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Roll It Over

January 2, 2010 3:18 AM

Hey, it's 2010! A new year. A new decade. A new ballpark.

The countdown up in the header rolls on, and finally it has dipped beneath 100 days.

It's a little hard to believe how much can happen in a year. Here's last New Year's Eve:

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New Year's Eve, 2008

Talk has turned to getting tickets for the hope opener. Thousands will try, but only about 39,000 will succeed. Many of them already know who they are. Will you be among them?

The Twins want to hold a lottery to make it seem like some fans who might not otherwise get in can have some hope. I, for one, do not find the words "hope" and "lottery" to sit very well together in the same sentence.

As I write, StubHub shows 662 total tickets available for that game (for a cool $7K per ass -- $3500 per cheek -- you can do the Legends Club; best seats in the house, if you ask me). But with so few in general circulation at this point, how many tickets can you imagine will really be available by lottery? A couple hundred maybe? And how many of those will then be resold for a tidy profit?

If you really want to be there, start saving your pennies, my friends.

On KFAN the other day, Dave St. Peter said there will be opportunities for fans to take tours before opening day. "Open houses," he called them. I'll see you there!

I stopped down one gray day last week and got some new video of the wind veil:

The noise you hear in that video is totally freeway -- not the veil or the wind. The veil was, as far as I could tell, completely silent. It's more like a big sheet of perforated and hinged metal -- a sail with a little more staying power than fabric.

As to the freeway noise, I've had mixed experiences with it. Some days it's almost silent, even with cars zipping by. On other days you will not be able to be heard while speaking out on the plaza. It's a pretty Jeckyll and Hyde sort of thing.

Parking Woes

Here's a quick story about my experience getting that video. I went downtown to stop at Barnes & Noble to pick up a book that my wife ordered as a gift. They were the only bookstore in town who had it.

I've done this in the past plenty of times, and I just pull in at one of the 15-minute meters along Marquette. But when I got there, this is what I saw:

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A desolate Marquette Ave

And looking the opposite direction:

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Marquette looking south

It's the first time I'd been here since they completed rebuilding the street to accommodate multiple bus lanes. I was a little bit shocked, and my heart sank.

In place of my extremely convenient short-term parking meters was a very skinny (about half a car width) curb cut for drop offs at the Foshay tower, and then bare curb as far as the eye can see. What's more, what was parking has become a lane of traffic, so even the loading zones are gone.

As I cruised around looking for an alternative, I happened onto Second Avenue and found the same thing there. What was once loading zones and some very handy parking meters is now a lane of through traffic.

I have not seen a less attractive streetscape in a very long time. (Though I will admit that the scent -- of Murray's steaks -- was heavenly.)

You don't have to tell me the benefits to commuters that these new bus lanes provide. I actually thought this was a good idea -- until now. As usual, Minneapolis takes one step forward (2-way traffic on Hennepin) and three back (the botched First Avenue design, and these brutal remakes of Marquette and Second). And hold your breath, because the Central Corridor LRT route could dwarf all of these in the sheer magnitude of its bad judgment.

Personally, I think that trying to bring all those buses into the core of downtown is pure folly. This city needs strategically-placed transit centers at the various edges of downtown (like the one in the B ramp, or the ones in Uptown and Midtown), and some sort of circulation mechanism for shuttling people into and out of the core.

And there should be one-hour parking meters lining every single street from corner to corner. (If you have to be somewhere for more than an hour, you belong in a parking ramp. If you have something to unload, most of these buildings have super nifty loading docks beneath them. And it's about impossible to get anything useful done in less than an hour. Parked cars make a city feel safe to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. Their comings and goings serve as a form of traffic calming all in itself. And you can still turn all that parking into lanes of traffic during rush hour -- if you absolutely must.)

Parking, Part 2

My parking story might end there. But it does not.

Knowing that I was going to the ballpark anyway, I just decided to pull into the A ramp like normal, and walk back to B&N. Only it's not normal. My entrance (from 7th Street) is closed. Upon entering on the other side, I'm greeted by an attendant who asks me for $7.00. That's right, it's all event parking between now and New Year's she explains.

Appalled because I only planned to be there for a half hour or so, I told her I would just pull through. Now, have you ever tried to pull through these ramps? It's nearly impossible. In fact, the A ramp is so poorly signed that I went around the 3rd level three full times before finding an escape hatch. (It didn't help that one of the options was closed for construction -- without any sign anywhere indicating such.)

And that's the ballpark angle of this little story: There's gonna be congestion and confusion in these ramps come April, the likes of which hasn't been seen in these parts since, oh, let's say the Carter Administration. (Feel free to point out that Timberwolves fans have figured this all out and, if you want a fight, that Twins fans are smarter than Wolves fans. But I don't think it matters.)

The first time I pulled into the A ramp while covering ballpark construction, it took me a while to wind my way to the roof, and when I was done it took a couple of laps around that roof to find my desired exit. (It also cost a lot less back them. For at least a year I never paid more than $1.00 on exit. At some point that morphed into $2.00 or $3.00 or $4.00. I smell rats.)

I know these ramps are huge, but the circulation design and signage truly stinks. Do you think anything will be done about this by opening day? Doubt it. The only question is how long it will take before baseball patrons force the issue.

I still haven't figured out my sneaky parking spot for games, but I have a couple of leads (i.e. friends with condos in the neighborhood -- a strategy which has saved me a ton of money over at the Dome).

Parking, The Conclusion

Let me finish my parking story by noting that the redo of Second Avenue has also wrought some undesirable parking changes (thought the bike options have increased nicely). I ended up at a yellow meter across Sixth Street from Target Center. The sign clearly said "30 minute limit enforced for all vehicles including handicapped" and that 25 cents bought 8 minutes. So I happily dropped four quarters in, and then noticed that another sign said "15 minute maximum". How stupid is this?

Well, as you can guess, I was peeved at my city (and in a hurry) when I took the photos below. And I began to feel for a moment like Target Field could turn out to have some venom when it comes to neighborhood integration. Lord knows that the City of Minneapolis, my genuinely beloved home, is sort of clueless on how to do the little things which can make a city seem welcoming.

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Signage for the concession stand which is available from the plaza (plaques are up on the fencing)


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A detail from the above image shows that the section signage is now in place


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Bike parking available along Second Avenue


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A photo taken as my meter ran out.

Hockey

I swear that any sport looks better when played in a baseball stadium. I'm not much for hockey, but it sure looked great at Fenway. Here are some representative clips.

(So, just how awesome are Dropkick Murphys and James Taylor -- separately, of course?)

Now, here's the OT, with the winning goal:

The place looked even greater as the sun started to go down. Can you imagine a game like this at TF?

There's just something about baseball stadiums.

Comments


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As usual, a very informative and interesting post, although we continue to disagree over transit issues. I also think you are inconsistent in your desires about transit. I think removing the meters along 2nd & Marquette (something I have known about for a couple years now), was a big improvement considering how it opened up transit lanes. Now, you point out you don't want to hear about that and that you would rather see garages accessing circulators on the edge of downtown for transit, but I can't see doing that and also allowing street side parking for cars. I could see doing something like that and including large garages on the edge that require everyone to use the circulators, both transit and car drivers, but not simply for transit. As for central corridor, I think it will be wonderful. I do not agree with your take on what the future holds there. I've been studying the line for years. It was the most successful route for a train line in the past, and it will be again.

Great photos of the wind veil. I dig it!

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 07:53 AM by jpberka Highlight this comment 1

Maybe I'll just hop on the bike...From St.Cloud I could probably get there in 3 hours.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 08:00 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 2

Thanks for the new post.

I take the bus in and out of downtown for work. The bus lanes have not only made it faster but I think it looks a lot nicer.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 09:06 AM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 3

That might be the nicest rendition of the national anthem I have ever seen/heard at a sporting event. Sweet Baby James.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 09:15 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 4

Great job once again Rick. 100 days until the opener (sooner if the Gophers do in fact raid TF on March 27). Can't wait for spring!

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 09:24 AM by luke Highlight this comment 5

Recieved my STH letter for Spring Training pre-sale today..Regular season can't be to far behind.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 11:53 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 6

After the Metallica concert at Target Center a few months ago, I decided I'm taking the bus. I think, anyway. I am hoping MTC will extend their express service out on 394 past 10 pm during the season. I've been meaning to call and ask if they have any plans to do so.

Time is flying by - I remember when I got my countdown clock in the STH info. It was 500+ days and it felt like it would never get here!

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 12:35 PM by Jax Highlight this comment 7

Would love to see the Twins take the retired player banners from the dome that hung above the baggy covering the upper deck and put them behind the wind veil completely blocking off the parking ramp, as you can still see behind the wind veil, I think that would be a great look and a awesome way to connect them with the new ballpark, seeing them from the plaza.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 12:42 PM by Jcm-Baseball Highlight this comment 8

.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 1:09 PM by Jax Highlight this comment 9

In the STH letter the Twins also announced that "your" bobblehead set would be available for pick-up at a game during the season - rather than at TwinsFest as usual. Maybe the move has slowed down the ordering, etc. process or, maybe, the Twins are bending a bit to pressure from fans or, maybe, they think a little "push" is required in order to move some more ST seating. Up until now many collectors thought the team was done with bobblehead promos because they were no longer needed to sell a few more seats.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 1:17 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 10

" --- I remember when I got my countdown clock in the STH info."

Indeed. STH have always (as far as I know) gotten some sort of gee-gaw this time of year. Last year it was the timer. Year before it was a "2010" construction site hard hat. This year???

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 1:24 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 11

Yep,,I thought no Bobbleheads this year so that was surprising. At the bottom of the letter.
"Details and instructions regarding an exclusive pre-sale for REGULAR season games-as well as Flex 40 voucher redemption-will be forwarded as soon as they are available."

On another note April 12th weather "09"
National Weather Service
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Lat: 44.89 Lon: -93.22 Elev: 834
Last Update on Apr 12, 4:53 pm CDT
Overcast
59 °F
(15 °C)
Humidity: 16 %
Wind Speed: E 13 MPH
Barometer: 30.17" (1021.9 mb)
Dewpoint: 13 °F (-11 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 12

ABC Ramps are going to be automated now, except for events.

I think Rick's experience at Ramp A is the new normal. They are going to require payment on entry, and I am betting it will be by Credit Card only (except for events).

Probably just like the airport where you swipe your credit card on entry, and then again on exit to get your total.

Event prices for 2010 will be $10.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 2:00 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 13

" --- and finally it has dipped beneath 100 days."

Correct - assuming one calls up this site after 14:10 hours today. Take an hour off your timer and it will be accurate. DST counts!

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 2:05 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 14

I noticed that and made the adjustment...

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 2:15 PM by Rick 15

Thanks for the link David_Mpls...

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 2:48 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 16

For many years we have been parking at meters within four blocks of the dome for $0.50/hr. A night game would cost us $2.00 (arrive at 6 and pay until 10). What, if anything, is within walking distance at the new field? Is parking going to be one of the new aggravations?

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 3:06 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 17

I heard the other day on some radio show, can't remember which one, that they would be making improvements to the flow and exit in the parking ramps near Target Field. I agree parking in ramps for events that draw large numbers can be a pain, but that's why you take the train and avoid all the agony. Simple as that. Or get there early, snag a good parking spot on the street and hang out on the plaza or at a nearby establishment.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 3:09 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 18

David_Mpls reported that event parking in the ABC ramps will be $10. Seems quite reasonable to me.

I probably won't park there for games, just because of the hassle factor. I'll probably try the train, and see how things are after the game. I'll definitely check out my bus options. And, as I mentioned in the post, I'll be hitting up my friends who live in condos nearby.

Ben's idea of using parking meters is hard to assess right now. I think a lot could change about the meters, their enforcement, and time limits between now and opening day. I also suspect that a lot of streets to the north and west, which currently have no meters, will be sprouting them soon.

(I do have a bike, but probably not that much stamina... But if parking and transit turn out to be too much hassle, who knows?)

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 3:26 PM by Rick 19

We tried the train and it was no less of a pain in the ass than a ramp as far as escaping DT (which we avoid whenever possible). So, where is on street parking (we do go early) within reason? One thing I did like about the dome is that it wasn't really DT - we could walk three to four blocks, catch Chicago Ave. south, and be out of the area before a lot of people had even cleared the stadium.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 3:30 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 20

Tell me where I'm wrong...

The walk from the Dome to Target Field is 13 blocks. All of the parking that used to be "far" from the dome will now be close to Target Field. Those in the middle will be about a six block walk.

More people will take trains to Target Field than the Dome.

There was no ramp to grab 5,000 cars (10,000 fans) (or what is the actual number?) at the dome, and there will be at Target Field.

I see this as a net neutral in the end, outside of getting into and out of downtown. It may make sense to come in toward the dome on Chicago/Portland and turn toward TF on 5th street, and do the opposite after the game, when everyone is falling all over themselves to get on 394.

Experience of going to lots of games at the dome is that traffic is a mental game of going against what everyone else determines is either close or easy.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 5:13 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 21

Actually, I'm wondering how my "favorite" parking ramp will change upon the opening of TF.
Typically, I park in a lot between Nicollet Mall and Marquette, walk over a block and take the light rail to the Dome. Sure, I can walk, but I like riding the light rail. And, I pay about 5 bucks to park there - no Twins prices.
I mapped it out, and I don't think there's any greater distance from that lot to TF than there is to the Dome. So, I'm hoping I'll be able to stick with the usual $5 to park.

I'm trying to figure out other escape routes out of DT from there, because I have to take 3rd St. to get back onto West 94, and I fear 3rd St. is going to be a monster after Twins games.

Either that, or I'll have to take a 19 (bus) from my house to TF, which incidentally drops off right in front of TF.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 5:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 22

Steve and Ben - I think that you are correct in that there are no bobblehead promotions planned for 2010. I also heard that from a pretty reliable source with the Twins. When the Twins started the STH bobblehead give away, the boobleheads that they gave to the season ticket holders were replica of the stadium give away bobbleheads from the previous season. I would assume the STH bobbleheads for this year are take offs of the SGA from last year. For a complete photo gallery of all of these past bobbleheads, go to twinsbobbleheads dot com and click on Bobblehead Info Gallery. Ben - was that you that helped create that website?

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 5:53 PM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 23

The gallery portion of TwinsBobbleheads dot com is my doing info-wise and picture-wise. I have had a hand in some of the Q & A as well. The rest of the site is all Richard Lauhead - a "good ole boy" if ever there was one.

The Twins may well have had four (or more) prototypes done before the final decisions on 2009 SGAs were made - so, maybe, there will be the usual four ST offerings. The Twins claim that the reduction to two SGA bobbleheads in 2009 was due to a lack of sponsorship (unable to locate a sponsor for their most popular promo???). Most collectors assume the real reason is that 2009 was the beginning of the weaning off process since the Twins will be far too busy counting their money to have any regard for those who gave it to them. I, myself, can not envision a future which does not include at least one more Mauer bobblehead.

Sorry for the brief rant and, yes, I realize that few here care about bobbleheads.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 6:19 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 24

I love this site. Thanks for sharing it with the world. I have to ask you a question. By any chance are you related to the creator of this Met Stadium site? I see that it is created by someone named Lowell Prescott. Any relation?

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 8:23 PM by Herbie Highlight this comment 25

I like the Met stadium website as well.

Can someone confirm for me...I thought I remember reading someplace that in the last years of the Met (might have even been on the site), the third deck was decomissioned because it was so poorly maintained?

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 9:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 26

http://www.oldmetstadium.com/

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 8:24 PM by Herbie Highlight this comment 27

Me: Lowell (Rick) Prescott

And yes, the third deck of the Met was too dangerous (rust, crumbling cement, etc.) for occupancy during the final years that the Met was open. I don't know exactly when it closed, but it hadn't been used for some time.

Part of that was a ploy to get a new stadium. They basically stopped doing some of the maintenance, and the place deteriorated rapidly, allowing them to say, "Hey! This place is falling apart! We need a new place!"

The whole story is so darn sad for those of us who grew up with the place.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 10:13 PM by Rick 28

Seeing the Abandoned Met photos is sooooo sad..WTH..

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 10:31 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 29

Ben,

There will certainly be street parking available. Look to the north of Fifth Avenue North (the street which runs past the parking lot entrance to Ford Centre), between Washington and the I-94 viaduct.

Also, there is some on the south side of the viaduct. But that's where I took the earlier photos of tire piles, junkyards, dumpster cleaning, etc.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 10:33 PM by Rick 30

I just looked at an image of Target Field today looking out from Home Plate and thought that the left field upperdeck has a slight resembelence to the 2nd deck at the old Met. I was wondering if the Twins have any plans to install the seat from the 2nd Deck of old Met where Harmon hit his longest home run (June 3, 1967)? Does anyone know?

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 11:00 PM by Bob-Section323STH Highlight this comment 31

Bob,

Two things would suggest against it:

1. The seat mounted at the MOA is NOT the actual seat. In that part of the Met, it was all bench seating. The seat used in the memorial is likely from the main grandstand, just painted red.

2. In order to put it in the right spot, it would have to be mounted on a pole somewhere in the parking lot which is on the other side of Fifth Street. That's how far it went! While that would be cool, it's not very likely.

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 11:05 PM by Rick 32

Rick -- any possibility or desire to take the ballpark construction photos from your past entries and putting them under a "Gallery" link up near the top of the page?

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 12:50 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 33

If the third deck at Met Stadium was indeed decomissioned or condemned, how is it that it was allowed to be filled to capacity for Vikings' games?
I've always assumed that the deterioration of the Met was a result of the MSFC's focus on the Metrodome. After all, if the place was to be abandoned soon, why would they sink more money than was absolutely necessary into the old place. Books I've read all say that the place was notoriously in a constant state of disrepair, yet they only site the loose railings in the third deck at the end as evidence. This is what has led me to assume that the disrepair started after the fate of the Met had been sealed.

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 07:31 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 34

The biggest problem for those parking in Ramps A, B, or C is not the ramp exit itself, it is on I-394 just past the edge of downtown. All of the westbound traffic from downtown has to squeeze into a single lane. If you know your way around, take Glenwood to Penn and get on I-394 there, OR take Hwy 55.

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 07:55 AM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 35

I could be mistaken but arent certain streets around the ballpark going to be closed down or restricted on gamedays thought I read that somewhere. If that be the case that could change how one gets to the ballpark possibly.

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 1:24 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 36

A quick note on the transit centers: When the city built the Leamington Ramp at 3rd Ave and 11th St., the plan was that would be a hub for smaller shuttle buses to run up and down Nicollet. Never came to pass.

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 2:21 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 37

Interesting WSJ article on Twins ticket pricing, but how do they come up with 40 different seating levels? I count 15 regular seating areas, 2 in Legends Club and Champions Club (unless they count that as 3), so that's 18 to 21.

Where are the other 19?

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 10:50 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 38

I count 23 levels on the seating/pricing page, and you have to double that due to the different prices between regular and premium games. You could also make an argument that the front row premium actually represents a different pricing level.

Put it all together, and that's a whole lotta different prices, although the exact number escapes me.

Of course, WSJ is probably making some assumptions, since I don't think the single game ticket prices have even been released yet...

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 11:01 PM by Rick 39

I forgot about the front row premium - that probably makes the difference.

You wouldn't double the number because of the premium pricing - they already are using the 3 different pricing levels as the other multiplier.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:02 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 40

Face value ticket prices are listed on the Group & Party Home section on the Twins' site. Games are Value, Select or Premium. My $10 Field View seats have a face value of are 11, 13 and 16 dollars.

Here is how games are split up:

The Twins Value Games - Includes all games in April & May except Premium games and all Sunday through Thursday games in September/October except September 1, 2 & 5.

Select Games - Includes all games in June through August except Saturdays and all Friday & Saturday games in September/October plus September 1, 2 & 5.

Premium Games - Including Opening series vs. Boston Red Sox (April 12-15), Milwaukee Brewers (May 21-23), New York Yankees (May 25-27), and summer Saturdays between June & August.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:34 AM by Buzz Highlight this comment 41

Buzz, do you have a link?

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:43 AM by Rick 42

http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/ticketing/groups/index.jsp

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:51 AM by Buzz Highlight this comment 43

TTH, saw your request. I'm considering.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 01:19 AM by Rick 44

Meant to make this comment before - this sentance:

"StubHub shows 662 total tickets available for that game (for a cool $7K per ass -- $3500 per cheek -- you can do the Legends Club; best seats in the house, if you ask me)."

is really a bit sensational. One clown has tickets in row 1 of section A available for $7K each. That's the anomaly the other LC seats range from $425 to $600 (still high, but perhaps plausible, and inline with Home Plate Box / Dugout Box locations).

Be interesting to see where StubHub sale prices end up in each seating level for 4/12. My original expectation was 3x-6x face

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 01:43 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 45

It was just a joke, but that market is certainly worth watching.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 01:45 AM by Rick 46

Thanks for producing the first chart I've seen indicating single game prices. I guess my biggest surprises are the overall pricing in the outfield (all of the outfield looks to be at least $7 higher than the "field view" seats in the upper deck corners), and the idea of Saturday summer games being priced at premium. The market tends to sort these things out, so I'm not worried or complaining, I just think it is interesting to see how the Twins are projecting demand.

Personally, I'd rather be in the upper deck on the first base side and see the scoreboard than in the left field upper seats, but it will be fun to see the games from all sorts of different vantage points. I hope they let us move around some during the games.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 03:34 AM by Linc Highlight this comment 47

From the Pioneer Press...

A copy of former Twins star Harmon Killebrew's first contract (terms: three years, $18,000) with the Washington Senators will be on display at Target Field's 573 Club. Killebrew's mother had to co-sign the contract because Harmon, now 73, was just 17 at the time.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 08:29 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 48

I just heard that Mortenson will be handing over the keys to Target Field to the Twins this morning at 11:00 AM in a ceremony in the Twins clubhouse.

They have declared that the ballpark is now 95% complete!

Also, in case you haven't seen it, there is a gallery of moving photos on the Twins web site. It's pretty weak overall, but does contain one great image of Jerry Bell grinning as he looks out his office window onto the field.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 09:22 AM by Rick 49

What kind of viewing obstructions does Jerry have from his office?

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 09:42 AM by Nick in CO Highlight this comment 50

Rick,

Did you get an invite to be at the 11:00 am event today?

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 10:05 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 51

When does the barrier around the periphery of the construction site come down? I don't suppose there's a pressing need to remove this until not long before the first event, unless the contractors want to be shut of it.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 10:10 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 52

OG Jeff,

Nope. I heard about it on the morning news.

I'm resigned to the fact that the Twins don't know what to do with this (or any) independent web site. If they invite me, they effectively give permission to publish any photos I might take, and they've clearly decided that they don't want to do that.

I think the web is still sort of "wild" from their perspective. In other words, they appear to have agreements of some sort (written or just verbal) with TV, radio, and newspaper outlets. This allows them to anticipate and control (to a certain extent) what the coverage will look like. At the very least, everybody in those contexts understands the rules of the game. With web sites like this, there is no such understanding.

That's too scary. (Apparently.)

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 10:45 AM by Rick 53

Rick,

Just an FYI, the Twins organization has always been resistant to change. There are 2 teams in Major League Baseball that don't have a dedicated "statistics" department in their organization. The Twins are one of them. In this day and age of advanced statistical analysis that can be readily used to predict performance in a given situation or over the course of a season/career this is simply ridiculous. There are too many instances where this can provide an advantage (and not just between the white lines from March to October)...

I'm sure you are still viewed as not a "real" media member. The times they are a changin' and you are exactly right. The Twins are scared of what they can't completely control on the internet.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 11:35 AM by Max Highlight this comment 54

A stats dept. would cost money, would it not?

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:02 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 55

milwaukee brewers = premium game?! are you kidding me? i mean who REALLY wants to watch the milwaukee brewers?

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 56

You know you can park wherever you want and just grab the train to take you up to the field. Isn't a downtown fare like 50 cents?

We want a ballpark that is urban! This ballpark is great because it's urban! It's in the heart of the city! Yeah yeah yeah! That's what we have been saying. Now people want to bitch about where they are going to park their cars and how it's going to be congested? Pfffft! No shit? it's an urban ballpark!

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 57

Rick - Some quick parking tips, from a North Loop resident...

First of all, enter downtown from the west side, if possible. Preferably on HWY 55 or 7th street exit. If you park along 3rd avenue (closest to the LRT station, the walk is about a block and the streets are un-metered.

I do expect the city to start metering the streets soon...but it beats parking on the downtown side of the park :) Click for my map!

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 2:11 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 58

og jeff - you are correct. those streets are currently un-metered, but there are posted parking restrictions (time limits, rush hour restrictions, etc.) on them.

i agree that if those neighborhood residents who live over there are smart they will request meters and strong parking enforcement before the ballpark opens in march. otherwise they and/or their guests won't even be able to park in front of their own buildings.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 2:51 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 59

Beta-
It's the Twins. They have to nickel and dime everything out of us anyways and apparently that's going to continue to stretch over to the Sconnies making the trip.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 2:58 PM by Nate Highlight this comment 60

Click my name for a video of the Twins press conference. Video courtesy of WCCO.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 3:15 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 61

just wondering if going light-rail from bloomington to TF would be a good idea? I live in South Dakota and I hate driving downtown. I really want to go to alot more games this year.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 3:52 PM by sodakjeff Highlight this comment 62

The Brewers do the same thing to the Twins and Cubs fans who travel to Miller Park...charging a premium for Twins and Cubs games(and other premium games).

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 4:09 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 63

SoDakJeff-
Riding the light rail is always a good option when coming from the south metro. I like riding the light rail most times unless I am running late. When I moved here from So. Dak. I used it until I was comfortable finding my way while driving around downtown. Depending on when you leave before the game it can be crowded, and usually after the game for a short time its Sardine-like. But if you are like me and like to get there early and meander for a bit after, usually it's a very nice ride with some occasional standing. Not to mention, depending on where you park it can offset parking fees. That is, if you aren't paying for too many other riders.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 4:22 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 64

I discovered if you go to several games and can learn your routes into the EDGES of downtown it is MUCH faster than taking Light Rail. You have to park 5 minutes away (walking) and then may wait as long as 10-15 minutes for a train. Besides that, depending on where you start you may have to go as much as 5-10 minutes off of your driving route to get to the Light Rail station.

I really like LR, and want to use it, but the above additional 30+ minutes by the time I was done did not make it worthwhile.

Additionally, the fact that 75% of the riders get on at the first two stations and then ride all the way to the dome makes it pretty impractical. Why they couldn't develop an alternating or even direct speed route (i.e. shotgun start) to the dome on game day is beyond me.

Rant over.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 6:14 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 65

I got to the MOA yesterday around 11am to hop on the light rail and the line was so long it actually flowed out into the parking ramp. I asked a transit security guard how long he thought the line would be and he said it was at least a half-hour wait. That was just to get a TICKET to board the trains. IT probably was another wait just to get on an open train heading downtown. We figured it takes at least 30 mins to get from MOA to the Metrodome stop so we hopped in the car and drove to the Fort Snelling station.

They actually had EXPRESS BUSES that went directly from the Fort Snelling Station/Park and Ride to the Metrodome downtown (approx 20 mins). We were able to immediately hop on the express bus and were at the Metrodome by 11:30 or so.

I enjoy the light rail for Vikings games, but never thought the line would be that long at MOA.

I think they need to consider starting some "express trains" that only stop at the Park and Ride lots (Bloomington 28th and Fort Snelling) on Twins/Vikings game days since a majority of the people hop on at the MOA, 28th, and Fort Snelling stations. They can still have every-other train or so stop at all stops but I think it would be nice to have express trains considering a majority of fans on the trains are going to the Metrodome or Target Field (Come April).

Maybe the crowds will be controlled better when they expand to three trains this spring rather than the current two trains. It will also help considerably that Target Field is on the end of the line and they will have empty trains waiting at TF for the masses of people following games.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 7:28 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 66

I thought the tracks went a bit past TF for just that purpose - a queue area, and for future lines to connect (i.e. Bottineau and the Southwest Line). I think there's enough track past TF to line up like three two-car trains or two three-car trains or what have you, in anticipation of being at the ready following Twins games.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 7:37 PM by luke Highlight this comment 67

Since we are talking transit a bit, as I came out of downtown on 394 and drop under the freeway ramps and the plaza, I noticed the never/rarely used bus transit station on the westbound side, under ramps A, B, and C. They don't plow the road, and I've never seen buses use them, so they must have been a transit idea that just never happened.

That said, the transit station under the B ramp must be almost right under the plaza. I wonder if they'll ever line buses up under there to get people or groups out after games.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 7:51 PM by Linc Highlight this comment 68

There are no siding tracks on the LRT, so they can't run express trains. An express train would very quickly get backed up behind a non-express train, and then would be stuck there the rest of the way into downtown. That's why they're running express buses.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM by MNdible Highlight this comment 69

The transit station under the B garage is HIGHLY used (I walk past it every day at lunch) and will hold a dozen or more buses easily for use after games at TF.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 9:53 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 70

New photo gallery on Twins website of the press conference today at Target Field.

Nice to see some interior shots again.

Now if we could have the Joe Mauer press conference when he signs that contract extension...

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 10:05 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 71

Gentlemen, the lack of money excuses have started before Joe Mauer has signed an extension. The Twins are going to become the Minnesota Wild of MLB. Great new park filled with lemmings....Well, for the first year or two anyway.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 72

eh, as long as they get the Mauer thing done, I'm willing to give them a pass for their inactivity this offseason.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 10:50 PM by Elston Gunn Highlight this comment 73

There are many more who share your feelings Elston and that's what the Twins organization is counting on.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 11:33 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 74

Exactly.

As a society we spend the last 10 - 15 years clamoring for ever lower prices on manufactured goods and are now astonished to find that everything is made in China.

Why would the Twins spend one nickel more than necessary when we are falling all over each other to get into the new park? We are willing to pay (and pay handsomely) for mediocrity --- so that is what they will deliver.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 12:49 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 75

Poor journalism from minnesota public radio - implying from Rick's post that scalpers are getting $7K per seat, which of course is not true.

I hate that kind of stuff.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 01:20 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 76

Well, Collins did mention that $7K was just the asking price...

Anybody can ask for whatever price they want, right? And it's a front row seat, so that guy has gotta get his first row premium back, right?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 01:53 AM by Rick 77

Oh yeah, that's right - the front row premium. That must be it. :)

Well, my $55 LC seats are a heck of a lot better than his $7K ones. If anyone is interested, I'll sell them for only $5K. LOL! My daughter would kill me. Then again ... she wants to go to law school. OK, $5K a seat works for me. Anyone want them at a great "discount"?

Fast forward a day or two to the headlines:

"Market for Twins tickets in freefall after prices drop 28%"

Anyway, very few of the high priced tickets selling on StubHub, so that's good. My guess is that the person asking $7K really doesn't want to sell his tickets and just put it up there for the attention of having the highest price for an event on SH. Happens all the time.

It will be interesting over the next 3 months to see what the actual sales are on the secondary market.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 02:21 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 78

From the mlb.com story on moving in:

"Target Field Construction Facts

Owner: Minnesota Ballpark Authority
Sole Tenant: Minnesota Twins
Construction cost: $425 million
Construction time: 28 months (August 2007 - December 2009)
40,000 seat, open-air, natural grass ballpark
Surrounded by major downtown transportation arteries. Built over portions of I-394, BNSF main line track, and included the demolition/reconstruction of 5th Street bridge
Ballpark size is just over 1,000,000 square feet (10.5 acres) built on an 8-acre site
More than 2,000,000 total labor hours by more than 3,500 workers; with a 800 peak workforce
55,000 cubic yards of concrete, 4,600 tons of structural steel, 5,000 tons of rebar, 51 miles of piles, and 100,000 square feet, or 100 semi-truck loads, of limestone
Exceeded women and minority workforce diversity goals (goal 30 percent, actual 33 percent) "

Cost listed here is $425M, yet Jerry said today cost was about $550M, with $200M of that from the Twins and $350M being public money.

Where does the $425M figure come from?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 04:34 AM by jfh Highlight this comment 79

Looking at getting a 20-game season ticket package. How much is added (taxes, fees, charges?) on top of the flat per-seat price? Thanks!

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 06:12 AM by James Highlight this comment 80

BadJ -- I'm talking about the waiting area north of 394, down on the freeway level. I think you are talking about the big garage sitting on 2nd St that is part of the B ramp (for which buses would still have to get out of downtown). In any case, you're probably right that they can stage more buses there, and so that is where the after-game bus service would go.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 07:51 AM by Linc Highlight this comment 81

The price you see includes taxes, fees, etc. That's it.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 07:53 AM by Natron Highlight this comment 82

You are right, Luke. The tracks extend past the TF stop to hold additional trains, and also will be where the SW Corridor connects.

I am assuming that, when the HERC goes bye-bye, the light rail transit station will be moved/upgraded to that triangle-shaped land the HERC now sits on.

It will be a beautiful sight!

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 08:40 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 83

JCTwins and the following post from Mike-
You guys have some very good points there and I agree. I should have put a disclaimer on my post about the Light Rail because when I ride I am more of the anomoly or outlier. I tend to get on well before games and well after when lines and such have died out. So my account isn't accurate for all situations. I have had my share of crowded rides and long waits in line. But overall, good experiences.

On the topic of the Mauer contract thing... maybe they were waiting to sign him so they can cristen the new media room in TF and announce it there. ;) Just kidding.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 08:52 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 84

I see that StarTrib article that kevin in AZ linked to as a concession speech of sorts. Although it wasn't written by the Twins it echoes their mentality of them not willing to put it all out there to get another ring. In this day and age being frugal will get you nothing but the central division. We are in an (unfortunate) era in baseball where rings are bought, and anything under $100 mill in yearly payroll just won't cut it. The irony of them having to "budget" for the upcoming Mauer contract is right there a good reason for him to leave; they are willing to pay HIM a lot of money but not the supporting cast, thus leaving us perpetual (ringless) central division winners. I think it was TTH that brought it up earlier, and that is the "KG effect" (no money to spend because the payroll is all "used" up on one player and the one player then wants out because he is basically a one man team) and I am very nervous that that is exactly what is happening unless the Twins wake up and put up some talent around Mauer. That being said the Twins are most certainly more than a one man team, but they need to open the checkbook if they want to actually go somewhere higher.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 09:05 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 85

To jfh- The 425 million dollars is what the stadium ended up costing. The infrastructure costs including land acqusition ended up costing 125 million dollars. I believe this is true but I could be wrong.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 09:16 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 86

I love the "open the checkbook" catchphrase. But remember that those checks they write need to have money in the account to back them up. I am guessing the Twins aren't quite sure what the new ballpark will do for their checking account balance. If they re-sign Mauer I am willing to give them one season to figure out exactly what kind of ching they are dealing with in their new economy. But only one season.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 09:18 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 87

The Twins turn a profit by being competitive. That doesn't mean winning the World Series or even making the playoffs. It means that as long as they are good enough to stay close to winning the division pennant then folks will keep coming to the ballpark. That is all the front office has to aspire to.

Does Mauer help drive fans to the ballpark? Absolutely. So he will be re-signed, and there will be enough other average/good ballplayers around him to keep us in the hunt. But that's the extend of the BS's to-do list. In fact, that's the M.O. of half of the league.

Anything else is just icing on the cake for the fans. The Cubs have shown you don't have to win a championship to make money and stay in business.

It's the cold, hard reality of the business of baseball.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 10:19 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 88

I bike/ride the LRT to work in the summer, and I will tell you right now, plan on being packed like sardines if you ride the train to TF. They can only run them every 5 minutes, so plan on a long wait after the game unless you are first in line.

I live near downtown, so I will probably ride my bike if there is a secure place to park it.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 11:02 AM by Dave T Highlight this comment 89

Dave - I agree and think the trains will be packed at Target Field, but maybe things wont be bad as we think, time will tell. The trains will all be empty prior to loading at the TF station since its on the end of the Hiawatha line.

Also, next year they are expanding from the current two trains to three trains.

So considering these two factors, there will be two, if not three, three-car trains sitting empty at TF as soon as the game ends. That is definitely much better than the current Metrodome setup considering the trains are all half-full by the time they even arrive at the Metrodome station. There will also be fans who roam down towards 1st Avenue and hang out at the various establishments following games, something that many fans were not able to do at the Metrodome.

Personally, I will probably just hang out and chill at one of the area establishments and let the initial crowd settle down than hop on the train at 1st Avenue.

It will be very interesting to see how this will work out with the massive crowds in such a small space.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 11:46 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 90

The idea of express trains from park & ride lots only makes a ton of sense. The first train would run through the whole track to the last station and the other two could come in behind it. No backup, only lost time is running the track empty from MOA to the third pickup spot. Worth it compared to all that time wasted stopping at 15 stops along the way to pick up 5 people.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 12:52 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 91

TTH:

They don't really even need to be competitive, at least not standings-wise. Where were you in the nineties? A lot of fans, myself included, only required that they make a good account of themselves. They have always been able to sell what they had - which may or may not be a comment on their audience. They could field a team composed of baton twirlers and dancing bears next year and get away with it.

As for Mauer --- insert "Carew" after "Does" and reconsider the third sentence of that paragraph.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 1:08 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 92

Metro Transit has been working on plans for getting people out of TF after games, but there's only so much they can do.

The track extension down around the HERC can hold up to six cars (three 2-car trains, or two 3-car trains, same capacity either way). Each car can officially hold 186 people (66 seated, 120 standing), meaning they can pre-stage trains for about 1100 people.

But they also have forecast that as much as 12% of total attendance at a game will get there by LRT (this is based on actual tallies from the Metrodome). In a sold out game, that's almost 5,000 people -- or somewhere around 25 LRT cars worth!

Congestion? Oh, yeah. If you ride the train in, plan on standing around on the promenade afterward for a while.

Earlier in the comments, moda reminded us that we all wanted an urban ballpark. Well, we got one alright. Technically, these are good problems.

Looking out a ways, the Southwest line will alleviate some of this. Interestingly, however, the Central line will not since it uses the same tracks as Hiawatha (don't get me started). With the HERC gone, maybe they could build some more track for staging trains. But that remains to be seen.

Hmm. This is starting to seem like a good subject for a new post...

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 1:23 PM by Rick 93

Does anybody know when Target Plaza open. Rick, do you know?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 2:14 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 94

I have asked the question, but not gotten a response yet.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 2:25 PM by Rick 95

c

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 2:25 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 96

Is there a timeframe as to when the HERC will be demolished? If they are actually planning on there being some sprawl in the neighborhood over there it will have to go.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM by DVS2008 Highlight this comment 97

If you look at the picture on the twins website of jerry bell at the microphone during the news conference you can see that under the bill of his hat is a sticker, it is a brand new hat and he didn't take off the little round hologram sticker that comes on new merchandise, which makes me think, does the president of Twins Sports not own his own Twins hat? Did he really need someone to hand him a brand new hat to wear during this news conference? Is this really the only time these guys ever even wear a Twins hat? It just seems quite pompous and patronizing to me.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 3:07 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 98

THE HAT DOESN'T EVEN FIT HIM!

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 3:08 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 99

A couple questions...

When do single game tickets go on sale?

Will there be any lots in the area where tailgating will be allowed?

Every now and then, I like me a good game of bags and few brews before a game.

Great website Rick. Its been fun following it for the last year or so. Thanks.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 3:35 PM by Bobby Highlight this comment 100

Right Rick it is a good problem. COngestion is only a problem for people that want to get away from the stadium immediately. If that's you. I suggest that you park further away from the stadium and be ready to hoof it back to your car so you can get on down the road. BUT- congestion is GOOD for the area because this isn't every day congestion. This is stay around in the area frequent the bars, restaurants, and shops congestion. This is activity on the street people on the sidewalk congestion.

It's a good thing. And for those on the train I'm not sure if you can still do this but after Viking games we would walk a few blocks up 5th street and grab the train one or two stations up. Since this is going to be at the spur end of the line I'm not sure if they will clear out existing passengers on the train before letting new ones on. But if they don't I would do the same there, walk down to the 5th st and 1st ave station and hop on there to ride it back.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 3:54 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 101

Bobby, I totally understand your line of questioning regarding to tailgating. However, given the history this forum has with the subjects of tailgating, you're setting yourself up for a pummeling like you ain't ever seen.

Single game tix: Look for late Feb, maybe even March, like last year.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 102

Mazarati, when are you gonna jump a fence again?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 103

(The following will look like a repeat of an earlier comment I posted, but it corrects the figure used to estimate how many folks will take LRT to games. And yes, there will be a new post on this subject very soon.)

Metro Transit has been working on plans for getting people out of TF after games, but there's only so much they can do.

The track extension down around the HERC can hold up to six cars (three 2-car trains, or two 3-car trains, same capacity either way). Each car can officially hold 186 people (66 seated, 120 standing), meaning they can pre-stage trains for about 1100 people.

But they also have forecast that as much as 12% of total attendance at a game will get there by LRT (this is based on actual tallies from the Metrodome). In a sold out game, that's almost 5,000 people -- or somewhere around 25 LRT cars worth!

Congestion? Oh, yeah. If you ride the train in, plan on standing around on the promenade afterward for a while.

Earlier in the comments, moda reminded us that we all wanted an urban ballpark. Well, we got one alright. Technically, these are good problems.

Looking out a ways, the Southwest line will alleviate some of this. Interestingly, however, the Central line will not since it uses the same tracks as Hiawatha (don't get me started). With the HERC gone, maybe they could build some more track for staging trains. But that remains to be seen.

Hmm. This is starting to seem like a good subject for a new post...

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 4:35 PM by Rick 104

I keep hearing people say that. "When the HERC is gone..." as if it's a foregone conclusion that an incinerator that generated a lot of controversey going in to site selection will simply be moved. My brother works for Hennepin County and has told me that there are no plans that he knows of to move the HERC.
A new incinerator would probably cost upwards of $100 million and create another lengthy and rancorous debate about location.
If there are plans to demolish and rebuild somewhere else, can someone site a source for this information? Or is this merely speculation and wishful thinking?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 4:49 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 105

Besides that, the HERC provides a lot of heat for the downtown area. What , if any, are the plans to replace that?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 4:51 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 106

People to face some serious facts: Those in power (city politicians, developers, the Twins) are very excited about not only making sure the HERC stays around, they want to upgrade the use (expanding it for educational use of green energy) and the look of the exterior.

The 2010 Partners are serious about this - and its members include officials from all levels of government as well as key Twins people (DSP is on the main committee).

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 5:05 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 107

Regarding mass transit and the potential need to hang around the ballpark after the game, I think it's important to distinguish the casual weekend ballgame visitor to the die-hard STH. While a STH might be considered a bigger enthusiast in many ways, when a ballgame ends at 10:00 on a Tuesday night and I have a meeting Wednesday morning, on top of a 40 minute drive home to the suburbs, I'm not anxious to hang around the park afterward.

The alternative is leaving early, which simply is not an option. Many a marriage has been tested by the wife that wants to leave early and the husband that is trying to explain to her why she might regret it. Will the husband have the resolve to navigate downtown congestion when he forces his wife to stay through a 10th or 11th inning? Is there any chance that she'll be happy to get on the light rail with said husband?

Many variations on a theme, but I think you get the point.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 5:40 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 108

Bobby,

Welcome to the Darkside! us tailgaters are considered leapers round these parts...but not luke-ish

there will be some die hards tailgating scattered around but not alot...put it like this i have been to miller park and kaufmann about 20 times and tailgated every time

I tailgated at the dome 2 times this year (including 163) its just not the same not the same for a urban ballpark... and i accept that but it still can be fun a few times a year!

good luck! your gonna need it lol

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 5:45 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 109

For the person asking about season ticket cost - there is also a $35 fee over the cost of any post-season tickets you purchase.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 6:53 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 110

For tailgating, I assume I can set up a little weber down there on the Northstar line platform, and a pony keg. They'll let me do that, right? Heck, I could sell grilled hotdogs and a brew down there for the commute to Big Lake. I'm sure it will go fine.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 8:09 PM by Linc Highlight this comment 111

og jeff - what do you mean by "very excited"? also, why would the twins and developers being interested in making sure the HERC stays around? i guess that doesn't make sense to me.

twins - you are saying that other than getting steam heat pumped into target field the twins really want a garbage burner of all things right next to and on top of their stadium into perpetuity? not only is that a bad move PR and site perception wise it is just a dumb idea if you are the twins. although most of us understand there is no smell eminating from the HERC people (regular folks and media) are going to continue to criticize and parody its location next to a frickin' MLB ballpark and its potential adverse health effects from day one when the park opens. i can guarantee there will be negative articles written about it (both local and national) and putting the stadium's location into a bad-light once the park opens in march/april. is that something the twins really want to fight forever? people can say all they want that it doesn't smell, it doesn't cause any health issues, but people and media are never going to buy that.

developers - what property developer wants it to stay put? there is ample land there once the site is cleaned up to develop and sell it as residential and commercail space. what benefit does it do developers to have a garbage burner of all things in a neighborhood where they want to conduct such development activities?

green technology: the HERC is anything but green energy technology. it is out-dated, 1970's esque trash-burning suedo-technology that never should have been built in the downtown of a major city in the first place.

neighborhood residents: i would venture that 99% of the residents who live in the north loop and near north side of minneapolis want to see the HERC gone as soon as possible.

those seem like a lot of reasons for it to NOT stay around. am i missing something here?

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 8:29 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 112

There are, as far as I know, no official plans to do anything with the HERC other than gussy it up a bit. Some people see it's location next to the ballpark as an opportunity to show off to the world just how forward-thinking the Twin Cities are.

But there are some definite signs and portents on the horizon.

First, there is already a conceptual plan in place to tear down the Environmental Services Building. That's the one closest to the ballpark and the LRT platform. In its place, some would like to build a second LRT platform, to be used by Central corridor trains.

Second, though the HERC generates power, the technology is pretty old. Newer versions of the same technology apparently are significantly more efficient. The question becomes whether to upgrade the facility in place or just rebuild somewhere else. The latter has the potential to be much, much cheaper.

Third, despite general support for the facility, there are a number of conceptual documents out there which show the HERC land being used for something completely different. Namely, it could be the perfect location for a much larger train/transit depot. You hear it mentioned in connection with the high speed Chicago route, the Duluth passenger route, the Southwest LRT, the extension of LRT into north Minneapolis, other commuter routes, etc.

Fourth, assuming that every joke has a hint of truth in it, I've heard several movers and shakers joke that the Twins would never have used all the expensive limestone on that side of the ballpark if it were going to be forever facing such a homely facility.

Despite having come to terms with their new neighbor, I think it's fair to say that the Twins would prefer something a little sexier on that land. It would sure make those blimp shots prettier.

My hunch is that the HERC has no more than about 10 years left on the land before it is reused. If it hasn't been reused by 2030, then I'd suspect that the Twins will claim it as the spot to build TF's successor in the 40s sometime.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 9:03 PM by Rick 113

not sure why I'm complaining.. because i doubt anyone cares (i wouldn't if I were you) but when did this blog turn into some lame hippie rant about the Twins being "the man" and trying to screw you at every turn?

For Instance:

"People to face some serious facts: Those in power (city politicians, developers, the Twins) are very excited about not only making sure the HERC stays around, they want to upgrade the use (expanding it for educational use of green energy) and the look of the exterior."

Very excited about? Really? I don't think anyone is very excited about the HERC but the reality is that its a massive incinerator and the incredible expense of moving it or replacing it because it doesn't look pretty isn't exactly a worthwhile investment.

and

"Did he really need someone to hand him a brand new hat to wear during this news conference? Is this really the only time these guys ever even wear a Twins hat? It just seems quite pompous and patronizing to me."

Seriously? You think he's an ass because they had a new Twins hat waiting for him at a PR event where the whole shtick was everyone putting on a Twins hat? How new the hat is that he wore at some PR event is supposed to reveal his character? That's got to be the most creatively dumb metric of a man's character I've heard of.

"Hippies, hippies... they want to save the world but all they do is smoke pot and play frisbee!"

(and I've voted for Franken, Obama, Kerry, and even Al Gore so don't call me close-minded, you whiny hippies!)

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 114

Ben - I spent the latter part of the 90s in Madison getting my drink on --errr-- my degree, and spending my summers at County Stadium.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 115

I dont think you missed A thing. Maybe the public should be allowed to put the matter of getting rid of the herc to a vote. I would guess just a guess here that people would vote it out in A heartbeat. But those darn politians would probably get in the way of that always do.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 9:46 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 116

Rick, I think you are right that the Twins would like the HERC to go but you are sorely underestimating what it would take to move. Although the $100M price bantered about is pretty high, it would definitely cost tens of millions of dollars and in these tight times, I don't see much stomach to pay for a new HERC.

But more importantly, the permitting needed to site a new HERC in the Twin Cities area would undoubtedly take at least 10 years. We are talking complicated EIS's, certain lawsuits, and emission permits and standards that will be more onerous than those the current facility must meet.

Don't get me wrong, the HERC should go, and many people who can do something about it would like to see it go, but that's one tough nut to crack.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 10:42 PM by Freealonzo Highlight this comment 117

Most folks in the metro area would probably vote to keep it right where it is. No one wants it in their back yard, and moving it means that someone will have to look at it out their back window every day. Thank anyone in the burbs is going to get on board with that? The current HERC doesn't sit in a heavy residential area, and for all I know, it's current location could have been the most palatable compromise location.
Winona fought an incinerator battle a decade or so ago with no one wanting it near them. Eventually, the issue died, and no incinerator was ever built. I can't believe there are too many communities in the metro area that are clamoring for a burner in or around them.
Maybe ten years down the road, things will change. We can never rule out change. But I'd be willing to wager that for the foreseable future, the HERC stays put.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 10:49 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 118

The $100 million figure was one I tossed out not knowing what an incinerator costs these days. But with construction and materials costs skyrocketing, $100 million was a safe guess.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 10:51 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 119

Freealonzo, your points are well taken.

In terms of complication and cost, I agree that it's akin to building a combination landfill and power plant -- two public works projects that see some of the strongest NIMBY objections.

But what has surprised me in my tangential conversations with people (in other words, I just hear things without asking questions and take notes for later assembly) is how the seemingly insurmountable becomes suddenly surmountable with the right collection of political backers. If a congressman, a senator, a mayor, a governor, a county board member and a major corporation all want the same thing done, obstacles seem to fall like dominoes. (That's one of the reasons I think the Northstar line will be pulling into St. Cloud far sooner than most people think.)

And while I have no idea of the actual costs involved, I have heard it said that it would be cheaper to build a new facility than to retrofit the old one with the newer technologies. That alone suggests that political will has a chance of lining up where it needs to be (dollars being generally motivational), and when it does, that's the angle we'll hear when trying to sell the idea to detractors and the public.

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 11:07 PM by Rick 120

I thought construction costs were decreasing...At least that's what the MSFC and the Vikings have told us.

HERC or no HERC...There won't be any of those blimp shots of TF. Blimp shots usually happen during the World Series and there's no way in hell th.....well, anyway

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:16 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 121

I guess time will tell when it comes to the HERC. Ideally, we'd all like to see something akin to Wrigleyville sprout up around the park, and perhaps enhanced rail connections as well.
After all, public money for projects like Target Field also have as their goals the object of redevelopment and revitalization, and that's difficult to acheive with an incinerator in the way.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:18 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 122

The last I heard (And this may have been my previous employer poor-mouthing right around raise time) was that China was buying up all the steel and concrete they can get their hands on, driving up construction costs. I suppose it doiesn't help matters that Dubai is still on a construction binge as well.
I haven't heard that the Vikes were telling folks that construction costs are declining. I thought they were still using the line, "Build it now, before the costs soar even higher."

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:23 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 123

From Roy Terwilliger's editorial the other day in the Strib....

•The recession has caused the cost of construction to drop. There are significant savings to be reaped if the state can find a way to green-light our proposed stadium in 2010.

click on my name for the entire article.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:36 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 124

Perhaps the cost of construction labor has dropped but not materials??? Seems like there's a grey area perhaps.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:38 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 125

Speaking of the Vikings and construction, it looks as if they are safe...for now...click name!

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 05:49 AM by Tom, OG Highlight this comment 126

Also, Twins make offer to Washburn! I've wanted this since I first heard about it, so they can get rid of Perkins...

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 06:00 AM by Tom, OG Highlight this comment 127

On the HERC-
I am vaguely familiar with the HERC and its services. Though I do have a couple of questions. I am not so familiar with its service area. Does anyone know what their service area is? I assume primarily in the general vicinity but how much farther? I ask only because it leads to my next question. You all talk of building a new facility but dont really allude to where. Does you mean building in MPLS close to downtown (as current) or is it something that could/would be moved farther out into the suburbs?

Sorry if that seems like a dumb question but for someone not so knowlegable on its operations it makes sense to ask.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 08:46 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 128

It looks like the bidders for the 2011 NHL Winter Classic are Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Coors Field and Cowboys Stadium.

Why should the NHL even consider Cowboys Stadium for the Winter Classic?? The NFL does not consider northern cities (with outdoor venues) for the Super Bowl, so the NHL should not consider southern cities to host the Winter Classic. Just my opinion...

Also, isn't Yankee Stadium hosting a college bowl game beginning in 2010? That would conflict with getting the field ready for an NHL Winter Classic if held on New Years Day.

It would not surprise me if the NHL breaks the New Years Day tradition just to accomodate Yankee Stadium as the host venue...that is the way the NHL rolls, they always seem to find ways to fix things that are not broken (realignment, expansion to non-hockey markets, schedule format, and TV contracts to name a few)

I am sure Minneapolis will get their NHL Winter Classic in 2012 or 2013 but it appears the NHL wants the Capitals and/or Rangers involved with the 2011 Classic.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 09:12 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 129

I'm sure there are a few abandoned factory buildings scattered throughout the metro, far away from anyone's backyard.

...the manufacturing industry has been crap for a few years.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 09:15 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 130

Is it even possible to hold a hockey game in Cowboys Stadium? Last time I checked, Texas is still fairly warm in January. That would mean they would need to close the roof to keep it climate controlled. Why even have it then? "Ooooh! It is sort of like being outside because there are windows!!"

Lame

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 09:21 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 131

I'm reasonably sure that Shooter omitted FedEx Field in Washington. I thought I heard something about them being the frontrunner because of the bowl game in Yankee Stadium.

In any case, those two venues will probably end up ahead of Target Field for future Winter Classics... Although there's been discussion about holding two games in future years as well - one in the US, one in Canada, so that could cycle more teams through the event and move it around more quickly.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 10:02 AM by Natron Highlight this comment 132

As there are no official (or even unofficial) plans in place, there is no site under consideration. But a quick look at Google Maps yields quite a few possibilities. For example, there's lots of under-utilized industrial land to the north along Washington Avenue.

I'm not sure how to assess its "service area". According to this PDF document, garbage can come from anywhere in Hennepin County, but mostly comes from the city of Minneapolis. Power is sold to Xcel and just goes into the grid.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 10:03 AM by Rick 133

Wow - I haven't logged on in a while...my post got some people fired up.

Here's some facts for those who didn't understand my post:

- The 2010 Partners are not "the man". They're a group of influential developers, politicians, NL neighborhood board members and Twins officials being organized by well-experienced city planners. Their interest is not to "screw you" but to improve the transit and energy issues that surround the downtown area - namely the North Loop. They've done some great work already to identify some major problem areas around the park - the city has begun addressing several of them.

- People are "excited" (I realize that may not be the best word to use) about reworking the HERC because they are trying to look at long-term solutions for the area that would offer both a substantial aesthetic upgrade. The HERC provides 1/5 of the energy to MPLS and an "upgrade" could supposedly increase the power supply.

- I live in the North Loop. The HERC is a bit of an eyesore, and I'm no stranger to that fact. After looking at many of the examples the 2010 Partners have cited as successful similar projects in other cities (mostly European), I've come around to the idea that the HERC could be a good thing for the community. It does take some serious optimism and forward-thinking to see it, I confess.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 10:11 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 134

While tailgating doesn't necessarily interest me because I currently live on the edge of the NL(though the atmosphere isn't as festive as early season Vikings games, it's sometimes nice to walk around and people watch), I'm more interested in finding out when/if someone will actually open a bar in the area with a decent tap list. A bar that has more than the normal Summit/Light beer tap list.

Right now the only thing in the area that would fit that bill(for me at least) is Luce, but I wouldn't necessarily want to hang out there pre-game. I went to the Cubs/Twins Saturday game last year, and watched the Friday game at Sheffield's. So, yeah, something like Sheffield's in the North Loop or edge of the Warehouse District would be nice.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 10:56 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 135

This will make some people happy.

From the Pioneer Press...
"Look for the Twins to partner with the Kramarczuk's deli in Northeast Minneapolis for a sausage offering at Target Field."

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 11:10 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 136

Does anybody know when the Target Field "exit here" signs will be installed on I-94? Will they be green or brown? Usually brown signs are put up for points of interest.

(sorry, I just couldn't help it. I'm tired of HERC talk and we haven't had a stupid question posted on here in, oh, hours...)

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 11:41 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 137

Thanks Rick,
I understand there are no plans to move it. My general question more along the lines of, if it were to be moved, would it necessarily have to be relocated somewhere around downtown because it directly services those areas? From what you posted it appears that wouldn't be the case since the power goes into the grid to Xcel. Steam on the other hand might require it to be in the downtown MPLS vicinity. Does that sound about right? I know it doesn't have much to do with the general convo lately, just thought I would ask for my personal interest.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 11:42 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 138

I hear that the barriers around the plaza and other public spaces will likely come down in the first week of March.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 11:58 AM by Rick 139

Sorry, TTH, but no word yet on those signs, or which of the 3M reflective products will be used to make them visible at night...

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:08 PM by Rick 140

Kramarczuk's sausages! Now, there's a piece of good news!

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:13 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 141

Chad,
As discussed some time back, Kieran's Irish Pub will be moving into Bellanotte's Block E spot soon. I'm thinking that will be my favorite place for a quality before/after beer near Target Field. Click for details.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:36 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 142

You guys all understand that one of the downtown facilities drawing heat from the HERC is TF, right?

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 12:44 PM by Dave T Highlight this comment 143

and the hof vote sucks again this year for bert...

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM by annoyingcustomer Highlight this comment 144

Five votes. Ugh...

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM by john c Highlight this comment 145

Only 5 votes short, so he shouldn't have to wait much longer though.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 1:31 PM by B Highlight this comment 146

He only has one more year before heading to the old folks committee.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 147

Correction, two more years. I read one somewhere yesterday...

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 1:50 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 148

Bert will make it next year ... the voters are coming around they just want to punish him for being a asshole for all those years...

og jeff...when is this bbq in your green space going to be announced??? i remember a year or so back you said we were gonna grill and sip on opening day b4 the game... well the time is coming ad the ninja is getting thirsty!!!

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 4:08 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 149

Since the rinks for these Winter Classic games utilize the same (albeit temporary)elaborate coolant systems that are in every NHL arena, a hockey game at Cowboys Stadium could be possible, but whole un-natural and downright wrong.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 6:58 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 150

dave t - yes, i realize that and have known about that for sometime. that said, there are plenty of other ways that the twins could get heat for target field that do not involve a garbage burner right next to your brand new stadium.

anyone trying to spin 1970's garbage burning facilities and that approach as some sort of "green" revolution in energy generation are not making any headway with me and i would venture not making a lot of headway with many other people. btw - i am not saying that you are personally trying to "spin" it, og jeff. i get where you are coming from on a personal level. just my two cents. as i am sure you can tell i have from day one hated the HERC facility and always will! ;-)

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 6:59 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 151

And up[on further consideration, Kevin makes a good point that I overlooked in regards to construction costs. I was simply thinking of materials costs. I could imagine that the larger share of costs associated with building a new stadium would be labor, and given that the labor market is so soft, a significant savings could be realized if construction of a Vikings stadium began soon.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 7:02 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 152

Or an incinerator.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 7:04 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 153

Two points - scroll to the bottom of the link (click on my name) for info on an NHL outdoor game in Las Vegas in 80 degree heat back in SEPTEMBER of 1991. If they can make that work, they can make any NHL market work on January 1st, 2011...

Second point, construction costs are WAY down. About a year and a half ago, the steel market's bottom dropped out. As an example, in Keewatin, in January 2008, the taconite plant was to get a $300 million expansion - 11 months later, they shut it down insted:

http://www.startribune.com/business/15092426.html

http://wcco.com/local/keewatin.taconite.plant.2.878865.html

This all as a result of the global recession. Throw in construction labor savings (ask anyone in construction - they're begging for jobs to start up), and now is the time (if you can get a bank to float you a loan) to build.

One example I can give is the Bemidji Regional Event Center. The total project budget was to be $92 million, but due to the "current economy" the budget was reduced by $10 million once bids were received (see page 4):

http://www.ci.bemidji.mn.us/vertical/Sites/%7BDC40720D-A823-4643-91CD-6456402D11F6%7D/uploads/%7B994F901A-99FD-4516-A528-A02B93390AE7%7D.PDF

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 7:24 PM by Goober Highlight this comment 154

Winona - I agree. Especially in Cowboys Stadium. It'll work, but the nature of the game would be lost, which is the whole idea behind the Winter Classic. The same applies to Ford Field, which will host next year's Frozen Four. It's just not the same.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 7:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 155

It looks as if there's egg on my face here about construction cost as they relate to materials as well. As I said before, the information given to me did not factor in labor, only materials, and, it seems, that information is waaay out of date.

Oops.

I still contend, and fear no argument here, that a Winter Classic event in Cowboys Stadium would be un-natural and downright wrong.
The game needs to be played in wintry elements, and the winter weather in Dallas just won't cut it.
Even so, Jerry Jones has to recoup his $1.15B dollar investment somehow, even if that means booking hockey games, flea markets, and Boy Scout jamborees.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 9:03 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 156

Yeah, Dallas should have a winter classic because Texas has such a rich history of outdoor hockey.

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 9:11 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 157

Mmmmmm, Kramarczuk's!

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 9:14 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 158

Winona Mike - I don't mean to be a jerk, but even Dubai has stopped building (click my name), Burj Khalifa notwithstanding...

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 9:27 PM by Goober Highlight this comment 159

Betaband, what does "1970s garbage burning facilities" have to do with the HERC? It was opened in 1990 and has undergone many advancements over the years, including new technology in scrubbing equipment and such. There's a lot more there than an old garbage burner.

Don't see how turning garbage that used to be put into landfills instead into electricity isn't green. Especially with the new technology that cuts way down on harmful emissions from the burner. The HERC also produces steam, which is 100 percent efficient and cuts down on the use of fossil fuels, such as natural gas and fuel oil, to heat and cool buildings.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 01:01 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 160

Pretty sure Cowboy Stadium wouldn't work given they moved the Cotton Bowl [played on Jan. 1/2] there from its namesake stadium this year. But hey, it's cool to see the fact that Jerry Jones recognizes the Winter Classic as being a cash cow.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 01:09 AM by Nate Highlight this comment 161

burning garbage is burning garbage.....not matter what way some of you spin it. garbage burning facilities are a nothing more than a leftover, pseudo-green fad of the 1970's that should have stayed there to begin with.....even if they were not finally built until 1990 after a decade or more of lawsuits and fighting to try and stop its poorly conceived construction in the first place.

minneapolis and hennepin county (and the shady politicians at the time who forced it through over the serious objections of many) were stupid to ever build it in the first place......let alone in a major u.s. downtown area.

hopefully in the next few years we get to spend a few million more to finally get rid of that albatross once and for all.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 01:32 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 162

Well, it's good to know you're willing to look at both sides of an issue, Betaband. Way to have an open mind.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 05:40 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 163

burning garbage is burning garbage.....not matter what way some of you spin it.

Well, not quite. A) burning the garbage means not burning something else, B) burning the garbage means not sticking it in the ground somewhere for perpetuity. You can hate the HERC, but a leftover pseudo-green fad of the 70s it ain't.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 08:14 AM by strategery Highlight this comment 164

From the Pioneer Press...

The Twins the other day approved miniature versions of sculptures of Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett, and slightly larger than life-size statues of the club's hall of famers now are being sculpted for installation in March outside the main gates (No. 29 and 34) of Target Field.

It's probably not too early to begin working on a sculpture of Blyleven

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 08:43 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 165

It's probably not too early to begin working on a sculpture of Blyleven

Well, if Bert doesn't get voted in over the next two years, he'll certainly get in via the Veteran's Committee.

If that happens, Target Field can give the #28 to the backdoor players' entrance at the park.

Thank you. I'll be here all night.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 09:26 AM by Natron Highlight this comment 166

Beta - Wow, how the mighty have fallen. Put more thought into your comments, please.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 11:25 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 167

Mazarati - BBQ research and planning is underway, my man. I'm trying to organize a few "partners" to help put this thing on. As soon as we get things planned, you'll be the first to know :)

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 11:27 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 168

I wonder if Bert Blyleven cries at night because Jesse Crain wears his number.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 11:55 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 169

good one Natron!

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 12:17 PM by Jax Highlight this comment 170

don't need to put any more thought into it. i feel how i feel about the albatross that is the HERC facility and nothing is going to change that. just the way it is. right, wrong or otherwise.

honestly, i really just enjoy getting under buffalo's skin. love being his favorite poster on here! i can tell that the two of us would get along great in person................maybe not

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 2:49 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 171

It's not cool to post on here just to get a rise out of people. From what I'm told, those people are called "trolls."

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 2:50 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 172

Talked to my ticket rep this week and he said home opener ticket information will be released by the end of the month. They hope to have it all available in time for Twinfest.

Basically, if you bought season tickets prior to the 2009 season (not sure of the exact cutoff date) you will be guaranteed at least two tickets to the home opener regardless of full or partial plan.

If you bought your season tickets during or after the 2009 season, you are not guaranteed tickets to the home opener. The idea floating around is there will be a lottery type of thing held amongst the season ticket holders not guaranteed home opener seats. However, he was very skeptical about the amount of tickets available in that lottery saying it would most likely be under 1,000 seats, if even that.

Not sure about the public lottery and what options the general public will have at this point.

Is this the same information any of you other STH's have heard???

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 3:29 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 173

"I wonder if Bert Blyleven cries at night because Jesse Crain wears his number."
Thanks for the laugh...Man,that's funny..

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 3:36 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 174

FYI - Looks like there is some more grassroots stuff happening this weekend involving the continuing push for a new Vikings stadium solution during the 2010 legislative session - which begins next month.

SavetheVikes.org Announces eRally to Involve Fans Statewide and Beyond

MINNEAPOLIS (January 5, 2010) — While the playoff bound Vikings rest over the upcoming wildcard weekend, fans across the state will take the field for the first SavetheVikes.org eRally. The virtual event gives constituents an easy and effective way to tell their lawmakers that they want action on a new Vikings stadium in the 2010 legislative session, which is less than a month away.

Kicking off on Friday, January 8, and wrapping up on Monday, January 11, the eRally lets fans statewide and beyond reach out to elected officials from the convenience of their computer or mobile phone.
“There is a passionate Vikings fan base not only in the Twin Cities, but also in outstate Minnesota and throughout the Midwest that wants to keep the Vikings,” says Cory Merrifield, founder of SavetheVikes.org. “We’re making it possible for everyone to get involved no matter where they are, and it only takes an Internet connection and five minutes of their time.”

Fans can now pre-register for the event at: http://SavetheVikes.org/erally

On Friday morning, they will receive notification of the eRally launch. Then they will be able to quickly locate and email their elected officials by choosing one of the customizable letters that focus on the various benefits of a new stadium. Or they can craft their own personal message.

“Technology removes many of the barriers to civic engagement, and we’re making it incredibly easy for citizens to get involved,” notes Brian Ashbaugh, co-founder and technology lead for SavetheVikes.org.
This is the first in a series of eRallies hosted by SavetheVikes.org. The the group will incorporate technologies such as streaming video and live chat into future virtual events. “We’ll keep putting the pressure on until a deal gets done,” says Merrifield. “They won’t be able to ignore us.”

SavetheVikes.org is a grassroots, nonpartisan group dedicated to getting the Vikings a new home in Minnesota. The group is open to many forms of stadium solutions and financing, and does not advocate a specific agenda. Founder Cory Merrifield created SavetheVikes.org to be for the fans, by the fans. The group is not affiliated with any company or political organization.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 4:02 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 175

"Basically, if you bought season tickets prior to the 2009 season (not sure of the exact cutoff date) you will be guaranteed at least two tickets to the home opener regardless of full or partial plan."

Good piece of news, if true. As we all know, what one rep says does not a policy make - but I do feel a bit better about my odds. There has to be a lot of STH who were on the bandwagon prior to 2009 however.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 4:21 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 176

No offense to the eRally or the mission, but there's something fishy about "SaveTheVikes.org":

1. The domain is registered to a proxy company, meaning the real owner wanted to hide his/her/their identity.

2. A quick search on the founder's name (Cory Merrifield) reveals some very odd connections, including one with uber-partisan mouthpiece and Capitol-insider Sarah Janacek.

3. I found at least one place where people seem to know this guy and use words like "mediawh0re" to describe him.

4. That web site is just way too slick and clean and focused to have popped up all in one piece like it did. It's very clearly the work of a pro, and the development cycle on something like that is measured in months or quarters, at least.

Again, I'm not talking about the mission, or even doubting their sincerity, but I'm very suspicious of where it's all really coming from. It looks to be very well-funded, and there just aren't that many superfans out there with that kind of money and tme.

Does anyone here know Cory Merrifield or Brian Ashbaugh? Or can anyone maybe just fill in a few blanks?

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:07 PM by Rick 177

Twins sign pitcher Condrey to one year deal and let Kepple go. Its not the exciting off season moves that some might be looking for but its all they have really done so far. Maybe something else is in the works that will come out soon.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:08 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 178

Beta you can call it an albatross all you want and make completely unfounded statements about it and you can call it your opinion but you are wholly wrong on all points that you have made regarding it. Other than it's an ugly thing to look at.

I guess I'd quit while I was way behind.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:18 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 179

Rick that site has been around for a while now. And you yourself have a pretty slick site with calendars that have been shot down and even had a media piece done on the story. Glass houses my friend.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:20 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 180

Those new stadium renderings are hideous.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:50 PM by ace Highlight this comment 181

Beta, whatever makes you happy. Don't know why you think you are continually getting under my skin though. I don't know you from Adam, nor have I given you much thought.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 6:19 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 182

Rick, you're not the first person to suggest that. There's something fishy about that whole "grassroots" movement. Too staged and too slick to be what it claims to be.

Be interesting to see if they get more people involved in this eRally, and really, how lame is that, than they did at their actual rally at the capitol last month. Despite what this guy wants everybody to believe, there ain't a groundswell of support anywhere for this stadium.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 6:23 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 183

Apologies to OG Jeff.

When I read your post before it sounded like you implying an inexplicable nefarious plot by those "in power" to keep the HERC around. I think you, I, and the majority of the posters I've read here are on the same page regarding the HERC and what can reasonably be done with it (at least in the short term anyway).

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 6:41 PM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 184

TTH.. man you are making alot of sense here... i must need to give up my sober resolution for this year cuz its making me nuts!

glad to hear it Jeff, cant wait maybe we can get matching ninja tattoos!lol

dont think that im hopin any fences anymore but there is plenty of dirt to be done once it opens... i snuck into the brewers team offices just by walking down from the Metavante Club (it was called somthing like the .300 club then basiclly their version of the champions club we have) i guess they figure rich folk dont wonder to far(i was given the tix for the club) just act drunk and open any door that opens and see what happens...the fun has just begun

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 7:23 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 185

"Winona Mike - I don't mean to be a jerk, but even Dubai has stopped building (click my name), Burj Khalifa notwithstanding..."

Yeah, you're right on that point, and once again, I goofed up. Boy, oh boy, it's been a bad week here for me.

Perhaps I'll take the weekend to try and get my mojo back. (such as it was...)

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 7:28 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 186

ahhh buffalo........one of our resident gb packer backing friends = yawn when it comes to his insight on anything related to the vikings and the very real grassroots, statewide push for a much needed new multi-use stadium. sorry if i usually take such thoughts with a grain or two of salt. or maybe it is just me who feels that way......either way, whatever.

rick - i think that i may have read or heard on the radio somewhere that both cory merrifield and brian ashbaugh from savethevikes.org are IT professionals by trade and website developers by either trade and/or passion......hence the professional looking nature of the savethevikes.org website. and as moda253 said this wonderful site is pretty snazzy itself and if i recall correctly you are not even a website developer by trade rather it is just more of a hobby for you.

suspicious to some or not was really just passing the info along since it was in the spirit of "stadium construction" & "stadium advocacy" which was/is the main thread behind ballparkmagic.com and its predecessor twinsballpark2010.com

some good friends, good beer and a bcs national title game await. so i will say good night.

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 7:52 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 187

moda,

I'll take the compliment (and the criticisms). But this site is not advocating for legislation or trying to sway some politician's opinion. And my little media appearance was, well, uncomfortable.

I think the better comparison would be with Greet Machine, which was earnest with a capital E. Nobody would ever have suspected that Shane was a shill for the team or anybody.

I don't think it's possible to fake a grassroots web site -- at least not for long -- and that's what my instincts tell me I'm seeing. For example, just how many grassroot sites actively and repeatedly call themselves "grassroot"? It's just not quite right.

But maybe I'm wrong. I'm looking for a sign of some sort.

Maybe the real question is: Is anybody out there actually clamoring for a new Vikings stadium? (Hint: There's a big difference between thinking it's a good or worthwhile or necessary idea and clamoring.)

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 7:54 PM by Rick 188

rick -

there is very little "Grassroots" in the real world of politics... when something does get moving - the pros tend to co-opt it, but for the most part it's done by pros and made to look grassroots (like the "draft rt rybak" movement - which was in fact comprised of 4-6 political operatives looking for work)

in the business we call it astrotruf - to an untrained eye, what's the difference? to someone who knows what they are looking at, it's obvious.

(and savethevikes is a front run by a lobby shop IIRC)

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM by CJ Highlight this comment 189

the exception to the above is Shane at Greet Machine - you're right about him, he's the real deal - a fan and advocate (and a better vote counter than the caucus leaders at the capitol, who used his whip counts as much as their own)

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM by CJ Highlight this comment 190

Beta, I may be a Packer fan but I was born and raised here in Minnesota. Apart from attending Wisconsin-Madison for three years, I've lived here all my life and pay taxes just like you, so I would say that makes me just as worthy of commenting on the Vikings stadium push as anybody else.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 01:02 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 191

Buffalo,

You know that's not true. I lived in Wisconsin for 8 years as a Vikings fan, and I can tell you that in all honesty I would have voted down any Packers stadium involving public subsidies (if for nothing else to watch the organization fail). Now that I'm back in the homeland it's a completely different story.

Our allegiances play an integral role in the way we vote, especially when it comes to our money. Your notion otherwise is a nothing more than an effort to come across as unbiased when you know damn well you are completely biased with regards to the matter.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 03:13 AM by ace Highlight this comment 192

Dan - Thanks for the amends. We're on the same page about the HERC.

Rick - Have the Twins ever said what they'd do for new inductees into the HOF regarding gate numbers, etc? Maybe they'd find something else to re-number?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 09:45 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 193

How do any of you know what Buffalo truly thinks? A person is unable to put their allegiance to a team aside and vote on an issue? PUH-LEASE!! I don't think it's Buffalo who is off-base.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 09:51 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 194

Attn video game nerds: First known video of MLB 10 THE SHOW is linked here... and it's got TARGET FIELD footage!

This was taken with a video camera at CES yesterday, so it's not a professional trailer. Gotta love seeing the Twins getting love!

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 09:58 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 195

Rick all I'm saying is why even go out on the limb making enemies with a group that very much wants the same thing that you and all of us wanted before? It just seemed like it was completely unwarranted. "I heard he's a media whore"???? And it seems fishy to me? I guess I jsut didn't understand the comment which seemed a lot like an attack.

Building a flashy website is NOT very hard these days. You of all people know this. If you ahve some resources such as people that work in IT and web dev then it's really easy. It isn't hard to believe that people know how and what they are doing. And when people are passionate enough about something it's not hard to imagine them putting forth a bit of effort.

That they claim it to be a grassroots thing seems fishy? How so? Because they are trying to get people involved? That they want it to be a fan experience?

I dunno man your comments are leaving a serious bad taste. I just don't understand the point in calling into question or making assumptions based on your feelings. And even if you do have those feelings I guess I just don't understand the reason behind making them public. Have you contacted any of the people involved and had any type of interaction with them at all?

/lame

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:04 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 196

Ditto mota253.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:26 AM by Wanda Phillips Highlight this comment 197

Thanks for that link OG! The graphics in that game are amazing. You gotta love that celebration sign! Definitely will be a Target Field icon.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 198

First, I am not calling anybody a mediawhore. I'm reporting that this is how that site's founder is regarded elsewhere, and looking for feedback from others on whether it's accurate.

Second, it's as much the content as the look of that web site that I suspect. It looks like carefully-calculated copywriting done by a professional lobbyist.

Third, my point in raising it is to say that unless that group is the real thing, it's going to do more damage than good to the cause. (I'm just realizing that I haven't said this previously, but that's why I want to know more.) The public will sniff out a fake and hold the Vikings accountable -- and not in a good way.

Fourth, I apologize if the line of questioning is distasteful. But that web site has gotten a lot of press and invited the scrutiny. Frankly, I was hoping that someone here knew more about this guy than I can find elsewhere and could confirm the non-shill nature of the project.

If it's for real, then getting that fact out there will help things. If it's not, then that whole project is in way more trouble than the public realizes.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:48 AM by Rick 199

Now the Vikings are saying their future might be in the suburbs...click for story

This will be very interesting to follow over the next 30-60 days.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 11:29 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 200

If you spend any time on that site, you come away questioning how grassroots the organization is. I also come away questioning this groundswell of support the organizer claims. If he has so many people following his cause, why are his forums dead? Why do the articles he publishes get only one comment or less?

As for the Vikings stadium, I'm all for it if it's done right. I don't think in this economy a general tax will work. Make it a user tax, like taxes on tickets, memorabilia, etc., or tax rental cars and hotel rooms to hit up visitors to the state. The state has enough problems and so does my budget where I shouldn't be forced to pay for a new football stadium.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 11:31 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 201

What's the difference between Adrian Peterson and Chilly's son? Both have problems finding the open lanes.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 11:41 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 202

Actually, I'd like to take that joke back and go with:

Perhaps Chilly's son can teach A.P. how to swerve when he gets in an open lane.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 203

TTH and Buffalo need to get a room together in Madison.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:45 PM by Vikes Highlight this comment 204

Rick, I used to enjoy your site. It's too bad to see a few users bring the quality down.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 205

I'd have gone with:
"That .23 Chilly Jr. blew is pretty close to A.P.'s yards per carry in the past few games."

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:52 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 206

Rick why don't you just contact the guy and ask him questions yourself. It wasn't that you were calling him a media whore yourself so much as you question him and say you heard a bunch of bad stuff about hium, and didn't like the feel of what he/they are trying to do. It's all very sandlot to me. Why not let them go on their merry way until you at least contact them?

Whatever I guess the point is lost. And if you don't think there is a possibility of them getting a groundswell of support after just making the playoffs and having a decent year then I may suggest looking at a few message boards on the net other than this one to get a pulse of what's going on.

Either that or just quit being such a bunch negative nancy's about it and let them do tehir thing.

Sheesh. Or I got a better idea.... Get involved, for or against. If you are going to poo poo someones initiative at least stake your own claim on it.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 207

Really badjuggler the last game he averaged 6 ypc. And is averaging 4.4 for teh year. Which is top 5 for the league.

Do you people even look at the #$%^ you write?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:57 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 208

Oh and Rick I'm sorry but I'm a web dev by trade and if you think that takes months to put together that site then I'm sorry it's all pretty damned canned looking to me.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:58 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 209

I ALTO

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 210

If that's what passes for flashy these days, then I'd hate to see something that professionals spent a lot of time on.

The guy may very well be more astroturf than grassroots, but making that conclusion based on the quality of the website is ludicrous.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:16 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 211

Badjuggler - niiiice.

DreDogg - you're either on to something or on something. ;0

Vikes - there's always room in Camp Randall if you'd like to come watch some real college football. (Actually, there isn't always room - I was thinking of "The Bank". How long did THAT honeymoon last???)

Rick - stop poking fun of people's professions. The last thing we need is luke posting because you made some remark about sofa cushion testers.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 212

Again, not the look, but the content/language. It appears quite carefully-crafted -- scripted, vetted -- to give off a certain impression. (From the source code, it appears that the look is just a customized version of the Arras theme for WordPress.)

But I see your points. I'm really not out to get the guy or the group. I was hoping just to get more info from people here, and maybe see if others shared my impression. :Fail:

As for taking a stand on the issue of a Vikings stadium, I'm really not sure how I feel. I've been thinking about it. Mostly I've been wondering, is now the time? Is the current location the right place? Roof? Retractable? Renovation versus rebuild? Funding model? Stimulus?

To be clear, it's not about whether to save the Vikes, but the right pathway. We can take heart in the fact that nobody saw the right pathway to a Twins stadium for a very long time and then it just suddenly appeared as if the clouds had parted. (Who would have guessed, as late as early 2006, that a Hennepin County sales tax could make it through as the funding source?!?)

Nothing like that has happened for the Vikes yet. They desperately need such an a-ha moment (if you'll pardon the expression).

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM by Rick 213

geez moda, drink purple kool-aid much?

Savethevikes.org is definitely a proxy set up by the NFL. Rubes sporting purple facepaint and golden pony tails could never have created a website like that.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:47 PM by Elston Gunn Highlight this comment 214

Thanks Rick and I think you are correct about the Ah-ha moment that the Vikes need. Now I'm one to hammer that the local politicians need to do something but I will also hammer Wilf for what has been a complete bungling of the project... actually he has yet to put an actual project in front of the legislature at all.

Secondly you and I and everyone else knows that trying to cram a football stadium in Downtown Minneapolis is a non-starter because that means solely state funded - or private-state, but we know that the state cannot fund 750 million dollars. We also know that Hennepin county cannot help out with another tax. And of course we also know that a stadium in downtown MUST have a roo f because it needs to be used year round on that type of parcel.

So wilf NEEDS to find a local partner in the burbs. Todays article says that they are finally willing to do that. Whether or not anyone is actually involved in these communities and willing to step up we will have to wait and see. BUT to the people that are trying to get something going and trying to get something involved as fans I say encourage them. There are very good reasons to do this right now, namely the construction workers that just recently finished two major projects in town could use a job that will last the better part of 2 years.

State-County-Private funded and it CAN work.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 215

I built a web-based IP and subnet allocation and management system for a west coast ISP out of my basement in about 46 man hours from a two man team of myslef and a network engineer using PHP. Not that hard to do.

Seriously it's just code. And for that website..... it's a pretty hokey site.

I will stop railing on this though. For some of you it's obvious that you are passionate about the Twins as am I and you aren't interested in the Vikes and their endeavour... That's fine. I just don't understand the need to take a dump on other peoples ideas and work.

Later dudes.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 1:55 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 216

Moda, Wilf already had that public partner in the burbs and screwed it up. You say you are willing to hammer Wilf, but I think that's one thing the SaveTheVikings people won't. You read his commentary and it's very glowing about the team and ripping anybody who perceived to be on the other side of the issue, including more overreaction to the MSFC.

Glad you chose the word railing, because that's exactly what you were doing.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:09 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 217

After reading that article about the Vikes being interested in the burbs, I call total BS. They've lost a lot of bargaining power and this is clearly just another effort to build that back up, the same thing their whole tiff with the MSFC was. Average fans ate that up and I'm sure they'll eat this line up too.

Local communities are hurting even more than the state is. They are cutting police and other vital services. I doubt at this point in the game you are going to find any local public partner for a project this big.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:14 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 218

The way the Vikings have handled the stadium issue is a joke. My favorite part of that new story? Apparently the "threat" to make the Vikings pay rent isn't even real, just something manufactured by the team:

The commission's request that the Vikings sign a two-year lease extension through the 2013 season caused a rift between the team and its landlord that is hard to explain. The team claims it is being coerced into signing a lease extension through 2013, and that if it doesn't, the commission will reinstate a $4 million lease bill that has been waived the past 10 years.

That, however, is not true. According to the proposal, that "clawback" would be triggered only if the team moved or was sold during the extra two years of the lease. Still, the Vikings will not budge.

"Until they repeal the resolution that says 'sign or pay more money,' unless they repeal that, there's no point in talking," Bagley said. The Vikings, he added, "will move forward with people who want to move forward."

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:18 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 219

moda,

you're an idiot, rick is not "making assumptions" he clearly backed up some of these "fishy" findings with fishy facts, and they are fishy, that website is a hoax, and everyone knows it

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:21 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 220

Bagley must go.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:22 PM by Rick 221

Happy that you know so much about me Dirwin that you can classify me as an idiot instead of actually having a discussion. You know all these things about me, that website... yet you don't know me or anyone involed in that from a hole in the ground. Bravo for being such a knowing individual about things that you ahve had zero interaction with on any personal level.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 222

I agree about the fact that it will be hard to get local dollars from the suburbs. Local Government Aid saw a substantial decrease in the last legislative session. Cities really rely on that to fund much of their public safety departments among other things. It would be a tremendously hard sell for a city council or county commissioners to say they will fork over millions to the Vikings yet reduce their police force and cut their snowplow fleet and have their constituents favor it.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:02 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 223

You know, since I brought up the subject, I have no objection to moda or anybody calling me out. I welcome the criticism.

And to answer the question, I haven't made any attempt to contact SaveTheVikes. Maybe I should have.

I just did some very quick and dirty web research, felt like my suspicions were justified, and threw it out for discussion. It felt like a valid subject for discussion among the stadium geeks like me.

That's all.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:02 PM by Rick 224

Buffalo you're the joke!

I know you're on this site because you like sports. If that is the case then why do you keep pu$$yfooting around the issue. The bottom line is the Vikings need a new stadium.

Stop playing the Vikings as the issue. I think the Vikings actually need to be more assertive. Like I said before, If I were Wilf I would come out and say we're moving if you do nothing legislatures don't work together on a solution.

I can't believe how naive people are in this state and I've spent my whole life here.

Should Wilf just pretend there is no issue and keep playing in the Metrodump? This is not a Wilf issue. This goes all the way back to when we had 12 owners. They wanted a new stadium. McCombs wanted a new stadium. Wilf is not dumb. He didn't make a billion dollars from being stupid. He spent 600 mill for the team. He can't spend another 600 mill for a stadium and expect to make money. His debtload woudl be through the roof.

Minnesotans need to either step up or see the Vikings leave. Just like the Twins almost left. Like the Stars did leave. Like the Lakers did leave. Like the Wolves almost left.

I can't think of one state that doesn't deserve the teams they have than Minnesota. True other states have lost teams but none near what we've seen here.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM by Todd Highlight this comment 225

Right and I should have addressed your enumerated points and asked you to elaborate on them.... Here I will list what you wrote and we can expand on them.


Rick wrote

1. The domain is registered to a proxy company, meaning the real owner wanted to hide his/her/their identity.

2. A quick search on the founder's name (Cory Merrifield) reveals some very odd connections, including one with uber-partisan mouthpiece and Capitol-insider Sarah Janacek.

3. I found at least one place where people seem to know this guy and use words like "mediawh0re" to describe him.

4. That web site is just way too slick and clean and focused to have popped up all in one piece like it did. It's very clearly the work of a pro, and the development cycle on something like that is measured in months or quarters, at least.

1) First of all if I was going to register a website where I would hope thousands and thousands of people would hit it I would probably register through a proxy as well. There is potentially sensitive information that is collected and stored in the whois database as I'm sure you know.

2) I'm sure he does have connections inside the capitol. Most people looking to start a grass roots politically aimed initiative are politically inclined individuals. Is there something damning about this?

3)Ok so there is a negative account for him wanting attention. How does that discredit what he is doing or make it "fishy"? Is it because he may be looking for some sort of political glory? Meh so what? Usually outgoing (even if sometimes obnoxious people) are the ones that can get things started. Again what makes this so awful?

4)This was the one that really kinda irked me. I don't find that website particularly flashy. It looks like recycled code to me and even the formatting is kind of lame and stuck in the 90's to be honest with you. But that said hosting is pretty dang cheap. And if you have any web experience and can use google you can pretty much build.... that.

So I guess I just don't see what the fuss is about or what eth alarm is. Could it be the team funding and giving help on it? Sure. Is that a problem? Could it be the league giving a forum for the fans to try to band togetether to work on it? Sure what's the harm in that?
Again I jsut don't see the "Ah-Ha! and when we pull the curtain back we reveal....." conspiracy issue here. What's fishy?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:17 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 226

Can someone tell me how Pennsylvania ponied up stadiums for the Pirates, Phillies, Eagles, Steelers, 76ers and now the Penguins. That is 6 new stadiums.

Pennslyvania is not a weathy state. Are they stupid for paying taxes for those venues? What about the 26 other NFL franchises that built brand new facilities on the taxpayer. Are they stupid? Why is it that Minnesota doesn't learn from their past mistakes?

We let the Stars leave for a quarter of the cost of what it took to attract the Wild. I know its cold outside, but did Minnesota legislatures get freezer burn on their brain?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:23 PM by Todd Highlight this comment 227

Moda,

It doesn't take an idiot to see that that website doesn't pass the "eye test", I have no issue with your points and I believe you are correct in most of them, however that doesn't disclaim the notion that that website is pure faux grassroots, that website is anything but grassroots, it is pure corporate imitation of grassroots and frankly it kinda pisses me off

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:29 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 228

I can't see anything anymore. There's too much mud in the air.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:30 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 229

Dirwin do you have any proof to back up your claims? Seriously? Do you?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:42 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 230

Moda,

No I do not, do you?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:50 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 231

I personally couldn't give a rip either way, but the fact that the "official" Vikings Twitter page sent a "tweet" today enocouraging people to go to the SaveTheVikes site and participate in the e-rally, leads me to believe that even if their organization started as grassroots, the Vikes have taken the wheel at this point.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:51 PM by Natron Highlight this comment 232

because if you have "proof" that it is "grassroots" then we can end this conversation right now, but if you did you would have already said it

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:51 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 233

Moda, this ain't a courtroom. We can establish our opinions on that group and its site without concrete evidence. They come off as a bit fishy and from hearing him on the radio and on TV in various interviews, he strikes me as somebody a little too gung-ho and desperate for this to be just some little grassroots effort.

Plus, you keep missing Rick's point. It wasn't about the style or look of the site being too professional or flashy looking, it's the writing and the content and way it's all been gone about. It's like if you had put the Vikings PR staff in charge of a site promoting the stadium issue but told them to get a fan for a front, that's what you would get.

And yes, I am a sports fan, but I don't think this is the time or place to be talking new stadiums. We have Pawlenty unalloting money to pay for food for the poor. We have people who are dying being denied their GAMC money, but they still get treated at HCMC so we pay for their care anyways, at higher costs than before. My daughter's elementary school was built more than 50 years ago and looks like it's going to fall down, but you can't get voters to approve any bonding to fix it.

So excuse me if I find it a bit tasteful that amid all this the Vikings have the nerve to put this stadium out there and to call it a stimulus package on top of everything else. Like I said, fund it through taxes that target users, like taxes on memorabilia and tickets, etc., or tax visitors through rental car and hotel taxes. Build it that way, tell Wilf it won't do to come up with as little as he's suggested in the past from his own pockets and get it built.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 3:55 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 234

Has anybody seen any renderings or images of the bar to be located in the administration building called the "Townball Tavern"? From the three sentences I have read about it, I think it has potential to be a big highlight of the park.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:01 PM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 235

Ok dirwin since you are interested in jsut namecalling I'll hop back in on this. My only intention of even weighing in on this was that it seemed rather silly for someone owning a site that is very much to do with the building of a sports venue, to make comments about someone else's endeavor. The reason I borught it up is because I love this site and visit it every single day and I didn't see the need to draw negative attention from a different crowd of people. Obviously a crowd that is intent on growing in numbers.

Did Rick do a lot of backchecking? It's not really hard to do a Whois search and honestly I would keep my whois information quite bland as well. But how much time has Rick spent talking to these folks? Do we know? Has he contected them directly? Is it a spin off of the people from Minnesota Momentum which was a grass roots sort of effort from some fairly plugged in people. I think some of you guys seem to think that grass roots implies that it's a bunch of people with cardboard signs done up with markers and holding bake sales.... grass roots to me is a collection of folks that get together and partner their resources... Those people very well could be (and I would wager they are) lawyers, IT Professionals, Corporate Managers, etc....

If you are calling me an idiot solely because I engaged ina conversation with Rick who happens to own one of my favorite haunts on the web, fine, but that is completely ridiculous. I have a great amount of respect for Rick and the time and effort he has put into his site and what he has shared with us.

So hurl your childish insults and call me an idiot but you don't know a damn thing about what is going on with Savethevikes.org and you only have your assumptions to back it up. I haven't seen any facts that point to anything damning regarding the people involved with that initiative and so the hell what if it is someone from the league or from the local political scene? What is the paranoia regarding that? I guess I just don't understand the uproar and conspiracy woes behind it.

I guess that makes me an idiot. Whatever.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 236

Buffalo, I would agree wholeheartedly with you and I have made comments to the folks at that website in that just as much as fans should be contacting their representatives they should also be contacting wilf/the vikings organization.

I would be the first to say that Wilf has bungled the entire thing from day one when he backed out of the Anoka deal (which was in place during the McCombs era) because he was attracted by the development opprotunities in Minneapolis -which would also be great I see no harm in him making good on those opportunites as downtown east surely could use the redevelopment we were promised when the dome was built. However he doesn't want to (or cannot) commit more than X amount of dollars and is insistant on not paying for a roof. If he wants to build in downtown a roof is absolutely crucial. He also cannot get help from the county, which leaves him at the state for funding which we all know the state cannot pass that kind of funding right now.

So after backing out of the Anoka deal and trying to pull off the downtown deal he is left looking elsewhere which is back to square one. This is PURELY Wilfs doing (along with the MSFC). So indeed the blame does belong at the feet of Wilf. I would never in a million years state otherswise and in fac tif you read the form letter that savethevikes.org put together it isn't so much about blaming them, it's about identifying opportunites that the state could benefit from. -Note: I don't agree with all of their numbers and I think they've bloated them a bit in favor of the project.

Now there are some things that I wish that the Pholads would have done and not done during their quest for a ballpark. I mean they bungled their way through it as well. Namely trying to pass off giving the state a loan was a bad move too. And I was critical of them then while still wanting to see the twins get a ballpark done and at the same time was contacting my representatives even though I didn't always agree with the approach the Twins were making. During their quest.

Now I'm not the spokesperson for that site in fact I have nothing at all to do with them. I jus tthink it's funny that people will sit around and say "I don't know it seems fishy" Like a bunch of cackling hens gossiping over afternoon tea.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 2:56 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 237

I'll cackle anytime I want.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:09 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 238

Sorry, moda. The posts got a little out of order because the URLs put them into my controlled queue. (I had to step away and manage a toddler for a while. I am refreshingly uninjured, though it was touch-and-go for a moment when I nearly took a Hot Wheels car to the head.)

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:11 PM by Rick 239

Dirwin I don't need to prove anything I'm not making accusations. Why would I have to prove anything???? Too funny.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:11 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 240

It's cool Rick I understand.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:14 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 241

About Pawlenty unnalocating the food programs he was struck down by a judge and the reason he was doing it wasn't because of the defecit. It was a power play. One that was above and beyond his powers as Gov.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:14 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 242

I think some of the tension beneath this whole thing is basically because some people who are primarily football fans on this site want more support for their cause from the people on this site (who are primarily baseball fans) but... some of us, like me, aren't exactly convinced that a new stadium that only gets used 8 times a year and maybe holds (3) NCAA tournaments in its lifespan is a worthwhile investment. (Compared to a baseball field which is used basically once every four days)

Football fans no doubt get angry by what they perceive as hypocrisy because it seems unfair to them that us baseball fans - having gotten our publicly-financed stadium - seem to no longer support publicly financed stadiums at all.

I'm not going to deny that I'm biased but a new Vikings stadium just doesnt make much sense to me considering our State's budget. If Anoka County wants to step up an get this thing done I'm all for it (I live in Hennepin). Regardless the solution needs to be generated and primarily owned by the Vikes with a municipaility or a county.. they've done a pretty good job of alienating minneapolis, the msfc, and to some extent the state.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:18 PM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 243

SAVE THE MODA! Seriously, somebody's been smoking too much of the grass...roots.

I wouldn't be shocked if Moda made that site or has some connection to that group. I can't see him getting this riled up for any other reason.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:18 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 244

I get that Moda, I'm just pointing out the things that people are cutting to save money, especially at the state level. There's this thinking I find in this state that we're supposedly giving all our tax dollars away to loafers and people coming up from Chicago to sap our welfare program. When the fact is there are a lot of people out there who ARE hurting right now. They've lost their jobs or homes out of no fault of their own and are desperate. And it's those people that are getting hurt the most as these programs get cut.

That's why I mentioned the school issue earlier. I have a friend who refuses to vote for any levy or bond referendum the school district proposes. Doesn't matter how much it makes sense, what argument is used. He doesn't have kids and sees no point in giving them any of his money. He doesn't see the benefits to the community and this country by having a well-educated youth.

But he also is the first to turn around and yell from the rooftops, "TAX ME!!" when it comes to the Vikings stadium. I just find that line of thinking appalling. And don't even mention the people who bring up the Guthrie when complaining about the stadium issue. Those misinformed idiots are the worst of them all.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:22 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 245

"Did Rick do a lot of backchecking? It's not really hard to do a Whois search and honestly I would keep my whois information quite bland as well. But how much time has Rick spent talking to these folks? Do we know? Has he contected them directly?"

God forbid someone post an opinion on a message board. Moda demands well researched compositions!

I think tth is right. As usual.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 4:24 PM by Elston Gunn Highlight this comment 246

No I have zero affiliation with that site. And I quit smoking roots and grasses a long time ago.

And your right people do have every right to post their opinions on a board like this, as do I until Rick pulls that from me. After all it's his site. I read something that seemed a bit off. I'm wondering how much has been done to look into the accusations that there is somethign fishy going on.

It all jsut seems a bit uppity.

Also in regards to football stadiums only get used 8 times a year and all that you are correct and I will be the first to agree that on their face stadiums do NOT make money. That includes the Twins ballpark. they just do not. However, there is a reason why states and cities clamor to bring professional sports back to their cities when they lose a team. And I suspect that reason is because like it or not sports teams create a draw and retention on population for the area. And that means taxation year round the entire time they spend in the area on everything they do. Losing sports teams while you can argue about their real significance and what they offer to a society, the reality is that they are important to us and they do offer a certain representation of being a "Big city" just as much as having good cultural attractions.

So while it's corect that a football stadium only get's used X amount of times that isn't necessarily the argument on why we pay to have teams stay in our area... all across the country. Now I don't make the argument that our way of life would crumble and die without the Vikings, but it is a very real phenomenon that the areas do in fact end up paying more in the end to attract teams after they are gone. Sure we could lose the vikes and not ever get another team and I'm pretty sure we'd be just fine. But there would be an impact.

Just as much as someone else posted that they feel like football fans are more passionate about the issue because it effects them more, I get the feeling that this whole "Something feels fishy" mentality is coming from a lot of people that aren't necessarily the biggest football fans either. Maybe not -I could be wrong. Can you say the same?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 5:03 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 247

Put moda and Betaband in a steel cage. Let them beat each other's daylights out...

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 5:05 PM by Max Highlight this comment 248

Why would I want to beat up betaband? That's just silly. I don't know that I've really exchanged bad words with Beta before.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 5:11 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 249

I think since Moda is world's best computer programmer and website developer he should create a virtual cage match website

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 6:43 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 250

Vikings fans outnumber all Minnesota pro sports combined. I think the bottom line is everyone here is a sports fan. Not necessarily a Vikings fan but a sports fan. TV ratings will prove that out.

We have beared out already that subsidizing billionaires is not right. I understand that and agree. However, again we know the world is not fair and doesn't matter what the general population thinks. We have no control whether Pro Sports stay or not. Our elected leaders hold that card.

At the end of the day, you can be stubborn or not willing to work towards a solution, but don't bitch and complain if Minnesota's pro sports gets up and leaves for greener pastures. See Cleveland Browns and their 70,000 per game fans.

The economic climate does absolutely nothing towards how I feel about the stadium solution. I'm for it regardless. The economic climate didn't help when we had surpluses get a stadium.

Also, nobody knows how much they are even paying if a tax increase were levied. Just the thought of a tax increase makes people cringe. I don't like paying taxes anymore then the next guy, but we have no control over that.

If your kids schools are falling down, move to another district. You will have to pay taxes for better schools. At least you have that choice. If the Vikings leave town, those that are passionate fans have no choice.

I didn't make the rules, I just don't want to bury my head in the sand like Minnesota politicians and hope this issue goes away.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 7:21 PM by Todd Highlight this comment 251

Holy shit...Somebody please call in a priest!

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 8:25 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 252

Or a referee.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 8:30 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 253

Well Maz, I think our tailgating discussion just got beat.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 8:39 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 254

"Wow, that really escalated quick. I mean, that really got out of hand fast."

If anybody pulls out a trident, I'm hiding.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 8:40 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 255

Todd, you should know that when it comes to schools and taxes it's not that simple. Sure, I could move to another district ... all it would take is selling an upside-down house in a bad market and then moving my children from one school to another.

It's not as simple as paying taxes to fund new or improved facilities. Schools cannot use their levies for capital expenses. They must get a bond referendum passed, which puts them at the mercy of their residents. Don't get me started on the school funding system. It pits the haves and the have-nots against each other, even within the same district. It's a damn strange way to run an education system if you ask me.

But it's insane to compare education to a professional football team. You cannot seriously try to compare educating our youth with watching millionaire athletes pound each other for three hours a week. If you lose the Vikings, and understand I don't want that happen, I just think there are better ways than a widespread tax, there are other entertainment options. Sports are not a basic right like an education is.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:01 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 256

Didn't there use to be a website here about Target Field?

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:25 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 257

Sorry to interrupt the lively grass-roots debate but Jarrod Washburn has rejected a 1-year $5 million offer from the Twins.

Also, Twins invite Mike Maroth to spring training as a non-roster invitee...he has not pitched in the majors since 2007.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:44 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 258

I'll offer this again from the point of view of someone in the political/public policy arena (and how I came to know Rick and Shane online) - I was part of the Twins ballpark push in '06 along with a host of lobbyists and the like. I worked on a site and an email campaign that was "grassroots" and "from the fans" - it was run, at least in the initial stages by Bruce Lambrecht, the guy who owned the site...

at the risk of self-congratulation, we did a hell of a job acquiring information from fans - and had an email list of 36,000 at our peak - "sign up to learn more" is a great catchphrase for "give us your email address and zip code so we can activate you to deliver our message en masse at the right moment" - and that's exactly what we did during the hearings in the tax committee.

Rick may recall the hearing in Bloomington - the number of Twins fans and vip's and the like - all on the same talking points - all driving home support for the bill... this was no accident - it took a lot of hard work to make it look "grassroots"

all of this is a roundabout way of saying what i said above - almost nothing "grassroots" in politics actually is - if it has any coherent messaging, organization or structure, odds are there are pros at the center of it... i dont really see anything wrong with that - but i thought i might shed some light on the industry i work in.

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 11:32 PM by CJ Highlight this comment 259

ahh, good old buffalo.....my favorite hypocrite at ballparkmagic. let me count the ways.......

POINT ONE - A CERTAIN POSTER'S RATHER BLATANT HYPOCRISY

unless i am missing something you appear to be an avowed twins fan. also, you evidently support the construction of the new twins stadium in downtown minneapolis considering the time you spend on rick’s pro-twins stadium website and the comments you have made about it in the past. might i remind this was a stadium whose construction was funded in part by a GENERAL TAX, in hennepin county alone.

yet, here you are on record saying that the only way you would support the construction of a new multi-use football facility in minnesota is via USER TAX(ES). apparently, by your reasoning, a GENERAL TAX (and all the supposed "evils" that come with it) is okay for the construction of a new twins stadium (a team which you support), but it is absolutely unthinkable for a team (the vikings) which you admittedly root against. this is hypocrisy at its finest.

am i missing something here? i mean what about all of these children, hospitals, education, infrastructure, etc. (your words) that the new twins stadium is apparently depriving by being funded in part by a GENERAL TAX?!

i mean: [i]"we can’t seriously compare multi-millionaire athletes hitting round leather balls out of a park with a piece of wood to educating our children" can we?! "it is insane to compare professional baseball to education, right"?! "pro baseball is not a basic right like education, right"?!

those statements above were your poorly chosen words to TODD. only you strangely made sure that they somehow only apply to the vikings and pro football in minnesota and nothing else. i mean shouldn’t your same "feelings" here apply to the twins and their new GENERAL TAX funded stadium as well? i don't recall reading any such statements from you.

so enough with the manufactured sob-fest about children, education, hospitals, etc. and how a new multi-use, year-round, TAX REVENUE GENERATING football stadium somehow makes supporting those activities at the same time suddently impossible. it doesn't.

you can’t have it both ways, buffalo! i can not be the only one who sees the sheer hypocrisy in some of his statements, can i?!

POINT TWO - HEY MAN, DOES IT SMELL LIKE FISH IN HERE?

anyways, some of you are repeatedly using the term “fishy” in reference to a pro-vikings stadium website and whether or not it is legitimate. well, i guess what i find to be a bit “fishy” is the main cadre of folks who are throwing this term at the savethevikes.org website (and probably others like it) and its founders in the most vocal manner are all twins fans, yet they are also admitted state of wisconsin football backers. yep, here is looking at you buffalo, the truth hurts, dirwin7, et. al.

and please don’t try and be coy or deny the sheer dislike (as well as the desire to see each other fail) that exists in the hearts of many pro-minnesota & pro-wisconsin football backers towards each other (both pro & college). to try and say that many of these same feelings don’t come into play when the discussion of a new stadium solution for the vikings arises is more than just a little disingenuous.

don’t get me wrong. i am sure there are some vikings fans out there who don’t want to have to contribute a single red-cent towards a new stadium solution (yet they also want to see a stadium solution come to light!), but i don’t see too many of them being quite as vociferous in their opposition of and questioning of the savethevikes.org pro-stadium website. or using the term “fishy” to describe its founders in such a repeated manner.

WRAP-UP

so, i will say once again “please forgive me if i take just about any vikings stadium or vikings related comments from certain sconnie-esque posters on this site (who all seem to support a GENERAL TAX funded pro baseball stadium) with more than a few grains of salt” when questioning whether or not they are truly unbiased in nature.

again, maybe its just little, old paranoid me.

p.s. go arizona cardinals! :-)

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 02:21 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 260

Hey Beta, obsess much?

And it's not hypocrisy. It's called the being realistic and understanding the other factors in play in this economy. The Twins got their stadium in a different economic time when a more widespread tax was more acceptable. Either the Vikes need to wait for the belt-tightening to stop and the state's budget deficit to go down so we can address more important needs first or they can tax the users. Simple as that.

Part of it also is the different nature of the two projects. True, a football stadium won't be used near as many days as a baseball stadium, but that's not what I mean. I mean a project nearly $1 billion can't be done by just a local government alone. Unlike the Twins stadium, which had no state tax involvement, you can't build a Vikings stadium without bringing in the state, which just doesn't have the money right now.

It's not a anti-Vikings thing. If it was I would be totally against them getting a new stadium, which I am not. Personally, speaking as a Packers fan, it would be less interesting without the Vikings around. Why on Earth would I want one my team's biggest rivals to go away?

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 04:48 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 261

To expound on that last point, I think it's sad if you really truly wish for the Packers' demise. You don't think the rivalry adds anything to watching games? I can understand rooting for the other team to fail on the field and looking for every opportunity to make fun of your least favorite team. But to actually wish they didn't exist? What the hell is that about?

You should have a little more faith in people and be a little more open-minded. It isn't just Wisconsin fans questioning the SaveTheVikings organization. If my memory serves me correct Rick, who judging by his Vikings and Gophers posts in the past is anything but a Wisconsin sports fan, was one of the first to raise some concerns.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 04:55 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 262

Mike I wish you would interrupt more often

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 05:05 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 263

Can we just get back to talking about Target Field? I'd be all for that.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 05:36 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 264

WTF?

well, i guess what i find to be a bit “fishy” is the main cadre of folks who are throwing this term at the savethevikes.org website (and probably others like it) and its founders in the most vocal manner are all twins fans, yet they are also admitted state of wisconsin football backers.

Huh?? Because I went to college in Madison must mean I object to a Vikings football stadium lobby Web site? Beta - I just don't get you. Believe it or not, Minnesotans (and Minnesota pro sports fans) can actually go to a university in another state and still retain allegiances to their home state.

I won't call you an idiot, but I will call that statement idiotic.

(opening cupboard) And, gawddammit, we're out of Frosted Flakes. Using Beta's logic, I think I can somehow blame him for it. If Moda were here, we'd at least get to have a congressional hearing to determine who ate all my @%$! cereal.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 09:52 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 265

Mike Maroth??? are you kidding me??????? Please tell me this is an early April fools joke mike....PLEASE!

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 10:06 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 266

As much fun as it is to read you boys call each other names and pretend to be public policy experts, I thought it would be nice to talk about Target Field for a change.

I drove by the Twins offices on 5th St early this morning and the Twins' 2 World Series Trophies are visible from the road. It appears as they are just in some one's office. It definitely made me do a double take, very cool!

On that note, has there been any final decision regarding where the World Series trophies will be displayed once the stadium opens? I thought I remembered everyone pouting because they would be moved to the Champions Club.....

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 10:20 AM by Wanda Phillips Highlight this comment 267

Geeeesh....

A son of Vikings coach Brad Childress was cited for driving while impaired early Saturday in St. Paul.

Kyle Childress, 24, was involved in an auto accident in the parking lot of O'Gara's Bar when he backed into a parked car. He performed poorly on a field sobriety test, a police report said, and submitted to a breath test that yielded an alcohol concentration of .23.

He was cited for driving while impaired and driving with an alcohol content of .08 or more, both gross misdemeanors punishable with up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Kyle Childress had a previous DWI citation, on Feb. 8, 2009, and pleaded guilty on March 23. He was put on two years' probation.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 10:57 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 268

Annnnnyhow. I was walking through the skyway yesterday and noticed that they were testing the ribbon board, and the MEGA-screen was paused on someone that was just about to wind up and throw.

Not that this has anything to do with saving the vikes, but I thought it was kinda neat.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:22 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 269

Here is a new photo gallery. Not much of the ballpark itself.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 270

Betaband, Todd, and Moda...

I think we understand your main points:

1.) You think its hypocritical for twins fans not to support a new vikings stadium
2.) You think, aside from any economic concerns, the state ultimately needs or desires a pro football team so much that it will ultimately pay a higher price later to regain one if the Vikes leave.
3.) You think there is a legitimate grassroots movement building support for the Vikes stadium.

And, I don't want to speak for others, but here are the opposing responses I and maybe others subscribe to:

1.) Its not hypocrisy to vote for your own personal gain. The fact that I don't really care about football isn't the only reason I dont support a new stadium right now but it certainly doesn't help. That doesn't necessarily make me a hypocrite though - if all the football-only fans state-wide supported a Twins stadium right away the Twins wouldve had a ballpark a decade ago.

2.) I can understand this argument but I don't think the situation is so dire for the Vikings yet. LA is going to get a new team but we all know its Jacksonville or Buffalo thats moving. Where could the Vikings go? Also, the Vikes are asking for a stadium that's three times more expensive than TF, coming immediately on the heels of TF and TCF, and in a long-lingering recession.. I don't see how this can happen right now at all. The Vikes dismissal of what seemed a solid plan to renovate the Dome and unwillingness to work with the MSFC at all doesnt curry any favor with me either.

3.) Personally, I don't care if its "grass-roots" or not. It does look awfully polished but considering all of the above I think its going to take a movement a lot larger than this to frighten elected officials into funding a new stadium right now.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:32 AM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 271

The link that OG Jeff provided to the video game demo of Target Field explained a question I had kind of been wondering for awhile.

Why aren't the trees taller in Center Field?

In the video game you can see that the trees are all about 5 to 10 feet taller than in reality and as a result as the pitcher releases the ball it appears in the tops of the trees - harder to pick up than against the solid green batter's eye.

Assuming this was a requirement of MLB to keep the trees a certain height?

Otherwise TF looked beautiful in that game.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:38 AM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 272

Great post by Betaband, Buffalo boxed. I hope Minnesota native Larry Fitz tears GB up tomorrow.

Oh and TTH don't you have a date in BUFFALO, New York at BUFFALO Wild Wings?

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM by Vikes Highlight this comment 273

Trees need to grow. They are planted small and grow taller as they age.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:46 AM by Jim Highlight this comment 274

It seems the Viking stadium issue could be solved fairly painlessly with minimal political damage through a combination of "no new taxes" taxes: captured player income tax, racino/slot machines, hotel & rental car taxes. They really need someone to steer the ship in the right direction who is not named Bagley (will Dick Day be the savior?) and any astroturf/grassroots initiative doesn't seem like it can be a bad thing. Unfortunately, we Minnesotans seem to have this annoying habit of waiting until the absolute midnight hour to step in and save our teams (see Twins contraction/Charlotte move and Wolves New Orleans move) or fail to save them (see Norm Green). I wish we would wake up and get moving already.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:06 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 275

Obviously had thought they might let them grow but not so sure now and haven't seen anything from the Twins about it. The internets tell me that Black Spruce grows to 65 feet but is one of the slowest growing conifers. Given that the tops of the trees are just below the release point of the ball now maybe the idea is to keep pruning the trees to stay roughly this height, otherwise if its grows so slowly why not plant trees closer to the ideal height you're looking for?

I'm all about having huge trees take up the whole batter's eye but just not sure if thats whats going to happen or not.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 276

I could support the "racino" idea. As long as grandpa and gramma want to piss away their social security checks at the slots the least they could do is put a portion back into the government.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:32 PM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 277

Annnnnyhow. I was walking through the skyway yesterday and noticed that they were testing the ribbon board, and the MEGA-screen was paused on someone that was just about to wind up and throw.

Not that this has anything to do with savethevikes.org, but I thought it was kinda neat.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:21 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 278

The tree thing is something of an optical illusion. At the height they are right this minute, they're still huge. You can tell this if you get anywhere near them. But they look small because of the large wall area above them. Also, they don't meet our expectations based on what we saw on the model and all the drawings.

I don't know the official plans for their height, but my impression from conversations I've had on the subject is that they will be allowed to get taller and ultimately look much like what we've seen in the concept materials. That may take a few seasons.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:55 PM by Rick 279

Here is Mauer on the cover (link). I'm not sure if it was posted yet. Also, here are two screen grabs from that video:



Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:56 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 280

By the way, you can avoid moderation of your comments containing links by just creating a password.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:56 PM by Rick 281

Holy mackerel, are those images cool!

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM by Rick 282

It'll be interesting to see more footage of Target Field in the game. We didn't get a very good look at what they did with left field (Budweiser/Scoreboard) and this will be the first time a sports video games has used the Minneapolis skyline I believe.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 283

suh-weet!

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 1:09 PM by Mr. Dan L Highlight this comment 284

Those images stopped appearing for me. I re-uploaded them to Photobucket now:



Posted on January 9, 2010 at 1:20 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 285

Three things are certain:

1. Trees grow.
2. Wanda is a dude posing as a stripper.
3. I'll gladly tag-team with Buffalo and take on Beta and Moda if Moda can create some sort of Web site cage match simulation. Mr. Dan L. seems like he would be a fair referee.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 1:40 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 286

That cover for the show makes me wish i had a ps3

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 2:19 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 287

at the risk of flaring this up again, I'll offer some insight to the vikings fans about the stadium - and this new group - and how it is being and will be received.

it has been received as an "astroturf" group - mostly because their talking points are some of the vikings more... acerbic points repackaged as "concern" -- the vikings have spent a decade blustering about a move in order to try and intimidate the legislature in to action... now it appears they are trying the "we the fans are worried that..." approach. - the reps still aren't buying.

the reps know the true nature of the nfl situation - jacksonville, buffalo and st louis are all in more dire circumstances, LA is not a viable threat for the vikings - though they are doing a good job of scaring their fans in to thinking it is.

the vikings stadium is a very LOW priority at the cap this session with a 1.2 billion dollar deficit and 17 candidates for governor all appealing to their party bases who care not a whit for the vikings stadium.

bluster as they will - the vikings have f'd up this negotiation process, they need to nuke it, fire lester bagley, hire someone new and come at it with a fresh approach, right now they are DOA at the legislature.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 3:06 PM by CJ Highlight this comment 288

i wish the show was for my xbox 360... i guess i will have to buy it for the ps3.. but i cant stand my the ps3...but the 2k baseball game last year sucked

yea kev, i think there has been a few that have trumped the tailgating arguments

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 289

Thanks TT for the screenshots. I am definitely buying The Show.
Question - did you notice what the TF dimensions were for the game? It'd be interesting to see how the game and actual TF dimensions (at least for this season) match up.

They haven't set final field dimensions at TF, have they?

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 290

The Truth Hurts continues to throw out extraordinary posts. This cat is the most underrated poster on Rick's site...

Luke, Luke, Luke...The dimensions have been know since day 1 (you don't build a house without knowing how big the rooms are going to be). C'mon are you trying to rile people up with stupid questions? I swear you are doing it on purpose, because you can't possibly be serious...

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 7:59 PM by Max Highlight this comment 291

For those interested in stadium financing/taxes...I found this article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about a major problem on the horizon in Cincinnati stemming from their 1996 tax increase approval. Basically their tax increase has not generated the revenue they originally projected.

I just hope we don't run into this problem in the Twin Cities, in particular, Hennepin County.

It's always interesting to look back at other cities and see where they stand on their stadium financing several years after the stadiums have been completed.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 8:00 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 292

mike - thanks for the article. if i am reading it correctly it has not generated the tax revenues (to date) that they anticipated because of the way they stupidly structured their particular deal with the bengals and reds. it doesn't really seem to have anything to do with their decision to actually help in building new stadiums for both the bengals and reds. they are completely seperate arguments/things.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 9:01 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 293

Come on Max, things happen. Measurements can be off. Things can get shifted to the right or the left. When they started out with drawings and renderings, they had one set of dimensions. The Twins website listed dimensions slightly differently. And still, promotional material from the Twins were also slightly different.

For example, as far as center field is concerned...I've heard it could be as close as 404', and I've also heard as far away as 411'. You aren't really going to know until you take the tape measure and figure it out! Now, sure, that's just one example, but believe me, seven feet makes a difference.

I've seen the 411' on some Twins promo material for TF. I believe the website has it at 404'...so, if you are the developer for MLB 10 The Show - which number would you use? Articles I've read about the development of TF for MLB The Show, required tons of research from lots of different avenues on the developers part. For heavens sakes Max, I thought this one out...

Incidentally, the Metrodome will still be playable as a "classic" stadium.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 9:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 294

And --- was it not reported here (and elsewhere) that they DO NOT know the seating capacity until they actually go out and count the seats? One, two, three ---------- !

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 9:37 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 295

I just wanted to mention one thing that makes The Show so great. Here is something someone wrote after taking a look at the game with one of their developers:

"Funny thing here: We were playing in MIN when a hometown player hit a homerun and the fireworks didn't go off. Russell jotted this down/made note of this error and pointed out you don't know because no one had played the game yet in that park!"

They'll go in an fix small details like this, and they take a lot of thoughts from fans into consideration. I wouldn't be surprised if they've used this site a bit for minor Target Field details.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 10:12 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 296

Ben, if they need help literally counting the seats at TF, I'd be glad to volunteer...lol.

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 297

I think the WS trophies will be in the champions club. I think the latest twins commercial even mentions that in part of the commercial. That video game looks great but only available on ps3 darn. Is there a possibilty that it might become available to other systems or is it just A ps3 exclusive.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 12:13 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 298

Leroy, theyre making it for PS2 and the PSP as well.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 08:37 AM by luke Highlight this comment 299

2k has the exclusive rights to make the multiple platform MLB game. Until 2k's deal with MLB is up The show can only be on PS3.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 08:37 AM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 300

Or like Luke said. Any Sony system.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 08:39 AM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 301

The exclusive 3rd party rights that the MLB 2k series currently has goes until Spring 2012. Making Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft the only companies besides 2k (Take-Two Interactive) that can make MLB games. Meaning that 360 owners, like myself, will likely have to wait until Spring 2013 for an upper tier baseball game such as MVP baseball to appear. I had the MLB 2k5 game and was disappointed in the fielding controls. The Bigs was a fairly fun gaming experience for me though. It generally comes out every couple of years with the last one featuring pajama boy on the cover in 2009.

Also, it was recently posted on the 2k web site that Justin will be one of seven MLB players promoting MLB 2k10 this year. He was also on the Best Buy alternative cover of The Bigs in 2007.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 09:04 AM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 302

Has anyone been paying attention to the new Marlins ballpark? It looks like ts coming along pretty well.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 09:09 AM by deenels Highlight this comment 303

Here is an article on another partnership the Twins are expected to announce on Tuesday in relation to Target Field.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 304

The sooj is back in MN,hello all

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 12:22 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 305

Me and my friend just started doing a blog about TARGET FIELD's accessible features and stuff like that. Don't worry Rick, it's nothing like this site. We are going to try ro update it about 3-4 times a week. Please check it out!!

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 6:15 PM by Michael Highlight this comment 306

Just noticed on the MBA site that they are going to start the sound testing over at Target Field starting tomorrow...seems kind of interesting, might go check it out tomorrow if it is not bitter cold again.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 8:34 PM by Erik Highlight this comment 307

and the silence you hear........is lambeau field.

actually, a fun game all-around by both teams. but wow! talk about absolutely NO DEFENSE by either side! 96pts?! 1000 yards of offense?! so will the cardinals and saints put 110pts on the board?! 1200 yards of offense?! all while playing no defense?!

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 9:53 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 308

Too bad. A Minnesota-Green Bay matchup for the NFC title would have been great.

Posted on January 10, 2010 at 9:56 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 309

Dirwin are you a child? Every other post of yours to me is an insult in some fashion. And no I'm not insulting you by asking this question. I jsut would like to know the age of the person that I am conversin with so I know what type of phrases you can handle.

Thanks.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 09:16 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 310

Nice website Rick, it's turned from a place for having rational discussion to having resident board "personalities" (otherwise known as bits) that make ridiculous statements in an attempt to debase someone that might have a differing viewpoint.

I don't think that I have been inflamatory or made ridiculous statements like accusing me of holding congressional hearings about someones ceral???? WTF???? seriously.

I understand it's an open dialogue and all that and it's usually healthy but in todays day and age where people can't seem to have a conversation without getting outright ugly about it, it always turns to the same thing. Whether that's the strib comment section, any number of message boards, or this blog site. It always turns to shit. -Your stories and commentery obviously excluded.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 09:22 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 311

Moda,

I can only speak for myself, but I don't think anyone is trying to debase you. There is no vendetta against your or your viewpoints. I just happen to take Buffalo's side of the argument. I'm feel pretty confident that those who are debating you would also be the first ones to buy you a beer at the ballpark. God knows people on this site have disagreed with me. Don't get your frilly panties in a bunch.

Discussion and debate -- aren't those the things we expect and admire about message boards? I'd suggest stepping away from the monitor for a while, taking a nap, and later googling "How to Win an Argument."

Because you're good enough, smart enough, and--gosh darnit--people like you...

TTH

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 09:56 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 312

New Topic:

When are the Twins planning on taking down/shutting off the webcams? I would assume it would be before the first game, but it would be nice to see what the plaza looks like before/during/after a game.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 1:01 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 313

Dre,
When Stanley became the sponsor, the Twins announced that the webcams will be on until the first pitch on opening day. We will be able to check out the exhibition games anyway.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 314

A nice article by Jim Caple of ESPN on why the Twins continue to win (at least in the regular season) without spending any money. I personally think it is very informative and views the team in a very positive light.

Clicky Click.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM by Andrew Highlight this comment 315

Any idea why exactly it takes so long to put up the wind veil? It doesn't seem like it would take a long time, even if they have to place each little wind-catching square manually.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 2:59 PM by Dan Highlight this comment 316

THat's jsut it TTH I'm not really debating anyone about the issue of a vikings stadium. I think I've mentioned several times the problems that the vikings face and how the Wilfs have severely bungled the stadium issue from day one. I only really commented on how I thought it was pretty petty to assume and make comments about a group of people given that nobody had even bothered to try and contact them to get some particulars on them.

Then I was called an idiot, and some other odd childish rants by dirwin and others. Whatever, buy me a beer and let's talk about whatever else but at the same time if it's going to degrade into a bunch of sandlot childish antics I'd rather have my beer with someone else so to speak. Ya know?

And you guys are right it IS a blog site about target field and it should be focused on that, I just responded to the blogs author who has managed to be considerate and thoughtful in our exchanges.... Not so much for a few others.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 3:45 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 317

Dan I wonder it could have to do with any number of things from parts production and not having everything they need or it could have been wind and weather related last week. Or it could have something to do with the artist....

(This is my attempt at moving past the other conversation...)

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 3:47 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 318

Very nice piece, Andrew --- thanks for bringing it here.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 3:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 319

I think we all need a beer, too bad I'm at work, just kidding beta, I went to wisconsin so I'm drinking anyways

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 4:10 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 320

I am sure you are all shocked to hear that Mark McGwire used steroids.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 4:16 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 321

andrew - i have to say that i hate "pat the cheap twins front office on the back" articles like the one you linked to. it does twins fans no favors. it only emboldens misers like bill smith and the pohlads to keep the check book closed and continue to not address real issues (3rd base, 2nd base, another top pitchet) with this team via the free agent market.

it is almost like bill smith and his front office cronnies pay joe christensen, jim caple, etc. to write this b.s. in an attempt to preempt the very real public backlash that is going to occur once more and more people realize just how little additional money they are going to spend on free agents ever after their new revenue generating ballpark opens.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 4:26 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 322

Dre - Why not keep them up? The webcam for TCFBS is still on gophersports.com. It was fun watching that webcam (which updates images like every three minutes) after games, and watching all the people file out fairly quickly.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 4:37 PM by luke Highlight this comment 323

It's a feel-good article, alright. But this is the part that stuck out to me:

"...the Twins haven't been to the World Series in nearly 20 years [and] haven't won a postseason series since 2002..."

To their credit, Smith & Ryan have built teams to win divisions, and that's exactly what it has done. But with such results, one has to really question the "it's all luck" approach to the postseason. It's very much NOT all luck. I think the Twins are living proof of that.

But it's also very much NOT about expensive free agents. It's about building a whole team, including a worthy bench and the right core of injury-backups.

Look at the 2010 roster right now, and it doesn't quite look like a whole team. More like about 75% of a whole team.

I bet that what Joe Mauer really wants in a new contract is to push that percentage upwards.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 4:40 PM by Rick 324

all good points rick, but let's be honest. mauer sees that current 75% of a team going to 100% via the free agent market by going after proven MLB guys. i am sure he can not be interested in the front office constantly kicking the tires with unproven young guys who get called up from the minors all year long.

so, if i am mauer i am not sure i am seeing the committment to building a world series caliber team in the near-term that the front office has promised him and morneau and that they have asked for time and again.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 5:39 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 325

Moda, I would like to think I was respectful and most people were. On the other hand, those saying because I was a Packer fan and went to college in Madison my opinion meant nothing, those are the inconsiderate ones.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 7:02 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 326

Beta, if they resign Mauer and not even make any more additions, payroll will be higher than $90 million easy in 2011. Considering that the highest it's ever been was $71 million before Hunter and Santana left and that they have spent more on international free agents and the draft, not sure how much more you're looking for.

Sure, I would like to see them open the wallet to make at least one more addition this offseason, but to act as if they haven't already opened the wallet is to ignore the facts.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 7:07 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 327

$90 million - which won't even happen for another year - is not a lot considering the pohlads immense wealth amongst mlb owners, the new ballpark opening up, and the lack of total money they have spent on free agents over all since 1991. as referenced in jim caple's espn article that andrew linked to the twins front office has spent something like the third least amount on free agents since 1991 trailing only the pirates and expos/nationals.

i just feel that as a benchmark the twins at a minimum should spend somewhere in the same ballpark as the st. louis cardinals on player payroll. the twin cities is a larger market than st. louis, is a larger tv market than st. louis and has a larger corporate base than st. louis. yet the st. louis cardinals go after legit free agents so much more often than the twins it is laughable. the cardinals have actually won a world series in the last twenty years and have gotten out of the ALDS/NLDS since 2002.

many have been and continue to be duped in this market by the twins front office. the fact that some twins fans continue to buy the company line b.s. from them (as well as these "feel good" articles about the twins front office approach that the twins front office itself is strategically asking to have put out there by their media lackies) is the part i can not figure out. apparently the "twins way" has been beaten into some folks.

so to answer the question: no $90 million in 2011 is not enough for me. and it is probably not going to be enough for a lot of other season ticket holders like me. especially not when you have spent it unwisely on guys like nick punto, jesse crain, mike redmond, etc. etc. and yet you still have huge holes at 3rd base, 2nd base, the pitching rotation and in the back half of the batting order. it is not our fault that the twins front office signed the wrong "in system" guys when all the while there are/were proven free agents out there who can help this team get "over the hump" in the playoffs that they can't seem to do with only "twins system" guys.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 7:49 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 328

The St. Louis analogy makes a lot of sense to me as I find they spent $88.5M on payroll this past year and drew a million more fans than the Twins. We should be up over the 3 million mark this year (2.25M this past year). So the Twins should be comfortable spending a lot closer to that $90M mark this year, not next. And should go over it the following year by my reckoning. I have linked my source.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 8:04 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 329

do steroids make you whimper and cry?

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 8:15 PM by Jax Highlight this comment 330

I think it's Bob Costas' sugar sweet voice and stares from his doe-like eyes.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 8:53 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 331

Tom Petty also said "God it's so painful when something that's so close
Is still so far out of reach."
1 or 2 players away....Make it happen THIS YEAR,,,,

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 9:27 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 332

Do we know for certain that the Twins are strategically asking to have feel-good stories planted in the national media to placate local fans? Is there proof of this?
Also, it bears repeating that the net worth of the Pohlads, doesn't enter in to the argument over payroll. The payroll is paid by the Minnesota Twins, Inc., and not the Pohlads. If the Pohlads pumped their personal fortunes into the business, it would create a bookkeeping and tax time nightmere.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 9:36 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 333

Not only does the Pohlad's net worth not figure into it, that actual payroll amount doesn't really matter. It's just sort of a shorthand way of comparing teams.

A smartly-spent $100 million can be way more effective than a poorly-spent $150 million.

There's nothing wrong with going for young talent if it's really talent. And there's definitely something wrong with overpaying for high-visibility free agents just to say you did.

The Twins get major credit for not being dazzled by big names whose contracts could be poison down the road. They also get some demerits for overpaying for small-name veteran "talent".

The question shouldn't be "How much more should they spend?" Rather, it should be, "Where are the holes and what's the most cost-effective way to fill them?"

In other words, I think the Twins at least always ask the right question, even if they sometimes come up with the wrong answer (Tony Batista, et. al.).

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 9:48 PM by Rick 334

Winona Mike wrote: "The payroll is paid by the Minnesota Twins, Inc., and not the Pohlads. If the Pohlads pumped their personal fortunes into the business, it would create a bookkeeping and tax time nightmare."

Well said Winona. Also, if you own multiple businesses, it just doesn't make sense to take money from Company A and give to Company B if they are both in the black. The only exception would be is if Company A invests in Company B with pretty much a guaranteed return on that investment. With the game of baseball that guarantee is not that great and the ratio of return to the initial investment is minimal.

With that said, I will interject with what I have said before. What DOES piss me off about the FO is that they are among the lowest in the league for percentage of revenue spent on player payroll. With this, and the fact that the Pohlads are among the wealthiest owners in baseball, there is no reason at all that this percentage cannot be raised. They could easily use 10-15% more of the Twins revenue toward player payroll and still be a very profitable business.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 10:30 PM by trosy29 Highlight this comment 335

It's not what the payroll is, it's how you spend it. The Rockies have made the postseason 2 of the last 3 years with more homegrown players than the Twins have.

That said, I still think the Twins could do more and that Bill Smith could learn a lot from Dan O'Dowd.

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 10:32 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 336

Actually I believe they are projecting the Twins payroll to be +90 this year, not next. At least, that's what I've read everywhere. It's kind of sad because I can't figure out where all that money is going when I look at the roster. It adds up quick.

I only see the Twins making one more move, whatever it is. If they sign Crede again, then I'd say two moves. I could see them doing nothing too..

Salary estimates from Joe C. Most people are following this model or coming to about the same conclusion that Joe C is.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 07:02 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 337

Building from within only works if you have legit top-notch talent in your farm system.

Other than Span, what has our farm system produced in the past 3 years? A catcher that won't see the light of day behind Mauer, 4 mediocre starting pitchers, and a possible starter at 3rd.

Our Farm system isn't what it was 5-7 years ago. While it is not devoid, we are no Tampa or Milwaukee.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 08:38 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 338

While St. Louis may be a decent comparison, you seem to be a little off base with your assesment of the market. While they may be similar in size, the Cardinals are all that anybody cares about in Stl. They have absolutely RABID fans. If the Rams up and left today, nobody there would care. It is all Cards, all the time. Plus, their revenue is higher because they are able to charge more for tickets than the Twins will be able to in TF.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 08:57 AM by DVS2008 Highlight this comment 339

I stopped by the newly open Holiday at 5th St N and 6th Ave N this morning. It'll be odd this summer, when that super dead seemingly forgotten intersection is going to turn insanely busy.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 09:55 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 340

I wish Mpls/St. Paul was more like St. Louis when it comes to baseball. Attending a game there this year was great. They really are into the game, and really do seem to understand what it takes to be a player in the league.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 10:48 AM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 341

St. Louis is a great baseball town.

I'm not disagreeing with the notion that 'The Twins Should Spend More Money" but I think it's just a very convenient statement. It's easy to say they should spend more, but it's hard to say HOW they should spend more. Draft better players, absolutely; but I think they did that in the past year. (Gibson, Sano, Kepler)

Rick is right when he said, "The question shouldn't be "How much more should they spend?" Rather, it should be, "Where are the holes and what's the most cost-effective way to fill them?"

With all that said, I hope they sign Orlando Hudson.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 12:50 PM by Elston Gunn Highlight this comment 342

I think it's a bit shortsighted to say the Twins should spend more simply because the Pohlads are worth more.

Imagine you work for one of the companies that the Pohlads own or are invested heavily in. And you are busting your but and you see people getting laid off and raises cut and expenditures being cut back on and then you see them spending money on baseball players to the tune of millions. Now imagine a lot of that money is being taken away from the dollars your company generated rather than being put back inot that business.

That would bug the hell out of me. THe reality is that the Twins do have to oeprate within the business model that is baseball. Not making excuses for them because I think tehy are pocketing some money but as was said they shouldn't spend jsut to spend.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 2:55 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 343

I agree moda - Yes, the Twins can spend a little more, but they need to stay within their means as a mid-market team. They are not the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, etc. On the other hand, they are not the Rays, Marlins, Royals, or A's either.

While I think the Twins could spend a little more money on payroll, you also have to consider the ticket prices in relation to revenue/payroll. The Twins have always offered a very affordable ticket and that will continue into Target Field.

The payroll will definitely push $90, if not, $100 million in the next year once (and assuming) Mauer is locked up in addition to big raises due to players such as Slowey, Span, and Blackburn. The key to the new ballpark was to create the additional revenues needed to retain the CORE PLAYERS of the team in addition to filling in some of the missing pieces.

Let's just be thankful we are offered a great product on the field in relation to the average ticket price, not to mention what will soon be one of the best ballparks in MLB. We could be paying much more in ticket prices while watching a mediocre team on the field (Mets, White Sox, Mariners, Orioles, Cubs, Nationals).

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 3:33 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 344

I feel somewhat "in the middle" on the payroll situation. Since the Twins pocketed nearly all of the $27 million in revenue sharing in 08 (haven't seen numbers for 09), I don't think they're having any need to "pull money from company A" to keep the Twins afloat. Beta does make great points about the TV market and the overall market size. That being said, the Twins have developed some great teams while making a pile of cash, keeping all parties happy.

The only frustration I have is the public perception (Which the Twinks gladly embrace and fuel). They are not a "little engine", small market, or under-supported in any way. The Cards do operate in a "baseball town", but both teams exist in a true mid-level market. Adding 40 million in revenue from Target Field should give the Twins NO EXCUSE if they do see a free agent that fits the profile of what they need.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 345

Jeff Dubay back in the pokey. Sad.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 4:13 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 346

This market size argument needs some further examination. Within the Twins' market area, there is just one major metropolitan area. The area also includes the eastern halves of two of the least populated states in the union.
The Cards' market includes half of Missouri, part of southern Iowa, southern Illinois, western Tennessee, parts of western kentucky, and perhaps a good portion of Arkansas. That's a far more populated region with at least two major metropolitan areas, because you'd have to include Memphis as well, and perhaps Little Rock.
This situation would translate into much higher TV and radio rights fees paid to the Cards.
Consider that Busch Stadium III has about 7,000 more seats to sell in a baseball crazy market, and it's easy to believe that the Cards have much higher revenues than the Twins.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 4:23 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 347

Moda253:
"I think it's a bit shortsighted to say the Twins should spend more simply because the Pohlads are worth more."
That's true..They should spend just a "little" more because we are "that" close to being over the hump.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 4:33 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 348

From ESPN: Union, Florida Marlins reach agreement to up payroll.

MIAMI -- The perennially frugal Florida Marlins have reached an agreement with the players' union to increase spending in the wake of complaints the team payroll has been so small as to violate baseball's revenue sharing provisions.

The deal was announced Tuesday in a joint statement by the Marlins, the union and Major League Baseball. The parties did not comment beyond the statement, and it was unclear how much the Marlins' payroll might increase.

The agreement runs through 2012, when the Marlins' new ballpark is scheduled to open.

"In response to our concerns that revenue sharing proceeds have not been used as required, the Marlins have assured the union and the commissioner's office that they plan to use such proceeds to increase player payroll annually as they move toward the opening of their new ballpark," said Michael Weiner, executive director of the players' association.

The agreement calls for arbitration if further disagreements arise, Weiner said.

Baseball's basic agreement calls for each club to use its revenue sharing receipts in an effort to improve the team. In recent years, the union has complained the requirement was not met by some teams, including the Marlins.

You have to believe the Twins are one of those "other" teams or damn close to being one. Would love to see the Union also have a little sit-down with the much more "strategically" frugal Twins front office. I have read multiple stories stating that the Twins front office over the years has not spent anywhere near the amount of money it has taken-in (i.e. pocketed as pure profit) from league revenue sharing.

I am a fan of Twins baseball and expect to see them win, especially when they are so close right now to being able to go all the way to the championship. I don't give a rip about how well the Pohlads and the Twins front office balance a P & L statement like some here seem to strangely admire more than them finally paying what it really takes to get better on the field in key positions.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 5:03 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 349

Beta, you should find some people to rant at other than your efriends. Your constant cynicism is a tired act.

2009: Marlins ($36 million); Twins ($65 million)
2008: Marlins ($21 million); Twins ($62 million)
2007: Marlins ($30 million); Twins ($71 million)
2006: Marlins ($15 million); Twins ($63 million)

It's not even close.

If you look at pre-2005 numbers they are much more comparable. But then again, you would actually have to look at numbers to support your ranting and we all know that ain't happening anytime soon...

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 9:27 PM by Margaret Thatcher Highlight this comment 350

If you were the Twins organization, and you had a player with the following stats, would he deserve a retired number, gate or a bronze statue?

win/loss record: 417-279
ERA: 2.17
strikeouts: 3,508
shutouts: 110

I think everyone would say "yes" undoubtedly. Even though he wasn't a Twin, Walter Johnson was a player for this organization in Washington. I wouldn't mind seeing the club honor arguably this organization's best player at Target Field, and recognize its own history in the nation's capital in some way as our ball club officially started in 1901, not 1961, and has three world championships, not two. (1924, 87, 91)

I think it's important to remember the club's entire history, not just it's Minnesota history.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 9:34 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 351

Star Tribune Article: Target Field sets 'environmental standard in sports'

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 9:37 PM by Wanda Phillips Highlight this comment 352

Long ago I wrote about Johnson, Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, the previous world championship (1924) and two other AL pennants (1925 and 1933). Since then, a statue of Walter Johnson has been erected at Nationals Park.

At one point I asked DSP about the subject of remembering the Senators, but the response I got was surprisingly muted. And, as far as I know, there is absolutely zero recognition at Target Field of the franchise history before 1961. A possible exception may be on the ballpark history plaque, which I seem to remember reading somewhere would include a mention of Griffith Stadium. (Can't confirm that.)

It could be that nobody in the organization wants to remember those many years of wandering in the baseball desert ("First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League."), or maybe it's just that such history sticks more to its geography than it does its business organization. The whole Jackie Robinson/Ebbets Field thing in Queens is another good example in support of that theory.

Either way, I think it's a shame to ignore all that rich franchise history.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 9:53 PM by Rick 353

Excellent point, TTH, about Walter Johnson, our first hall of famer in our franchise, and I think, one of the first five to be inducted, with Cobb, Ruth, Wagner and Mathewson?
It seems like ancient history, but much less time has elapsed between Johnson's and the Senators World Series victory and the inaugural season of the Twins, than has passed between then and the coming inaugural of Target Field. Time to go to bed. I'm feeling old, for some reason.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 10:09 PM by robin Highlight this comment 354

my dear baroness margaret thatcher: please go back to being a crusty, old, tory party, british hag from the ronald reagan years. you were much better, way back then.

anyways, i did look at the pre-2005 numbers. and i wasn't exactly making a direct comparison between the twins and the marlins, but a comparison of the way the ownership of each club has traditionally operated on the cheap is still relevant. as has been mentioned here numerous times, if you look at the percent of revenue (all sources of revenue including revnue-sharing received) put towards player payroll, the twins rank rather low in that category. they will continue to operate that way into perpetuity unless the fan base finally starts to call them out on it in a public fashion.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 10:13 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 355

DSP's response doesn't shock me. I once e-mailed him shortly after the bridge collapse to have him consider some type of recognition of the tragedy at the ballpark, be it a flag similar to POW/MIA or something, anything. After all, it was the biggest infrastructure catastrophe in state history, happened at the steps of the Metrodome and had a direct effect on the Twins and the new stadium, and affected every Minnesotan in some way. The response was lukewarm at best.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 10:31 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 356

I do recall an I-35 patch or at least an I-35 sign painted on the backstop after the tragedy. DSP's response my not have overwhelmed you, but the Twins did do something in recognition.
I know it's nothing terribly significant, like starting a relief fund drive or anything, but they did as much to recognize the disaster as they would to comemorate the pasing of a member of the organization.

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 10:45 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 357

There was a 35W patch on jersey sleeves for the remainder of the 2007 season. There was also a facsimile of the patch on the "blue wall" behind home plate with "8-1-07".
In seasons following, both games on Aug 1 in 2008 and 2009, the Twins wore a facsimile of the patch as a decal on their batting helmets. As far as I remember, that's how they've done it.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 06:55 AM by luke Highlight this comment 358

Incidentally, I believe some construction workers at TF also have a 35W decal on their hard hats.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 06:56 AM by luke Highlight this comment 359

luke - I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but the Twins NEVER wore any 35W patches in 2007. They DID however have a decal on their helmets for August/September. Click link to see picture.

I was at the August 1, 2009 game versus the Angels and do not recall the Twins wearing any decals on their helmets whatsoever, so I do not know where you got that information from.

In 2007, They already had the "Herb" patches on their uniforms so they decided it would just be easier to put a decal on their helmets for those final two months of the season.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 08:49 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 360

Fair enough, Beta, but if you're going to "call them out" I would suggest calling them out in areas where your point can actually be supported by more than an opinion and/or a 'gut feeling' that we're getting screwed with.

Case in point:

You say you looked at the numbers, but... The Marlins recieve around $30 million in revenue sharing every year. As you can see, in some years their total team payroll is barely HALF of their revenue sharing reciepts. The Twins, on the other hand, recieve between $20 and $25 million in revenue sharing and spend almost triple that amount on their total team payroll.

Now, I recognize that it isn't quite as simple as comparing revenue sharing dollars with total team payroll (going deeper requires taking into account gate reciepts, payroll tax, operating income, etc). But calling them out in this instance most likely won't get you very far because, once again, it's not even close to the way you portrayed it to be.

Revenue sharing really isn't the issue, though. In the end the larger point I am getting at is that not everything needs to be some version of the "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!!" theme that you so frequently trumpet. There are always points to be made against what the front office has done, but when all you have to offer is negativity, angry rants, or cynicism it begins to sound like you are little more than a whiny brat. Especially when it's so clear that you're trying to score points against the front office but you look like you don't even know whether to bring your baseball bat, hockey stick, or croquet mallet to the game.

Keep rattling those cages, Beta...

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 09:25 AM by Margaret Thatcher Highlight this comment 361

Ladies and gentlemen, click for more TARGET FIELD in MLB 10 The Show.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 09:29 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 362

back to walter johnson and the rest of the senators...

currently the nationals are keeping this heritage because they are celebrating "washington baseball" (including both franchises that moved to mn and tex along with the current one)

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM by annoyingcustomer Highlight this comment 363

I think it's fine and good that Washington recognizes its baseball history. They should have a statue of Walter Johnson outside their ballpark.

I'm saying we lose a lot of our club's own history if we take a myopic stance and say that since it didn't happen here it shouldn't be recognized in some form. If you take a good look at baseball history, there is such an interweaving that takes place and that is one of the reasons it's called America's pastime.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 12:27 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 364

I have a statue of Walter Johnson as part of my bobblehead collection. I believe that it was the Twins that recognized Walter by creating a bobblehead in his honor.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 12:52 PM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 365

personally i think the twins should get the history of that original senators team. the nationals can have the expos' history.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 12:59 PM by annoyingcustomer Highlight this comment 366

Johnson was honored as a Twins SGA bobblehead on 9/19/2004. From TwinsBobbleheads dot com: "Franchise hero from the Washington Senator days. The only player to appear in a non-Twins uniform. Hall of Fame plaque on base."

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 367

Hmm.. maybe instead of bronze statues adorning the TF plaza we could scrap those plans and get lifesize bobblehead statues instead. Then I could ask our Twins legends "yes" questions.

"Kirby, did you grope that woman in the restroom? ... I thought so."

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:17 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 368

What about a Pohlad bobblehead with a fistful of money shaking his head "no"?

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:20 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 369

I thought all Senators history was not "brought along" to Minnesota in 1961 and the Twins were considered an entirely new franchise.

Similar to Browns/Ravens and Sonics/Thunder.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:21 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 370

Wouldn't Hrbek's statue have to be a bobble-belly? Bobble-elbow (beer in hand)?

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:27 PM by Rick 371

Are the Twins from the MLB game going to pee down their legs when they face the Yankees like the real version does?

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:40 PM by john c Highlight this comment 372

Is there a button for that on the controller?? The realism is truly staggering...

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:47 PM by Rick 373

IIRC the Senators history now belongs to the Texas Rangers. Senators players and ownership came to Minnesota and became the Twins. Senators name stayed in DC, and a new owner found new players and were still the Washington Senators. That team then moved to Texas and became the Rangers.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:58 PM by DVS2008 Highlight this comment 374

I understand that, DVS. However, there is a direct lineage to the Twins and the original Nationals (Senators) and Walter Johnson and the 1924 World Series championship. That organization moved here. The Rangers inherited a shoddy team with an existence that lasted 11 years in D.C. (That should be the history they look back upon, and nothing more.)

Anyways, I'm not looking to start a movement or a blog on the topic (though a 1901-2010 Nats/Twins historical calendar would be AWESOME...Kev in AZ, do you have any pics of the Big Train you may have taken as a child? I don't want to get into trouble..), but it is interesting to note, in my opinion.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 2:51 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 375

From Wikipedia (if you trust Wikipedia)...

When the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1960 as the Twins, Major League Baseball decided to expand a year earlier than planned to stave off threats of losing its antitrust exemption. At the winter meetings that year, it awarded a new team to Los Angeles (the Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) as well as a new team in the nation's capital. This new team adopted the old Senators name, but was (and still is) considered an expansion team since the Twins retained the old Senators' records and history.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 3:06 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 376

TTH, That is correct. The(original)Senators/Twins are the same franchise. I thought that this was very common knowledge around here.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 3:47 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 377

Uh, that's not my point JohnF. My point was not: "Hey, did you guys know the Twins used to be the Senators?" It was: "Hey, it sure would be cool, in my opinion, if the Twins better recognized their history prior to 1961."

If you didn't get that, then either I didn't clarify well or you're just, uh, well, you.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 378

It is obviously common knowledge that the Senators became the Twins, I was just pointing out that the Senators still existed and one would have thought that they would retain their history. Guess I was wrong on that part.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM by DVS2008 Highlight this comment 379

TTH, Take it easy !! Wow, touchy. My "point' was not aimed at you. It was aimed at some of the above who thought otherwise of the facts.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 380

Mike, I think you're right, I think it was just the helmet decal.
I was pretty sure they did the decal again in 2008, and I thought last year as well, just on the anniversary.
Could be wrong...

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 381

Gosh, I could swear I recall a patch...

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 382

Here are a few screengrabs from that video of Target Field:



Posted on January 13, 2010 at 5:31 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 383

The Show looks sweet. Did anyone else notice it said H.H.H. Metrodome in the upper left box at the 1:28 mark? What's up with that? I suppose they may have been just talking about the old stadium in the game or something but it sure didn't look like it.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 384

FYI - Sounds like the Gophers will be playing at Target Field March 27th against Louisiana Tech (per the Gophers Facebook page).

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM by B Highlight this comment 385

Yep. Click my name for a pic of Morneau in 2008 with the patch. That was the one-year-anniversary, and I think they just wore it on the 1st. I thought they did it last season too.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM by luke Highlight this comment 386

DeePee: The game indeed looks awesome. As for the Metrodome part, I believe they are aware of it. That build of the game is apparently more than a month old, and they still have at least a month left in the developing process. Just think how much better it might get!

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 9:00 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 387

Hopefully those finalizing details of the game realize that Minne and Paul shake hands after a Twins HR. I hope hope they don't go the generic route and just shoot off fireworks.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 9:13 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 388

One of the developers said that the final version will include a 'working' celebration sign.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 10:08 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 389

I conducted an interview with Sports Illustrated writer, Joe Posnanski. He talked about a lot of great stuff, but the final three questions are about Target Field, the weather and the Metrodome.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 10:09 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 390

Excellent interview. It's good to see a sportswriter so thoughtful and passionate at the same time. Thanks.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 05:28 AM by robin Highlight this comment 391

That was a good read. I like his attitude.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 09:12 AM by john c Highlight this comment 392

Good interview. What is the Jeter home run shortly after 9/11 he's referring to? A quick search didn't yield any results, but I didn't know what to search for.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 10:34 AM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 393

Here's a nice PR move from Hennepin County. They are opening the downtown library on Mondays and saying that the ballpark tax makes it possible. And sponsoring "Ballpark Mondays" complete with a former Twin, TC Bear, and Sue Nelson tickling the ivories. Link attached.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:05 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 394

JCTwins,

I not positive, but I think in the interview Joe Posnanski was referring to the November 1st world series home run by Jeter. As a Yankee hater, I remember it well. The Yank's were down with two outs in the ninth in consecutive games and came back to win both. Jeter hit a walk off homer to win game 4. Although it was almost a month after September 11th, I think that is the Jeter homer his is referring to.

On a positive note, the hated Yankee's did end up losing that series.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:26 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 395

Awesome that the ballpark tax is visibly helping out other areas.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:42 AM by john c Highlight this comment 396

Here is the latest press release from the Minnesota Twins baseball club regarding the concessions...much better offerings than what the Metrodome had with their concessionaire.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 397

Aye yae yae...let's hope they have more and better poop stalls than the dome had. Nothing worse than fearing a deuce coming on and the game appears to be going into extra innings...some of this greasy meat could be ugly.

Did you ever feel for those guys that were standing in a line of 10 waiting for the sit-down after a game while you were walking out of the head? I know I sure did.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 398

the dome shitters we not all that bad just that there was only 2 or 3 ro eery reastroom i have dropped a duce, barfed and also mixed drinks in there.. served me well.. the last few years i just use the bathroom in the season ticket holder club it sucks oerall as a season ticker holder club but has a not so busy bathroom...

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 4:36 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 399

the dome shitters we not all that bad just that there was only 2 or 3 ro eery reastroom i have dropped a duce, barfed and also mixed drinks in there.. served me well.. the last few years i just use the bathroom in the season ticket holder club it sucks oerall as a season ticker holder club but has a not so busy bathroom...

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 4:36 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 400

Holy crap mazarati were you in there mixing a drink before you posted? Homerow on the keyboard man homerow!

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 4:44 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 401

Maz=luke??

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 4:51 PM by Max Highlight this comment 402

Maz is Maz - Luke is Luke, Max

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 5:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 403

Talk about your multi-taskers! I hope you weren't dropping a deuce, barfing, and mixing a drink all at the same time.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 5:52 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 404

Wow! Talk about your multi-taskers! Were you dropping a load, barfing and mixing drinks all at the same time?

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 5:53 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 405

Jezz, I post once and it doesn't show up. I try again, and there it is twice. Grrr!

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 5:54 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 406

and now by explaining your double post you've extended it to a triple post!

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 6:14 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 407

i need to drop a deuce......

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 6:45 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 408

Oh the memories of sitting on the throne in the men's room at the dome and having someone knock on the door.."Hey dude, shitter's full!" Yes the lineup of guys waiting for their turn. Of course I think only a couple were there for a deuce. Many just didn't like pissing in the trough. I learned early on in 1982 to never wear sandals to a Twins game and then take a leak in the trough...needless to say I never wore those sandals again.

If anyone from the ballpark authority or Twins is reading this...Please include a pic of the shitters in your next photo update. That's an ah-ha moment I'm waiting for. Please no more damn press releases on food...you guys have had 12 press releases saying the same damn thing.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 10:23 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 409

And for those of you who will miss the shitty shitters from the dome, at least we'll always have a wonderful view of the shitstack at the new joint.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 410

I will say this: as somebody who permanently lost his sense of smell two and a half years ago, I'm glad I'll never have to smell a restroom or port-a-potty ever again.

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 10:31 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 411

This is a big IF, but if the Vikings go on to host the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 24, would they still have Monster Jam at the Metrodome on Saturday, January 23?

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:36 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 412

The picture above taken of section 323 is interesting since that is where my seats are going to be. I would guess is will be pretty cold up there in early April. I would sure hate to sit in the two seats directly above the steps coming out of the tunnel.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 12:13 AM by BobSTH323 Highlight this comment 413

TTH,

Zicam?

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 08:50 AM by Wanda Phillips Highlight this comment 414

Zicam = homeopathic = worthless.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 09:00 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 415

Click my name for the January monthly construction reports courtesy of the Ballpark Authority.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 09:22 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 416

Just trying to insert an image here. My apologies if it doesn't.
The Town Ball Tavern Logo from the Twinsbaseball.com

img

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 09:41 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 417

Does anyone know if establishments like Nye's will be operating shuttles to and fro the ballpark on game days?

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 418

It would make sense for the establishments in NE Mpls to offer shuttles to/fro the games ala the way they do in St. Paul for the events at the X. Great opportunity to capture before/after the game business by offering Free Parking and rides to Target Field.

Spring Training tickets go on sale tomorrow morning. Who is going to Fort Myers to check out the squad? I've had season tickets for many years and it sure is hard to beat 84 degrees, sunshine, a cold beer, and a bratwurst while hearing the PA announcer say the scores to the MN State HS Hockey Tournament and the temperature in MSP...

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 11:10 AM by Max Highlight this comment 419

Zicam? No. But lawsuits are ongoing.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 11:11 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 420

yea sorry, you should know by know im not much of a typer! where the hell are my twins fest tickets??

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 11:19 AM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 421

The Minnesota Twins have just launched another section for transportation to the ballpark.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 12:14 PM by TwinsTerritory Highlight this comment 422

The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed catcher Mike Redmond to a free agent Major League contract.

Redmond signed a one-year deal for $850,000. (click name for story)

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 12:30 PM by common man Highlight this comment 423

Too bad about Redmond. At least we won't have to hear about his nekkid locker room walks anymore. I am guessing that Morales will be the new permanent back up.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 1:19 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 424

Twins got rid of Redmond a year late, in my opinion. That .237 last year was painful to watch.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 2:43 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 425

Thanks Jeff for updating the Target Field thread over at baseball fever.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 3:06 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 426

Mike, it gives me something to do while I'm bored.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 427

Per an ESPN source - After coming up short in a bid to sign free agent Adrian Beltre, the Oakland Athletics filled their third base void Friday by acquiring Kevin Kouzmanoff in a four-player trade with the San Diego Padres, a baseball source confirmed. Kouzmanoff hit 18 homers and drove in 88 runs for San Diego in 2009.

wow! some great work you are doing once again this off-season to fill the obvious voids, bill smith. just keep on sitting on your sausage-like hands tubby while everyone else around you makes moves. because that will take care of all the infield issues won't it? hoping for some miraculous recovery by joe crede? going to hand the reins to the hot-corner to an untested rookie? sounds like a fool-proof plan, bill!

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 10:49 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 428

Here's a screenshot of TF in MLB2K10 (for us non-PS3ers who can't get The Show). This is all I've been able to find so far...



Posted on January 15, 2010 at 10:55 PM by Jeremy Highlight this comment 429

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Jack Clark: Steroid users 'fakes, phonies, creeps, cheaters'

Wow! Former Cardinals slugger Jack Clark absolutely DESTROYS new Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire along with his fellow steroid brothers (i.e. Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, etc).

Clark did not hold back one bit in this interview. Far too many great (and very accurate) quotes from Clark to post here. There are also some good quotes from former Cardinals outfielder Andy Van Slyke on the rather disgusting "steroid era".

It is definitely worth the read. Click on my name for link to the article.

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 11:16 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 430

Wow. Nice article. I think Jack Clark is my new favorite (non-Twins) player! Rare candor from a former member of the boy's club. Can't wait until they run into each other!

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 01:03 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 431

Jack Clark just put it better than I ever could have. Great article!

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 01:06 AM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 432

Kouz wouldn't have been a bad pickup, but I'm liking Felipe Lopez, despite his glove, at third more and more. Sign him at 1/$3.5 MM and Xavier Nady as a backup OF for 1/$1 MM, resign Mauer at 7/$150 MM and call it an offseason.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 01:41 AM by J Highlight this comment 433

To the makers of 2k10- Last I checked, there is no LED ribbon board beneath the Metropolitan club.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 05:08 AM by ace Highlight this comment 434

That screenshot may just become my next computer desktop wallpaper.
Jeremy, which platform is that for? Is that for the PS2?

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 08:51 AM by luke Highlight this comment 435

quote Jeremy "for us non-PS3ers who can't get The Show" - The Show is being made for PS2 as far as I know.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 08:53 AM by luke Highlight this comment 436

Re: Twins Territory on transportation to Target. This morning's Strib (saturday am/early sunday)has a feature on transportation to the games, including adding a new bus route along 394.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 09:07 AM by robin Highlight this comment 437

thanks for pointing out the article Robin. I had a little trouble actually fining it so here is a link to make it a little easier to find.

The key info for me was these two nuggets of info.
"In June, July and August, Northstar riders will be able to take the train into town for weeknight evening games and back again afterwards. In all, the Northstar line will be running during 53 Twins home games this season." and
"While the Metrodome is served only by regular bus routes, Metro Transit will unveil a new Interstate Hwy. 394 express bus route in April that will run to Target Field on game days from Hopkins Crossroad in Minnetonka to Ramp B across the street from center field."

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 438

I was just going back over Rick's vids of the Winter Classic.
Here's a question: given the success of the Winter Classic, would it be plausible to think that perhaps an NHL All-Star Game might be played outdoors?
I thought, well, that might be a little outdoors overkill, as the NHL ASG is like three weeks after the Classic (in years which are sans Olympics) - but maybe they could bypass the Jan. 1 Classic one year and an outdoor ASG would be the "Winter Classic" for that particular season.

Perhaps maybe the new Meadowlands Stadium could handle something like that...

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 1:24 PM by luke Highlight this comment 439

Re: MLB2K10

My "non-PS3 users" meant us Xbox users. =)

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 2:14 PM by Jeremy Highlight this comment 440

Oh...gotcha.
Hmm, my brother has an Xbox, I wonder if I can convince him to get it. We can compare between Xbox and PS2...

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 3:08 PM by luke Highlight this comment 441

max=douch????

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 3:56 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 442

douche*

douche*****

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 3:57 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 443

Luke, maintaining the ice would be incredibly more difficult if the nhl played every game outdoors. Even with all the rinks being indoors, the ice conditions change from rink to rink. You would be hard pressed to convince any rink manager to leave the climate controlled arenas to the outdoors where you could have one week with sub zero temperatures and the next week have mid thirty degree weather. Not to mention that fact that while its possible to have ice outdoors in warmer climates, due to the cooling systems beneath the ice, the costs of keeping the ice outdoors in those areas would increase greatly.

The bottom line on outdoor hockey is that it is a really cool event that the nhl should continue to have, and should increase to having two events outdoors.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 4:31 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 444

Since I no longer follow the NHL, I have no clue when the NHL All Star Game is. But if Luke says it's normally three weeks into January, that's good enough for me (Hey, Luke, not everyone here is on your case). But near the second or third week in January, we generally see a thaw, while New years Day has historically been very cold, and therefore easier to maintain proper outdoor ice conditions. Of course, that's just in this area. It could be just the opposite in the northeast, Pennsylvania, or the Rust Belt.
Additionally, if fans are going to be paying top dollar to watch an All Star Game, seats twenty five to fifty yards from the ice wouldn't justify the high ticket costs. My guess is the NHL would rather go for the money on that idea. They'd more than likely opt to keep the ASG indoors.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 11:19 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 445

I didn't mean to imply that billymayshere was on Luke's case, but others clearly are.

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 11:21 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 446

Guess the twins are waiting for another bottom of the barrel free agent to sign for cheap this offseason since the seemed to let all the other decent free agents pass them by. Oh well we are playing outside this year in a new stadium so that should be exciting enough to make us forget another stupid free agent mistake the twins are probably going to make this year.

Posted on January 17, 2010 at 12:36 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 447

Hello! dfegeea interesting dfegeea site!

Posted on December 10, 2010 at 05:03 AM by Pharmb848 Highlight this comment 448


This page was last modified on January 2, 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.


Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...






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






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.















I think this promenade over the railroad tracks needs a name. How about the Halsey Hall Promenade? (Please do not throw cigar butts onto the tracks!)






Artist at (very painstaking) work






The plaza as seen from the B ramp.



Main Concourse









Bench seating? (Click to see hi-res version.)



Usher Anna hands outmenade.html#PB040135a.jpg">
Looking south (toward Seventh Street).






Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)









Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)



Target Plaza in model form



A sidewalk has sprouted between the HERC and the LRT tracks!



The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.



Poles through the gap












The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.






A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)



A view into the park down Sixth Street from just beyond Hennepin. Note that one side of the street contains century-old, classic buildings -- structures which are likely to last another century or more. The other side, not so much. (Click the image to see what it looked like from exactly the same spot 97 years ago.)









Perched welder on the top of the canopy.



A flurry of action in front of the dugout before the game (Photo by Jeff Ewer)



The bridge is Seventh Street.



Comerica Park main entrance: Tigers, bats, and much (maybe too much) more (Source: LP)



That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)



Construction of the stands is moving from left to right in this image.



A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)



The completed promenade



Looking the other direction, again from Ford Centre, you can see what's going on over the tracks. This will be a public promenade.









This will be a bar/restaurant.


nt-size: .6em;">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.



Oh, nevermind.


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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