Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Good Seats Still Available

Apr 4, 2022

Baseball historian, Minnesota Twins official scorer and Episode 114 guest Stew Thornley ("Metropolitan Stadium: Memorable Games at Minnesota's Diamond on the Prairie"), returns for a fond look back at the semi-iconic structure that helped secure "major league" status for the Twin Cities in the early 1960s.
Known simply as "The Met" by area locals (or even the "Old Met" to distinguish from the downtown Minneapolis Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome that effectively replaced it in 1982), Bloomington's Metropolitan Stadium opened in April of 1956 with the stated hope of luring a Major League Baseball franchise to the region - just as the sport was beginning to chart its modern-era manifest destiny.
While ultimately luring Calvin Griffith's Washington Senators to become the Twins in 1961 - as well as the expansion NFL football Vikings that same year - the Met was mostly the exclusive home of the minor league American Association Minneapolis Millers for its first five years of existence, save for a handful of annual NFL preseason exhibition games and two regular season Chicago Cardinals matches in 1959.
In 1976, it also became the popular outdoor home of the North American Soccer League's Minnesota Kicks - and its legions of young tailgate-crazy fans.
Ahead of its time in the mid-50s, Met Stadium was nearly obsolete by the end of the 70s - decent for baseball, not so much for football - and rumors of at least the Vikings absconding for another to-be-built stadium in the area (including concepts for a domed enclosure or a new football-only facility between it and the nearby indoor Met Center) swirled around the community as early as 1970.
Alas, after only 21 seasons each for the Twins and the Vikings (six for the Kicks), Metropolitan Stadium succumbed to poor maintenance and the allure of a new, winter-proof Metrodome.  Demolished in 1985, the Met gave way to what is now the country's largest shopping center - the Mall of America.