There is an article at MinnPost about further issues swirling around development rights and the new Twins ballpark. Now it’s obvious from the article (link) that the reporter didn’t speak to anyone representing the Twins and the reporter, G.R. Anderson, while generally pretty good, will favor one side over another in his stories. Given that, the article does not bode well for having the new Twins ballpark surrounded by new development.
Essentially the article states that the Twins don’t want any building obscuring the view of the Ford Center (owned by the Pohlads) or have any building allowing views into the new ballpark. If true, I think the Twins are being shortsighted. Besides being a lousy place to watch a baseball game, the Metrodome was a big disappointment in creating development around it. Part of that was driven by the Sports Facility Commission in not wanting any competition for its high price beer and hotdogs.
What will really make the new Twins ballpark a special place is if new development happens in and around the ballpark. This includes bar and restaurants, shops, transportation and housing. Give people a reason to come early and stay late, even if they don’t have a Twins ticket. Right now all we know is that the ballpark will be a multi-modal transportation hub.
The Twins should be encouraging development around it’s ballpark, not trying to minimize it. If a building, especially residential, offers views of the ballpark, who cares. It adds to the excitement, the liveliness, the overall vibrancy of the ballpark. Wrigleyville in Chicago is always given as a great example. Of course Wrigleyville has developed over 80 plus years. The LoDo area around the Rockies ballpark is a better example. The Rockies ballpark revitalized a tired warehouse area in Denver. There’s no reason why the Twins ballpark can’t do the same. Now if we can just convince the Pohlads…