rained out, you get a voucher for another game, and free rides up to your ticket price at, um, whatever the hell that place is in the Mall of America that used to be called Camp Snoopy (Nickelodeon something?).

It's about allaying people's fears, and doing right by them. I suspect that the Twins understand this and may surprise us with their creativity on this issue.

Now, back to the camp songs.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 1:05 PM by Rick 15

One thing I need to mention is that I corrected the characterization of the two service levels per Dan Kenney. Only one of the levels goes all the way around the park. The other "level" is really just a few spots where they have been able to take advantage of the height to insert a mezzanine which can house mechanical things and some "back of house" operations.

It's still cool.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 1:07 PM by Rick 16

Rick, you weather sorcerist!

The news coverage is going to be OBSCENE the first time there's a rainout/snowout at the new park. In fact, I'm sure the local media outlets are praying that opening week is completely ruined by a blizzard and the first tornado to hit downtown Minneapolis.

"...if the Twins were indoors, surely this tornado blizzard would have no effect on the game, whatsoever. Instead, fans are throwing themselves off the balcony and plunging to their deaths over the awful planning that went into this new ballpark. Back to you in the studio, Bill...

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 1:40 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 17

The first thing I noticed when I moved back to Minnesota in 1992 (after twenty years elsewhere) was how weather-obsessed the people of my favorite state had become. Maybe it was because I moved back just before the first anniversary of the dreaded HALLOWEEN BLIZZARD OF 1991 and that event had triggered the psychosis. Don't people realize that with as much money as they waste on all of that Doppler crap and all, THEY STILL CANNOT PREDICT THE WEATHER WITH ANY PLAUSIBLE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY. Yet all of the local newscasts absolutely waste 10-15 minutes pretending to predict said weather. It's enough to drive a skeptical guy like myself INSANE. End of rant. All I remember is that I met a lot of cool people during rain delays at the Met, since what else do you have to do but actually talk to random people in such circumstances?

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 2:01 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 18

OG Jeff, that was funny. I just laughed out loud at work. Very true though.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 2:24 PM by Stich Highlight this comment 19

Hmmmm, looks like it's starting to rain. I wish we had a roof to keep us dry around the camp fire so we can continue singing.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 6:25 PM by disgruntled camper Highlight this comment 20

Rain? Did somebody say RAIN?? Could you send it this way? I haven't seen rain since August.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 6:37 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 21

choose my seats yesterday!!!! pretty excited

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 07:45 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 22

All right, time for me, a long time reader but first time poster, to weigh in on this roof/no roof issue. I live in eastern Iowa and follow football way more than baseball. (GO VIKES!) Because we have no pro teams in Iowa, fans here divide themselves into street gangs that control certain sports bars as their "turf" on game days. For a summer baseball outing, fans in our region can choose from a whole host of cities to visit that are about the same effort to get to in a day's time - Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City... I have NEVER considered coming to Minneapolis for a Twins game for one reason - I don't want to travel out-of-state to be sitting inside a dome on a July evening. My family and I will now be coming to our first Twins game during the summer of 2010 BECAUSE there will be no roof - and because this stadium will be so damn cool. And if we're rained out, we'll have fun riding the LRT to do any number of fun things between the Mall and Downtown. This stadium has succeeded in snaring a new Twins fan that could choose any number of other cities to visit for a fun summer evening.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 09:50 AM by Cedar Rapids Viking Highlight this comment 23

I've been to two Iowa Hawkeye games in my life. Both times, my in-laws drug me out to a field at 7am with 6000-7000 other Hawkeye fans, all parked and playing drinking games and ingesting some of the worst swill on the face of the planet. By the end of both weekends I felt like a beaten mule - but for Iowans, it's just business as usual. Once I traveled to Wrigley with some of the same people and the protocol was no different for a noon start.

Don't get me wrong; I enjoy a good libation and a sporting event...but I think there's a very good reason that Iowa doesn't have more sports teams: The whole state would live in a perpetual state of inebriation.

No offense to any Iowans...some of my best friends and family are from there...

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 10:39 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 24

uh ohhh.... you are gonna get in trouble for that one OG, I will "pass this along" lol

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 10:49 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 25

OG -
Think about it, man - no pro teams, no big cities, college team that never makes it to the mountain top - people gotta deal with it somehow.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 10:51 AM by Cedar Rapids Viking Highlight this comment 26

What section are your seats going to be?

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 11:17 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 27

Good point, CRV. Although that Penn State victory was impressive. Don't know if I would want to be a player when 60,000 drunks mob the field...but it looks like they had one heck of a party.

Maz, any ninja style recon trips to Target Field lately? I eagerly await the next set of pics.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 12:13 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 28

Oh I was refering to the dome.. last season , the twins sales guy called me yesterday so i went with homerun porch, 1st row (so the 3rd row) sec 100... I did that so I can get left field bleachers @ TF. He told me next week they will mail out another relocation pack to the season ticket holders so Im pretty sure I will try to get first row or 2 of the the LF Bleachers so there is still the sun on me i think after about 10 rows the overhang from the upper deck will create a shade.. I have spent my life in the dome, I have had plenty of shade.

I have not been down there in a few weeks I will see what I can do soon... I will not be breaking any laws!!! lol I need a night scope or somthing! I will figure something out soon though..

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 12:39 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 29

Place of Birth for Locker - Cedar Rapids, Iowa Yes, Boys That may explain things a little. I'm an Iowegian. Great Post CRV, it's the best post I've ever read on this site, except for all the rips on the shitstack and the need for a 2nd webcam by kev.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 2:16 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 30

...and tailgating

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 2:47 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 31

it's getting tough to get a good view inside the park with the rapid construction. you know, i'm surprised that after we got the 2nd webcam, it has taken so long to start the bitching for a 3rd. in fact, if we expect to get a webcam by the time the park is built that actually shows us the batter's eye, we'd better start begging now. i am officially announcing my support for a 3rd webcam. preferably behind home plate and pointing to center field. I'm mplsgreg, and I endorsed this message.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 4:39 PM by mplgreg Highlight this comment 32

Let's just move the 2nd webcam. From where it's located, you can only see 1st base side of grandstand and part of RF. I agree with mplsgreg, move it somewhere near the diamond. Good job Locker, you're gonna get me started again! Oh and for that one yahoo that was so offended by what we call the multifoods building.....SHITSTACK!!!!!!!

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 6:55 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 33

How about a webcam mounted on the parking ramp beyond centerfield? It would be much closer, and, if set up like the webcam in the Texas Schoolbook Depository, could be capable of panning from one point to another. A perfect vantage point for watching stadia installed.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 7:21 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 34

Multifoods looks like a 50 story jailhouse. Yech!

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 7:30 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 35

Let's get the hotstove burning boys! Here's my preliminary 2009 MN Twins Opening Day Line-up.
LF - Denard Span - Yep, he's in left
2B - Casilla - he'll be on a lot of fantasy league teams next year too
C - Mauer - please stay healthy again
1B - Morneau - again stay healthy and hit 30 HRs please
RF - Cuddyer - Comeback player of the year??
DH - Kubel - He's getting better every year
3B - Casey Blake - Iowegian comes back for CRV and Locker
SS - Punto - Gardy gets to keep his favorite hustler/ fielder
CF - Go Go - Hope he can replicate 2008 with a few more steals
Pitching - Scott Baker - No Brainer

Notes: The Delmon trade was a disaster last year. We got rid of Garza, Bartlett, and now Delmon for a couple minor league pitchers from someone. Oh well, now the Twins have a bunch of quality, hard working, hustling guys that love to play Twins-style (Kirby-Style)baseball. You can't argue with 4 division titles in 7 years. Bye Bye Delmon! The Twins will probably add some 35+ old right-handed DH that will get released after the all-star break too, ala C. Monroe.

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 10:25 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 36

We got rid of Delmon Young? I know i'm 2000 miles away...Did I miss something?

Posted on November 14, 2008 at 10:39 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 37

Wow talk about a Delmon Young hater. Your already calling the trade a disaster, hes 22 years old and hit .290 last year. Give it some time.

Also what are you talking about trading Delmon for a couple minor league pitchers from someone. Did you really say from someone? No team just someone.

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 02:26 AM by Matt Highlight this comment 38

Peeps need to chill on the Delmon situation. The kid is 22...

He's not stellar, but most smart baseball people could make an equally damning case for Gomez, who has no concept of fundamentals.

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 09:18 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 39

has anyone been to a timberwovles game this year? I want to take my son but they suck so bad i dont want to spend much for me and my 4 year old... i heard that you can get 50 buck tickets for 10 bucks is this true?

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 10:06 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 40

The timberwolves RECORD sucks, the team actually does not. I know, I sound mental, but there is a difference between the two. I went to the game against Dallas two Saturdays ago and was very pleased with the efforts of the players on the team. These are (FINALLY) guys you really want to root for. The problem is these are guys that still can't pull out a win in the 4th quarter. They've lost 5 of their six games by less than 10 points, two in OT.

And yes, if you call during the second quarter of tonights game, you will get 2-4-1s on tix - that's their promo this year, at least up to this point. In summary: go, but maybe leave after the 3rd quarter.

PS: I guarantee the shit shack gets lighting within in the next two years. So settle down people.

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 11:54 AM by johnk Highlight this comment 41

Take the boy to a Gopher BB game instead.

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 2:03 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 42

kev, got it... just scored 2 tix to the gopher game 2night off craigslist for 20 bucks!!!

70 bucks face value.. for 20... works for me

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 4:09 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 43

Very good Maz, hope you guys had a good time. I have vivid memories of Williams Arena. It's a great experience for kids..young and old. The NBA street gang thug crap is overrated and over priced.

Posted on November 16, 2008 at 12:08 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 44

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."

– Bernie Williams

Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?

Concourse ceilings (from the Ballpark Authority's May update)

An overview of the model display.

Marquette looking south

A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...

A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.

Detroit got this part right!

Section 125, Row 1

Very interesting detail starting to appear here.

First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.

Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).

This will be a great neighborhood. Note that the covering is being built for the emergency access. Also, note the streamers above, which appear to be monitoring air flow.

Photo by Tyler Wycoff

Wrigley Field viewed while approaching on foot from the northwest

This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.

Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)

The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)

Fan number 3,030,673 came through this gate a few moments after I took this picture.

Discussions in progress on some very brown grass...

This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.

Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.

Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond

This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.

The flowers don't have quite the fullness depicted in the original sketches (where they were positively overflowing), but they are quite lovely -- a great, subtle touch. And that's probably a very challenging place to grow anything.

With the engine behind us, we got a real sense of how fast we were going by looking out the front (back) window

Branding on the plaza

Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the plaza

Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)

The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.


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

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(2000, large coffee table)

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