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Wither, Rapid Park

February 26, 2007 1:07 PM

RIP Twins Ballpark (2006-2007)

Ah, Rapid Park, we hardly knew ye.

Admittedly, the body is not yet cold, but there's a definite stench. This deal has gone sour faster and deeper than anyone probably could have imagined back in those halcyon bill-passing and signing days of just last May. Who would've guessed that, not even two months into the new tax, everything would be this close to going bust?

I'm starting to collect and document ideas for new ballpark sites -- assuming the Twins will eventually have to slink back to the Legislature. There are plenty of ideas, many of which are better than anything we ever heard during the years of debate. I'll get around to those in the next few days.

Meanwhile, let's consider how this all will end: in court, of course.

Representatives from Land Partners II have talked openly about their fear of being sued by some of their minority shareholders. They've said nothing, however, about the likelihood of being sued by someone else if the whole thing crumbles. Oh, there will be lawsuits. So, let's ponder for a moment just who may want to sue Land Partners II during the autopsy of this particular ballpark deal.

1. Hennepin County -- It's one thing to have a deal go bad, but quite another when you've invested months in engineering, EIS, site planning, and urban design based on good faith assumptions about your partners. I'm not sure what kind of documentation the county has, but I bet their lawyers can make a pretty good case for having LPII foot some of the bill for all of this work.

2. The Twins -- They may not have a dog in this ownership fight (at least technically), but they have already invested presumably millions in creating a design which is specific to that location. They were all ready to unveil their master plan when everything turned sour. If no stadium is built on the Rapid Park site, the team will have to discard almost everything -- even if a stadium is to be built somewhere else. Do you think they're just going to quietly eat those costs?

3. Metro Transit -- It's unclear how much they have spent, but planning any extension to the LRT can't be cheap. Though they'll probably want the extension someday anyway, they've been working under the assumption that everything (including changing the height of the bridge deck) was dependent on the ballpark. Without that, their plans will have to be scrapped. Who's going to pay for that?

4. Land Partners II Minority Shareholders -- They may want to sue no matter what happens. If they perceive that the sale price was too low, they can sue (the scenario currently being publicly dreaded). But if the deal doesn't happen at all, and their magical carriage ride to ballpark riches turns back into a parking pumpkin, they'll probably be pretty cranky about all the lost potential earnings. Realistically, without a stadium, the land probably will not be developed at all -- nor will any of the properties they own nearby. Who are they going to blame for that loss, and what will they do about it?

That's just a few to ponder. We probably should also mention the City of Minneapolis, the Met Council, Burlington Northern Railroad, MnDOT, the Ballpark Authority, Major League Baseball. the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, other landowners in the area, and who knows who else.

Maybe none of these parties has any basis for a lawsuit. After all, there's apparently nothing on paper anywhere. Everything was done based on assumptions and handshakes. But assumptions and handshakes have proven costly in other cases, and won't it be expensive for the LPII management to find out what a court thinks about it all? This should probably figure into their negotiations -- if they do decide to negotiate.

As fans of the Twins, and fans of ballparks in general, these could be the darkest days we've yet faced. The Metrodome is not a long-term option, which means that something else has to happen. Whenever I try to go through in my mind what that "something else" may be, I get the shivers. None of it looks good.

Last night I saw a clip on some crime show of the start of an autopsy during which the examiner discovered that the body (played by Ron Silver) was still -- just barely -- alive. It seemed like a laughably absurd premise, but it was riveting TV (for a couple of minutes, at least). Here's hoping this autopsy is likewise premature.


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Ah yes, the age of frivolous law suits. Of course if there's ever a possibility of being sued, LPII should do everything in their power to avoid it, regardless of their own fiduciary duty to themselves and their investors. Perhaps while we're at it, we should tell Caribou to stop serving hot coffee incase one of their patrons should happen to spill it on themselves (a la the McDonald's case years back).

Posted on February 28, 2007 at 11:02 AM by Ralph the Dog Highlight this comment 1

Some might say that "fiduciary duty to themselves and their investors" includes avoiding getting sued, frivolously or otherwise...

Posted on February 28, 2007 at 3:08 PM by Rick 2

Be sure to include the Sears site in St. Paul when exploring other sites. It has enough space, future mass transit and spectacular views of the state capitol.

Posted on February 28, 2007 at 3:18 PM by Jiminstpaul Highlight this comment 3

I love Minnesota! This *@#$ just doesn't happen anywhere else. Short sighted everyone... Way to blow it HC. Build it in St Paul for opening in 2025.

Posted on February 28, 2007 at 6:01 PM by JK Highlight this comment 4

One would could safely say that all liscensed drivers wish to avoid accidents- does this mean we should all choose to walk every where? Certainly not. When making decisions we must always wiegh the risks, certainly every conceivable human action brings with it the possibility of harm to oneself and others, and yet no one voluntarily chooses to be put in a coma, so that they may safely live out the rest of their lives and avoid causing uneccesary harm. It would be irresponsible even to let such fear control your actions. If every business made every decision based on fear of being sued, no one would make any money.

Posted on March 1, 2007 at 12:49 PM by Ralph the Dog Highlight this comment 5

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.

That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.

(Click to enlarge.)

Two train stations

Twins president Dave St. Peter presents his list of fan suggestions to the Ballpark Authority

Looking back toward First Avenue

This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.

Lower deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.

Stay warm while buying tickets.

Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.

Knothole non-view #2

An escalator was going in the day I was there.

Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.

Looking back toward the park from just beyond the north end of the Northstar platform.

Kirby Jr. set to take down the last number

Outside the Metropolitan Club, photos of all the other major league ballparks

Let's be honest and say that this promenade, which will face the HERC plant, won't be the most exciting part of the streetscape. It has to be provided for circulation reasons, but there won't be much to see unless vendors and other attractions take root here.

I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?

The littlest Twins fan: Truman

Ice cream!

The steel cage expands.

Those little oval additions are positively laughable!

Now we know what the English phone booths were for...

Friendly faces greet you right inside the door of the Legends Club.

Items promoting the Twins 2014 All-Star Game bid. I got to bring one of these buckets home, and Noah got his first-ever taste of Cracker Jacks.

I would put on this face.

Here's where I was when the alarm went off, and though the siren wasn't terribly loud, at least one guy is plugging his ears.

A seating bowl comes into focus. Note that the netting has been installed on the foul pole. (Field Box)

Click to enlarge greatly. See yourself?

Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.


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

Complete Bibliography

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