Baseball people, your life as a baseball fan is about to get a WHOLE lot better. I stayed away from Twins games in the Dome for many years-- I hated so many things about the Metrodome.
Saturday, with a 40 game season ticket in hand, I went to the Open House at Target Field to see what all the fuss was about.
Gate 34. I said to myself, "Huh? Do they really have 34 Gates?" Here are the Gate Numbers: 34, 14, 6, 3, 29. I like their style.
I will reserve final judgments for once the games start, but, for now, I can say with authority: this stadium is a baseball man's dream. So happy I survived the plague of indoor baseball... all.... those.... years.
Here's the view from my seats down the RF line.
Camera doesn't do this justice (even if it's a Leica). You feel like you are right ontop of the field. You will have a very clean look at the ball as it elevates off the bat or is thrown. Seats all angle in toward the field. This is not a football stadium.
In fact, I think that's the Old Met Stadium flagpole. Twenty-eight years later, she once again stands proud over America's greatest past time. There is a baseball God out there somewhere....
BTW, that's not snow, even if it's March 20 (first day of Spring!). I think that's a shade cloth product that keeps the grass warm at night. Trust me, the grass will be green come April.
There are a lot of nice touches. The image of the "Twins" shaking hands across the river--that's my favorite because it explains the origin of the Twins' name--lost on a lot of people.
Up high down the LF line, near the Budweiser Deck. What they've done is to create a lot of signature spots around the stadium, where people will have unique experiences--and a great view of the field action.
And, a few postcard moments if you look around a little.
Kids. It's always about the children. I remember Metropolitan Stadium very fondly. BTW, that element in the background is brilliant. It shimmers and oscillates in the wind, like waves. Wait until you see it. I'm sure it will be lit at night. They took a parking garage wall and made it into a work of art.
These guys will need to get a whole lot better, IMHO. And, let's face it: in an outdoor stadium, there will be days when games are rained out. But, that is not a bad thing. AT ALL. Our culture is under the mistaken impression that it should be able to control everything. Thank God that, in baseball, some days you just stay home and wait for the sun to come out. As it should be. Life is long, what's the rush?
Speaking of control, these are infrared heaters. For days when you can see your breath, like, hopefully, late in October this year. Seriously though, from the walkways and concession areas, you can look right down on the field. It's brilliant. Getting a beer has never been this cool. EVER.
ADA accessible. There will come a day when I'm damn happy they thought of everyone in our community.
Well, almost everyone. Why are the Cops always just kind a hanging out.... by the food stand? Couldn't they at least find a homeless person, or a guy smoking some grass to deal with? C'mon guys, do something to make me feel more secure!
The lighting is really slick. I don't think too many balls are going to go lost. It looks like they had NASA design these.
The only downside I could see is that the area around Target Field is very tight. VERY TIGHT. Not sure how that many fans are going to easily move around on the walkways and streets. And then...
There's the Hennepin County Garbage Burner just west of the stadium, reminding us what our society is all about: waste and pollution is our principal legacy. I'm actually happy that we have our noses rubbed in it.
The Transit hubs are excellent: busses galore, LRT trains lined up, the Northstar Commuter link is doing like 50 games. And, you can bike to the game on Cedar Lake Trail, which is what I am most hoping to do.
Once when I was 15 years old, I biked to Met Stadium from my sister's house in South Minneapolis. All by myself. I bought a ticket and had the time of my life. Getting home on Park Avenue was not much fun, in the dark, without a light, but I lived to tell about it. Now we have bike trails. By 2011, the bike link to River Road will be in place.
I came away from this experience very emotional, very touched by the beauty of this place. For once, we have built something commensurate with our community's sense of values, history and ability to play. Like a museum, a ballpark becomes a living narrative of all that is good, disturbing, life-enhancing and real about this place and this era of human history.
Time to sit back and drink it in. Let the good times roll.