Photos: Designs for the new St. Paul Saints ballpark

People passing by the new Saints ballpark in Lowertown will be able to see all the way to the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

New renderings released Thursday show what architect Julie Snow called a "porous" open-air concession area. A building housing team offices was also shortened to save money. And as before, the playing field and most of the seats will be located below street level.

"It really responds in sort of a modest way to open up vistas to not only the surrounding area, but to the city itself," Snow said of the design.

Because home plate is oriented to keep the sun out of the batter's eyes, most spectators won't get great views of the downtown skyline, with the exception of those seated in the outfield.

The team's offices will now be located partially below ground, but the executives will have a great view of the playing field. And they'll have windows, something many of the team's offices currently lack.

The city is almost finished demolishing the former shampoo factory that stood on the ballpark site. This winter, crews will haul away contaminated soils. The facility is scheduled to open in 2015.

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