Target Field is the new home of the Minnesota Twins, and Minnesotans have been buzzing about it since opening day on April 12, 2010. The journey to get the new stadium was a 10 year battle in the Minnesota legislature. There were protests and rallies, calls for action and shouts for no action. But in 2006 the stadium legislation was signed into law, and a new era for Minnesota baseball began.
Every stadium battle is probably uniquely personal for any city that goes through the process. For Minnesotans, it was about playing baseball outdoors, among other things. The Twins moved into the Metrodome in 1982, which they shared with the Minnesota Vikings. It made sense to play baseball indoors considering the cool spring weather and chilly fall nights. But playing in a football stadium was like playing in a big enclosed can and watching ants run around on the dirt.
So the Minnesota Twins have a new stadium, and getting a ticket to a game is a feat in and of itself. But once you’re inside, you understand why ESPN Magazine named the Minnesota Twins the number one fan experience among all major league teams.
I arranged to tour Target Field one rainy evening right after the Twins clinched the American League Central Division. The group I was with thought it was very special to get such a behind the scenes glimpse at the stadium, but the reality is, anyone can do it. Target Field offers tours May through September to the general public for $15 on non-game days, and offers private corporate tours as well. It’s well worth the price to see the private clubs and lounges, sit in the dugout and walk on the field. What I discovered was how universal the love of baseball is for people all over the country. My tour group included people from Arizona, Tampa and New York. And mark my words, the New York Yankees fans were the most impressed out of the entire bunch.
A few facts about Target Field
- Target Field’s footprint is only 8.5 acres large – the smallest in Major League Baseball – but it covers a total of 10.5-acres when looked at from above because portions of it extend over surrounding roadways.
- Target Field is the first baseball only park for the Twins. Prior to Target Field, the Twins had shared the same sports venue with the Minnesota Vikings (The Metrodome and Metropolitan Stadium).
- The main scoreboard is the fourth largest in the majors. It measures 57 feet tall by 101 feet wide.
- The turf is heated to about 40 degrees in the winter to keep it in tip top shape for the next season.
- Target Field’s facade is built with more than 100,000 square feet of limestone from southwest Minnesota.
- There are 54 luxury suites that range in price from $90,000-$200,000 per year.
- Target Field features one of the closest seating bowls to the playing field in all of Major League Baseball. It has approximately 18,500 infield seats.
- The upper deck is partially protected by a large canopy and has heated concourses, restrooms, concessions and restaurants to help fans deal with bad weather.
- The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Target Field LEED Silver Certification, only the second MLB ballpark that has attained this standard by April 2010. (Nationals Park in Washington, D.C is the other LEED certified ballpark)
- For 2010, the team sold a record 24,000 season tickets. The old record was more than 11,000 in 2009.
- The Legend’s Club includes padded seats along with access to private, climate controlled lounge areas featuring full-service bars, large screen TVs, fireplaces and upscale food options.
- Target Field has approximately 20,000 fewer upper deck seats than the Metrodome.
- There are 401 women’s and 266 men’s restroom fixtures at Target Field. In comparison, the Metrodome has 256 women’s and 192 men’s fixtures.
Kirby Puckett’s final contract with the Minnesota Twins
Winning World Series baseball
Babe Ruth inside the Metropolitan Club
1991 World Series Trophy
For pictures taken during a daytime game, visit All Down the Line.