|Location||1 Twins Way
(3rd Ave. N, between 5th St. N and 7th St. N)
|Broke ground||August 30, 2007|
|Opened||January 4, 2010 (first day of operations)
March 27, 2010 (college baseball)
April 2, 2010 (exhibition game)
April 12, 2010 (Regular season)
|Owner||Minnesota Ballpark Authority|
|Construction cost||$545 million
($583 million in 2013 dollars)
|Architect||Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
Hammel, Green and Abrahamson
|Project manager||International Facilities Group, LLC.|
|Structural engineer||Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|Field dimensions||Left Field - 339 feet (103 m)
Left-Center - 377 feet (115 m)
Center Field left corner - 411 feet (125 m)
Center Field right corner - 403 feet (123 m)
Right-Center - 365 feet (111 m)
Right Field - 328 feet (100 m)
|Minnesota Twins (MLB) (2010–present)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten)
Target Field is a baseball park located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the home ballpark of the Minnesota Twins, the city's Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise. It is the franchise's sixth ballpark and third in Minnesota. The Twins moved to Target Field for the 2010 Major League Baseball season after 28 seasons at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It is the first facility built specifically for the Twins since the team, previously the (original) Washington Senators, moved to the Twin Cities; Metropolitan Stadium was built for the Minneapolis Millers five years before the franchise's first season in Minnesota, and the Metrodome was built as a multipurpose stadium for the Twins, Minnesota Vikings, and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team. The 2010 season was the first since 1936 in which the franchise (then known as the Washington Senators) did not share their home stadium with an NFL team. The Twins received the certificate of occupancy from Mortenson Construction on December 22, 2009. Twins staff moved in on January 4, 2010.
The first baseball game at the ballpark took place on March 27, 2010, with a college baseball game between the University of Minnesota and Louisiana Tech. The Twins played two preseason games against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 2 and 3, while the stadium's inaugural regular season game was on April 12, 2010 against the Red Sox.
- 1 Summary
- 2 History
- 3 Features
- 4 Park firsts
- 5 Comparison to the Metrodome
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The 39,021-seat open-air ballpark is located in the Warehouse District west of Downtown Minneapolis. Designed by Populous with Bruce Miller as principal lead, Target Field is a modern take on other Populous-designed stadiums such as Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Twins opted for a "neutral" park which was intended to favor neither hitters nor pitchers; however, following the 2010 regular season, statistics showed that the park definitely played more to the favor of pitchers than hitters. In contrast, the Twins' previous homes in the Twin Cities, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome, were friendly to hitters. Unlike the Metrodome, Target Field is an open-air stadium.
Estimates put the stadium cost at $390 million, while infrastructure and financing costs bring the total to $522 million. Work on the site began on May 21, 2007, with the official groundbreaking for the stadium taking place August 30, 2007, delayed from the original date of August 2 due to the I-35W bridge collapse. The first concrete slab was poured on December 17, 2007.
The first tour was an open house held on March 20 for season ticket holders. Public tours are available on off-days during the season.
The first baseball game played there was on March 27, 2010 between the Minnesota Gophers and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. On that day, 37,757 fans went through the turnstiles from 9:15 a.m. until the conclusion of the game, marking the second-largest attendance for a collegiate baseball game. The largest came on March 11, 2004, when 40,106 fans saw San Diego State and Houston play at Petco Park in San Diego.
On July 3, 2011, the Twins set a three-game series attendance record (123,385) at Target Field against the Brewers. An attendance record of 42,524 for a single event at Target Field was set on July 8, 2012 during the Brothers of the Sun Tour featuring Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. The event also holds the distinction of being the first concert ever held at Target Field.
As of November 2008, crews had completed concrete work two months ahead of schedule, wrapping up the concrete portion of construction with a roof deck pour for the Twins administration building, according to the Minnesota Ballpark Authority. In March 2009 Tekna Kleen (commercial cleaning company), started doing the finishing cleaning touches to Target Field. In late August, 2009, the playing field was installed.
Plans for moving the Twins out of the Metrodome began to take serious shape in the mid-1990s. By 1995, the Twins had found a new site just north of the Metrodome, on a large piece of land next to the Mississippi River. Located in the old Mill District, the stadium would have sat next to the current Guthrie Theater; the cleared land for the stadium eventually became Gold Medal Park, a public park, in 2007. During the 1995 Minnesota legislative session, the proposed Mississippi River-sited stadium would have cost $300 million less than the proposed ballpark which eventually passed the legislature eleven years later.
The Twins underwent turbulent times in the late-1990s and into the new century: in 1997, owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro – Winston-Salem – High Point) area. The defeat of a referendum for a stadium in North Carolina and a lack of interest in building a stadium for the Twins in Charlotte killed the deal.
Saint Paul, under the leadership of Mayor Norm Coleman, made several attempts to woo the Twins across the Mississippi River. The closest any of these attempts came to success was in 1999, when Saint Paul voters rejected a referendum that would have raised the city sales tax by 0.5 percentage points to fund a stadium in downtown Saint Paul.
In 2001, the Twins, along with the Montreal Expos (who later became the Washington Nationals), were identified as a target for MLB "contraction" (elimination) by Commissioner Bud Selig after a vote by MLB owners. The contraction plans were shelved after the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling requiring the Twins to play baseball in the Metrodome in 2002, but the pressure spurred the Minnesota House to vote in favor of some stadium legislation, which also garnered support from then-Governor Jesse Ventura.
Legislation and funding
A state law passed in 1997 requires that when a county seeks to raise its sales tax, the question is put before the voters. The law also allows a county to seek permission from the state to enact the tax without a voters' referendum. The Minnesota Legislature did not act on the bill during the 2005 session.
On April 26, 2005, the Twins and Hennepin County announced that a deal had been reached in which the Twins would pay roughly 1/3 of the stadium's cost ($125 million), with the rest being paid for by a 0.15% Hennepin County sales tax. The deal needed approval by the Hennepin County Board. After delaying the vote one week, on May 3 the Board voted 4–3 in favor of the stadium deal. Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak (DFL) had already weighed in in favor of the stadium. The plan passed its second hurdle on May 9, 2005, when a House committee of the Minnesota Legislature approved a bill to get around the referendum on a 17–5 vote. This legislation languished before the full legislature, during a particularly gridlocked session, and was placed on the back burner, pending resolution of "more pressing" legislation. Naming rights belong to the Minnesota Twins.
In the 2006 session, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the bill that would allow the team and county to go around the referendum. The Minnesota Senate also passed a version of the bill, but their version would also have built a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and funded transit projects. The two bills spent most of the legislative session in conference committee. The bill was passed by a 71–61 vote in the House and a 34–32 vote in the Senate. A ballot referendum, called for by many Hennepin County residents, was deemed infeasible due to the time-critical nature of the bill (a referendum would have had to wait until the November general election, while dates for the Twins to play in the Metrodome in 2007 needed to be applied for by July 1). Under the legislation, $392 million in public subsidy is provided through the Hennepin County sales tax increase for the $522 million project. The ballpark opened for the 2010 baseball season, the Twins' 50th season in Minnesota. The final bill was approved on May 21, and was signed into law by Governor Tim Pawlenty, as part of a pregame ceremony before the Twins' May 26 home game against the Seattle Mariners. The final version is substantially identical to the House version, with language relating to both the transit tax and the Vikings stadium stripped.
The County Board approved the ballpark plan 5–2 on June 20, 2006. Commissioners Johnson, Opat, Stenglein, McLaughlin and Dorfman voted to approve the sales tax levy and ballpark funding proposal. Commissioner Gail Dorfman, who opposed the sales tax for ballpark proposal initially as "a bad deal for the taxpayer", switched her voting position, stating that the park was "a done deal and the focus now is on implementing it in the most responsible way possible." Commissioners Penny Steele and Linda Koblick remained opposed to publicly funding a ballpark using a Hennepin County sales tax without a referendum as required by state statute, and to the terms of the funding agreement as "not being in the best interest of the county taxpayers and citizens."
In mid-February 2007, funding and acquisition ran into a snag because the land purchase price had been negotiated with the owners (Land Partners II) but not properly secured when the State bill was passed. On April 4, 2007, Dave St. Peter, Twins president and the head of the team's ballpark committee, announced that an agreement had been reached that would have the Twins paying a portion of the difference between Land Partners II's asking price and the county's budget for the land. As a result, after a four-month impasse, the Hennepin County board voted on April 10, 2007 to use eminent domain to acquire the land with the Twins helping to cover acquisition costs beyond the county's previous $13.5 million offer. Before construction could begin, the Twins also reached a related agreement with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which owns property adjacent to the site. With the issue over land moving forward, the Twins presented the official design of the new stadium on April 12; it had been delayed due to the land dispute.
On May 1, 2007, Hennepin County officially took control of the land after placing $13.75 million into a court escrow account; although the court would still need to officially determine the price of the land in the condemnation process, the Twins agreed to pay any costs beyond the amount deposited. The action assured that the construction of the stadium would begin on June 1, 2007. In late August, a three-member condemnation panel ruled that the parcel was worth $23.8 million; developers had claimed that the fair market value was $65 million. On October 15, 2007, the two sides reached a negotiated settlement of just under $29 million, ending the dispute; as a result the County noted it would have to cut back on some improvements to the surrounding streetscapes, though it also revealed that the Pohlad family had committed another $15 million for infrastructure.
On September 15, 2008, the Twins and Minneapolis-based Target Corporation announced that the Twins' new ballpark would be named Target Field. Financial terms of the naming rights agreement were not disclosed. The company's investment will also build a pedestrian bridge from the ballpark to downtown, Target Plaza, more seating, new canopies and public art.
Populous, the lead architectural design firm, tried to avoid creating a replica of the old-style brick Camden Yards or modern urban design of the new Nationals Park (both also designed by Populous). Instead, the design for the new Twins stadium employs local limestone, heated viewing areas and a heated field. The stadium does not have a roof, but there is a canopy above the top deck. The stadium is integrated with the intermodal Target Field station which connects the Hiawatha light rail line with the Minneapolis terminus of the Northstar commuter rail line leading from the northwest. Walter P Moore served as the structural engineer for the stadium and canopy.
The approved design does not include a retractable roof, though it was considered initially. A retractable roof was cited to add $100 million to the total budget and none of the parties (Twins, Hennepin County or Minnesota Legislature) were willing to pay for that cost. Much like other northern cities with outdoor professional baseball (i.e. Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Cleveland, New York), the weather in Minneapolis during a 162-game baseball season and playoffs can vary from early-spring snow to rain and hot, humid weather. The Metrodome is climate-controlled, and thus, protected the baseball schedule during the entire time that it had been the venue for the Minnesota Twins. However, many Twins fans and baseball purists argue that this same sterile, climate-controlled environment creates a less-than-desirable atmosphere for watching baseball. The architect also tested the feasibility of heated seats.
The site is about the same size as that of Fenway Park, and the ballpark holds roughly the same number of seats. The site is bounded by 3rd Avenue (southeast, right field, across from Target Center); 5th Street North (northeast, left field); 7th Street North (southwest, first base); Hennepin Environmental Recovery Center [garbage incinerator] and 6th Avenue North (northwest, third base). 3rd Avenue is a westbound one-way street which dips down under the right field seats and serves as a ramp to I-394 westbound. A separate, small westbound segment of 3rd Avenue, connecting 7th Street North with Glenwood Avenue, was renamed "Twins Way". The ballpark's street address, "1 Twins Way", is at the "foot" of the renamed street.
Metro and Commuter Rail Connections
The stadium is well-connected to the city's transit network, being immediately adjacent to the "A" and "B" parking ramps of the large ABC Ramps complex at the end of Interstate 394, which include two major transit bus terminals and link to the rest of downtown Minneapolis via skyway. Using the METRO light rail system, over 8,000 people typically arrive every game via the METRO Blue Line which terminates at Target Field Station, just 10 yards from the park's Gate 6. Construction of the METRO Green Line that will connect Target Field to downtown St. Paul began in November 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2014. For fans arriving from the northwest suburbs, the Northstar Line commuter rail terminates in downtown Minneapolis with a station underneath the ballpark.
Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis built the stadium. Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors completed the mechanical contracting. Danny's Construction Company erected the structural steel. Subcontractors involved in the concrete work include CECO Concrete Construction, Gephart Electric, E&J Rebar, Ambassador Steel Corporation, Amsysco Inc., and Nordic Construction/Cemstone.
On February 12, 2008, the Twins announced $22.4 million in upgrades to the original design, increased the Twins ownership stake in the new ballpark to $167.4 million, bringing the total ballpark cost to $412 million. The upgrades were mainly based around increasing fan experience and comfort. The upgrades included an enlarged canopy soffit (the largest in baseball), protecting fans further from the elements despite the stadium not having a roof. The Twins also upgraded the scoreboard - the fourth-largest in Major League Baseball - from standard definition to a high definition display from Daktronics measuring 101 feet (31 m) long and 57 feet (17 m) high. Other upgrades included warming shelters, changing 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of the exterior surface to "Mankato Limestone," and increasing the number of restrooms and concessions areas. The park features a modernized version of the original "Minnie and Paul Shaking Hands" logo used on the team's original uniforms from 1961 until 1986 (the logo has also been on the home uniforms since 2001). When a Twins player hits a home run, the Minnie and Paul sign lights up with strobe lights surrounding the Minnesota state outline and Minnie and Paul shake hands, akin to the Liberty Bell used at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The original flagpole from Metropolitan Stadium - completely restored - is located on the right field plaza. The flagpole was located at the American Legion post in Richfield after the Metropolitan Stadium's closing, and was donated back to the Twins by the Legion as a gesture of goodwill.
On November 10, 2010, the Twins announced a number of upgrades to Target Field, all of which were completed in time for the 2011 season. Highlights among the upgrades include a scoreboard in right-center field and the "Twins Tower" (a 100-foot (30 m) tall illuminated tower), next to the new scoreboard. Other changes include free wireless service for fans, expanded concession stand menus, and the addition of more radiant heaters and artwork around the ballpark. In total, the changes were expected to cost the Twins $4–6 million.
Additionally, the 14 black spruce trees located in the batter's eye were removed, following hitters' complaints that the trees interfered with the ability to see pitches as they would sometimes sway in the wind. The batter's eye wall itself was covered in a black material designed to reduce glare.
- The popular left-field Budweiser roof deck features mostly standing room and the only bonfire in the Majors.
- The bullpens are "double-decker" style in left-center field. The Twins' pen is farthest from the field, with the opposing team's pen below it, closest to the field.
- The batter's eye featured fourteen young black spruce trees (each about six feet high) the first year. After criticism from Twins and opposing players concerning the shadows that they cast, the trees were removed prior to the second year. Some were auctioned to fans and ticket holders while the rest were donated to Minnesota state parks.
- The limestone used in much of the stadium is from Kasota, near Mankato.
- The admission gates are numbered according to former Twins legends and roughly located near to the positions that they played;
- Left field gate is #6 honoring Tony Oliva (with his bronze statue nearby)
- Centerfield gate is #3 for Harmon Killebrew
- Target Plaza gate (in right field) is #34 in tribute to Kirby Puckett
- Right field gate is #29 in tribute to Rod Carew
- Home plate gate is #14 in honor of Kent Hrbek (featuring his bronze statue)
Target Plaza is the gathering area behind the right field gate (Gate 34).
- On the wall of the adjacent parking garage facing the ballpark is a wind veil that makes waves as the wind blows. At night, color-changing lights add to the effect.
- Near the wind veil there are nine topiary frames each 40 feet (12 m) high shaped like baseball bats with hops growing on them. They are lit up every night with the same color changing scheme as the veil, however, during games they are lit up red, in sequential order, to denote the current inning.
- In this plaza are statues of former players Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek, and Harmon Killebrew as well as former owners Calvin Griffith, Carl Pohlad and his wife, Eloise Pohlad.
- A large "Golden Glove" sits in the plaza in recognition of all Twins players to win the Gold Glove Award. The statue can be sat on and is a popular photo attraction. It is located exactly 520 feet (160 m) from home plate; the distance of Harmon Killebrew's longest home run at Met Stadium (although his was hit into the left field upper deck).
- There is a monument that shows all the venues that Minnesota-based baseball teams played in.
- On the rails of the pedestrian skybridge are pennants that contains the rosters of all the Twins teams, and pennants of players, coaches, front office people, and other contributors who have been elected to the Twins Hall of Fame.
- The main flagpoles are in right field near the Plaza. The largest pole which flies the Stars and Stripes is the original pole used at Metropolitan Stadium. It was relocated to the Richfield Legion Post 435 after the Met was demolished, and after being cut in half and refurbished was re-installed for baseball at Target Field with the first flags (both US and POW/MIA) donated by Post 435 being raised at the first Twins exhibition game by veteran and flagpole historian B.W. McEvers of Bloomington. On September 6, Jim Thome hit a solo home run against the Kansas City Royals that hit the flag pole.
- The championship banners fly on small flagpoles located on the upper rim of the stadium beyond left field. Each pole recognizes each division, league, and world championship since the team's arrival in 1961.
- On the stadium's upper rim in right-center field are small flagpoles that fly the flag for all the teams (including the Twins) in the division. The order that the flags fly are determined by the divisional standings.
- Home plate is the same that was used at the Metrodome. After the Twins' final dome game (Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS), the plate was dug up and later installed at Target Field. In addition, several handfuls of dirt were taken from the sliding pit and pitcher's mound areas from the Metrodome and scattered near their counterparts at Target Field.
Twins Bars and Restaurants
At Target Field, there are three prominent bars and restaurants;
- The Town Ball Tavern is located on the upper concourse by the left field corner, and is famous for serving the Jucy Lucy burger. The wood flooring is the same used on the basketball court at the Minneapolis armory during the NBA Minneapolis Lakers stay, before leaving for Los Angeles.
- Hrbek's is located on the main concourse behind home plate, and is named after former Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek.
- There are two bars located on the upper concourse behind home plate, collectively called the Twins Pubs. In one of these bars, fans can watch the Target Field organist, Sue Nelson, perform during games. Out of these three bars and restaurants, the Twins Pub is the only one that does not serve food, however it is the only one in which the field is visible from inside.
- Concessions at throughout also include several Minnesota favorites like walleye, wild rice soup, Kramarczuk's sausages, as well as a "State Fair Foods" stand where many items are served "on a stick", such as the J.D. Hoyt's pork chop.
Minnie and Paul logo
A large version of the Twins' original "Minnie and Paul" logo stands in center field. It shows two players wearing the uniforms of the two minor-league teams that played in the Twin Cities before the Twins' arrival, the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints, shaking hands across the Mississippi River. During various points in the game, the strobe lights surrounding the logo flash. This sign was a concept designed and illustrated by RipBang Studios but built by others.
- When the Twins score a run by any means other than a home run, the strobe lights trace the border from the bottom-left corner for each Twins player that crosses home plate, symbolizing that a Twins player rounded the bases.
- For each strikeout, the corners of the sign flash to portray the strike zone.
- The strobe lights will flash at the end of the top of an inning if the Twins do not surrender a run during the inning.
- After a Twins home run, the strobe lights flash, Minnie and Paul shake hands, and the Mississippi River flows.
- After a Twins victory, the "T" and "s" in "Twins" will blink to show the message "Twins win" in addition to the animation shown following a Twins home run.
Opening Day (April 12, 2010)
|Score||Minnesota Twins 5, Boston Red Sox 2|
|First Pitch||Carl Pavano (Twins)|
|First Batter||Marco Scutaro (Red Sox)|
|First Hit||Marco Scutaro|
|First Double||Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox)|
|First Triple||Justin Morneau (Twins)|
|First Run||Denard Span (Twins)|
|First RBI(s)||Michael Cuddyer (Twins)|
|First Strikeout||David Ortiz (Red Sox) by Carl Pavano|
|First Home Run||Jason Kubel (Twins off Scott Atchison, Red Sox, bottom 7th)|
|First Twins Batter||Denard Span|
|First Stolen Base||Denard Span|
|First Double Play||4-6-3: Orlando Hudson to J.J. Hardy to Justin Morneau (Twins)|
|First Win||Carl Pavano (Twins)|
|First Save||Jon Rauch (Twins)|
|First Loss||Jon Lester (Red Sox)|
|First Walk||Denard Span|
|First Pinch-Hitter||Jim Thome (Twins) April 14, 2010 vs. Boston Red Sox|
|Suspended Game||May 25, 2010 vs. New York Yankees|
|Inside The Park Home Run||August 21, 2011 vs. New York Yankees by Curtis Granderson|
|Twins Grand Slam||September 27, 2011 vs. Kansas City Royals by Rene Tosoni|
|Rainout||May 7, 2010 (scheduled vs. Baltimore Orioles)|
|Doubleheader||May 8, 2010 (Day-Night DH vs. Orioles)|
|Walk-Off HR (and hit)||August 17, 2010 vs. Chicago White Sox by Jim Thome|
|Postseason Game||October 6, 2010 vs. New York Yankees|
|All-Star Game Hosted||July 15, 2014 (Scheduled) - National League @ American League|
Comparison to the Metrodome
|Target Field||H.H.H. Metrodome|
|Lower Deck Seats||19,000||21,621|
|Group Party Suites||12||1|
|Club Level Seats||7,000||not applicable|
|Upper Deck Seats||13,468||28,779|
between 1st and 3rd Base
|Outfield Seats||about 6,748||18,594|
|Seats with Obstructed Views||< 200||1,392|
|Main Concourse||40 feet (12 m),
open to field
|22 feet (6.7 m),
closed to field
- *This is the official capacity. However, Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets are available that can increase this capacity by approximately 2,500+.
- **6,000 seats were covered by a curtain; these and others made the stadium expandable to 55,883 during baseball playoffs and certain games in the last homestand and one-game playoff in October 2009.
- ***Controlled by the Minnesota Vikings football team.
Field dimensions are roughly comparable, with the left field area being a few feet closer to the plate, and the center field area being bounded by a 45-degree facet instead of a quarter-circle.
The new field has often been referred to as a "pitcher's park" in that it is difficult for batters to hit home runs and the pitcher has an advantage. Twins star Justin Morneau spoke for many of the players' concerns by calling "right-center to left-center... ridiculous" and that it is "almost impossible for a right-handed hitter to [homer to the] opposite field and very difficult for lefties".
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- Walsh, Paul (August 27, 2010). "Carew Supports Griffith Statue Being Placed Near His Target Field Gate". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- "Justin Morneau Laments Target Fences". ESPN. November 12, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Target Field.|
- Stadium site on twinsbaseball.com
- Minnesota Ballpark Authority official website
- The Twins Stadium Bill MN State Legislature HF2480, SF2297
- Minnesota Legislative Reference Library: Baseball Stadiums
- BallparkMagic (Target Field Construction Blog)
- Ballpark FAQ
- Target Field Seating Chart
|Events and tenants|
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
|Home of the
2010 – present
|Host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Great American Ball Park