In May 2006, the State of Minnesota authorized legislation to construct a $545 million ballpark in Minneapolis for use by the Minnesota Twins. The Twins, an American League franchise since 1961, had played at the old Metrodome since 1982. The Metrodome was an indoor facility that sat over 56,000 and offered field turf instead of natural grass. The Twins shared the facility with the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.
Target Field opened on April 12, 2010. Target Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, secured the naming rights to the field until 2035.
The ballpark was funded both privately and publicly. In terms of private financing, the Minnesota Twins put up $195 million of capital, while Hennepin County secured the remaining $350 million of public contributions.
The stadium seats 39,029 and offers one of the best game experiences in baseball. Nestled into the heart of downtown Minneapolis, Target Field provides athletic competition in an open-air, urban setting.
Throughout the park, baseball fans will find more than a subtle nod to the Twins’ storied history. Outside the stadium, statues of Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, and Harmon Killebrew grace the plaza. Inside, murals honor the Hall of Fame legacy.
Because concourses running through the stadium connect the restaurant bars and the field, fans never miss a minute of the action.
Game-goers will also enjoy the Minneapolis skyline, provided as a backdrop.
One of the matchless features of Target Field is the old logo displayed behind the outfield bleachers. When a Twins’ player hits a home run, the logo lights up. To the left of this ballpark feature is the main scoreboard, and to the right is a 28×50 video display board.
Fans seated along the 3rd base line can easily see the Target Center, the home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, behind the right field wall.
Since Target Field opened in 2010, the Minnesota Twins have won 90 games only once, when the team went 94-68 in 2010. After a 70-92 regular season in 2014, the Twins replaced 13-year skipper Ron Gardenhire with Paul Molitor.
With 3,223,640 fans attending Twins’ games in 2010, Minnesota ranked 6thin MLB total attendance. In 2017, the team ranked 21st.
Regardless of how attendance fluctuates, it’s clear from one experience at Target Field that Minnesotans are passionate about their Twins. H&A
All Photos by Al Blanton