As Opening Day Approaches, Ballpark Planning Continues
My apologies Twins fans!!! It?s been a while since I?ve had the chance to update this blog. Needless to say, this is a hectic time in the Twins front office as we prepare for the start of the 2007 season and specifically Opening Day — is set for Monday, April 2nd when the Twins host the Baltimore Orioles at 6:05 pm. Make plans now to be at the ballpark for season?s opening week April 2-4 vs. the O?s. Also, don?t forget the New York Yankees make their one and only visit to the Metrodome April 9-11th. Great seats remain available.
Meanwhile, work continues in the ongoing effort to get the Twins-Hennepin County ballpark project back on track. Despite the well-publicized challenges with the County?s attempt to purchase the necessary land (i.e. the Rapid Park site), the baseball team remains squarely focused on providing leadership and solutions aimed at keeping the project on schedule for opening in the spring of 2010. Rest assured, over the past several weeks the Twins organization has gotten heavily involved in discussions with the private landowners, the County and the City of Minneapolis.
While the final solution remains elusive, discussions continue. Most importantly, the Pohlad family and all of us within the Twins organization are quite hopeful of resolving the land issues and allowing the project to move forward in a timely fashion. More on this is the days and weeks to come.
Understanding the land dispute has delayed the project team?s ability to take control of the site during the current month of March, the most critical dates for fans to keep an eye on are in August. That?s when the project timeline calls for the start of construction and specifically the driving of piles. In other words, the original timeline contained some cushion, thus allowing the project to deal with the current delay. With the assumption a satisfactory resolution will soon emerge, a significant amount of work continues to churn behind the scenes:
Ballpark Design — Earlier this week, Twins, County and Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) officials traveled to Kansas City for a series of meetings with the project design team. Our group reviewed the ballpark?s schematic design and made various adjustments aimed at improving the overall fan experience and accessibility. At the top of the list was the Twins desire to create incremental outfield seating options for fans. Progress was made and I?m confident those changes will be reflected when the ballpark?s design is ultimately unveiled.
Ballpark Agreements — The team remains engaged in discussions with the County and MBA on the finalization of important documents such as the Development Agreement and Ballpark Lease Agreement. Once again, we will be well prepared to have these documents ready to go once the County review process commences.
Ballpark Sales Effort — The Twins season ticket base continues to grow as fans jump on board to support the 2007 Twins while also securing their new ballpark priority. Meanwhile, the team remains on target to launch the sale of the ballpark premium seating (private suites and club seats) early this spring.
Twins fans should take comfort in the reality that many, many people are working around the clock to ensure the Twins-Hennepin County Ballpark project remains on track and on schedule. Moreover, those same fans should be pleased with the Pohlad family?s ongoing commitment to making this a ballpark the entire Upper Midwest can be proud of.
We?ll work to keep you informed as the process continues. Please continue to keep the faith.
Dave St. Peter