Today the Minnesota Twins, in partnership with Hennepin County, the M. A. Mortenson Company, the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, HOK Sport and HGA Architects and fans of Minnesota Twins baseball, will officially break ground at the new ballpark site in Minneapolis. The original groundbreaking date was scheduled for Aug. 2, but was postponed because of the tragic collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.
The new 40,000-seat ballpark, scheduled to open in spring of 2010.
Twins fans along with civic leaders, government officials and Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball officials will be at the new ballpark site to celebrate today's groundbreaking ceremony. They include Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Twins players Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Punto and Mike Redmond and Twins alumni Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden and Jack Morris.
"This is a historic and long-awaited day for Minnesota Twins fans and the state of Minnesota," said Jerry Bell, president and CEO of Twins Inc. "It is a monumental step toward bringing outdoor Major League Baseball back to the state of Minnesota, the team and most importantly, to Twins fans. "This is a very special day - a once-in-a-generation milestone for Twins fans and the people of Minnesota - as we start construction of what will be one of the great urban ballparks in America," said Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, who led the county's ballpark effort. "When the new ballpark opens in less than three years, it will be a public asset and a great venue for the return of outdoor baseball to Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota."
"It is an honor and privilege to be the builder of the new Twins ballpark where fans will come together, once again, to celebrate outdoor baseball," said Ken Sorensen, vice president of the Minnesota office of M. A. Mortenson Company. "Today's groundbreaking signifies that construction is underway. We are thrilled to be building this world-class ballpark that will provide a fantastic baseball experience for current and future generations of Twins fans."
"The Minnesota Ballpark Authority is excited about working with the Twins to create a fantastic new landmark," said Steve Cramer, Minnesota Ballpark Authority chair. "This facility will be a baseball fan's dream and we believe it will reshape the western edge of downtown for decades to come."
To view high-resolution renderings of the new Twins ballpark design, select the link provided.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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