As the design of the new Twins-Hennepin County Ballpark continues to evolve, the ballclub along with HOK Sport and Mortenson are currently in the midst of preparations for the next round of the public approval process. Over the next two weeks, the Twins will present the latest ballpark design elements to the Hennepin County Board (Oct. 30), the Ballpark Implementation Committee (Oct. 31) and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority (Nov. 9).
As part of the presentation to the public bodies outlined above, the team and HOK will showcase updated renderings, a computer generated fly-around video along with a stunning ballpark model. Fans should feel free to attend any of the public sessions or be sure to check Twinsbaseball.com for the latest and greatest ballpark images starting Tuesday (Oct. 30).
As fans look forward to reviewing the updated ballpark images, most won?t notice significant changes from what was unveiled last spring. The general design remains the same, the seating capacity remains at 40,000, the exterior continues to feature Minnesota-native stone, etc. That said, many fans will notice some subtle revisions.
With those changes in mind, here is a sneak preview of various elements which have been revised since the schematic design was unveiled last spring:
- The primary Twins Team Store ? originally located adjacent the Sixth Street Plaza was shifted to the area along Seventh Street.
- The main Twins Ticket Office ? originally located immediately along Seventh Street, was shifted to the area adjacent the Sixth Street Plaza.
- The design of the left field Home Run Porch was revised as follows: 1.) Two additional sections of seats were added increasing overall outfield seating capacity; 2.) The seating section was revised into a ?split? configuration ? very similar to the Terrace Level seating sections found elsewhere in the ballpark.
- The ?Sports Bar?, originally located in left center field, has been shifted to the building found in the left field corner.
- The area formerly known as the ?Batter?s Eye Club? in dead center field is being redesigned with a special focus on the creation a interactive area for kids and families.
- The single vertical light standard ? originally found in left field ? has been replaced with a more pleasing light feature atop the main scoreboard (much like those lights found at Coors Field in Denver or Jacob?s Field in Cleveland).
- The ?terrace? type seating on the Overlook (found in right field) has been replaced with standard ballpark seats.
Those revisions, as well as other changes, have all been made with hopes of improving the ballpark?s overall design. More to come as we continue to chase our goal of building America?s best ballpark.
Dave St. Peter
Over the years, select media members and fans have continually questioned the ownership commitment of Carl Pohlad and his family. Those individuals have oft criticized the Pohlads for managing the Twins baseball operations in a responsible fashion. They?ve also suggested that the Pohlads received a sweetheart deal when the Twins-Hennepin County ballpark legislation was passed in May of 2006.
History paints a much different picture than the one crafted by the critics. The Pohlads have not only been central to ensuring the long-term success and viability of baseball in this community, but they have demonstrated unprecedented patience and commitment to the process. While enduring ongoing questions and barbs, the Pohlad family has demonstrated non-wavering class and leadership.
That Pohlad leadership was on display again this week when Hennepin County released details of a settlement with the private owners thus ending the dispute over the land where the ballpark sits. It was a settlement which came largely due to the incremental contribution of $15 million from the Pohlad family.
The settlement is critical for several reasons but mainly because it provides the County with much greater certainty in regards to the management of the existing infrastructure budget. While difficult choices remain, the County and the Twins are optimistic in our ability to ensure a first-class pedestrian experience in and around the ballpark district.
Meanwhile, it?s time for a tip of the cap to the Pohlad family. Their extraordinary commitment to this community was once again demonstrated via their recent contribution of necessary infrastructure dollars. Thanks to the Pohlads, the Twins-Hennepin County Ballpark project is rolling forward on time and on budget. That commitment should comfort Twins fans considering the owner of the team is so fully dedicated to ensuring the successful, iconic nature of the ballpark project. Hats off to the Pohlads!!!!
Dave St. Peter
President, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club