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Strolling the Promenade

November 7, 2008 9:05 PM

First some old business: There will, in fact, be two entrances to the Pro Shop. One entrance will be from the main concourse, just inside the turnstiles. The second entrance is just outside the turnstiles, accessible directly from the plaza.

It's tough to see from a distance, but Dan Kenney provided me with this fantastic close-up photo:

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I think it's still fair to wonder if this design is the best possible for this highly-distinctive and highly-visible ballpark amenity. As I found out on my tour, the reasoning behind the decision is that the expanded plaza and Killebrew gate have been designed to be highly welcoming and to be the focus for people approaching the ballpark.

That seems reasonable. But I'm having trouble shaking the impression given by the actual design of the Pro Shop, which juts out into the plaza -- and almost into the street -- screaming, "Look at me!" It's easily the first thing the eye settles on as one approaches on foot.

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The entrances are all the way around on the other side.

More than that, it has the look of an area you can walk right into from the street. The angular walls, glass, and very orientation (it points directly toward the Seventh Street/Second Avenue corner) seems to cry out, "Get in here now and try on a jersey!"

The Killebrew gate, though wide and welcoming in its own way, lays back and is essentially a negative space: the absence of a wall is the essence of the entrance.

This is certainly a minor issue, but I think there's money left on the table if people can't pull up on Seventh Street, park in one of the to-be-installed parking bays, and saunter in to the Pro Shop without traipsing all the way around to the other side. There will no doubt be some folks who come to assume -- erroneously, but just as I did -- that you have to have a ticket to a game before you can shop. If they saw a door from the street, it would be completely different.

As it is, they will need some sort of sign in the window directing people around to the other side. This little design misstep could be easily rectified. Perhaps one day it will be.

Back to Our Tour

Today it's the promenade. Call it the HERC Promenade if you wish, but I prefer to think of it as the Halsey Hall Memorial Promenade. That's the perfect name because it just feels like the right place to step out, light up a cigar and talk about pitching. (Don't know who Halsey Hall was? Shame on you.)

Right now there's a large opening in the main grandstand which allows equipment and supplies to come and go. That won't be there when the building is finished, but stroll from the main concourse through that opening now and you'll suddenly find yourself on a very wide and surprisingly pleasant walkway.

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Looking north (toward Fifth Street and the LRT station).


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Looking south (toward Seventh Street).

This will be just beautiful in the late afternoon sun before a night game.

As you can see, a fence is going up which will provide some separation from the HERC plant. It's being installed so early on the construction calendar because it also allows an easing of the controls which are in place to handle construction over an active railroad track. With a fence in place, less can go wrong.

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Moving, and then building on top of, the railroad tracks turns out to be one of the most complicated and monumental portions of the entire project. And that's not from an engineering standpoint, but from a legal and contractual standpoint. There are so many things which can go wrong, and so many permissions and protections required that it's somewhat amazing that it was even attempted -- let alone completed without a hitch.

This is where the Ballpark Authority as an entity really shines. One of their main responsibilities is to pull together all of the stakeholders in a project like this and get them to play nice. No small feat.

When we walked up one level, I took this picture:

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Though it's a little hard to imagine, one long-term goal of the ballpark project is to tie the downtown to the near north side -- to bridge a very wide and deep divide. That's the type of thing that the Ballpark Authority is charged with accomplishing. It is a noble but unenviable task.

Also on their list is to coordinate efforts to -- how shall I say it? -- de-emphasize the presence of the HERC plant itself. Most of this will be accomplished by Hennepin County (who owns and operates the plant), and the plan is rather elaborate.

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Even as I walked the promenade, I could make out no more than the slightest odor from the plant. And, as Kenney explained, when there is any odor at all it's from the juice which drips out of the trucks as they enter and exit the facility -- not the operation of the facility itself.

To eliminate that last tiny bit of odor, there will be major cosmetic upgrades done to the ballpark side of the facility, including a new facade which will shield the big garage doors and the movement of the trucks. There will be steps to mitigate the truck juices, and then completely new landscaping between the ballpark/railroad tracks and the facility.

A berm will be built in the space where now there is only some scruffy brush, and additional foliage will provide a natural screen.

Of course, it would be great if the HERC just disappeared altogether. Kenney acknowledged that there are those would would like to "get out the Shubert wheels" and cart it away. But the reality is that it will still be there on opening day 2010, and for the foreseeable future.

In addition to the improvements along the promenade, there will be pedestrian improvements along the Seventh Street side just up the road from the ballpark. Not much detail is available yet on that.

Here are a few more images I got along the promenade:

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The Northstar circulation building is starting to take shape.


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Lots more tour photos still to come!

Comments


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Thanks for the pic Rick. I think that if the number and location of the doors on the pro shop is the biggest beef with this ballpark, we do indeed have a winner. I see everyone's point about having better access to the proshop, however, what's really on the 7th st side of the pro shop? A busy street and a housing project down the road which hooligans love to congregate and cause trouble. Perhaps it's a good thing the entrances to the pro shop will be located in a more "secure" area in case one of Mary Jo's children decide to walk away with merchandise.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 12:59 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 1

Great Pics Rick,

Also, thanks to Dan for giving us a tour...

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 07:51 AM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 2

I'm somewhat torn on this "second door" issue. I see the benefit of a door on the 7th street side, but one thing Rick said confuses me - the talk about the assumption "you have to have a ticket to a game before you can shop." Well, I'm going to guess that the pro shop will be like that at Xcel, in that the door in the lobby (i.e., the door on the plaza) is locked during games, and you can access the "Hockey Lodge" only from inside the arena (inside the ballpark) with a ticket. When there isn't a game going on, anyone can walk in to the pro-shop/Hockey Lodge...

If this isn't the case, people could just enter the pro-shop from the plaza, then exit the pro-shop/enter the ballpark without a ticket through the pro-shop main entrance.

Moose

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 09:11 AM by Moose97 Highlight this comment 3

Are those fences temporary or permanent?

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 10:31 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 4

nice, That shot looking twords north mpls shows where i was raised! that white tall apt blgd! its better now that they tore down the projects and it will all work out.. i could care less about the HERC plant the brat's and roasted almonds will take care of that smell (if any at all)....i ate at miller park last night i will post pics for u Greg !

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 10:46 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 5

That fence is permanent.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 11:01 AM by Rick 6

It's an interesting point about the sneak-in factor. Clearly, when the gates are controlled before or during games, one or the other entrance to the Pro Shop (probably the plaza entrance) must be closed.

But this doesn't change the fact that you could put that plaza entrance (or entrances) anywhere and still do the same thing.

Of course, as kevin in az points out, in the scope of this project, these doors are a pretty minor issue. But it's the details -- especially those which directly affect the paying customers -- which ultimately determine the success of any architecture. That makes the issue fair game for discussion (at least until something bigger comes along).

As I think about this, it raise questions about just how and when the concourses will be open to the public. Dan and I talked about this subject, which I'll try to cover in one of the tour entries yet to come.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 11:45 AM by Rick 7

Will Target Field, being the marvel that it is, actually have turnstiles? Turnstiles are so 1980...The Xcel Energy Center doesn't have turnstiles, come to think of it, neither does Target Center (they used to) - they just have guys standing there with the little barcode scanner things on their wrists. Besides, counters on the turnstiles usually wear out in about 10 years, or get overloaded, so they don't even work most of the time - which is why most pro teams do the scanning thing.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 2:00 PM by Luke Highlight this comment 8

I can't answer that for sure, but I'm using the word "turnstiles" to mean that point at which you have to have a ticket before you can pass.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 2:06 PM by Rick 9

Its a good point about the Pro Shop's lack of a 7th Street entrance. I don't think anyone can argue that a door here would be preferable (the fact that we're even talking about how to get in pretty much proves that point) but i imagine the calculation on the Twins part is that 99% of non-gameday traffic by the Pro-Shop will be people stopping by the ticket booth anyway. Random visits to the Pro-shop by passers-by seems unlikely without there being any other reason besides baseball to walk down or park on 7th street. That could change if the Twins partner with a developer to build something between 7th and 10th Streets (and I have to think that they'd be motivated to do so since there isn't any money to be made in just providing parking for the players) or if something were to happen to either of Sharing&Caring Hands/Mary's Place or the HERC (both unlikely in the near future).

That area between 7th and 10th is pretty interesting though because a relatively large building could go up there without offering any free views of the field on gameday which only makes it more likely the Twins would want to do something with it. Perhaps if the market for these things weren't what they are we'd have already heard rumors of something along these lines. Certainly, the cafe on the far corner of the stadium seems to indicate atleast some hope on the Twins part that this area will become something bigger someday.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 2:06 PM by Dan Larson Highlight this comment 10

Logistically it makes sense to me to have both pro shop entrances near each other. They can both be "behind" the checkout area and you only have one exit area for shoplifters to get out, etc. Since one entrance has to give access to the stadium, putting the other one where they did doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 2:26 PM by Andy Highlight this comment 11

I think many stadiums have systems in place to allow folks without tickets to still access the pro shop without a ticket. In Cincinnati, someone stamped my ticket as I went from the concourse into the shop.

I'm pretty sure it will all work out.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM by haasertime Highlight this comment 12

oops..meant to say "WOULDN'T be preferable". That's an interesting point about shoplifting but I don't know if that was their intent.

Posted on November 8, 2008 at 4:35 PM by Dan Highlight this comment 13

Hey Rick, if you have time, I was reading through some of your old posts "A Great Baseball Place?"

5. The park must have a unique identity.

The Ivy. The Green Monster. The Pinwheels. The big "A" (or is it the waterfalls?). The Crown. The Arch. The Warehouse. The park must have some form of defining element which is appropriate to the game, the city, the franchise, and the fans.

Since the ballpark is much further along in its creation I was curious as to what your thoughts are on its unique identity. I cant seem to pinpoint one thing but a variety of smaller things that make the park unique. I don't know a whole lot about ballparks (more than the average fan I guess) but it seems that this ballpark is truly a new breed of ballpark.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 12:43 AM by Matt Highlight this comment 14

That is a good question Matt and I was wondering that same thing.

I am thinking the large canopy is what the Twins are hoping will be the biggest idendity to this ballpark. The large canopy which will include the halo lights and supposedly LED lights which will change colors (still am not 100% sure if that is accurate pertaining to the LED lights built into the canopy).

When you see shots of Target Field on TV or other pictures of the ballpark, the canopy will definitely be an exclusive identity to this ballpark since it will be one-of-a kind and will also be the largest in all of baseball.

There will be many other quirks and features to this ballpark as well (overhang in RF, pine trees in batter's eye, trapezoid seating section in right-center, knotholes, etc) but you always don't notice these little quirks and features from an outsider perspective while watching on TV or seeing pictures.

It has to be something that people will immediately recognize, so I would guess the canopy or administration building built into the left field corner. I am not sure how much of an identity the limestone behind homeplate (and other limestone accents throughout the ballpark)would provide since PNC Park in Pittsburgh already has that.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 02:09 AM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 15

I think people will immediately recognize the trash burner, shitstack and horrible facade of the Target Center.....PLAY BALL!!!!

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 08:03 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 16

I think people will recognize that the press box is slightly off center and that their is no place around the outside of the park to tailgate...GO TWINS in 2010!!!!

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 11:27 AM by Locker Highlight this comment 17

What was I thinking?!? The thing folks will definitely recognize is the lack of a roof on a ballpark in MN...Why did Pollad not finance a roof for this place? Cheapskate!

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 11:30 AM by Locker Highlight this comment 18

OH god, not again about the fricking roof. Stay home if you don't like a chill or rain. Come to think of it, wouldn't it be great to put a roof on Wrigley. Oh what a beautiful sight that would make.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 12:31 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 19

Locker does it for the lulz. Best to just let him be.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 1:32 PM by ace Highlight this comment 20

My first reaction was to say, "Limestone and pine trees."

An early concept had two very tall towers outside the park down each foul line. Though I never saw a concept drawing, this seemed to me a very good idea because the place is the home of "Twins". Things in this park really should come in pairs.

The canopy, though it will certainly be cool, will by no means be unique. That type of lighting is found in a bunch of parks (such as Kauffman, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium). The actual implementation here is nice, and it will make for a very compact profile on the horizon, but it doesn't really count as the signature element of the ballpark.

So I'm going to go with my first reaction for the time being. The use of limestone at Target Field is so different from that at PNC Park that I don't consider there to be any connection between them. And, as far as I know, no other major league ballpark will have pine trees.

There is also the element of flowers. It remains to be seen just how prominent they will be (ringing the outfield fence from foul pole to foul pole), but if the colors are right, that could also be quite distinctive.

(Confidential to any latter day roof-lamenters: It may have started out about finances, but in the end, the Twins saw the light: Baseball is an outdoor sport. There's nothing more to say about it. God help us, let it go.)

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 1:53 PM by Rick 21

Rick,

I believe Progressive Field has pine trees in center (click my name)

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 2:01 PM by ace Highlight this comment 22

I really think the facade of the Target Center as well as the HERC are non-issues. I can't imagine anyone coming from a game at Target Field saying, "Wow, that park was awesome but the buildings next to it ruined the whole experience." Gimme a break; it's an urban ballpark, not everything around it can be leveled to put in something that is more aesthetically pleasing... let's just appreciate it for what it is!

I think the signatures in addition to what's been mentioned is the all-glass cantilevered spaces in the corners. I've been to a few great ballparks, and never seen anything like it.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 2:23 PM by Brian Highlight this comment 23

I doubt if anyone sitting inside the ballpark (except perhaps parts of the trapezoid against Ramp B) will actually see the HERC. Since HERC is owned by the county, it would take millions of dollars, and years of fighting to find a new location. Let's move on.

I think the signature of the ballpark will be the view from the Plaza along 7th St. With the glass Pro Shop and Metropolitan club, the limestone facade, and the canopy above.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 2:49 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 24

Those are not pine trees at Progressive Field. I believe they are hemlocks.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 2:58 PM by Rick 25

Okay, for those of you who think either my comment or locker's comments were serious, you really haven't been reading this forum very long.

Rick, you're right, the Twins finally did see the light and realized baseball belongs outside. Zygi Wilf realizes this too when it comes to football. Unfortunately Bill Lester and a majority of Minnesota weenies still want climate control. I cannot wait for the first rain delay at Target Field. What will they have to bitch about when nobody dies during the rain delay??????

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 4:54 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 26

the area behind the plate will be a low limestone wall, right? that will be the signature of the park like the brick backstop in wrigley field. this will be so fun to watch balls bounce every which way on wild pitches.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 7:20 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 27

Thanks for clearing that up about the trees at Progressive, I was never quite sure.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 7:30 PM by ace Highlight this comment 28

Here are some real poor quality pics from Fridays front row @ miller park fri night... Like i said idont think Miller park is a great park i just like the fact that i can get a burger and a beer inside a MLB ballpark for the same price as if i went to applebees down the street.

the last shot is of my girlfriends uncles packer sign in his front yard in Millwakee.. I had to put my Minnesota flair on that shit!

this is for the O.G Jeff by the way i would have hopped the fence and did some recon.. but i had my kid with me.. lol

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 8:24 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 29

sorry, for the ones that dont know.. click my name on my post above.....

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 8:25 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 30

Coors Field has a few pine trees out in CF too but are much more scattered around than what the Twins have planned. I do wish they had added something similar to this, but I know their was no real estate left.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 10:26 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 31

This one is better of Coors.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 10:33 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 32

Thanks for the links, Locker.

Coors has a mixture of trees which does happen to include a few pine trees. But Target Field, if the renderings are to be believed, will have ALL pine trees.

Big difference.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 10:38 PM by Rick 33

is there any concern about road noise from the highway, the on ramp under the stands, or the trains? I haven't heard anything about this and I believe that it could be distracting during games.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 01:15 AM by Eric inTX Highlight this comment 34

This was an early concern of mine as well, but it's not anymore.

The freeway noise is completely nonexistant, and the trains move very slowly through that stretch. There isn't even a slight rumble. You can, however, hear the train whistle blow, but I'm not sure if they will continue doing it there once construction is complete.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 01:23 AM by Eric Highlight this comment 35

Here is an interesting article about a new Twinsville idea. Click my name for the link to the story

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 08:17 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 36

at safeco you can hear every train go by and it actually adds to the atmosphere. in the right field seats you even feel it rumble as the train goes underneath you.

i would be fine if at target field they do the same.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 08:18 AM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 37

Rick,

Long time reader, first time poster. Thanks for doing what you do!

All this talk about "pine trees"...what kind of pines?? I think some nice white pines would look great, but the state tree is the red pine, so...any idea??

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 09:33 AM by Walleye Highlight this comment 38

Interesting article....yeah, let's put a nice park underneath 2 overpasses. I'm sure we'll find peace and tranquility there!!

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 10:58 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 39

First signs of the left field bleachers framing going up!

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM by chuck in ak Highlight this comment 40

I agree with Rick: The limestone and the pine trees will differentiate this park from anywhere else.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 2:30 PM by Dave T Highlight this comment 41

Is the glass being installed tinted with a little color, or is it as clear as the pictures show? Thanks.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 2:37 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 42

Walleye,

Good question. I can't find anything in the materials I have about which type of pines they will be using. My hunch is that such a decision will be made later in the process.

I know that the addition of Target's naming dollars has had a substantial impact on some of those landscaping issues -- especially on the plaza.

I'll keep my ear down for more detail.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 2:39 PM by Rick 43

I think the fact that beyond right field will be a giant open pedestrian plaza will be a pretty distinguishing feature.

I also think the limestone backdrop behind the batter will be tell tale as well.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 3:27 PM by Dale Highlight this comment 44

Click my name for the link to the Powerpoint presentation on the new North Loop idea.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 3:42 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 45

Nice pics, Rick.

First of all, great recon, Mazaratirick. I'm waiting eagerly to see a picture posts from another one of your ninja-ballpark reconnoissance missions.

The North Loop Green article is interesting. I received word that there's a few power-players in the city getting involved with this too. Major money and names behind it...but i'm not sure how it will play out, being that it's still close to Mary Jo's and it's located beneath an underpass...hmmm, crackheads and underpasses... The focus of Hines is NOT the park, but rather the retail and residential business they can drum up. They're the same group who tried to take the Twins to the cleaners over land rights...so there's major incentive to make money first.

I'm sure to take a verbal beatdown for this, but I really don't understand what all the bitching over the HERC plant is about. Sure, it's not the most pleasant to look at, but what happened to all the eco-friendly folks afraid that the world is melting? The HERC plant generates tons of clean power from garbage. In fact, they're building a new pipe to power the park and something like 13 blocks of downtown. Seems like if we could dress it up or hide it away - it's still a positive for our city.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 3:53 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 46

For me i think it will be the distinctive limestone and the open plaza.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 4:30 PM by bobby Highlight this comment 47

regarding the unique identity thing.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 4:39 PM by bobby Highlight this comment 48

The 7th picture is a great example of why the 7th St. viaduct needs to go. That monstrosity and the 5th St. viaduct completely cut off Near North from North Loop. They ought to be at-grade streets now that the massive freight railway is essentially gone. A single track doesn't justify massive bridges. This would also help with the redevelopment efforts in the area.

As for trains under the building, I was out walking around the site on Saturday and a train just happened to cross under 7th St. as I was on that side. There was a little bit of a rumble and a whistle, but I'm with annoying customer here -- it adds atmosphere.

I was amazed at how far along the Hiawatha LRT extension is. Pretty much all of the rail is laid -- it extends back around the HERC. There's lots and lots of space to stack up trains for after a game. One can also imagine that this is the first bit of construction of the Southwest line, since any sane person should see the routing for that line ought to be through Kenilworth to hook up to the existing line at the ballpark.

As for the signature feature, I think the architecture itself is so unique for a ballpark that the structure itself will be the signature. It's thoroughly angular and modern without being pretentious.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 5:37 PM by David Highlight this comment 49

And bring down the 3rd and 4th St. viaducts as well. It may have been a rail trench originally, but it's street level now.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 5:45 PM by David Highlight this comment 50

Thanks for the info, Rick. Like you said earlier, it will be the details that distinguish this as a great ballpark, and I'm interested to see what kind of trees we get in that batter's eye! I hope they put in something other than spruce trees. Nothing wrong with spruce, But I don't think there is anything particularly majestic about them...

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 6:24 PM by Walleye Highlight this comment 51

White pine in the batters' eye would be great, except for the fact that they take ~100 years to mature.

Head to Wm O'Brien state park to see a great example of a mature white pine, one of only a few in the park thanks to the loggers at the turn of the century.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 7:00 PM by David Highlight this comment 52

Yeah, David, that's a beautiful park! And I agree, white pines are magnificent. For the sake of the whole "Minnesota ballpark" theme I suppose we should include the good old state tree, too, maybe it will make the Twins more willing to look at putting them in :)

It definitely seems unlikely that the Ballpark Authority/Twins would be willing to wait for a nice stand of white/red pines to mature in the batter's eye, but it would look absolutely incredible! If we want the pine trees to be a distinguishing feature of the ballpark, this is the way to go!

I'm pretty sure they could do something like they did at the Como Zoo when they installed the trees for the Japanese Garden. They selected large-sized trees (probably at least 20 years old) off-site and then used a tree spade to dig them up and move them into place (tree spades are sweet - minimize damage to the root system while allowing you to move pretty massive trees). They were pretty much the same size they are now. It can be done, so the Twins should do it!

Rick? Hope you can work your magic on this! Thanks again for the site

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 7:23 PM by Walleye Highlight this comment 53

The overpasses hide the truck loading docks, so it is a good thing that they are there.

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 7:56 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 54

NewGuy,

I guess beauty - or in this case blight - is in the eye of the beholder. Do the truck loading docks need hiding or do the overpasses?

Posted on November 10, 2008 at 11:36 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 55

Kev,

WTF is going on down there in AZ, Hell frozen over? that patch they call a roof was open last night during the Cardnails game....

next thing you are gonna tell me is that chase is gonna open the roof for 3 games next year

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 07:55 AM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 56

Ha - open the roof at Chase? Are you crazy? haha

I do like how Chase has the large wall panels that open up...but I'd still rather see baseball outside.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 09:56 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 57

Yea miller park has that too ( the wall/window panels) , it was open saturday but the roof was closed.. it was raining outside.. but they were watering the grass with sprinklers.. just to advoid opening the roof....

They are wierd...

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 09:58 AM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 58

I guess I thought that the glass throughout the stadium would be blue like the model. I'm a little disappointed. I was very drawn to the color contrast between the warm sandstone and cool blue of the glass.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 10:15 AM by Dale Highlight this comment 59

Maz,
I couldn't believe the roof was open last night. It got down to the 50's and that's darn near enough to close the roof and blast the heat down here!! Last night was the 4th game the roof was open since the stadium opened last season...sad, just sad.

OG Jeff, yes Chase has the outfield panels which open, however they are rarely open. Even when all of chase is open it's like watching baseball inside of a shoebox. Chase Field = Miller Park

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 10:37 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 60

Walleye,

How large can a tree be and still be transportable by a tree spade? As you know, (eastern) white pines can easily reach 40-50 ft.

If anyone does go to Wm. O'Brien, to see the white pine I'm thinking of, take the trail by Lake Alice. The pine is past the beach & picnic area, just a bit up the St. Croix. There's an interpretive marker near it, though oddly you don't actually face the tree when you read the marker.

The tree is just spectacular. I agree that these would look beautiful in the ballpark.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 11:36 AM by David Highlight this comment 61

I don't blame them for not opening the roof on chase, has anyone ever been to AZ in the summer? the players would melt. I live in houston and we have that stupid roof thing too, they actually open it a fair amount but like kevin said it feels like a box. They tried really hard to make it feel open but I still don't like it.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 11:50 AM by Eric inTX Highlight this comment 62

David,

As far as I know the largest tree spade out there is the Holt 124 but I think there are only a handful of them in the country. They are designed to move a tree with a trunk 18" in diameter, but people all over attest to the fact that they can move trees up to 24" in diameter. That's a pretty big tree, as white pines average 20-40" diameter at full maturity. Red pines have similar growth stats.

I'm pretty sure the Twins could have a one of a kind batter's eye made up of good-sized red/white pine if they wanted it! I'd love to see it happen!

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 12:04 PM by Walleye Highlight this comment 63

Eric - Minute Maid is very similar to Chase and Miller Park.

Which gets back to the point about the Vikings: Why even put a retractable on it? Either close it so all the pussies are warm, or build an outdoor stadium and save $200 mil...

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 12:07 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 64

Pat Borzi over at MinnPost jumps on the bandwagon! Click my name for the article and video.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 12:32 PM by Rick 65

Dale,

The glass does appear to have just a hint of tinting, but I'm sure there's no way to get on a building the same effect you can get on the model.

I agree that the contrast on the model looked cool, but I also think that what I've seen of the glass in person is very attractive.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 12:34 PM by Rick 66

Eric in TX-
I have no problem with the roof closed on Chase Field in July when it's 110 degrees with monsoon humidity. But they also have it closed in April and May when the evenings are spectacular. Also, it's always closed when Randy Johnson pitches because he wants it closed regardless of the weather. I just think climate control manipulation like that is wrong. A pitcher shouldn't dictate, nor should a few weenies who think 85 degrees is too hot.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 6:20 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 67

Pardon the pun, and maybe this has been discussed and answered already, but does anybody have a ballpark figure of the cost and time difference if they would have constructed the grandstand out of steel instead of re enforced concrete? More for steel and much, much less time I imagine. It would have been nice to see exposed steel in the concourses. Oh, well, a very small complaint.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 6:57 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 68

I haven't been to a Twins game at the dome in years; mainly because it's terrible for baseball, but the roof factors in there somewhere as well. HOWEVER, to call anyone who asks about, or suggests that a retractable roof might have proved beneficial a weenie or a pussy is going a bit too far. Perhaps these people aren't the hardy men that Kevin in AZ and others are who congratulate themselves on toughing out 85 degree weather are. Perhaps they're folks who must travel long distances to attend a Twins game and can't afford two nihts in a hotel or can't afford to burn another day of vacation simply to see a game if the game is rained out.
Can't we disagree with these folks and avoid calling them names? Must you resort to childish behaviors simply bacause they don't recognize the supreme authority you bring to these threads?

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 10:11 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 69

Winona Mike, I take that chance every summer when I go to see a couple of Cubs games at Wrigley. I've never been rained out once. Besides, like Chicago, there are many other things you can do here in Minneapolis if a game is washed out. If you are really from Winona, you're not paying for this ballpark. Those are just some facts, and I did not resort to calling you any names.

Posted on November 11, 2008 at 10:21 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 70

kevin, you're preaching to the choir, I hate these retractable roof things. They just don't feel right. I did see a d-backs game a few years back vs. the Twins and saw Santana dominate. It was nice in the ac when it was 110 outside. Phoenix is one of few cities that needs to have domed parks.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 01:40 AM by Eric in TX Highlight this comment 71

I have never advocated building a roof on the new park. I'm simply saying that I can understand the concerns of others who ask about it. When I was a kid, I won trips to see the Twins while delivering the Pioneer Press. Two of the three years we went, the game was rained out. I suppose there are other things to do in Minneapolis if there is a rain out, but the ticket holder is still left holding the bag for the unused ticket. Yes, I know that there's a rain check on the ticket, but with companies getting stingy with vacation time, perhaps taking two trips to Minneapolis from, say, Minot or other far-flung reaches of twins territory to see one ball game might not be possible.
If it's cold, of it's hot, if it's damp, I don't care. I'll stay and wait out a rain delay or I'll sit and sweat with the rest of the fans, but then, when I come up for a game, I only have to drive two hours to get back home. Not so the fans in northern Minn. and North Dakota/South Dakota.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 03:10 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 72

Winona Mike,

The Twins are lucky they play in a large Metro area. They can rely on people who live in the general vicinity to support the team and be able to deal with rainouts during the "iffy" months. For those that live in the far-reaching places which you mention, they really need to plan their trip June-Sept, which most do since school is out. RARELY were games washed out at the Met during those months. The rest of the months will be dealt with by the locals who will have no problem going to a make-up game. I think the fans can adjust. Sure you get the summertime thunderstorms, but they usually last no more than 30 mins to an hour. Per the Twins, they are installing a top-notch drainage system so the playing surface will recover quickly to get the games going after rain delays. I guess you were just unlucky those two times your games were rained out.

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 06:53 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 73

Rick,

What kind of camera do you have? What's the optical zoom on it?

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 6:20 PM by Mike Brumley Highlight this comment 74

Mike,

My camera is the Olympus SP-570UZ. It's rated at 20X optical zoom.

If you click my name, you'll see the 2-star review I posted for the camera on Amazon. I'm making the best of it, but budgeting for a replacement early next year.

I'm open to suggestions of what to buy! I'll probably have to spring for a full-fledged DSLR next time, though the concept of the UZ category fits my shooting needs pretty well. If I could find a better one, I might buy that.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 12:35 PM by Rick 75


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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


Directly above the ceiling here is the hidden concourse which served the upper deck prior to the renovation. That concourse was closed off to the public, but became a service level for ballpark employees. It's one of the many quirks which will be lost when the wrecking ball takes the place away.



Photo by Jeff Ewer





















Reverse view, now looking down Sixth toward the park. The Met Stadium flag pole will be right there!






573 Club









The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...



Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)



Section 101, Row 27



Click to enlarge.



The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)



A very unique space












The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002






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!






That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation






The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."






I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?



Dugout Box and Champion's Club sections are sequestered by separate moats



I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.



Ice cream!



Looking up Seventh Street (click to see what it looked like from the same spot in 1950)



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



The littlest Twins fan: Truman



Also warming things up are these planters.



What can you see from up there? Some say not much.






Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)






Stairs down to Seventh Street now have the start of railings






Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.






Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.



Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)


ll greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)



Lots of pix waiting to be seen from Bert's memorable night.


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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