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Metropolitan Stadium

Metropolitan Stadium with Minneapolis on the horizon

Bloomington, Minnesota

Tenants: Minnesota Twins (AL); Minnesota Vikings (NFL)
Opened: April 24, 1956
First Twins game: April 21, 1961
Last Twins game: September 30, 1981
Demolished: 1985
Surface: Grass
Capacity: 18,200 (1956); 30,637 (1961); 40,000 (1964); 45,919 (1975)

Architect: n/a
Builder: n/a
Owner: n/a
Cost: $8.5 million

Minnesota Twins tickets:

Location: In Bloomington, a suburb fifteen miles south of downtown Minneapolis, near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. 1st base (W) Cedar Avenue South; right field (E) East 83rd Street; Left field (S) 24th Avenue South; 3rd base (N) 83rd Street (renamed to Killebrew Drive).

Dimensions: Left field: 329 (1961), 330 (1962), 344 (1965), 346 (1967), 330 (1975), 343 (1977); short left center: 365 (1961); 360 (1966), 373 (1972), 350 (1975), 346 (1976), 360 (1977); deep left center: 402 (1961), 435 (1965), 430 (1968), 410 (1975), 406 (1976); deepest left center corner: 430 (1965), 406 (1975); center field: 412 (1961), 430 (1965), 425 (1968), 410 (1975), 402 (1977); deepest right center corner: 430 (1965); deepest right center: 402 (1961), 435 (1965), 430 (1968), 410 (1977); short right center: 365 (1961), 373 (1968), 365 (1972), 370 (1977); right field: 329 (1961), 330 (1962); backstop: 60.

Metropolitan Stadium from right field

Fences: Left field: 8 (wire, 1961), 12 (1964), 7 (1974), 12 (1977); center field: 8 (wire, 1961); right field: 8 (wire, 1961), 12 (1964), 8 (1970); right field corner bt the foul pole: 5 (3 concrete base, then 2 steel).

Metropolitan Stadium was built on a farm in 1956 for the American Association Minneapolis Millers. It originally consisted of a curved triple-decker grandstand that ran from first base to third base. The owner of the New York Giants (the parent team of the Millers) was quote as saying that the Met "is the finest minor league park in the country, and there are not two in the majors that are better."

In 1961, when the Washington Senators moved in and became the Twins, permanent bleachers were added along the left field line, a temporary bleacher was installed in left field and the first and second decks were extended down the right field line. The Vikings replaced the temporary left feild bleacher with a double-decked left field pavilion in 1965. In 1982, the Twins and Vikings moved into the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. Three years later, Metropolitan Stadium was demolished to make way for the Mall of America, which now occupies the site.

Aerial view of Metropolitan Stadium
 
Commemorative home plate in Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America

Trivia:

  • The 330-foot marker was curiously far away from the foul pole in right, raising the distinct possibility that the distance to right was signifigantly less.
  • Hosted the 1965 All-Star game.
  • A bomb scare delayed the August 25, 1970 Twins-Red Sox game as 17,967 fans filed calmly into the outfield and parking lots.
  • It was by far the most poorly maintained park in the Majors. In 1981, broken railings on the third deck overlooking the left field bleachers created a safety hazard.
  • When the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was finished, the Met became the first modern park to be abandoned.

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • Uncovering the Dome by Amy Klobuchar.
  • Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles by Jay Weiner.
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
  • Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
  • Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
  • Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
  • Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
  • The Story of America's Classic Ballparks (VHS).

American League ParkGriffith StadiumMetrodomeTarget Field

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PHOTOGRAPHS:

Color aerial view of Metropolitan Stadium and Minneapolis by Munsey & Suppes.
Color view of Metropolitan Stadium from right field by Munsey & Suppes.
Black and white aerial view courtesy of the Minnesota Twins.
Home plate commemorative plaque in Camp Snoopy © 1997 by Paul Munsey.

Updated March 2000

Tickets to Minnesota Twins, NCAA Football, College Football Bowl, Paul McCartney, NCAA Basketball Tournament, Taylor Swift Saint Paul and Cher Minneapolis provided by Ticket Triangle.

BALLPARKS © 1996-2014 by Munsey & Suppes.