Over the past several weeks. I?ve had the privilege of traveling throughout Twins Territory as part of the ballclub?s ongoing effort to build and expand the Twins Radio Network. During those travels, a few key questions continue to emerge. At the top of the list are the annual "hot stove-like" questions about the team?s quest for starting pitching, the club?s well-deserved award binge (Cy Young, Gold Glove, MVP?), and the status of phenom pitcher Francisco Liriano.
However, not far down that list are the questions about the state of the new Twins ballpark ? and specifically ? when are fans going to get a glimpse at the ballpark?s design?
The Twins took a significant step toward being able to answer that question last Friday (November 17) as the team officially unveiled the ballpark project team. Understanding the Twins and Hennepin County?s commitment to build America?s best ballpark, Upper Midwest baseball fans will be pleased with the composition of Minnesota?s new ballpark team.
The talented, veteran lineup includes project architects HOK Sport (HOK) and Hammel Green and Abrahamson, Inc. (HGA) as well as construction manager MA Mortenson. More on the project team is detailed below:
Based in Kansas City, Mo, HOK Sport?s is widely viewed as the world?s most innovative sports architect. The excellence surrounding their body of work speaks volumes. Baseball?s Camden Yards, Jacob?s Field, PNC Park and PETCO Park are just a few of their masterpieces. Locally, fans in the State of Hockey will remember that HOK Sport was the lead architect on the design of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Going forward, HOK?s workload remains heavy. In addition to the Twins ballpark project, HOK Sport is also designing new ballparks in Washington, DC as well as two in New York (the new Yankee Stadium and the Mets? CitiField). Meanwhile, HOK Sport will be quite busy in Minneapolis as they are also the lead designer of the University of Minnesota?s new TCF Bank Stadium.
Based in Minneapolis, HGA will provide local design expertise along with strong knowledge of the neighborhoods surrounding the Twins ballpark site. That base of information – combined with HGA?s deep resume of significant Minnesota building projects (Minnesota History Center, Minnesota Public Radio, Hennepin Theatre District, Mall of America, MPLS-St. Paul International Airport) ? makes them the perfect complement to nationally-based HOK.
Since 1987, Mortenson has emerged as one of the nation?s top three builders of major sports facilities. The company?s national sports facility experience includes Coors Field and Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.; the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.; the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo. Locally, Mortenson?s sports work is best demonstrated by St. Paul?s Xcel Energy Center. Working with Mortenson will be Thor Construction Company ? the state?s largest African American-owned company and a long-time associate of the company.
The Twins are proud of assembled team and confident of our collective effort to design and build a landmark facility. Collaboration amongst the trio of firms will be critical as the team designs a dynamic ballpark which fits within the transit-oriented site in downtown Minneapolis.
With the team now in place, all eyes turn toward the design process. Look for more on that in the weeks to come as the team expects to unveil an updated site plan and preliminary ballpark program by mid-December. A more detailed design package ? including the public?s first look at the ballpark?s external look and feel ? should be available in February. Yes, last Friday?s announcement of the project team is simply the first of many milestone days over the next several months.
Dave St. Peter
New Ballpark Idea of the Week – Make it like the new library or the Weisman -forget nostalgia! Make this stadium so new & far out that every kid who sees it can’t wait to get inside; that every time the Twins are on ESPN the announcers say "We’re at the UNUSUAL ballpark in Minneapolis". Give the City Council fits! Give it wings and curves and sculptural accents. Have courage! ? Erica of Minneapolis