As you may have read in past entries, my family is relocating to Houston, Texas in September. One of the exciting things I have been exploring is the attractiveness of the Astro’s ballpark, Minute Maid Park. I have lived in Minnesota for almost 6 years now and even though I am a fan of Brewer I have been to several Twins games over those years. I have probably arrived to the point where I have gone to more games at the Metrodome than in Milwaukee County Stadium or Miller Park.
One of the most recent local issues in the Twin Cities has been the approved stadium funding for the Twins new ballpark. The management for the Twins have even started a blog on MLBlogs for updates on the new ballpark. For over 10+ years, the state and local governments have been campaigning to get financial assistance in building this facility. The state finally got to the point last month where they approved and signed the bill. As a Brewers fan, I am very familiar with long battles in approving funding for ballparks. I have to let Twins fans know that the upside to the new ballpark will far out weigh the price paid for a new facility.
With all this happening it is apparent that the last days of the Metrodome are now numbered. I can say that I will not miss this stadium, at least for baseball. The permanently domed top of the stadium and poor sight lines are the two main reasons for my distaste for the stadium. With the rich history of the Twins it is apparent that the teams deserves a facility that is top notch. The "retro ballpark revolution" started in early 1990s. I think most people, especially in the last 10 years, would agree with me that most of the new ballparks have been an upgrade from most of the teams in the MLBs former facilities. Some Twins fans are concerned that plans for the new stadium didn’t have plans for a retractable roof. It is true that some weather in the spring can be pretty unbearable but teams like the Indians, Orioles and Giants have had success with there retro stadiums. I say this to anyone who has concerns about the absense of a roof of the stadium: ANY of the newest retro ballparks are better than the Metrodome. It is probably agreed upon that the Metrodome is currently the worst stadium for Major League Baseball.
Not only is a new stadium in Minnesota a good thing for the Twins but it is a good thing for baseball. I know there was disagreement on how the Twins arrived to this funding but now the Twins can look forward to the future. The one disappointment with moving to Houston is I won’t get to enjoy the new Twins facility regularly. I have lots of friends and family in the Upper Midwest so it is possible I can stop by from time to time. When the first season for the Twins new stadium rolls around in 2010, I think most of the current disagreements can be absolved.
A co-worker of mine, Chris, in Philadelphia made a friendly wager with me about the Phillies/Brewers series. Looks like I might be a getting a free beer from this. We made a double or nothing bet on Camden Yards. I will be at Camden in a few weeks to take in a game. The bet this time is on a Camden Yards food specialty.
I thought for some reason this was phased out this season but I have been joyfully mistaken. The Brewers are coming to Minneapolis again for inter-league play against the Twins on June 30 – July 2.
For some reasons when baseball roles around I don’t despise the Twins like I do the Vikings. It is hard not to like the Twins. Small payroll team with a Midwest feel. Growing up I watched both World Series that the Twins played in. We have relatives who lived there and "converted". I am still hoping they would seek treatment for their Vikings illness.
But the Metrodome has to be the WORST current stadium in the Major League. Indoor ambiance that sounds like you are in a huge racquetball court. Seating that is arranged as if it was bleacher seating in a high school gymnasium. And also poor sight lines throughout the park. Minnesota is trying to get a Twins ballpark but they haven’t been successful at trying to get anything done either with private businesses or tax dollars. I know that I would go to a lot more Twins games (even without the Brewers in town) if they had a new stadium. Most fans here agree that the Metro-dump (as other locals call it) is bad for baseball. Hopefully something can be figured out for the future of this team.
One of my early dates with my wife was at a Brewers/Twins game at the Metrodome. I don’t know how many games she will go with me to but it will at least be 1 of the 3. The first game we went together to was the famous "Dr. Love" game where Brewers TV color commentator Bill Schroeder gave a ball to a female fan after her boyfriend threw back a homerun ball. One time my wife decide to buy a Twins pin because I got razzed by some elderly people calling us "the enemy". She had to distinguish herself because I was wearing my Brewers jersey and classic logo hat. I knew she would be a good fit for me, I had to find a wife that would like baseball. That was on of the earliest signs.
I don’t hide my support for the team but most fans at the Metrodome (for Twins games) have been friendly towards me. I also enjoy seeing transplanted and traveling Brewers fans. It just doesn’t seem right to tailgate in an industrial parking lot though.