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.