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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What to Expect and Assume

Crying 'cause it's not my fault
Water through my lashes look just like Christmas lights
And I still remember, remember

So now that we got the financing for the stadium there are some things that we know or can assume for the new stadium.

For one all those drawings (and the one that I stole and put it up earlier this week) will not be what the stadium looks like in 2010. Actually it’s just an idea or a concept of what to expect because the architects haven’t been bid yet nor have the plans associated with each architect firm been presented.

What will probably happen is that HOK gets the bid for the stadium. HOK is pretty much “the” architect firm for sporting venues. They’re responsible for nearly all of the recent ballparks that just opened including AT&T Park, Great American Ballpark, and the beautiful Petco Park. They’re even responsible for the Xcel Energy Center so it’s pretty safe to say that the design is in good hands.

As is the norm for most ballparks, the field will probably face NE. With this positioning the ballpark makes the most out of the prevailing summer winds from the southeast which helps baseballs reach the seats. It’s also standard because the sun is avoidable to everyone except the worthless right fielder and the white collar fans that sit in right field (the peasants). More importantly, beyond right field will be the beautiful Minneapolis skyline. With the sun setting and the last few rays of sun hitting the IDS Building, it should be a wonderful view as a game heads into the bottom of the 5th.

Also, there will not be a roof. For years I have actually thought that a roof would be necessary because it does snow in April. In fact April has just about the worst weather around because Mother Nature teases the crap out of us in April. One week can be glorious and 70 degrees while the next is 40 degrees and bone chilling rain. After my experience in Miller Park in 2003 when the kept the roof closed during a beautiful 80 degree day, I’ve always frowned at the thought of a retractable roof. Apparently they closed it because there was a thunderstorm warning… yeah, they were being extra cautious.

With a retractable roof it would be like taking a 3 hour drive in a big 42,000 seat bus with old school country blaring through the speakers. Some would like it, others would not stand it, some would get offended, and some just wouldn’t care. People would bitch and moan for the music to be turned off and the whining and crying would be unbearable. This is basically what would happen every April/September day. It makes me cringe to think that a retractable roof would only be open during the absolute pristine days, closed if it’s too hot, and closed if the temperature gets down to *shudders* 50 degrees. (Tangent: I actually heard someone whine about how awful it would be to watch baseball in 50 degree weather. Listen to yourself! I remember at least a half dozen times where the wind chill was 40 below and here we are whining about 50 degrees? 50 degrees is almost shorts weather in March! 50 degrees is almost too hot for running! We live in Minnesota where people go fishing in the dead of winter, where the hunting and fishing openers are pretty much holidays, and all the lakes which, I believe, are all being used outdoors. So please, if 50 degrees is too cold, then dont wear a skirt to the ballpark.)

42,000 seats will be included to keep demand up. This is so the Twins can have another good excuse to jack up ticket prices by making things “more intimate” which will be true. One thing about these seats is that there will not be any obstructed views amongst these seats. Metrodome, conversely, has 1300 obstructed view seats for baseball and nearly all are in the upper deck in CF.

Stuff that I would like to see in the new park…
-I think the CF fence should be at 8ft so it gives the CF’s a good chance to rob homers. If there’s anything that we’re used to it’s home run robbing catches. I also think the same number structuring for fence measurements (I'm talking about the 408' sign) from the Metrodome should be used (at least in center) as a tribute to the Metrodome (hey, it’s got its’ place in Minnesota baseball history.
-A tall flagpole in Center. I mean tall! This is a bit of a tribute to the old Metropolitan Stadium where a similar flagpole stood. I’ve never had the chance to catch a game there but it seems to be something somewhat unique about the old met.
-I would like a river or something resembling a river and a St. Paul type of a feel on one side of this “river” and a Minneapolis side because, after all, they are the Twins for the Twin Cities.

-I would also like a dirt track that connects the pitcher’s mound to home plate. When the Twins were the Washington Senators, they played 58 years in Griffith stadium which also had a dirt track and it only seems right to pay homage toward the old stadium. Comerica Park and Whatever They Call It Now in Phoenix both have this classic track. I think it's cool!

I am a little worried because the Twins organization has what I call “promotional retardation” since I‘ve been following them. Not so much now but I remember in the 90’s it was just way too Webster-ish with the really corny giveaways and promotions. I remember the time they wanted to set the record for “most people performing the Macarena at one time”…as if that’s something to be proud of. Lately the Twins haven’t been too bad with the bronze statues and dollar dogs they’ve been giving out, but they’ve had their share of dumb ass things.

For one, if they bring an oversized milk carton in this new ballpark, I will do whatever I can in my power to destroy said giant milk carton. Also, whoever came up with the idea of TC the Bear needs to be thrown in Polar Bear pen in the Como Zoo. What a bear has to do with “Twins” is beyond me, but it doesn’t make a lick of sense and I’d rather have a couple hot ass women who happen to look alike as mascots instead of a confusing smiley faced bear.

Those are just a few of the ideas I have and lets just say, I’ve got about 3 different designs for a ballpark written in a notebook. I’ve even gone as far as looking up the characteristics of certain building materials. Yeah it’s kind of “Se7en”ish-weird but I love ballparks and I’m on cloud nine knowing that the Twins will have their own park.

2010 just can’t come quick enough.


The Steph said...

A retractable roof can be a WONDERFUL thing...if used properly. Take a road trip to Houston and see what they did there - it's amazing. And they use it properly (when they are allowed to decide on their own when to open and close it...thank you, MLB).

Barry Metropolis said...

I was at the Friday and Saturday games in Milwaukee and was super pissed that the roof was closed. They closed it on Friday because it was "chilly" (65 degrees). Like you, it made me very happy we weren't getting a roof. Miller Park is hard to distinguish from an indoor stadium anyway.