Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stadiums, stadiums, stadiums

By Michael Haas

The new Twins stadium is really coming a long. The yet-to-be named ballpark grows larger everyday. They have started to put up the limestone facade, adding color and originality to the blob of construction mess. I snapped some pictures a couple of weeks ago:


As always, you can follow the progress by checking the webcam and

I checked out Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati last weekend. Opened in 2003, the stadium is clean, new and pretty, but it's nothing spectacular. For a much more entertaining review than I could give, read Jim Caple's take from a few years ago.

They did have a couple neat features that I hope the Twins include in their new home. Sometimes when a player came to bat, they would flash other players in their history who had worn that jersey number. It was a great way to bring the past to the present. Baseball names of years gone by. Like when Mauer comes up, they would also say that J.T. Bruett wore number 7 in 1993. And I would say, "J.T. Bruett!?!?! holy shit!"

I hope they have bathrooms like this:

Look at all those urinals. You should have seen the guys face who walked in just as I took this.

I also went to the open house of the brand new home of the Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium.

I thought this visit would renew my faith in the NFL, but sure enough, it just made me hate it worse. The stadium was big, cold and corporate - just like the league itself. And the open house was anything but open; they had only the hallways and two seating areas available for public viewing. Almost everything was closed off. I walked out. It'll be a cold day in hell when I stand in a huge crowd in a football stadium in which there is no actual event.

The Twins should take note of this clusterfuck and make sure they do their open house correctly. And they better do an free public viewing, seeing as the public payed for much of it.

When I left the football stadium, I headed over to Victory Field, home of the minor-league Indianapolis Indians. This place was a breath of fresh air after the Colts monstrosity.

I'd never been to a minor-league game. It was great. I recognized many names on the Indians and the visiting Durham Bulls, most notably the Indianapolis lefty. He hadn't given up a hit through 6 innings. It was Tom Gorzelanny. I drafted him on my fantasy team. Yes, I cut him long before the Pirates shipped him to triple-a.


haasertime said...

I paraphrased Jim Caple in the cold corporate description of an nfl stadium. His was describing the difference between comerica park and ford field. He also hates Miller Lite. What a guy. Just giving credit where credit is due.

Daymonster said...

Haas, you have never been to a minor league game? Not even the Saints?

I think part of the reason baseball stadiums pwn football stadiums is that every baseball stadium can easily look different, they have more flexibility in the actual dimensions of the field and that can determine the stadium as a whole. Football stadiums will always be essentially rectangles with more luxury boxes than you can count.

soup said...

I don't used the word "jazzed" much, but I am getting pretty jazzed about the twins new ballpark-to-be-named-later. I love the design, I love the limestone, I love the plaza.

I love the idea of including local elements into the design. It seems so logical. Why don't other ballparks do it? Or do they?

My appreciation for no lighting towers in our new park dramatically increased looking at your pictures of the Great American Ballpark. They distract from the openness of the horizon and clutter the view to a summer night.

Including elements of a team's old ballpark(s) is a must for a good new ballpark. Twinsballpark2010 has done a great job covering/inspiring the old Met's flagpole to be apart of the new place. I hope they have a plaque on the base of the pole that tells the whole story of how the pole came back to a Minnesota outdoor baseball stadium. It's a good Minnesota story.

Unfortunately the dome doesn't offer a whole lot of physical nostalgia. Maybe the golden seat? But there is no logical place to put it in the new stadium.

The park's location has a lot of potential to be really cool. In a few years it could be nestled betwixt downtown and a tony little lofts, bars, and baseball neighborhood.

It's a safe bet Downtown is not going anywhere and will still exist a block west of the park. But the development of the aforementioned neighborhood to the west and north is certainly in question. The HERC plant is the king-sized wet blanket in the room. From what I've heard it will be moved within a few years. In the meantime the Northloop neighborhood is developing nicely.

Many naysayers bring up the argument that the dome was supposed to generate the same kind of neighborhood growth, and it never happened. But equating the two simply because they are both sports venues in the same city is a terrible argument. They are in very different neighborhoods and are build more than a quarter of a century apart.

In 1982 people couldn't wait to move on up to the suburbs. Today, however, urban areas are a much more popular place to live. I read this economist article a while back that calls it "urban boosterism" that is reflected (or caused) by the sitcoms that went from the glories of suburbanites, the Brady's, to the urban excitement of Sex in the City, Seinfeld, Friends, Will and Grace, Frasier, ect.

I personally still think the burbs are pretty cool.

Sorry. Got a little carried away there.

soup said...

Let me try again with the Economist article.

haasertime said...

yea i've been to many saints games. I should have specified that I haven't been to any major league affiliated minor league games.

that;s a good question soup, what could be salvaged from the dome and incorporated into the new stadium, for nostalgic value?

Holmer said...

The seat, as mentioned will probably be in a glass cube right next to the Kirby monument, that I pray is already in the plans. With a plaque explaining it's significance.

I hope the World Series trophies are in a more public location, with division titles surrounding them.

There really isn't much else to hang on to. Unless you count the Hormel row of fame. Haas did you ever find out if they were going to be the hot dog suppliers?

I'm JAZZED too.

Tricia said...

I can hardly wait to go see a game at the new park. I hope they name it something cool, like Land 'O Lakes Park, and not something lame like Best Buy Field. Bleah!

Clusterfuck. I love that word.

bizmarkie507 said...

If a boring corporation does get naming rights, I hope they name it something kooky like Best Buy Barnyard, or Wells Fargo Funland.

Daymonster said...

Clusterfuck Ballpark?

haasertime said...

haha best buy barnyard. that's funny. or maybe Land o Lakes Laugh Shack. We should probably devote a whole post to the naming issue, along with a list of 'kooky' names.