Target Plaza

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my glowing comments about Target Plaza. At the Diridon walking tour yesterday, Dennis Korabiak asked those in the crowd who, if anyone, had visited Target Field to experience it first-hand. I was the only person who raised his/her hand. Korabiak immediately shot back, “Ours will be better!” Now that’s a bold statement, and pretty hard to back up given how good Target Plaza is. Since it’s so new and hard to visualize (and I felt I hadn’t done it justice), I figured I’d devote a post to what the Plaza looks like.

First up, here’s a very shaky cell phone cam of the walk from downtown to Target Field through the plaza. I don’t blame you if you get sick watching it, that’s why I didn’t put it in the original Target Field post in the first place.

Now for some pics. First up, a view from 6th Street North and Hennepin Avenue, where you get a glimpse of the stadium down the street.

As you get closer, layers of the ballpark begin to reveal themselves. A view from street level:

And then a view from the Skyway:

Near Gate 34 is a cute, friendly monument honoring all of the various Gold Glove winners throughout the Twins’ existence (I just noticed the use of “Golden Glove”):

Now, a view back towards the city from near that spot:

And if you want an interesting before/after look, head on over to Google Maps and fire up the street view. While the Plaza is not in any Street View update yet (get on yer bikes, Google!), you can see the area transformation at two intersections, 7th St N/2nd Ave N and 5th St N/3rd Av N. Click on those, get your bearings, then move north along the map ever so slightly and – presto! – baseball magic. You can also do the same at 6th St N/2nd Ave N to see how 6th St gets split up vertically – upper level for pedestrians to the Plaza, and lower level for vehicles.

The challenge in doing this in either Oakland or San Jose is the presence of a large elevated freeway (880 and 87, respectively). In both cases, the great reveal can’t happen until after fans pass the freeway. Stadium lights will act as a beacon, so that helps a little. In Minneapolis, the freeway spur I-394 runs underneath and terminates next to the ballpark.

12 thoughts on “Target Plaza

  1. Who is Dennis Korabiak?

  2. Korabiak is a Program Manager at the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. He’s been overseeing the Diridon Station/Ballpark project from the beginning.

  3. “Ours will be better!” The man speaks with confidence…I LIKE IT! By the way R.M., will you be posting on the reason for “2015?” Any idea why vs. 2013 or 14? Like Briggs posted on the previous thread, it’s not the biggest deal in the world. Just curious though.

  4. Hopefully, these people at the Redevelopment Agency know but aren’t yet able to say that the process is leaning San Jose’s way. Moving the A’s to San Jose a such no-brainer – which makes me fear it’ll never happen.

  5. A grand plaza would be great. It might be tricky if they carry through with the current BART to Diridon route that cuts through DT SJ. Even if the tracks West of 87 are above ground, I can’t imagine they’d be high enough to get a good view of Cisco Field.

    Fans coming by car north on 87 will get a nice but brief view. Though, depending on what the bar/restaurant scene is like around the ballpark, it could be cool exiting BART in DT, having your pregame festivities there then walking to the ballpark (nice short 15-20 minutes walking). I’m sure this is an old hat for Sharks fans.

  6. Having been to Target field, I must say I like Korabiak’s ambition. It will be a tough task to even equal Target field’s RF entrance. The buildings around Target field were already in place prior to construction. Diridon gives a blank slate (advantage or not?) but I don’t think the grand vision will be realized until the anciliary development is completed.

  7. @Briggs:

    DT San Jose comes alive before and after Sharks games with some of the big city garages letting fans out of thier cars in the middle of a bunch of bars and restaraunts, one of which I work at. Folks in DT are hoping this comes sooner rather than later as we’d benefit greatly from having double the fans on double the days throughout the year. Festivities near the proposed park/Tank are solely lacking with only two ‘bars’ one of which is far too small and the other doesn’t have a hard liquor license. Perhaps once the park is in the final stages of completion, Adobe will let some private developers use some parking lot space along San Fernando for entertainment around the immediate park area. Otherwise, parking in DT garages and walking the mile or so to the field would be the best option on game day as has been happening for years now with the Sharks.

  8. The warmer weather in SJ will make walks towards the possible ballpark plaza amazing. A 20 minute walk will race by when you’re surrounded with other fans. I imagine it’ll be like the BART ramp walk, just a whole lot more interesting. It’ll be odd if/when the A’s are a hot ticket again.

    Side note: At the recent Blue Jays series, I had a pair of extra tickets that no one wanted to touch. I ended up just giving them to a couple walking next to us on the BART ramp. I never ended up going to my actual seats. Instead I just snuck in as close as I could get. A few innings into the game, that same couple I gave the tickets to ended up sitting right next to me. It was a very strange coincidence.

  9. Korabiak noted that in their meetngs with MLB, the committee members were very interested in what SJ had planned for the area around the ballpark. In fact he said most of their time was spent discussing the development of the Diridon Station area, and the surrounding area. Apparently MLB wants to make sure that the “game day experience” for the fans was a positive one, not only inside the park, but outside as well.

    He added that developers will not show any serious interest in the area until the A’s get the okay from MLB, and Wolff makes a commitment to actually build the ballpark

  10. As a season tix holder of the Sharks I prefer to park a bit away from the Tank and walk-in–as Briggs said it flys by when your surrounded by other fans—also avoid the congestion around the arena at the end of the game—peice of cake to get to car and get onto freeway at the end of the game if thats what I want to do–best part though is really to hang around for a bit downtown–atmosphere is always high energy when the Sharks are playing–will be the same if the A’s are able to move downtown-

  11. Two things that I really, really like (they actually remind me of the Uptown Oakland concept).:
    1. The Centerfield gate with people able to approach the stadium from the east and downtown via Park and San Fernando.
    2. The “dumbell” concept of a retail/entertainment district between the HP Pavillion and Cisco Field. With a BART station under the retail district and the revamped Diridon Station openiing into the distrcit. It could be one of the best “party” atmospheres in all of MLB.

  12. I’ve never been to Target Field, but from the look of all the pictures that are available “better”, would indeed seem to be a tough task. It just doesn’t seem like even when the area is fully developed Autumn or San Fernando will be the way foot traffic will flow into the park. I would expect the majority of people to be coming from Diridon and thus North/West. Even if I’m wrong on that, I see it as “as good” at best. “Better” would be to put the plaza in left-center, right at the end of Montgomery, and then make Montgomery a pedestrian only (or at least pedestrian-centric) street with bars, restaurants, street vendors, and of course PROGRAMS!!!. People from Diridon and downtown would both walk over 1 extra block to come in that way.

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