December 17, 2012
Once again, my decision to tackle a relatively "easy" stadium for upgrading proved to more time-consuming than expected. That's mainly because of all the new details on the Metrodome diagrams, which raised unforeseen issues that I had to resolve. Actually, I finished those diagrams a few days ago, and updated the text on that page yesterday, but didn't have time to announce it via blog post.
The main change is that the entry portals in the upper deck are now shown, making it easier to pinpoint exactly where home runs landed in the upper deck. Also displayed are the support columns (tiny dots) to which the cables [which stabilize] the air-supported roof are attached. Guess what? The logical relationship between the positions of those columns and the entry portals was more complicated than you might think! The vehicle entrance near the right field corner is now more accurately positioned, the dugouts are slightly smaller, and of course the profile is more accurate. The playing field is virtually the same as before [the previous update was December 2009], and the stadium structure has the same external dimensions, except that the outer curves are slightly sharper than before.
Also, note that the football version diagram shows the six "cut-out" rows of seats between the dugouts filled in, with a black line to indicate that for some football games they didn't bother to add those extra rows. I had assumed that it was not until after the Twins had left that they put those seats in there, but further checking may be necessary.
I neglected to mention this when Mike Zurawski brought it to my attention last May, but the Minnesota Vikings finally got the local political approval to build a new stadium. After the Minnesota legislature passed a law providing limited-duration financial incentives from the state government, the Minneapolis City Council approved the funding plan, by a 7-6 vote. Gov. Mark Dayton was a strong supporter of the proposal. The Vikings and private sponsors will pay for just over half of the total "project life cycle costs," which includes future maintenance, etc., far beyond the estimated construction cost of $975 million. See usatoday.com, via fieldofschemes.com. I tried to get the latest news on construction plans, but there is little to be found at vikings.com. They have chosen an architectural firm, HKS, but that's about it. Details on the Vikings' future stadium are sketchy, and even the design has yet to be finalized. One proposal features a massive transparent dome. As far as I know, demolition of the Metrodome could begin next year. Do any Minnesota fans out there know for sure? Please let me know via e-mail, or blog comment.
A reader named Evan asked how I calculate the asymmetry factor in my set of five criteria for each stadium. I replied, "There is no calculation involved; it's just a subjective assessment on my part that takes into account all sorts of irregularities in the outfield, including right-left imbalance, odd corners, different fence heights, etc."