The Minnesota Twins had to wait until nearly sunrise Sunday, but it in the end it was worth it.
By a narrow 34 to 32 vote, the Senate put the final touches on a new $522 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis that will be largely built with a sales tax increase in Hennepin County that would be put in place without a citizen referendum. When vote was announced, nearly six hours after the House had likewise backed the proposal, the team’s lengthy, controversial and at times improbable march for a new stadium had finally ended.
The Twins, meanwhile, awaited what would be a historic final vote early today to build their new ballpark. The team, which has long argued that the Metrodome is not a true baseball venue and lacks enough financially lucrative luxury boxes, has for a decade sought legislative approval for a new stadium, and last year proposed an open-air stadium that would be built on the opposite end of downtown Minneapolis.
The new ballpark would be built with a controversial sales tax increase in Hennepin County that would provide $392 million for the project, with the team contributing the remaining $130 million. The team would contribute the first $45 million to the stadium’s construction.
$522 million for an outdoor stadium??? Who is building it … Halliburton?
"Barry Bonds soon should be toasty warm again in the San Francisco Giants’ dugout.
The Giants said Wednesday they are looking into ways to upgrade the heating system in the team’s dugout after state law mandated the club remove two kerosene heaters following the 2005 season because of health and safety concerns.
The 41-year-old Bonds, who came in to pinch hit and homered for the second straight game Wednesday, brought the issue to the attention of Giants officials earlier this season, then took his complaint public after Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to the New York Mets."
This must mean its time for …
"The Top 10 Ways the Giants can Upgrade the Heating in their Dugout"
10. Mandatory team group hug after each half-inning.
9. Lap dances given by the 49ers cheerleaders.
8. Players should be threatened with banishment back to Candlestick Park if they don’t quit their whining.
7. Gatorade coolers now filled with cognac.
6. Solar panels built into team uniforms.
5. Rename the ballpark "H*ll".
4. Opt into a timeshare arrangement with the Diamondbacks for use of Chase Park.
3. Equipment manager applies Icy-Hot to player’s cups.
2. Move the dugout to one of the luxury suites.
and the number one way the Giants can Upgrade the Heating in their Dugout
1. Burn copies of "Game of Shadows"
"An approximately 10,000 square foot patch of outfield grass was hastily replaced hours before the Brewers-Pirates game at PNC Park on Friday night because of damage caused by a Rolling Stones concert Wednesday.
Because the 7-story steel stage and its rigging were not fully removed until Friday, the grass could not be replaced until the day of the game. The swatch of repaired grass ran from the warning track in right-center field to left-center and included most of the ground normally covered by the center fielder.
Not only was the turf hastily replaced, the sod had to be painted green. The painting wasn’t finished until an hour before the Pirates took pregame batting practice.
PNC Park is the third ballpark to require turf replacement following a Rolling Stones concert this season, joining Comerica Park in Detroit and Fenway Park in Boston."
I’m sure the Stones are picking up the tab for the damaged sod, but still …. is it worth it to risk the health of the outfielders (possibly slipping …. tearing up a knee, etc.) for the $$$ from a concert?
"A power outage at Great American Ball Park delayed Friday night’s game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds for 25 minutes in the top of the seventh inning.
The Reds, who were leading 7-3, were warming up before the start of the inning when several of the lights stands went off. A couple of minutes later, the rest also went off, leaving only security lights and the scoreboards functioning.
The Reds said a blown transformer in the area caused the temporary loss of power."
Danny Graves denied any responsibility for the outage, while Kenny Rogers also denied responsibility, after mishearing of an "outrage" at the park.
I was in Seattle this past weekend, and got a chance to see a game there.
My oh my that is one great ballpark …. great sightlines throughout the park, wide concourses, lots of different food choices, well-stocked team merchandise store, lots of restrooms (clean too!), very friendly staff (they even have their ushers stationed at the top of the stairs to keep people from walking through the rows (and ruining your viewing of the game) during at-bats … the upper deck affords a spectacular view of the mountains or downtown Seattle.
If you ever get a chance to, you MUST make a trip to a game there …
Update: I now have a photo album for this post (check left side 3/4 of way down page)
-Top of 2nd: THE GAME IS BEING DELAYED DUE TO A SIREN GOING OFF IN THE BALLPARK WHICH CANNOT BE SHUT OFF..