All of us with the Minnesota Twins couldn’t be more pleased with the public reaction to the design of Target Plaza – the gateway to Target Field. Formally approved at Friday’s Minnesota Ballpark Authority meeting, Target Plaza promises to be a welcoming place for Twins fans, North Loop residents, downtown workers and commuters. The dynamic public gathering space – connected to the urban grid by the 6th Street extension – is yet another example of what will make Target Field one of America’s best ballparks.
Beyond the baseball bat themed topiaries, the pitching mound planters, the bronze baseball glove, the green space or the sweeping roof canopies, Target Plaza may best be known for the following elements:
· Wind Veil — Amazingly simple, the wind veil is certain to create a lot of buzz, in addition to covering the expanse known as the “B” Parking Garage. It will be made of 9,000-plus baseball card shaped flaps designed to move with the wind. I had the opportunity to visit a similar installation in Charlotte, NC and couldn’t believe just how mesmerizing this kinetic art truly is. One of Minnesota’s largest pieces of public art, the Target Plaza wind veil will feature a multitude of LED lights creating all kinds of creative options. Look for the wind veil to be installed later this year – a few months before Opening Day 2010.
· Twins Tradition Wall – Since approval of the ballpark in May of 2006, many fans have inquired about the creation of a fan recognition program at Target Field. Many ballparks feature “brick paver” programs giving fans the opportunity to imbed a special message at the ballpark for eternity. Over the past several months the Twins have worked with the Target Plaza designers — Oslund and Associates and HOK Sport – with hopes of creating a fan recognition program consistent with the look and feel of Target Field. The result of that work is the Twins Tradition Wall — which will border Target Plaza at the Twins Ticket Office and the 7th Street Gate entrance – and will feature the names of Twins fans and every Twins player in the history of the franchise. Fans across Twins Territory will soon have the opportunity to reserve their place on the Twins Tradition Wall along with the names of Puckett, Killebrew, Carew, Hrbek, Mauer and Morneau. Stay tuned for more details.
· Legend Statues – One element of Target Plaza certain to draw a crowd – both on game day and non-game days – will be bronze statues of legendary Twins players. Much like statues outside of many ballparks across America, the Target Plaza player statues will become destination in and of themselves. Again the team has worked with the design architects to concept a creative approach to bronze statues. Look for more details soon as it relates to the specific location and designated players.
· Met Stadium Flag Pole – The team remains committed to finding a home for the original flag pole from Metropolitan Stadium. Current plans call for the Met Stadium flag pole to be placed on the Target Plaza 6th Street pedestrian walkway near First Avenue.
Target Field Notes: Newly appointed head groundskeeper Larry DiVito starts his new role with the Twins on Monday (February 23rd). Beyond getting up to speed on the plans for the playing field install, Larry’s first tasks with the Twins will involve travel. He will soon travel to Fort Myers to engage with the Lee County Sports Complex grounds team (including the legendary George Toma) in addition to travelling to Colorado to check in on the Target Field grass … Look for the Twins to make another Target Field-related major sponsorship announcement in the next 7-10 days … As work begins to craft plans for Opening Day 2010, the Twins will have representatives on hand for the inaugural opening day’s at both the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.
Dave St. Peter