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.
To utilized enhanced comment features, please enable cookies in your browser.
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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Stairs down to the sidewalk from the skywalk over Seventh
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?
Work going on under the steel.
The past is the future. Seriously.
Plaza overview from the A ramp
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)
This is the area above the pro shop, with some new support structure
This maze of scaffolding is something you'll probably never see again.
Complicated pedestrian crossing
He'll always be a fan favorite, but did you know that he's making $18.5 million this year? The Twins' entire outfield today, combined, makes $7.45 million.
All that's left is to add wood! (Seventh Street circulation ramp.)
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
I saw it at another park...
Larry DiVito, mowing
This is a closer look at the steel work.
You won't see much sky from these seats, but you'll always be warm
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
One of the sweetest sights of the day -- the Dome, and only through passing bus windows.
You write the caption...
Another over-my-head shot
Work in progress.
Detail of Entry Plaza #4 (north entry from Fifth Street)
Did I mention that the cheerleaders looked pretty sharp?
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow! (I loved this place as a kid.)
The stunning curtains, which skillfully evoke the architecture, keep the atrium from getting too hot in the late afternoon sun, simultaneously hiding the HERC.
Guerrier had tossed a ball to a fan wearing a Twins jersey, who dropped it. If you're going to wear the uniform, he was saying, you gotta make the play. The ball ultimately went to a fan wearing a Randy Moss jersey, and everybody laughed.
The Northstar circulation building is starting to take shape.
This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.
The original Candlestick Park
Larry DiVito, mowing
Legends Club seats in context (above the main concourse, below the suite level)
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