The process to design Minnesota?s new ballpark took another important step forward Friday when the Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) passed a resolution authorizing the Minnesota Twins to take leadership in designing and constructing the facility. While still subject to Hennepin County consent, the resolution paves the way for the baseball team to begin finalizing a project team including architects and general contractors. More on that front in the weeks to come as the Twins look to put the right firms and people in place to ensure a superior design and efficient construction as we target Opening Day 2010.
As the Twins prepare to move into a full-fledged design process, the team continues to collaborate with multiple groups with hopes of generating a functional ballpark program. From the best practices of other Major League Baseball teams to local government units such as the MBA, Hennepin County or the City of Minneapolis, the team is currently all ears when it comes to accepting input on the ballpark design.
However, no group will have more impact on the ballpark?s final design than Upper Midwest baseball fans. Look for opportunities for fans to provide feedback on the ballpark as the process continues. In fact, fans stopping by the Twins State Fair Experience can share their ideas and visions for the new facility. The State Fair opportunity continues the New Ballpark Suggestion Box found at www.twinsbaseball.com, where the team has received more than 2,500 unique ballpark ideas in just a five-week period. Starting this week, we will feature an ?idea of the week? (see below). Rest assured, every idea is reviewed by Twins management and sorted for future consideration.
A significant majority of the ideas fall into one of the following three categories:
1. Antithesis of the Metrodome
Understanding the Twins have been playing baseball in the corner of football stadium for 25 years, fans are seeking the following:
- Superior sightlines and views
- Fan comfort ? wider seats, more leg room, restrooms, wider concourses, open concourses.
- Major league scoreboard and sound systems.
- Expanded food and beverage offerings ? signature food items.
2. Minnesota Look and Feel
Fans feel strongly that the ballpark must be a proper showcase of Minnesota.
- Ballpark exterior/interior ? materials, color scheme
- Landscape architecture ? native trees, flowers, waterfalls, fountains, stream
3. Minnesota Baseball History
Fans want the ballpark to celebrate the history of Minnesota baseball.
- Tributes to former Twins greats.
- Celebration of Minnesota amateur baseball ? town ball.
- Symbolize Minnesota ballparks ? Metrodome, Metropolitan Stadium, Nicollet Park, Lexington Field.
No matter where fans stood on the ballpark financing package, everyone shares the common goal of building America?s best ballpark. While the research is difficult to quantify, we think it provides a tremendous sampling of what the average Twins fan wants to see in Minnesota?s new ballpark. So keep your ideas coming. Who knows? Perhaps your idea will be implemented in the new ballpark.
Dave St. Peter
Ballpark Ideas of the Week ? 1.) A giant, old scoreboard. The kind where someone has to manually change the numbers. 2.) A Skyway Café above/behind center field. People could eat and watch the game. 3.) An underground viewing area behind the backstop. Open during batting practice, then covered during the game. ? Megan of Deephaven, MN.