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May 20, 2009

Ballpark tour

Today, thanks to the generosity of Dan Kenney (Executive Director of the Ballpark Authority), I was able to partake in a tour of Target Field, the future home the Minnesota Twins. This tour was a really special moment for me. I'm not going to lie, I was overwhelmed at a couple of points in the tour just looking out over the ballpark and seeing a whole bunch of hard work come to fruition. It will be a beautiful place to watch a ballgame, no doubt about it.

Along with Freealonzo, Cheesehead Craig, Jeff Thompson, Ryan Maus, and Rick Prescott we started our tour around 4:45. We didn't finish until around 6:15. So, we saw a fair amount of the ballpark. Needless to say, I could have stayed longer. Here are a few impressions. Before I begin, though, I am not a ballpark design expert. I don't know the lingo, and I'll probably get a few of the details wrong. Rick will blow this description out of the water, which is OK. This is just another viewpoint:

As you can probably tell, I don't have any pictures to help illustrate what I am describing above. This is definitely a bummer. The Twins want to heavily control how information is released concerning their new palace. I must admit I don't understand this thinking, especially considering how many pictures of TCF Bank Stadium are out there. Maybe they will loosen this restriction once the ballpark gets closer to completion, or is complete (Dan said maybe sometime in December). We can only hope. I mean, it will help sell tickets for people to see this beautiful place inside and out, don't you think?

Anyway, I'd like to thank Dan Kenney for his gracious offer of a tour. Dan, from the bottom of my heart thank you for letting me see this place. It was awesome. Maybe on the next tour we can see the Twins clubhouse, dugout, and locker room? Also, thanks to Freealonzo, Jeff Thompson, Cheesehead Craig, Ryan Maus, and Rick Prescott for being great tour mates. All of your great questions and observations made the tour that much more enjoyable. And nice to finally meet you Rick! Nice work on that site you got there!

So, that is my description of touring Target Field. I started working on getting that crazy ballpark built in 2003. To actually set foot inside of it, to see it in a tangible fashion and be able to truly visualize how much fun it will be to watch a game being played there ... wow. It was very gratifying and overwhelming. I could have sat and looked out over the field all night long.

2010 can't come quick enough! Thanks again Dan! Let's do that again some time!

PS -- Kevin! Yes! I have my season tickets to TCF Bank stadium already purchased. I will be in section 215. Let's try to meet up!

UPDATE -- Freealonzo has some thoughts up as does Jeff Thompson. Be sure to check those out, too!

Posted by snackeru at May 20, 2009 10:45 PM

Comments

Wow! It sounds great. I can't wait to see outdoor baseball in Minnesota. What a novel concept.

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at May 21, 2009 9:25 AM

Shane, U B da man for getting that tour and thanks for inviting me. Nice write up too. Snyder, when your are up to pick our season tix, we should talk. Jeff, Shane, and I have a better idea of where the good seats will be.

Posted by: Freealonzo at May 21, 2009 10:19 AM

T. Denny Sanford comes through with $6M and the U has wrapped up its TCF Bank Stadium Fundraising!!

http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/45662987.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUsX

Posted by: Freealonzo at May 21, 2009 1:41 PM

You know what's odd, Shane? The whole time we were on that tour, I didn't realize that was Rick from Ballpark 2010! Now I know!

Jeff T.

Posted by: Jett T. at May 21, 2009 5:48 PM

Great description, hope I can get to see a game sometime! Glad I kept your blog in my RSS reader :).

Posted by: Tim M at May 21, 2009 7:05 PM

Thanks everyone! Every once in a while I write something decent, I guess. Nice to hear from you again Tim!

Posted by: Shane at May 22, 2009 8:11 AM

I can't think of a more appropriate person to go on that tour. Your site did so much towards getting that stadium bill approved in the first place. I linked over from Rick's site. Sorry to say, I haven't been here for a while. Nice work, I'm glad you got to check it out.

Posted by: jlocos at May 23, 2009 11:09 PM

Thanks for the kind words jlocos. And don't feel bad for not checking this site out for a while. There hasn't been anything to see for a while!

Posted by: Shane at May 26, 2009 9:31 AM

I'm assuming there won't be much foul territory if it's that compact?

Posted by: Bruce at May 29, 2009 9:14 PM

Will everyone be close enough to the action and to each other that the huddling together for collective warmth will sustain us through all those late-October World Series night games in our future?

One can hope - about both of those things.

Posted by: ofergopher at June 4, 2009 5:07 PM

Hi Shane. I have read numerous comments of you playing a major role in the stadium bill, so first off Thanks a million!! Secondly, I was wondering how much leverage or pull you have in talking with the Twins organization about changing their no photo policy and having them work with certain ballpark blogs in documenting the remainder of the construction of Target Field. Thanks!

Posted by: trigger at June 13, 2009 7:04 PM

Thanks for the comment Trigger. Unfortunately my part in the stadium effort dealt almost exclusively with politicians, namely convincing them (as best I could) to vote for the stadium bill. My main contacts were in Mike Opat's office, various members of the House of Representatives, and the land owners (Land Partners II). I have had almost no contact with the Minnesota Twins. In fact, the only contact I have had with them was getting invited to a stadium celebration party at the Dome (also attended by Rod Carew!) where I was given a free t-shirt.

So, my sway with the Twins is pretty limited. The Twins are the ones that are controlling this no picture policy. Even Dan Kenny seemed a little flummoxed about it all, but he is also at the mercy of the Twins in this circumstance.

You know, we can complain and complain, but by the time the Twins start listening, it will be time to start watching games at Target Field, live and in person. Given I have already waited 29 years for outdoor baseball to return to Minnesota, I feel OK about waiting a few more months to see pictures of the place. Or better yet, a few more months to see a game there!

(Of course, I can easily say all this because I've had a tour!)

Posted by: Shane at June 14, 2009 2:59 PM

Nicely written, keep up the quality work on this blog.

Posted by: Johnnie Modica at January 12, 2010 1:06 PM

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