Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phoning It In: Twins Geek's Official Stadium Position

On February 2nd, 2002, drafted our official position on public funding of an outdoor stadium. Here (link) it was:

I CAN state that I want a new outdoor stadium. I understand the arguments against it, and philosophically I generally side against it. But philosophically, I side against anyone paying close to $2000 to have a 51" HDTV-compatible big screen TV when they could spend it on educational opportunities for their kids - and then I sit in front of my Panasonic PT-51HX41 and thank god I didn't let some stupid philosophy get in the way of buying that TV.

I want an outdoor stadium because going to a baseball game in the summer in Minnesota
outside ROCKS. And because going to a baseball game in the summer in Minnesota inside SUCKS. And I want that 'ROCKS' thing to happen about a dozen times every summer for my family, my friends and for ME.

And in a similar vein, it is WAY too nice to be writing tonight. Minnesota in spring ROCKS and sitting inside SUCKS, and I want that "ROCKS" thing to happen tonight so TVOR and I are heading somewhere to eat outside now.

Tomorrow, we'll be enjoying the stadium, and I would encourage you all to have a beer and celebrate the day with us. I hope to be tweeting regularly about the day, and if it is as great as I hope, there is almost no chance for a proper writeup. So, please follow the tweets and we'll most likely talk to you again on Wednesday.


Anonymous said...

We usually make two trips a year for games. I'm so excited for the first time I get to spend eight hours driving to Minneapolis, shell out for hotel, food, tickets and so forth and have a rainout. That's reality for a lot of Twins fans. It would have happened last summer and at least three other times I can remember, including the last game I wever went to with my dad. Maybe I'm just being selfish

bjhess said...


I think the state was offered an opportunity to purchase a retractable roof for this thing. They declined. I understand your disappointment in the current situation. I grew up 4.5 hours from Minneapolis, and rainouts would have sucked when I was a kid. Of course, so did the dome (not that I really knew that at the time).

It really was Hennepin County's right to do whatever they wanted (whatever the Twins and them agreed upon) with the stadium. Rest assured the gem that is Target Field would not exist with a roof over top of it.


John said...


I go a little different way on this.

For years, I've stated that if I had a choice between a retractable roof stadium, and an open air ballpark, I'd choose the latter every time. I've done exactly as you have said, only the destination was Wrigley, so it was probably twice as expensive. And on many of those same trips, I've visited Milwaukee - and there is no comparison. Miller Park is more like a mall than a ballpark. I'd pay $1000 for the Wrigley experience, and I could never visit Milwaukee again and be OK.

(No Target Field is no Wrigley - it's not even close. But my basic point is the same - I'd rather occasionally have the highest highs with some risk than than settle for a consistent experience at a lower level. In my mind, that's "dome" thinking.)

For the record, when the dome was built, Calvin Griffith estimated that he would receive an extra 500,000 people from outstate because they were sure that they would never receive a rainout. If Calvin was right, you're not alone. But looking at the attendance numbers from time, I don't find a lot of justification to that theory.

Just my two cents. When you make it into the city, shoot me an email and let me know how the weekend went, and whether you're more or less likely to make the trip again.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the Geek on this one...philosophically I see the need for a roof, but part of the charm of baseball at places like Wrigley/Fenway is that there are going to be times that the games are delayed/cancelled.

I went to the U of M game to check out the new digs and it was absolutely, positively FAN-tastic; they made it a venue for the enjoyment of the FANS.

Anonymous said...

It was HOT the summer of '88. It really ROCKED to go see the boys play in air conditioned comfort, especially since neither my car nor my house was.

When I was a kid, I remember especially enjoying the cold rainy April games at the old Met.

I do like doubleheaders though, and it looks like we'll be getting a lot more of those.

My prediction: Target Field gets a taxpayer funded roof once the novelty wears off, probably 3-5 years.

shannon said...

I've been to two retractable roof parks, Skydome and Miller park, tomorrow I will be at Target Field.

Miller Park is like a car with a small sunroof and trying to compare it to a convertible, the outfield seats are the only ones really under a blue sky and the design of the roof made the field a afterthought. If you look at centerfield there is a notch between the roof supports to allow it to hit 400 feet straight away, who thought of designing a roof first and a playing surface second? Nevermind the fact that the seams in the roof panels leak (just ask Chris Berman after the All-Star Game) but the best story I've heard about the place was from my brother as he described a pigeon that died and fell from the roof spiraling to the ground and landing at the feet of Richie Sexton.

Skydome was similar except the infield (expensive) seats got the sun & the outfield was in the shade.

The bottom line is that no one clamors for a roof on Wrigley or Fenway because they are (age aside) circumstantially special based on their surroundings. Target field has quirks based on its foot print making it what it is. Minute Maid has a hill in centerfield, to try and be something it needn't be, I'll take shelter under in a concourse from time to time over a compromise umbrella everyday of the week.

King of the run-on sentence,

JimCrikket said...

Eight hours is a long drive. My drive to the Cities is about 4 and a half. I expect a few games I drive up for will get rained out and that will suck. But I got rained out once in a while when I made the trip up to Met Stadium, too. In fact, I've made a point of driving to Chicago and Kansas City to watch Twins games almost as often as driving to the Twin Cities because watching a game outdoors is just that... much... better. Maybe some day they'll engineer a retractable roof that doesn't keep a ballpark from looking like a ballpark when it's open. But if the choice is between Target Field and any of the designs currently housing MLB teams, it's an easy choice.

Joe said...

Geek, only one drawback to the new stadium... the sense of weightlessness when being shot out of the Dome at the end of the night like a bullet from a high powered rifle... almost lost my children that way, ;-)