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Twinshine

July 16, 2014 1:47 AM

Yes, Jeter. Of course. It was his night, and deservedly so. Even I, whose mother hates Derek Jeter, cheered for him. It was only the second time I've ever done so (the other being when I visited the original Yankee Stadium and pretended to be a Bomber fan for exactly one game). And tonight it felt weird and wrong and right and inevitable and necessary and splendid all at the same time.

Yes, Jeter. Of course.

But when I remember the 2014 All-Star game, here's the image that will probably always mean the most to me:

Now, I'll admit that this looks like a picture which could have been taken under a variety of different circumstances on any number of nights during this season. But that's only because I've removed the context. Let me rewind and zoom out.

Moments before I took that picture, I took this one, which shows the context in all its glory:

That's what I'll remember. That's the memory I'll cherish. Our boys. Doing it on the Big Stage. Right here at home. In that beautiful ballpark. Making it look easy. Saying, in effect, "Hey, we hope you like our city and our ballpark, but we've got some real players here, too. We play real baseball here."

When Perkins and Suzuki stepped onto the field, I was standing next to an usher who was simply bursting with pride. With each pitch, she grabbed my arm and gushed. Her smile was broad and genuine, like that of someone seeing something for the first time, though she was clearly past retirement age.

Her smile was contagious, but it didn't matter. Everybody wearing a TC logo was smiling already.

At least for this night, let the win-loss record be damned. This was a Twins Win moment not to be forgotten. True ballpark magic.

Comments


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Right on, Rick! All in all, a perfect night at our ballpark!

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 05:57 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 1

Yes, an awesome night at the ballpark! I was one of the lucky ones to help with the huge flag. After our over 3 hour practice in the morning, we made it happen. (It helped that it wasn't windy.). A memory I will treasure. My only question is with all of the security around, how did someone get a sign put up on the right field score board? (Love water not oil). Did they show it on TV?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 08:23 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 2

It was so nice to see Target Field and Minneapolis showcased in the National/International spotlight. Reminded me so much of the 1991 World Series with all of the media attention and aerial shots during the coverage. Seemed that most people I listened to and watched (MLB network, ESPN Radio Mike&Mike, ESPN, FOX and FOX Sports 1) raved quite a bit about Target Field and the whole Twin Cities experience.

If you thought the All Star Game was exciting for the Twin Cities and Minnesota, bring on Super Bowl LII in 2018!!

Two weeks of hype, media frenzy in the middle of winter!

If the Super Bowl goes over as well as the 2014 All Star Game, then maybe, just maybe we could host another Super Bowl or two down the road. Unlike the MLB All Star Game which won't be here for at least another 20+ years.

Up next for the AL will probably be Camden Yards in Baltimore in 2016.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:07 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 3

The saddest thing of all is that the Twins have not been able to showcase Target Field much because they have not been very good on the field. Aside from the All Star Game, ballparks get their big-time exposure during the postseason, in particular, the World Series.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:10 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 4

One thing that really bothered me was there was no tribute to honor Tony Gwynn. I know it was a Derek Jeter lovefest and they also honored 30 teachers but they couldn't even take 1 minute to have a moment of silence for Tony Gwynn who passed away just one month ago and made 15 All Star appearances???

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:17 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 5

Mike,

I couldn't agree more, the lack of Gwynn acknowledgement bugged me too. I am not saying they needed a 10 minute tribute video, but a mention and moment of silence would of been nice.

The game it self was fun, I am glad i attended. Note to self for next time, if i have full strips and someone wants to buy them early for twice face value SELL THEM. Since i will be able to buy back in at near face value... right before the game.

I assumed secondary market prices would drop, but was shocked how the Derby and game came crashing down.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:59 AM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 6

I swallowed hard and set my personal limit at $199 last night, and then started hitting refresh on Stubhub at about 5:15.

So it felt like a steal when a single popped up in section 334 for $139 at 5:35. It was the fastest checkout on record! The next lowest price stayed stubbornly at $287, which it had been for weeks (that was for the MLB-sold SRO tickets).

Did anybody see anything cheaper?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 3:25 PM by Rick 7

Out on the street, they were still asking $200 and up. I decided to opt out :(. I thought maybe I could find a deal, but I just couldnt. I was sort of hoping to find a deal like Monday night. I heard some tix were going as low as $125.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 3:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 8

I saw the attendance was announced at 41,300 or so? Record is around 42,500. That makes me wonder why the SRO was set as it was, below record level. I didn't look up when the record was. Does anyone remember?

I will also say I really enjoyed the ASG as a whole. It was fun to be in a nationally watched atmosphere, and of course topped off by a great night of weather, and a fairly close and well played game.

It was also a lot of fun to see the diversity of fan-hood at Target Field, without the "anti-opponent" atmosphere that usually goes with it. (The "I hate the Yankees/White Sox/Red Sox, etc. mantra").

It was also fun to look around and see a full ballpark, which brought back memories of 2010, and the fun season that was. I truly wonder when we will see similar crowds again, and whether the Twins will begin announcing priority for the 2044 ASG as a reason to buy Season Tickets.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:12 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 9

Attendance was announced at 41,048. Yes, positive vibe all around was great. My brother and I saw jerseys from all but a couple teams (though the Strib reporters saw all 30). The only misses for us were Cincinnati and maybe the Rangers.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:28 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 10

I may be able to explain part of the reason for lower SRO sales: Some areas were blocked off for official use.

For example, one half of one of the Two Gingers bars was closed off for media use. Also, right behind home plate on the main concourse was a very large area covered with black curtains, where standing room would usually be (I think there were TV cameras behind the curtains).

That said, I spent most of the game trolling my favorite SRO spots and never had any trouble getting to the front. I remember times in 2010 when all of those areas were three-deep with people and I couldn't see a thing.

So, we might ask whether the SRO pricing was part of that control structure (all of the SRO tickets you saw on Stubhub were listed by MLB, at least initially). If so, it worked for managing flow, despite certainly leaving some money on the table -- which seems like a distinctly un-MLB thing to happen.

That's why I'm wondering whether there weren't maybe some people who got really good deals on SRO tickets at, say, 6:00 or 6:15 last night.

Also, Luke, if you had waited, you probably could have picked up a ticket on the street for $20 by the 4th or 5th inning -- at least if what I've heard has happened elsewhere actually happened here.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:33 PM by Rick 11

fiesta,

I saw both CIN and TEX logos at various times. I started out with a goal of getting pictures of all 30 logos on hats, but quickly gave up when I realized I hadn't devised a way to keep track for myself of which ones I needed.

Such is the fate of the late ticket buyer...

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM by Rick 12

Channel 9 reporter post game in describing the T-Birds flyover gushed that they "barely" cleared the light standards. T-Birds say they were at 1,000 feet. Wonder who was correct?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM by ben Highlight this comment 13

Yeah, Rick, I thought about that too - halfway through the game, they would be giving away tickets practically. But then, I'd miss half the game standing outside waiting...

I think it got lost in the last post, so I'll post them again. These are the pictures I took on Sunday and yesterday at FanFest and the Red Carpet Show:

All Star Sunday

Red Carpet Show and FanFest

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM by luke Highlight this comment 14

I am guessing the channel 9 reporter used to work for Channel 5 when they had breaking news during the "Love Boat" scandal for Vikes that they had gone dumpster diving at Al and Almas and retrieved discarded alcohol bottles, birthday hats and party balloons and may have also been the one that broke news to ESPN about Randy Moss "assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon" which promptly went as quoted onto theier news scroller (also CNN) when it was really a security officer at a parking ramp not wanting Moss to go thru an intersection he was already halfway through w/ his SUV so he nudged foward. I'm going to go w/ the T-Birds on this one. I watched them head straight towards my building off 394 and they were more than barely clearing but dont let facts get in the way of a good news story by channel 9!

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:31 PM by uffda Highlight this comment 15

On an additional note my dad continued to give escort rides to former players, celebs, etc. -the current players on All Star teams he gave rides to were Josh Donaldson (3b -A's) and Felix Hernandez. Those were the only current players he gave rides to but also gave rides for John Smoltz, Idina Menzel (singer of national anthem), Zach Parise, a celebrity judge from Top Chef (forgot name but she is from Miami and asked my dad how to cook Walleye lol). He also previousley gave rides to Hank Aaron and Tony Oliva (had lunch w/ him) but the person I think would be rewarding to talk to who he gave a ride to was Mrs Jackie Robinson who is 91 years young. That woulda been something to talk to her. Cant believe my dad gave a ride to her and Hank Aaron. wow!

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM by uffda Highlight this comment 16

Thought some of you may enjoy reading this. Seat Poaching: A Poor Man’s Guide to a Better View

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:55 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 17

I am not caught up on everyone's posts yet, in the meantime I wanted to share my shot from the national anthem/flyover from the ASG game.


See it bigger here.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 07:43 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 18

That channel 9 reporter is just exaggerating when saying the T-birds "barely" cleared the light standards. Typical media hyping things.

I will say they were definitely flying low but those pilots are well trained and know what they are doing. I heard on the news they are only doing 4 of those flyovers this year. Daytona 500, MLB All Star Game, Las Vegas 400 and the Rose Bowl Parade. Only took them 15 minutes to get from Duluth to Target Field...now that would be a nice quick ride!

As far as SRO, Rick nailed it, there were a lot of SRO areas blocked off throughout the stadium for TV Cameras, Media Staging, Corporate Sponsors (Pepsi seats in LF corner along the drink rail) and those things that you normally don't see in the regular season.

I had two friends get SRO tickets on the street for $50 each between 7:30-8pm They said they missed the first 3 innings but still heard the anthem and saw the flyover outside the ballpark. So if you were willing to wait it out you could have got in the door for less then $100.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 08:02 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 19

Ben (#13), if the Thunderbirds say they were at 1000 feet, they were between 999 feet at 1001 feet. Those pilots are incredibly talented.

I didn't get to see them in person, but they looked good on TV!

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 08:40 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 20

Great work on the photo Jared.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 09:10 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 21

Re-watching the game on the TV broadcast yesterday. I found it interesting when asked if Bud Selig had any regrets, he failed to mention the theatrics of contracting the host team to orchestrate a new ballpark in the early 2000's.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 09:16 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 22

"Those pilots are incredibly talented."

They do nothing that is not standard for Air Force tactical pilots.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM by ben Highlight this comment 23

In regard to Selig --- I found it disturbing (perhaps not the right word) that the media pukes would be handing this feckless shill softball questions while a true gentleman and baseball legend, sitting next to him, went unmentioned even.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM by ben Highlight this comment 24

Ben, the Strib's media columnist also commented on the reporter fawning over Alvin Selig while failing to even acknowledge the man sitting next to him, Hank Aaron. As for the channel 9 report, just be glad July is not a sweeps month. If it were, the reporter would have had those planes flying between the light standard and the top row of the upper deck!

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM by terry Highlight this comment 25

I thought about shooting everything documentarian style like Luke did but recently I have been bringing the camera along yet leaving it in the bag a lot to be able to be in the moment more. I figured I spent the money, might as well, right?

Luke, quick photo tip. Looks like you are kinda doing "flyby" shots (basically just shooting quick and moving on)...whether its a point and shoot or cellphone camera (especially indoors), make sure that you are as still as possible otherwise that motion blur will render nearly all of your images useless. Figured I would throw that out there since I know you like to shoot a bunch.

My thoughts:

I am glad I saved up and got great seats and then took PTO on Monday and Tuesday. I was basically downtown All Day Sunday-Tuesday and while no event was "the greatest thing ever" on it's own, the whole experience collectively was awesome.

The scope of the event was larger than I originally thought. There was stuff going on all over. This is half the reason I was glad I took the days off. It gave me more time to experience more.

I have never seen more media in one location. They occupied a number (at least a pair) of the handicap sections on each baseline, some behind home plate on both levels, in each of the outfield corners and on the field. And oh on the field...Larry Devito must have been having a panic attack. I thought the sardine-like on field media was bad before the home run derby, it was 10 fold worse before the actual game tuesday. I don't know if it was noticeable on tv, but the grass in foul territory was severely trampled. You can sorta tell on the flyover image I posted. Other than that the field looked FANTASTIC.

We met a ton of people (including some media ending up in national news articles and photos)and father/son pair from San Fancisco while in line and basically hung out with them all weekend. They had been to the last 5/6 ASGs, were totally awesome, shared some awesome stories and we worked together to get prime spots for lines, autographs and such. Everyone we met from out of town, players included, was raving about TF and MPLS in general. I got Jeter's autograph twice, one on a ball for my dad and the other ball for me. I also got mine signed by about 18 others at the Red Carpet.

The futures game was outstanding and boy can those boys hit the ball a ton. In BP one of them hit one just short of the video board above the grandstand AND hit/shattered the windshield of the truck Chevy put behind the flagpoles in right field.

As mentioned, FanFest is just a larger version of TwinsFest. It was cool to see the extras that TwinsFest doesnt' have trophies, historical memorabilia, fun kiddie things. It was (naturally) way better planned out. I even saw a game worn Derek Jeter jersey priced at $15k in the Steiner (i think) memorabilia section of the shop. You know, just in case I wanted to drop 15k right there. My buddy follows that stuff and said they tend to way over price their memorabilia. I could have ripped it off the stand and ran.

The Celebrity game was a lot of fun, although you could tell James Denton meant business. LOL. January Jones (who is tiny by the way) and the MTV host on the NL team were pretty worthless to their respective teams. AP is a monster but can't play softball worth a lick. He was having a lot of fun though and it was entertaining watching him try to hit off of Jenny Finch.

The rain before the home run derby wasn't too bad, i sat in my seat through it and the delay wasn't too bad either. There was plenty of entertainment between batters and during commercial breaks but I feel like they could make it go faster. I don't know if they showed the two 17 year old kids hit on TV but they were hitting some BOMBS. I had seats in section 15 row 2, courtesy JCTwins. For a game they would be awesome but for the derby it was pretty rough. It helped that I was tall and could see a bit more. The media was allowed on field in areas right in front of us and NL team stood most of the time blocking everyone's view in the lower level. So, many in dugout box stood and many others complained about the standing. A pair of guys next to us hated it so much the left not even half way through. So for future reference, its probably better to be 10-20 rows up for the best view and preferably behind a moat in the event the close seats have to stand. That is...unless the guys on field are nice and sit, good luck. JCTwins was messing around and even texted that Stadium Security number to see if they could help, we're not sure if it was them but at some point late in the derby all the players did mostly sit, giving a much better view.

The game itself was interesting. My buddy and I both felt a little weird about the game. It felt weird to be watching it in person and not on TV. It also really felt like "just any other game" other than the fact that the leagues best were in every position. I said that would make sense to a large degree because its not like the NBA ASG where there is a lot of scoring and potential for showboating or the NFL game where there requires a lot of on field coordination. Baseball is one of those games you can show up with anyone and have a pretty good game.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM by jared Highlight this comment 26

Also, I am kicking myself for two MAJOR failures during the events. In case you didn't read my last few flickr posts...

The first is that I was trying to post an image to flickr and it didn't work right and in the process of correcting, I accidentally deleted my last 4 months worth of posts, which is like going on Facebook and deleting your last two or three years worth of posts. It's heartbreaking to lose all that interaction in such a dumb way.

The other is that I missed that rainbow pic. Yes me, the photog with the weather degree who had basically been waiting for that VERY MOMENT and that VERY SHOT and it just so happened to be at the All Star game... like trying to find the holy grail. I blew it. From my seat it didn't look that good but there were plenty of clues that should have told me otherwise and if I hadn't been swept up in the excitement, I wouldn't have needed the clues because I would have been in ready position at the right part of the ballpark waiting for it.

Sigh.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM by jared Highlight this comment 27

The Grounds Crew just posted and instagram photo of them re-sodding pretty much all foul territory due to the ASG wear and tear. Linky.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM by jared Highlight this comment 28

To the point about the blocked view in HPB, apparently a seat rep told my seat neighbor that they were considering a refund. I would be highly surprised if that were the case, but I might think a case could be made that MLB owes the buyer a "view may be obstructed" disclosure at point of sale.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:19 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 29

Interesting. I would be surprised too but I agree, the league has seen enough HR Derby events to know that this likely was going to be an issue for people that a disclosure would have been beneficial. Considering the number of people standing around us and the number of people around us complaining, I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the Twins office was getting a major earful.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM by jared Highlight this comment 30

That's a great flyover picture, Jared. It kills mine (though I'm still going to include mine in my next post anyway).

And I am also kicking myself for missing the rainbow photo opportunity, although for a very different reason: I was at my kid's soccer practice when it happened. The Home Run Derby is the only major event that I missed, and that was due to unavoidable schedule conflicts.

And for the next All-Star game that comes to Minneapolis, my kids are taking me!

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM by Rick 31

Jared, thanks for the tip. Yeah, I see what ya mean.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 32

Great shot, jared! Is that a stitched panorama, or did you use a fisheye?

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 33

Sorry if I rehash some stuff. I've been away forever and haven't taken the time yet to look back at older posts regarding All-Star Week. I will try to find the time soon.

We had standing room tickets for all three days. I was worried that it was going to add up to a less-than-ideal attempt at saving money, but it all worked out for us. Much better than I had originally hoped, actually. The fellow manning Gate 29 as we waited for it to open on Tuesday (yes, we were first in line on both Mon and Tues) said that 1,500-2,000 SRO tickets were sold, depending upon the day. We found superb standing spots with counters, but when we would occasionally turn around to take in some concourse people watching, the looks on those faces told us that no more than 10% of that number could have enjoyed a decent, comfortable view of the field while standing.

I love baseball, and Target Field is gorgeous, but it sometimes allows itself to fall well short of what it could really be. Yeah, it's a given that folks are going to enjoy themselves during something like this. I sure did. Some of it probably comes from folks convincing themselves that it's worth the princely sums that you hear they're spending, but a bunch of it probably comes from hometown leadership and media hyping their supposed recreation of Utopia.

Being there for three days of baseball was a terrific experience, but one thing really stuck out: it was incredibly maddening to see how much space inside the ballpark was given over to big media at the expense of the live experience for the average fan. You expect extra coverage from around the nation, of course, but the scales seemed tipped way too far in favor of TV. It was simply crazy to walk around and see at least a dozen areas given over to staging and equipment, media seating, extra seats for sponsors and VIPs, etc... areas which are usually superb spots for standing to catch some of the game while getting something to eat or -- at the very least -- allow for more elbow room as the crowd makes its way around the concourse. It was especially packed on the night of the HR Derby. Rainy conditions contributed, sure, but blocking off excessively large areas around your set all night so that no fans could possibly foul the background during your 30-minute pregame show? Really?? (Are you listening, MLB Network?)

With Buxton and Sano out, I wasn’t sure that Sunday’s Futures game would hold a lot of my interest, but the day was much more entertaining than I had expected. We were fortunate enough to sit during all of the day’s activity: Futures game from Section 108 and celebrity softball from Section 124; both times somewhere around Row 10-15 or so. Really looking forward to seeing Kennys Vargas come up. We need a first baseman who can hit like that from the left side. Trouble is, I hear him saying in a radio interview that the organization is telling him that he could come up sooner if he would lose 15 lbs and play outfield. What? Let Joe play RF. Then, there was the truck windshield in right that Joey Gallo smashed with a bomb during batting practice. Memories.

For the HR Derby, we camped out in LF, under the retired numbers. A little farther foul than we had hoped for, but still a nice spot with a counter and protected from those rains that came often. The major flaw: not being able to see the larger video board or the majority of the landings of HR balls... but really no biggie. Between the rain delay and long commercial timeouts, it got long. Very long. A good time, but by far the least entertaining night of the bunch. I suppose it plays out better on TV, where you can pick up on the clowning around between players near the plate. For us, it started to become more balls hit over the fence. Yawn.

On Tuesday, we took in a couple of hours of FanFest (pretty cool talking with Mudcat Grant for a long while, and my son-in-law now has a neat Roy Smalley story, but really just TwinsFest on steroids), then walked the parade route rather than wasting time standing behind 6-8 others for a partial view of a truck. It was much easier to just turn around for a look when the occasional player rode by, and it only took 40-45 minutes to get to TF while weaving through that mob. We got to the Plaza a little after 2:00 and the majority of folks there were parade-watching autograph-seeking non-ticket-holding fans. That was entertaining for a while, and when the players were done arriving, most of the crowd dispersed. Around 3:00 they pulled up the carpet and we walked up to our spot at the gate. I didn't think that it was supposed to be that easy, but here we are and who's to argue? So we were the first to arrive at the only counter space on the entire right side of the field that wasn't clogged up with media equipment or barricaded by VIP ropes: behind Section 105. Our only small blunder was taking the left side of the counter, just to the right of the 105/106 aisle, meaning there were times that we dealt with a bit of foot traffic in our field of view, but again no major problem. Thanks, Mike the Usher, for being such a strict ticket enforcer and a strong no-movement-during-an-at-bat traffic gate. (I swear one or two guys may still have chest bruises.) Precious.

I sure hope my kids can manage shepherding this old man through the new ballpark when the show comes back to Minnesota in another 25-30 years. But they better buy me a real seat.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 9:04 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 34

Thanks guys. This is definitely the fisheye. I am not entirely done stitching but even though Photoshop by far and a way does a phenomenal job, the best of any program I have seen, it still takes a LOT of work at times. Having that fisheye saves me a lot of time and effort and can still achieve that same output.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 9:09 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 35

Speaking of the tv media takeover and the need for a disclosure about obstructed view potential...

I noticed that only for the night of the home run derby there were extra tv camera wells/stands added for the broadcast. The ones that I mainly noticed were the ones behind home plate. It was pretty ridiculous and here is why:

Normally there is a camera well at the top of the 100 level sections on either base line of about even with the base. For All Star weekend there were camera wells added on each side that can shoot down the baseline, likely Fox cameras, (Think like: trying to determine if a ball is fair or foul). I am not sure if the original camera wells up the baseline were also used as I didn't pay attention to that but I imagine they used nearly all available locations.

What made this weird was that for the home run derby only they added camera wells within those same seating sections in front of the cameras that were already added to shoot down the lines. This blocked at least four, if not more, rows worth of people behind AND the cameras way the top of those sections. So there were definitely people there with obstructed views and I am wondering how many people bought strips for those specific seats that may have had to been relocated due to that camera being there for the one event.

Such is the nature of multiple networks broadcasting the many events. I noticed they were also using many of the outfield camera locations that don't normally get used either but didn't really pay attention to how much real estate they claimed or any issues for similar camera locations in the upper levels behind the plate.

I realize now too that my description is probably confusing. Would probably help if I drew a picture. I will make one upon request.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 9:49 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 36

I noticed that they moved half of the new trees back behind Minnie & Paul, and their space was taken by 3 or 4 different cameras in CF.

Another observation was how impressed I was with how quickly we got through the bag check/metal detectors. It didn't seem there were that many more people working the 29/34 gates, but it wasn't bad at all.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:02 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 37

Crowds at events like the ASG are just potential camera shots for the media. The networks and sponsors don't give a damn if the fans can see or not.

Huge kudos to the Twins for standing up to MLB and keeping CC and LC seats for their owners (and from what I heard most of the prime HPB and DB seats).

MLB owns EVERYTHING for the ASG and that includes the views.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:07 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 38

Just to be clear, I didn't really take note of the extra camera angle setups. My main beef was with the elaborate staging and sets for the talking heads to sit at. Like the ones on both sides of the Great Clips area. Gigantic structures with fancy sports desks for 2-3 guys to be seen for 30 minutes which blocked off some nice standing room for several dozens of fans, not to mention the breathing room it stole from the average concourse cruiser.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:09 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 39

It was certainly clear that, at least for big events like this one, the stadium is considered a TV studio by all but the paying attendees -- whose concerns are mostly irrelevant, and who essentially serve as a studio audience.

As I continued hitting refresh on Stubhub Tuesday afternoon, I seriously contemplated whether I actually wanted to go to the game rather than watch it on TV. I have no regrets about going, but the fact that I might even ask the question is a sad sign of what baseball -- and all professional sports, really -- has become: big money "reality" TV.

Currently, that money is keeping the monopolistic cable companies in business, which will certainly change over the next decade. But the effect on the experience of attending games is worthy of consideration. There's a fine line between an event which exists for its own purpose but is covered by the media, and an event which doesn't exist for any other purpose than the media needs. The NFL has given themselves over to the latter, but MLB has always shown some resistance -- events like the Home Run Derby being notable exceptions.

This is the kind of subject that it's a little hard to contemplate because of my great love of the game. To me, it's most definitely not just a TV show, but a communal expression of something akin to joy, which is why I was delighted to be able to be there in person, have that usher clutch my arm, and check out the TV coverage on DVR later (even though I only got the first seven innings).

If professional sports cease to be actual gatherings, they risk losing what makes them great in the first place (the XFL comes to mind). That would be a bitter pill, and all of the money which now aggregates around them -- and is doing so because of what they provide to society even without TV cameras present -- might move on to greener pastures.

That would be quite a day.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:30 PM by Rick 40

Almost every game I've been too at TF has been obstructed views. The overhang blocks high hits and video boards. And there's always people standing blocking views and entry/exit. Along with Garbage/Recycling cans blocking entry/exit. Ushers are getting pretty lax at keeping areas clear. Half the time the ushers themselves are blocking entry/exit areas while watching the game or chatting with other fans.

Most the good seats that mitigate these issues are unavailable. Can't get Dugout Box seats, can't get Legend Club seats, can't get Champion Club seats, can't get Home Plate Terrace seats. Can sometimes get Home Plate Box seats but these have to be the worse value tickets in the entire stadium. Which pretty much leaves corners and outfield as the only viable options.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 02:02 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 41

Dave - why do you consider HPB seats a bad value?

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 08:00 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 42

When do y'all think MN might have another shot at an ASG? 25 years? Selig is on his way out, maybe the new commish will have different ideas for handing them out.

Sounds like the reception was a good one from fans. One guy KMSP talked to said he's been to like 15 ASGs, and Minner polis was by far the best. People applauded the weather. And we do know how to do big events, and do them well.
Pittsburgh did host in 1994 and again in 2006. But, two different ballparks (well, Three Rivers wasn't a ballpark).

How fitting was it though, for Selig's last ASG as commissioner to be in Minneapolis? It may never have happened if things turned out differently in 2002.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 43

Since the Twins are in the AL, I can see them hosting again in as soon as 20 years but more than likely it will be another 25+ years ...MLB will continue the trend of awarding teams with new/renovated stadiums with future All Star Games.

Baltimore's Camden Yards is starting the cycle all over again as the likely host in 2016, having previously hosted in 1993.

You can bet cities like Arlington, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, and Seattle will follow. New Yankee stadium will more then certainly get a game in the next 10-12 years too I am sure.

Unless they get new stadiums, cities like Anaheim, Oakland, Toronto, Tampa/St Petersburg and Chicago will probably not get an All Star Game. Even though Anaheim and Chicago hosted recently (2010 and 2003) those venues have had numerous renovations and are aging facilities.

The NL is a whole different story with so many new ballparks not yet to have hosted...San Diego, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta (opening 2017), Chicago's Wrigley Field renovation coming up as well. After this list, I can see cities like Denver, St. Louis and San Francisco going for their second games in their ballparks, similar to Baltimore in the AL.

Given the Twins are in the AL and assuming MLB continues to alternate between leagues, it would not surprise me if they are hosting again in 20 years. However, it will probably be 24-28 years. Depends on the stadium situations in cities like Anaheim, Oakland, Tampa, and Toronto. Anaheim is in the early talks of a building a new stadium. Oakland and Tampa are each working on stadiums too. Chicago could be the next Atlanta and build a replacement to US Cellular in 10-20 years.

As of today, I would put these AL cities in front of Minneapolis. Baltimore, Arlington, Cleveland, Seattle, Houston, Detroit, New York, Anaheim (assuming new stadium eventually built) and Kansas City.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 44

Now that MLB doesn't have to beg teams to host the ASG, I suspect it'll pretty much be a rotation through the 30 cites with some preference given to those with new/upgraded stadiums.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 45

Good synopsis Mike. I feel pretty much the same, 20+ years. Just hopeful that it might be sooner. Of course, Oakland just signed a ten year extension at O.Co, and being it's not the greatest ballpark in the world, I can't see another ASG there anytime soon. Guess time will tell.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 46

Dave, thanks for the "seat poaching" link.

Sometimes when I go to the park, I sit in my assigned seat for the whole game. This is especially true when I take my kids.

But whenever I go by myself, I don't like to sit in the same spot for very long. In fact, I usually don't even want to sit down at all. On Tuesday night I didn't even make it to my assigned seat in section 334 until the 6th inning. And I only stayed until the end of the (entirely horrible) rendition of "God Bless America" at the 7th inning stretch.

The rest of the time I moved around, mixing SRO spots with seats on the aisle in a variety of places, not planning to stay anywhere for very long, and always ready to move at a moment's notice.

The reality for me is that poaching seats is often more trouble than it's worth. You have to pay attention to things which distract from watching the game. So I don't really do it in the way he describes. It's just that I like to get in as many different angles as possible in each ballpark. I've even added a section to my scorecard to indicate where I was in the park for each half inning.

So when I do it, I don't go for the prime seats (except when it's really easy). I stay close to the concourse, and pick spots where there are lots of empty seats -- like a whole row, which happens all the time, even in sold out games.

And one of the reasons Target Field is great is that you don't really ever need to fool an usher to get into a reasonable spot. There are easy ways to get to just about anywhere in the ballpark if you just pay attention. It's great to have a home ballpark where that is the case. It certainly wasn't back at the Metrodome...

And since the ushers at TF are so friendly, it just wouldn't feel right taking advantage of them. (Other parks, not so much...)

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:37 PM by Rick 47

The next ASG? This is not rocket science, and it's not like the Super Bowl (where only certain facilities are actually qualified).

There are 30 teams, and each one gets a chance to host the ASG if they want it. All of them do. (This wasn't always the case, but certainly is now.) With only one ASG per year, the math is pretty easy.

So it will be approximately 30 years before it's here again. Maybe a little longer if Target Field hasn't been replaced by then, or if the league expands, and maybe a little less if the vagaries of scheduling work in our favor (such as the required alternation between AL and NL parks -- which is a lot more clear now that each league has the same number of teams).

There was a time when there were two ASGs per year. That could happen again, I suppose. But it was pretty widely hated, so I don't think it's very likely to happen again. Maybe if they were doing a total reboot of the event...

So don't bother looking for it to come here again until sometime between '42 and '47.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM by Rick 48

Jfh, I should be a bit more clear. Not all HPB seats are a bad value. The top few rows in that section are a bad value. They are obstructed view seats from both a fly ball perspective and from a video board perspective. There are monitors you can watch, but those monitors do not always show what is on the main video board. Many times they just show advertising.

Also, you can pay say $80 for a top row seat behind home plate or you can buy the cheapest ticket available, say for $10, and stand right behind that same seat.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 5:37 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 49

What happened to "not a bad seat in the house"?

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 5:49 PM by ben Highlight this comment 50

As far as the ushers at TF, I agree, don't take advantage. I was at a game in June, my assigned seat was in 307. But I noticed 207 was totally empty. So, about halfway through the 3rd, I went down and asked the usher if I could move to the Terrace Level.
He said, jokingly, "only if you ask 'Tom, may I please move down?'"
Of course, I obliged.
And I got to sit in the Terrace Level for the first time.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 51

What happened to "not a bad seat in the house"?

The seats up under the LC overhang have always been a problem. If I recall, in a past post Rick even had some disparaging words for them.

These seats really should have a discounted price compared to the other non-obstructed HPB seats.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 7:57 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 52

The ASG is gone, but the MN cutout is still on the grass, via a FB photo from a friend. It looks nice. Maybe, eventually, he will get the TC logo carved into the MN cutout??

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 9:05 PM by luke Highlight this comment 53

Dave - thanks for the clarification. I agree 100%

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 01:36 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 54

Soooooo, what are the odds that an animated .gif will work on this page?


Otherwise, click gere I uploaded two sizes. Above is 320x480, linked is 480x720.

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 55

YES! It works!

Sorry if it kills the page load Rick.

**Sidenote: Apparently my typing is horrid tonight. Click "gere", wow.

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 10:09 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 56

Jared, that looks %&$*ing awesome.
Puts my photos to shame.

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM by luke Highlight this comment 57

It is disconcerting to see how many hitters in the Twins' lineup have batting averages that start with the digit one.

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM by terry Highlight this comment 58

Has anyone received any calls yet from the Twins to sign up for season tickets to secure 2044 All Star Game priority???

All kidding aside, with the 2014 All Star Game now in the rear view mirror and the new ballpark novelty clearly wearing off, it will be interesting to see how many STH's renew for 2015 with another losing season on the horizon. The numbers have declined over recent years with most STH's renewing for the sole purpose of the All Star Game.

I know a group of 4 people dropping their Legend's Club tickets after this season. Another friend of mine is dropping his 40 games/two seats in the field box.

I just know the Twins usually send out renewals in August so they can get that deposit money in the doors. The ticketing sales staff and marketing departments have some tough work ahead in the next six months.

2010 seems so long ago...

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 59

I will be dropping my second pair of seats in favor of keeping only a pair of seats in LC. There is just no need to keep season tickets for financial reasons anymore.

I keep my LC seats because I am addicted to the location, and hate to give it up, as well as having the "forced vacation" of having tickets to a bunch of games. I am guessin gI am in the minority, and agree that it will be an ugly year for renewals.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 60

The Twins have, for at least the last few years, relied on marketing hype and spin, rather than quality baseball, to sell tickets. It would be nice to be buying baseball rather than stadium and utter BS but that seems to be all they know how to do.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM by ben Highlight this comment 61

Mike, for certain, all selling points are gone. Anyone who has wanted to partake in the novelty of TF has partaken by now. And no more All Star priority. The guy I have relied on for tickets since TF opened is giving up his 10-pack at the end of this season. Of course, I now expect tickets to be available in more than adequate supply for the forseeable future. I wonder if they'll turn the Grandstand and/or Powerball Pavillion seats into GA, just to get people in the door. Years ago, the Braves had two sections they sold, day of game, for $1 apiece.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 62

*giving up his 20-game package, rather. Not 10.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 63

I like the general admission idea. I would make sections 333-334 out in LF general admission. Those seats are overrated and overpriced because you are ALWAYS in the sun and it gets very hot out there regardless of whether or not you like the sun. Even the evening games you get the sun directly in your eyes. And if you ever noticed, sections 333 and 334 are usually rather empty.

Ironically, it was due to fan demand that the Twins added more seating in left field. They originally had plans for a Met Stadium-like double deck in LF.

I also think they need to re-introduce some type of "flex plans", mini plans (5 or 10 games) or even introduce some type of weekend plan.

The Twins need to be realistic and realize they are not worthy of charging "premium" and "elite" prices for some of these games. Eliminate one or two of those price tiers and get it back to 3 or 4. With the exception of Opening Day and Memorial Day/Labor Day, no games should be considered "premium" or "elite" during the months of April, May and September.

They talk about flex-pricing but yet the prices don't seem to fall when the team struggles. Yesterday's game was considered a "premium" game, seriously? I know its a Sunday in July, but your team stinks and your opponent (Tampa) is not very popular. Yesterday's attendance proved that exact point...announced at 26,821.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 64

I like the Flex Plan idea. I don't know how long it lasted, but back in the Dome days, I took advantage of a deal the Twins had: buy four games in the same seating area, get the fifth free. Obviously that was by no means considered a season ticket package, but a nice idea. If I recall, I bought Lower GA (before they turned that section into reserved seating).
I believe the Wild are now offering five game packs on a more general level. For a while, they were exclusively marketed to those in line for further season tickets. We will have to see what the Twins come up with for next season.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM by luke Highlight this comment 65

Sadly, I think this fall is going to be a bloodbath when it comes to renewal. I agree that the last few years have been hype over substance. I've said it before, but the Twins squandered the goodwill of the new ballpark effect faster than any team in recent history and they are going to have to get creative. They have already lost the jump ons from 2008, 2009, 2010; probably lost a lot of FSE STHs to partial plans and are probably beginning to lose some long term STHs. I spoke to a number of folks that are either going to downgrade from DB or HPB plans by moving to cheaper seats. That isn't good.

The Twins need to:
- drop STH prices next year (they won't)
- have a far better ticket exchange program
- provide incentives to existing STHs (like concession credits, not just % discounts)
- bring back the FlexPlan
- drop tiered pricing. (It just doesn't work for loosing teams)
- do something unique like offer a guarantee - get some % of your season ticket cost back as a rebate depending on the team's record.

I'm not holding my breath that we will see any of those implemented.

As long as my ST partners want to renew, I will. But if people want to drop out, I'm far more likely to drop seats rather than work to find new partners.

I'll almost certainly go to fewer games myself next year. As hard as it is to watch the Twins play poorly, it stings even more when you fly in and rent a hotel room to watch them play poorly. :(

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 66

Another factor against the Twins is the Vikings' new stadium. I'm going to drop my season tickets to the Twins in order to help finance my SBL in the new stadium.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 67

the Twins squandered the goodwill of the new ballpark effect faster than any team in recent history

I disagree with this. I think they hardly top that list. Miami Marlins being Peoples Exhibit A. They can't pay people enough to go to a ballgame down there.

Sure you could argue baseball there is a tough draw but it doesn't matter. They sold the city on a new ballpark and sellout crowds and all the same hype, smoke and mirrors as any other team. They have had what 1 sellout? (exaggeration of course) They had the worst inaugural season attendance for any stadium that has opened since 2001 and haven't done much better since. How's that for new stadium goodwill? Although one could argue that it's hard to squander goodwill when really, there probably wasn't really any for that new marlin's ballpark in the first place.

I would also argue that the Mets have to be at least on the same level, if not worse. What they have going for them is a giant city with plenty of dedicated Mets fans, a la Twins fans (well maybe up till this point).

The Nationals were pretty close as well. How they managed for two sub-60 win seasons (one being the inaugural season) and then followed by on a sub-70 win season is beyond me. Apparently they can thank Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. I suppose a Werth and a pair of Zimmermans helped bail them out too.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 09:21 AM by jared Highlight this comment 68

I don't count the Marlins. Their fans did not want nor support the new stadium and were never excited about the team's future.

I'll give you the Nats, but at least they righted the ship and worked to get a good team on the field. I don't really know enough about what happened to the Mets, but suspect their problems were more a result of the Madoff link.

The a Twins signed Mauer to the albatross, no-win contract, picked Willingham over Cuddy and did nothing but rely on the draw of Target Field and the ASG while the team had 3 (and now 4) wasted years on the field with no turnaround in sight (unlike Washington)

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 69

and Target Field is much nicer than the stadiums in DC, Florida and NY, which makes it even worse.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 70

Arguing over which of two or three professional baseball teams is the most inept is damning enough.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM by ben Highlight this comment 71

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Festing

July 13, 2014 1:38 AM

There were times, in the past week, when I started to get the feeling that the Convention Center would be a very empty place this weekend. Simply put, it seemed like everyone wanted to give away their Fanfest tickets.

Continue reading this article


Starshine MPLS

July 12, 2014 1:46 AM

On September 10, 2008, the Twins called the media (including yours truly) to the roof of Target Center to announce their pipe dream of starshine at their nearby, gradually-materializing new home.

It was a very cheery event, with tons of back-slapping and gleams in the eyes of politicians and other notables. There were hot dogs and Cracker Jack, bats and balls festooned with prototype All-Star logos, and lots of posing after the requisite speech-making. In the near distance cranes soared and silently twirled, and orange safety fencing adorned construction edges which would one day be actual places.

Continue reading this article


Anything Is Possible

March 31, 2014 1:46 PM

It is rainy in the Twins Cities today. The sky is as grey as it gets, and the chances of actual sunshine are around zero percent. There is more cold, and more snow, in the forecast.

My yard is still partially covered with snow, the top of which now sports a crust thick enough that my kids can walk across it without leaving footprints or, thankfully, getting their socks and shoes wet. The remaining cover is thickest out in the middle of the yard, about where home plate generally gets placed, right in front of the garden bed that my mom will fill with hostas in a few weeks. Those plants will be mined over and over all summer long for balls which got by someone's bat, but my mom doesn't seem to care. She's a fan.

Continue reading this article


New-Look TwinsFest 2014

January 29, 2014 12:03 AM

Reports in the media have been generally favorable toward this year's TwinsFest reboot. I didn't get to go, but here are some highlights as reported by BPMers who did.

First, from CSG Mike:

The crowds were not bad on Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm, considering it was "sold out." I think they probably limited it to the right number of tickets. I would compare it to a full game scenario in the LC. Make sense? Overall the spaces seemed rather disjointed. Unlike previous TF where it was all held in one giant space... They used the Suite level, LC, and service level (-2)...

Continue reading this article


Earlier Articles




"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."

– Bernie Williams

Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


The Ceremony (VIP in the crowd)






An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)






Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)






With the engine behind us, we got a real sense of how fast we were going by looking out the front (back) window



Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?



If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.












This view, through a B ramp window, won't last forever.









A great view from the balcony outside the Metropolitan Club



Photo by Tyler Wycoff



Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)






A flurry of action in front of the dugout before the game (Photo by Jeff Ewer)






Impractical, expensive, undeniably cool (Angel Stadium, source LP)






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



10 years ago, Bruce Lambrecht looked at this land and thought, "Why NOT a ballpark here?" It took a long time before anybody else saw the same potential.



Now from the inside looking at the same area.



Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony



Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...












Click to see the full-size image.






A very busy place, as viewed from Target Center.






This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.






Just up the foul line, it looks like the base of the wall in foul territory on the right side.



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



No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...



Click to enlarge.



A mural featuring the names of a bunch of Minnesota towns.






This will be a great sight on game nights.






Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)






This was on BPM night. Nice neon, but I'm still waiting to see the homer show.






Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.


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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