Friday, August 28, 2009

Target Field Notes

Crews are finishing up grass installation at Target Field field today, completing one of many milestones for the Twins new home. I guess it's exciting because it reaffirms what we've been told for a couple years: the Twins will play outdoors next year. Thus, we will take this opportunity to recognize this moment.

Of course, no milestone would be complete without some overblown controversy. It seems the grass was grown on a sod farm located south of Denver, then trucked here in refrigerated trucks. Colorado? Outrageous! Why wasn't it just grown in Minnesota? It's a question that's been raised by a number of Minnesota horticulturalists, sod farmers and people who like to complain.

The Twins spout a lot of bullshit about "similar climate"' and "soil-type" and "THC content," but they chose a Colorado farm because it was MLB-approved. That MLB approval probably required a big fat fee, in addition to under the table agreements with the farm, (probably quid-pro-quo, I'll trim yours if you trim mine.)

Apparently the thought of Twins players playing on foreign grass is simply too much for some to imagine. I present an interesting fact for them: Kentucky Blue Grass isn't a native species to Colorado. It's not even native to Kentucky. And it sure as hell isn't native to Minnesota. It's European! The national past-time being played on an immigrant. Minnesota sod farmers are all livid, "goddamn immigrant sod TOOK OUR JOBS!"

Next time you hear Gardnehire on the radio disparaging invasive species, tell him to look under his feet.

Debunking the Target Field as Urban Ballpark Myth

On the list of Target Field attributes, the fact that it's an "Urban Ballpark" is usually toward the top. It's mentioned right away in a Twins press release in the About Target Field section.

Target Field, one of America's most urban ballparks, will be located in the historic Warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis.
I think the word urban, to them, means that the ballpark is surrounded by city streets rather than parking lots. It seeks to compliment the neighborhood, not dominate it. It doesn't try to change things, it's simply another piece of the community. Unlike parking lot palaces like Anaheim Stadium or Miller Park, an urban ballpark mingles with everyday people, not just baseball fans.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Except that Target Field's location could hardly be described as a neighborhood. It's like a tiny peninsula that will shoot from the butt of Target Field. With Wrigley, there is a genuine neighborhood all around. People live, work and drink there. Many people walk by Wrigley on their way to school or work.

There are three tiers of ballpark locations: one is the suburban parking lot palace, like Citi Field, Dodger Stadium, Miller Park, Kaufmann, etc.

Next is the, "this ballpark will really spur development" location. The Metrodome is an example of this. The Star Tribune pushed hard for the dome and the location because their property values would skyrocket. People envisioned brand new stores, bars and condominiums. This type of ballpark wishes to become urban, but only on their own terms. Other examples: PETCO, Jacobs Field, Nationals Ballpark, etc.

And of course, the true urban ballpark. Wrigley Field, Ebbets Field, Fenway Park?

Target Field seems more in line with the, "this ballpark will really spur development" style location. They're hoping to build mixed use commercial and residential high rises over the parking lots to the north and south. On one side, there's a basketball arena and the other is a garbage burner and industrial wasteland. It's not much of a neighborhood.

To top things off, the Twins want to change the name of one of the streets which runs outside Target Field. So much for plopping a stadium into a neighborhood.


brex said...

Every ball misplayed, every bad bounce, every twins loss I will blame on the foreign grass.

Wrigley has the incredible location probably cuz it's been there so long. What was the area like in 1913?

It would have been cool to see Target Field replace some huge ugly parking lot or store. Like the Kmart on Lake Street. That would have been more of a neighborhood location.

bizmarkie507 said...

ha yeah i heard dan berreiro bitching about the callers who went nuts over this foreign grass. As I've said many times before, I love minnesota but by god I can't stand minnesotans.

I-90 runs like literally 50 feet out from the green monster so that half doesnt have much, other than a little walkway corridor thingy that you might remember watching some of mark mcguire's dingers land during that home run derby. the other side has a lot of shit but then again boston is really crowded and having a stadium there for a billion years helps with developments sprouting up around it.

haasertime said...

they should tear down that Kmart so Nicollet can run as intended.

Have you guys ever noticed that people from Minnesota pronounce it as "nickel-it" but outsiders call it, "nicka-lehhtte"

Kevin Slowey pronounced wrong on the radio once.

brex said...

haha. I have noticed that. nico-lett instead of nica-lit. gosh darn outsiders, they just don't understand. Who needs em.

soup said...

Shut up, Kentucky Blue Grass is from Europe?!?!

My friends, the terrorists have already won.

But seriously, Haas, it's an urban ballpark. whether it's in a neighborhood or not is irrelevant.

TwinsWin83 said...

They took urrr jobs.

Grass is grass, I dont care where it comes from as long as it doesnt contain plastic and spray a stream of fake dirt when a ball hits it.

Anonymous said...

will there be a student night still at target field?

haasertime said...

no. and dollar dog nights are monday. (only 5 dates)