• Gregory Koch

Target Field - Minnesota Twins


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29

Target Field 1 Twins Way Minneapolis, MN 55403

Minnesota Twins website Target Field website

Year Opened: 2010 Capacity: 38,649


 

It’s a Beautiful Day for Baseball in the Twin Cities

From 1982 until 2009, the Minnesota Twins played their home games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, widely regarded as one of the worst stadiums in baseball. The place was cramped, the roof frequently collapsed, and nobody wanted to be indoors during the two or three months that Minnesota actually has nice weather. In 2010, the Twins moved into their new home, Target Field, in downtown Minneapolis. This jewel of a stadium has a gorgeous limestone exterior and every modern amenity a ballpark can offer. The Twins won the AL Central in their first season in the new stadium and have made the playoffs three other times since then.

Food & Beverage 5

Target Field offers just about any food one could want, ranging from ballpark classics like burgers, hot dogs, and pizza to more unusual items like burritos, Aussie Pies, and Tony O’s Cuban Sandwich, which honors Twins legend Tony Olivo. The Truly on Deck area by the right field gate offers additional unique offerings such as Italian grinders, Nashville Hot Chicken sandwiches, and a more extensive burger selection than you can get at other concession stands. Prices are expensive but on par with what they’d be at any other major league stadium. You certainly won’t go hungry at Target Field, and you’ll have a lot of food to choose from.

Atmosphere 5

Target Field is a modern stadium that was built to create a unique atmosphere for fans. Walking into the stadium will put you on a concourse above the 100 level and you can take escalators up to the 200 and 300 levels. If you are seating in the field box seats, which have single or double-digit section numbers, you will walk down the steps past all the 100-level seats before your section starts. It can be a bit confusing but ushers are happy to help you out.

There are many unique visual aspects scattered throughout the stadium. There is a neon sign in right-centerfield featuring twins Minnie and Paulie, in honor of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The sign lights up at night and flashes when the Twins make a big play. There are two main scoreboards at Target Field – a large one in left-centerfield which normally shows player stats and a line score but can also show animation and replays, and a smaller one in right-centerfield which shows a more detailed box score normally, but, like the other one, can and does display other things as well. Ribbon boards line the field which shows more detailed stats, including sabermetrics like exit velocity and the vertical and horizontal break on pitches.

The Twins have a mascot named TC Bear who appears on the field before the game and interacts with fans throughout. During the fourth inning, the team has a mascot race on the field featuring Minnesota-themed characters Louie the Loon, Wanda the Walleye, Babe the Blue Ox, Skeeta the Mosquito, and Bullseye the Dog, the mascot of corporate sponsor Target. While it is disappointing to see the corporate image thrown in there, this is still a fun tradition that always excites fans.

Neighborhood 4

Target Field is located in Downtown Minneapolis, in a complex that also includes the Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves. There are many options just on the other side of Interstate 394, including local favorites such as Pizza Luce, The Loon Café, and Dulono’s Sports Bar. There are many options here – you’ll certainly find something you like.

Fans 3

When Stadium Journey visited on a Monday night, the stadium was just about half full, but even on a Saturday night, the Twins rarely draw more than 30,000, meaning there are about 10,000 empty seats in the stadium. (And that’s the official attendance, the actual turnstile count is likely lower.) Despite the Twins being in first place, they still don’t seem to be drawing particularly well. Part of that is because Minneapolis is a small market, but the Twins built an appropriately small stadium and still don’t come close to selling it out. Fortunately, the fans who do show up are passionate and loyal. From the moment you approach the stadium gate, you will be surrounded by fans wearing their Twins gear and getting ready to cheer on their beloved team. It’s just a shame there aren’t more of them.

Access 3

Target Field is located in Downtown Minneapolis, which is a mixture of road work and light rail tracks that make it hard to drive around. If coming by light rail, the station is right outside the stadium, which is easy enough, but if coming from someplace that isn’t on the light rail, it can be significantly more challenging.

Parking is available on several ramps near the stadium which are connected to the entrances by skyway. To those who don’t understand the unique Minnesota terms in the previous sentence, there are several parking garages near the stadium which are connected to the entrances by the elevated enclosed walkway which links the core of Downtown Minneapolis. There are signs directing you to the Ramps, but they will often stop functioning and leave you on your own to find your way. Prepaid parking ranges from $12 to $14. Be sure to scan your pass from your phone when you enter the garage rather than taking a ticket or you will have a lot of trouble when you get out and the gate does not recognize it. It can sometimes take a while to exit the garage but it will put you right on the highway and then you’ll be fine.

As a modern stadium, Target Field has wide concourses and ample restrooms for the crowds. Lines at concession stands generally move quickly and you can save even more time by pre-ordering on the Ballpark app from your phone.

Return on Investment 5

Like many teams, the Twins use dynamic ticket pricing, so the exact cost will vary by opponent. Weekday games against unattractive opponents early or late in the season start as low as $9. Even for a top-tier opponent, you should be able to get tickets for under $20 if you want. Upper-level seats behind home plate start at $33 on average, while good lower-level seats inside or near the bases can be had for as little as $49 for a typical game. As noted above, parking ranges from $12 to $14, and concessions are reasonably priced for a major league stadium, so a Twins game is a great value.

Extras 5

There are many, many extras here but we can only give it five stars in this category.

The Minnie and Paul sign and mascot race are both worthy of an extra star here.

There are extras both inside and outside Gate 34, the main gate in right field. As you approach this gate, you will find Target Plaza, containing statues honoring Twins greats as well as a giant baseball glove. The glove is a popular photo opportunity and people love to sit or stand in it and take their pictures. Just keep in mind the glove can get hot on summer days.

While those extras alone would be worthy of five stars, there is more. A model train is located on the outfield concourse, retired numbers hang in left field, and championship banners for the Twins, as well as the first incarnation of the Washington Senators that moved to Minnesota, fly in right-centerfield above the stands.

Final Thoughts

The difference between Target Field and the old Metrodome is like night and day. While the Twins previously played in one of the worst stadiums in Major League Baseball, they now play at one of the best. Just walking up and gaping at its gorgeous exterior, you get the sense that this place is different, and once you get inside, you will not be disappointed. From the Minnie and Paul sign to the unique concession items to all the other extras here, a trip to Target Field for a Twins game should be on every fan’s bucket list.

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