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Metropolitan Stadium excerpt

posted Apr 24, 2021, 3:28 PM by Dan Whenesota   [ updated Apr 24, 2021, 3:47 PM ]

On June 16, 1953, a group of civic leaders from both Minneapolis and St. Paul called the ‘Twin Cities Major League Baseball Committee’, got approval as a potential site for a future MLB team.  The first obstacle would be constructing a stadium.  After considering different locations including a site on the University of Minnesota St Paul campus, the Minneapolis City Council approved the purchase of farm land in the village of Bloomington on August 13, 1954.  The land was located in the SE corner of Cedar Avenue and what was then known as highway 100 (eventually 494).  The construction would be overseen by a group known as the Metropolitan Sports Area Commission and led by chairman Gerald Moore, who was also a part of the Major League Baseball Committee.  Groundbreaking for the stadium was held on June 20, 1955, but was almost delayed because the owner of the primary portion of the farm land, Paul Gerhardt, had not been paid.  He had barricaded his land with a wall of tractors to prevent any construction equipment from coming on his land.  A settlement was reached the day prior to the groundbreaking ceremony. 

The first game at the stadium was held on April 24, 1956.  A crowd of 18,366 watched the Minneapolis Millers lose to the Wichita Braves 5-4.  Even though it was already being referred to as ‘Metropolitan Stadium’ in the newspapers, it was officially given the name on July 19, 1956 and would commonly be referred to as ‘The Met’ or ‘Met Stadium’. 

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