As we approach the close of 2008, one thing is perfectly clear. The coming week will bring multitudes of “Year in Review” blogs, columns and features.
This blog will be no different as we take a moment to look back at a memorable year in the world of the Twins-Hennepin County ballpark project.
With 2008 drawing to a close, Target Field is rising before our eyes in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District. The project is now fifty-percent complete, ahead of schedule and on budget. The year’s milestones and highlights included the following:
January 23, 2008 – The first main concourse concrete pour is conducted along the 7th Street bridge side of the site.
February 12, 2008 – The Pohlad family announces plans to fund $22 million in additional enhancements to the new ballpark. Upgraded components include exterior stone, the roof canopy, the scoreboard and more bathrooms and comfort areas.
February 26, 2008 – The Hennepin County Board approves a $22 million increase in the cost of the new Twins ballpark to be paid by the Twins ownership.
April 8, 2008 – The Twins announce an eight-year partnership with Delaware North Companies Sportservice to provide all food, beverage and retail merchandise service at the new ballpark in downtown Minneapolis.
April 20, 2008 – The Minnesota Ballpark Authority approves the creation of the Ballpark District Enhancements and Public Art Incentive Fund for off-site district enhancements that reach beyond the ballpark site’s “footprint.” The board authorized the allocation of up to $1 million from the MBA’s interest earnings on construction bond proceeds to fund this effort.
September 10, 2008 – Twins announce plans to make a pitch to host Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in 2014 in cooperation with the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Meet Minneapolis and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority.
September 15, 2008 – Target Corporation and the Minnesota Twins announce an agreement in principle on an exclusive 25-year partnership that includes the naming rights for Target Field.
September 18, 2008 – Twins announce the season ticket seat relocation process outlining the season ticket holder transition from the H.H.H. Metrodome to Target Field. In conjunction with the season ticket relocation plan, the team also unveiled the season ticket pricing structure for the inaugural season at Target Field.
October 13, 2008 – Twins launch second Target Field webcam located on the roof of the Ford Centre at the northeast corner of the ballpark.
October 23, 2008 – Twins announce that Daktronics has been selected to design and build a multimillion dollar, integrated video, scoring and advertising display system at Target Field.
September 2008 – Work commences to place steel which will hold the Terrace Level seating as well as the Roof Canopy.
November 20, 2008 – Final concrete pour on the Terrace Level, a full two-plus months ahead of schedule.
Yes, 2008 has been quite a year for Target Field and baseball fans across Twins Territory. While that excitement builds, there is no question that 2008 will pale in comparison to 2009 as we march closer to Opening Day in the new ballpark. Stay tuned for updates as the process evolves.
Dave St. Peter