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Friday, April 13, 2007

The New Ballpark, Behold

And she says, you are not alone
Laying in the light
Put out the fire in your head
And lay with me tonight

The artist renditions came out for the new Twins ballpark were released today.

My first reaction: hmmm cool

It isn’t anything eye popping nor is there anything that I see and go “ugh…good god!” because if anyone had a radar for anything terrible, it would be me. As one who’s studied and loves ballparks I would be the first to light my torch and wait outside the architect’s house if, say, the new ballpark didn’t have open concourses.


Because I probably would. *cringes at the thought of closed concourses*

Here’s the link to the renditions and follow along as I critique this here ballpark.

General overview: There’s nothing real unique about this ballpark. I don’t mean that as a negative but in this day and age you see parks with stupid things like swimming pools, elevated warning tracks, flag poles in play, and ginourmous gloves in left field. All of which is fine but it almost seems like it’s trying way too hard. This ballpark takes advantage of the skyline and protects most of the fans from the elements (sun, SE winds, and rain). It’s respectable and something to be proud of in my opinion.

Things I go “meh” at.

-in centerfield there’s a restaurant or group seating. It reminds me of a 50’s style observation deck and it seams to me they could’ve styled it in another way.

-The lights attached to a soffit like structure that surrounds the foul territory. It bothers me for some reason and it reminds me of Dodger Stadium with how it looks. Looking at it from above, it kind of resembles the dome (maybe that’s supposed to look like that?) Overall I do think I’m being nitpicky about this.

-The pine trees that line the batter’s sightlines in straightaway center seems very Coors like. I suppose it’s better than a green/black wall but I just really, really wanted a red maple in there somewhere. Maybe they could throw a maple behind two of the pine trees on the side. I suppose there is hope for red maples and oaks lining the plaza outside or surrounding the streets though.

-The limestone block outside the ballpark seems to be too “uniform”. I wish/hope the limestone is more rough to resemble the limestone cliffs alongside the Mississippi River

And that’s about it for the stuff I kinda frown at.

-I’m wondering why they don’t have lights in right field. All the drawings never show any sort of lights there.

On to the stuff I really like.

-The angle of the lower deck looks to be about 30 degrees compared to the metrodome’s 45 degree lower (and upper) deck.

-I was ecstatic to see all the outfield seating. The early renderings didn’t show that much outfield seating and I was hoping that would change. It looks like the left field seats (resembling bits of Met stadium and the dome) are going to be the cheap seats--cheap seats with a wonderful view of the Minneapolis skyline.

-I nearly stood up and pumped my fist when I saw they had standing room overlooking the field in right field. I love standing room because there’s nothing better than leaning against the fence and looking down at the field while eating a dog. It’s also makes for good bs’ing with other people as it gives the feel like you’re standing in someone’s backyard and paying attention to the game at the same time. Also the skyline is behind you and I can only imagine the perfect first dates because of how awesome that area is.

It’s open, it’s great lounging, and it automatically equals good times.

-I’m also a big fan of the big walkout from the main concourse (7th street entry view picture). I think this is going to be a lovely sight as well. This is also right next to that bitchin’ standing room area.

-I love how it features “green building” techniques and materials. It’s supposed to be MLB’s most environmentally friendly, sustainable, and energy efficient ballparks around. They plan on using limestone from a Mankato quarry and using local construction companies. I didn’t think green building would be necessarily involved but I’m really excited that they’re using these principles. Also the light rail will be extended to behind left field so a bunch of people can easily avoid traffic and high parking cost by using public transportation.

- I heard through the grapevine that they are thinking about adding a water feature to the outfield area. I think this would be a great add.

-The concourses (I know, I can’t get enough of concourses) will be 40’ wide. Metrodome’s concourse are about half that right now. Therefore that guy that just stops suddenly in the middle of all those people can easily be dodged.

-There doesn’t seem to be any resemblance to a giant jug of milk anywhere.


EverydaySuperGoddess said...

Sadly, it seems the giant milk jug already is no more. It's been absent during both of the games I've been to this month.

The Steph said...

And it was milk-jugless last night, too! Wahoo! Although someone tried to tell me that it wasn't there last year either...but I know he is wrong.

I, too, am a big fan of concourses wide enough to avoid annoying people that can't walk in a walkway.

I'm also a big fan of a retractable roof in MN. OR...AT LEAST a roof-ready stadium.

Boof said...

No roofs. None. not one even inkling of a roof because it would only be open during the "pristine" days. I'd be willing to bet that when it's 50 degrees, clear, and sunny any sort of roof would be closed because it's "too cold".

We don't need that.

Tom said...

Imagine this scene behind center field, where the trees are going to be, it is a waterfall scene.
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