Target Field
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Year Opened
2010

Current Team
Minnesota Twins

Affiliate
N/A

League
American League

Capacity
39,504

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A- Concessions A

Photos taken in 2010
When the plans for Target Field were originally unveiled, many people bemoaned the lack of a retractable roof. Would people be willing to sit outside in the cooler months after being accustomed to the constant 72 degree temperature of the Metrodome ? But after seeing Target Field, I don't think they will mind one bit. In short, there is a lot to like and very little to dislike about the Twins new ballpark. Located just off the downtown and adjacent to the Target Center, Target Field was tucked neatly into a very small plot of land. The exterior is one of the most distinct in baseball as it is made of yellow and brownish limestone, a material produced locally. Almost all fans will approach the ballpark from the outfield side, either on the train (behind the left field wall) or via walking from the downtown which brings you to Target Plaza, the area dedicated to showing off the Twins history. The ballpark is easily accessible by car (parking is available close by for $10-15), train, and bicycle (there are large bike racks on either side of the park). Before the game, be sure to allot yourself enough time to take in Target Plaza. There are large statues of Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett, a “Tradition” wall with banners dedicated to every season of Twins baseball, and another wall depicting the history of ballparks in Minneapolis. In addition to the history, there are concession stands open and plenty of benches to sit and relax or people watch. It probably is the best feature of the park. My only problem with it is that it actually sits outside the gates of the park. So once inside, you cannot access it. Strangely, there is very little Twins history present inside the park. The seating bowl and concourses measure up to what you would expect from a new park. The main concourse is very wide, completely circles the ballpark, and is loaded with concession stands. The seats are all green fold-downs (not sure why they didn't go with blue seats, a Twins color), with the exception of a single bleacher section behind the left field fence. There are also some seats (those in the club level) that have wooden seat backs, though am not really sure what the point of them is. While I doubt there are many aspects of the Metrodome that fans will miss, the steep pitch of the seating bowl may be one of them. The team argues that less pitch is better, but I don't agree. The upper deck is split into two distinct seating areas, just like Citi Field and Citizens Bank Park. This allows fans to stand and watch the game from the concourse. Target Field really excels in catering to the fan who wants to wander around as there are counters everywhere on the concourses. One of the coolest features of the ballpark is the large canopy that covers much of the upper deck seating. This canopy also houses the lights, meaning there is no need for light poles. While the upper deck seems a bit higher than other parks, the sightlines are still quite good from everywhere. Though if you sit in the first few rows of the upper deck, your view will be obstructed slightly by the rail in front of the first row. One part of Target Field that confused me was the large open concourse in right field which seemed empty. Other than a couple concession stands there was nothing else there. Perhaps they will utilize it better in the future. The setting of Target Field is great as the downtown location gives it a very hip vibe and the skyline which can be seen behind right field is one of the better views among MLB parks. As for the atmosphere, it was better than I expected for a new park. Besides a few baseball video game kiosks along the concourse, there was very little to distract fans from the game – no ferris wheels, no merry-go-rounds, no batting cages. At least for right now (while the Twins have a good team), the focus is definitely on the game. It is also very laid back as the ushers are probably the most unobtrusive I have ever seen at a new ballpark. The one thing that might serve as a distraction here is the food ! There is certainly something for everyone's tastes. Some of the unique offerings include Cuban sandwiches, walleye fingers, pork chop on a stick, turkey legs, calzones, Mexican, BBQ, steak sandwiches, and corn on the cob. The quality of the food seemed to be excellent and the prices about average for a MLB park. There are two other unique features that are worth mentioning. First is the ambient heating installed along the concourses. Apparently on cold nights this will provide some warmth to chilled fans while waiting in lines to get concessions. The other cool feature is the large old school Twins logo in center field which depicts Minnie and Paul. When a Twins player hits a home run, the logo lights up and they shake hands. In summary, there is little arguing that the Twins have built one of the best new ballparks to come around in the last decade. While it doesn't quite match up to PNC Park or AT&T Park for me, Target Field will rank in the next tier of ballparks on my list. When you see a game here, you definitely will know where you are – that alone makes a ballpark great in my mind.
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All Photos Copyright Brian Merzbach
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