December 14, 2006 12:08 PM
I'm still waiting for more images of the concept design to surface. The Twins seem to be guarding this pretty closely, though I think that anything shown at a public meeting of a public body (i.e. the Hennepin County Board) must legally be accessible for public viewing. But the hunt goes on.
Meanwhile, I saw an interesting comment today over at The Hardball Times in an article about Petco Park:
During its first two years of existence, Petco was the single most difficult place to hit a home run in all of baseball. In 2006, it jumped all the way to the middle of the pack, to a level higher than had been seen during the Padres' final seasons at Qualcomm Stadium. Many possible explanations for this phenomenon exist. Two of the more likely are:
* buildings constructed beyond the outfield have changed wind patterns that may have kept more balls from leaving the yard;
* pitchers have grown accustomed to the way Petco Park plays and are more susceptible to making mistakes high in the zone because they believe—consciously or otherwise—that they can get away with it
It started me thinking about the air flow into and across the top of the new park. I'm not an expert in this regard, and would love to hear from someone with more understanding, but I'll take a quick stab.
The rough outlines of our urban trench. (North is up.)
There is no question that the park is to be built in the middle of a sort of urban trench. The land is low-lying compared to everything around it because it was used for so long as a channel for railroad tracks. The playing surface will be roughly at the same level as the driving surface of I-394, which also runs down this same trench and actually served to widen it when it was built.
It's become fashionable to build ballparks in big holes, moving the playing surface well below the surrounding terrain. This is often sold as a means of controlling the effect of the wind, though it also aids significantly in managing the flow of people (upon entering, half go up and half go down). That's not an option here because of what lies beneath the site (an underground river, among other things).
The southeast "wall" of the trench is the row of parking ramps and warehouses which form the psychological edge of downtown. The northeast "wall" is also a row of old warehouses.
Since our prevailing winds come from the northwest, and the diamond looks like it will be oriented due east, the upper winds will certainly favor the left-handed hitters (as will the short dimensions in right).
The trench factor, on the other hand, has the potential to channel winds either from the southwest or northeast -- either of which will affect right-handed hitters.
Based on this simple look, it appears that no matter how you slice it, winds will increase the likelihood that this park will be a hitter's paradise.
The wild card, of course, is the potential for tall condo buildings built very nearby, most likely to the northeast. This is why the Petco article caught my attention. Our hitter's paradise could become a positive Shangra-La if big buildings block winds from the northwest and unleash the power from the right side of the plate.
Now, this is pretty rough, and I'd love to know if there is any other research out there on how nearby tall buildings affect the airflow around ballparks.
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This page was last modified on July 31, 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.
This guy at the Puckett atrium chef stand caught me taking the picture and said I should stop back later because he was "just getting started." I still don't know what he meant.
Plaza extension reaches toward First Avenue
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.
An overview of the model display.
This is the actual entrance for Gate 6. Notice how close the seating will be. The back row of the lower deck will be mere inches beyond that inner support post.
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
Click to enlarge.
This looks toward the middle of the park. The third base side of the Legends Club is to the right up ahead, while the 573 Club is just barely visible at the end of the hallway. It extends to the left.
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
View from the batter's eye seats
Click to enlarge greatly
Looking up toward Seventh Street.
Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site
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)
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
Twins president Dave St. Peter presents his list of fan suggestions to the Ballpark Authority
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
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(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
Book and six ballpark miniatures