New Ballpark Perspective



Over at David Brauer has an enlightening slideshow demonstrating some of the features of the new Twins ballpark. What is really interesting is a comparison of the seats in the Metrodome v. seats in the new ballpark. Here's the link.

Of course there are features we all know about and have seen in newer ballparks such as open concourses, more restrooms, seats that actually face the field, and a gigantic color scoreboard. What’s more, from these slides you can see that the lower bowl seats will be much lower than the lower deck of the Metrodome. However, because of the club seats and suites, the last rows of the upper deck will actually be slightly higher. (Which plays right into the concerns Spycake brought up last week with this post). Less rows, however, so easier to get to the rest rooms or the concourses. Interesting note: The “tiara? of lights that will surround the ballpark is actually higher than the roof of the dome!

Anyway, I am excited and can’t believe that in two years from now we will be literally weeks away from the first outdoor Twins game in a generation. The ballpark looks like it will be gorgeous. Also, even thought it was frustrating waiting so long, I think the wait has ensured that we are getting a ballpark that is baseball focused. In the early part of this decade there were a number of new ballparks that opened that didn’t put baseball first. Instead the teams felt like they had to add other features or artificial quirks to their ballparks. I’m thinking of the amusement park in Detroit and the “hill? in Houston. Fortunately the pendulum has swung the other way for the Twins. No forced and artificial “retro? look. No quirky features meant to evoke the Green Monster or Ivy-strewn fences, no artificial or retractable roofs hulking over the site. Just a clean, simple design, with modern features; place to soak in the sun, sit back, and watch a baseball game.

What do you think of the design?


They really emphasize the shorter rows and more legroom. Indeed, the Twins' stadium drive was founded on overwhelming public concern about leg discomfort and long bathroom trips!

Interesting to see the confirmation that the "cheap seats" have indeed been eliminated. Our closest link to the roots of baseball attendance, the minimally-priced general admission ticket, will have vanished completely from the major leagues. We're making history!

I guess the design is inoffensive as far as modern stadiums are concerned, but I personally won't enjoy the increased social stratification (extra barriers and dividers abound, even within decks and sections). At best the whole thing seems unnecessary and superfluous to my enjoyment of sporting events, but who knows -- maybe someday I'll cherish fond memories of the wide concourse and quick trips to the bathroom.

I'll bet the taller Twins fans like Shane will appreciate not having to worry about scheduling a visit to the chiropractor after attending a game. :-)

I think it's also worth noting that even with the higher prices, I'm pretty sure Twins tickets still work out to be the most affordable among the Minnesota sports franchises, though if the Timberwolves' attendance struggles continue, that could change.

And don't forget about those knotholes! Who else has those?

If a stadium is built in an abandoned warehouse district and nobody sees it, is it really there?

I think it's also worth noting that even with the higher prices, I'm pretty sure Twins tickets still work out to be the most affordable among the Minnesota sports franchises

Ah, the lesser of two evils view?

Don't get me wrong -- the longer schedule and daily games is one of my favorite things about baseball. It still has nothing to do with building a new ballpark that squeezes/prices out fans, though.

Actually that would be lesser of four evils, which I think is more impressive than just two evils. :-)

I guess the way I look at it is the Twins are really in a no-win situation in some respects. If they keep prices down, they can't afford to keep or sign top players and fans will bitch. If they raise prices, fans will also bitch even when those revenues get used to keep or sign top players.

Granted, there's the argument that Billionaire Carl could fund the team's payroll from his own personal wealth, but show me what other business operates on that model? Not even the Yankees do that.

I'd say MLB needs a salary cap, but given that the other three major sports leagues have them and the local franchises still have higher ticket prices than the Twins, I'm not sure that even that would make a difference.

Did you guys forget you live in Minnesota? We might have a "hulking retractable roof" in Milwaukee, but we haven't had a game rained out at home in almost a decade. We've hosted teams like Cleveland who's games would have been canceled due to a blizzard, and I haven't left a Brewer game with frostbite since the time of Milwaukee County Stadium. Regardless, best of luck with the new stadium. Here's to a Brewers/Twins World Series.

Hey Dan, thanks for stopping by. Data has shown that the Twins are in for 2-3 rainouts at most per year. Is that worth $125M for a roof and an ugly design. I don't think so.

Also the problem with retractible roofs is that teams feel that they have to use them. I've been at Miller Park with the temps in the upper 50's and the roof is closed! Too many times teams close the roof in anticipation of poor weather.

I agree a Twins-Brewers world series would be super super cool.

Also look at that image again, it's two years old and looks almost exactly like the real thing. 4 weeks from today!!!!!

It is a magnificent looking stadium and so far from what I've seen on TV, it's going to be one of the most beautiful ballparks in Major League Baseball.

The only problem is, that it is in Minnesota and it's outdoors, which means any post season play that is to take place there, will mean it will be down right freezing. But, Knowing people in Minnesota, that won't bother them a bit.

Love the Stadium!

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Yeah, what Dave said.

Oh, and how the chain of command that stuck them into this stupid position? Going to let them off scott free, hmmmmm?

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