Target Field

We interrupt the Vegas trip recap with a preview of Target Field. Tim and I were lucky enough to score tickets to an open house, and the new stadium brought tears of joy to our eyes. (Oh, and if you think we weren’t already excited for the upcoming season, the Twins signed Joe Mauer to an 8-year extension the next day.)

For pictures, go to my Flickr page.

We parked in the Target Center ramp and got excited when we could see the stadium from the elevator banks. They have signs up directing people to the stadium, which is helpful because we could see where we needed to go, but weren’t quite sure how to get there.

We entered at Gate 29 on the first level by right field. I love how all the gates are named after the retired numbers (3 Killebrew, 6 Oliva, 14 Hrbek, 29 Carew, 34 Puckett). They’ve done a great job integrating the Twins history with the new ballpark.

We took a few minutes just to soak everything in. We were pinching ourselves that we weren’t in another city visiting their stadium. This was ours!

We glanced over the food options, which met our approval. We overheard several people echoing our thoughts that it was nice to have more variety. At the Dome, it seemed that all the food offerings were the same (Dome dogs, pizza, pre-wrapped burgers, with the occasional Famous Dave’s barbecue stand). I’m hoping it will take several games for me to eat my way through the different menu items. There are four different varieties of hot dogs, a Cuban sandwich named after Tony Oliva, Italian food at Frankie V’s, State Fair classics (including pork chops on a stick, ribs, pork sandwiches, kabobs, and cheese curds), Senor Smoke’s (featuring nachos, tacos, and burritos and other south-of-the-border favorites), Halsey’s Sausage Haus, and several others. I’m especially happy to see the local options such as the Murray’s steak sandwich (which I had to sample… delicious) and the Vincent burger (stuffed with smoked gouda, which I’ve had at their restaurant and would highly recommend).

In addition to the various stands, they have several restaurants. One is Hrbek’s, behind home plate, with a focus on beer and bar food. Another is the Town Ball Tavern near left field, which has more bar food and drinks, with a Target Field Juicy Lucy.

We were able to explore several areas we wouldn’t be able to access during a regular season. We went down by the dugout, and we took a peek at the fancy seats behind home plate (padded, with high backs). We sat in the seats we’d have for our upcoming games (one on the lower level in section 109, and one on the upper level in section 318). We were relieved that the seats in the upper deck didn’t seem too steep, and we felt closer to the field than we thought we’d be. The seats in the outfield (right field) seemed steep, even though they were lower than the seats in the upper deck.

We loved the open concourses and the novelty of being able to follow the game even if you had to get up for refreshments.
The design was intuitive and it was easy to find your way around without running into a dead end. (This obviously was not designed by the same people who did The Crystals in Vegas.) It felt cozy and intimate without feeling cramped; it felt like the perfect size. It was slightly chilly, but not uncomfortable (and quite pleasant when you were sitting in the sun).

We enjoyed our time on the Legends Club level. They had several indoor seating areas, including atriums named after Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew. Each atrium had a buffet at one end and a huge wooden mural of the player at the other end. Even though we were indoors, there was plenty of natural light and it felt open. There was also a bar with Harmon Killebrew’s signature and a small seating area, with a few places for outdoor seating. The Metropolitan Club was quite swanky (and a place I won’t be seeing again). It was on the right field side, and also had a lot of windows for more natural light.

Also on the Legends Club level were the pressbox (named for legendary broadcaster Herb Carneal), a model of Target Field, pictures of all the other major league stadiums, and several suites. The suites each had pictures of a Minnesota player (like Terry Steinbach), honoring the locals. Each suite had a coat closet, its own bathroom, several tables with barstools, a kitchen area with a bar and stainless steel refrigerator, and an outdoor area to view the games.

We’re even more excited for baseball season to start now. This felt like a ballpark we’d travel to see in another city. We’ve seen the parks for the Baltimore Orioles, the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, and the Kansas City Royals, and this stands up to the best of them. I’m still pinching myself that this park is in our city and we get to see outdoor baseball.


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2 Responses to “Target Field”

  1. Brian Says:

    Very cool. Open concourses are the greatest invention ever. My Dad worked with a guy who was head of the Stadium Authority which oversaw the construction of Camden Yards. We had a sneak-peak in the winter before they started public open houses. I will never forget the first time I walked out of a tunnel to see the field. Even though they only had installed half the sod, it was spectacular to see.

  2. Michele Says:

    Yes– even though the sod wasn’t visible during our open house, I was still excited to see the field.

    Camden is great. When we visited there in 2003, I remember thinking, “why can’t we have one of these?”

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