On Saturday, I attended the first game in the new home to the Minnesota Twins, Target Field. The “dry run” featured the Minnesota Gophers playing Louisiana Tech. After playing in the dreadful Metrodome for too many years, the return to outside baseball is being warmly welcomed by the team and the public. Sadly, that was the only thing warm about Saturday. Cloudy sky’s and temperatures in the 40’s quickly reminded us of why the Dome was originally build. That being said, Target Field is going to be a marvelous place to spend an August evening.
The facility is beautiful. The ultra wide concourses make moving about a breeze. One of the many criticisms of the Metrodome was the lack of restrooms and that should not be the case at Target Field. And going to the ballpark no longer just means peanuts and Cracker Jack. The choices of cuisine and beverages available to the general public range from a hot dog to a prime rib sandwich from legendary restaurant and Minneapolis favorite, Murray’s. The private, exclusive areas offer 5 star dining and a large and varied wine list. The centerpiece is The Legends Club with indoor seating overlooking the field and numerous dining options. Photos chronicling the history of not only the Twins but all baseball in Minnesota line the walls. Fabulous photos of Hall of Fame members Ted Williams and Willie Mays that both played seasons in the Cities early in their careers are prominently displayed. To combat the early and late season chill, heat lights and fireplaces are generously placed around the stadium. The only drawback I observed was the width of the aisles between seating sections. The open house didn’t really give an accurate feel of a real game as the stadium was the star of the day with the game being a nice distraction for most. The true test will take place Friday and Saturday when the Twins play exhibition games against the St. Louis Cardinals to sold out crowds. The 3 sections directly behind home plate feature high back padded seats that set a high standard for comfort. The open house crowd lovingly referred to these as the “seats we’ll never see again” sections. The prices range from $175 to $275 per game and I’m just not that big of a fan. More pictures here. By the way-the Gophers lost 9-1.