Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota is a gorgeous city with even more gorgeous summers. So why their baseball team, the Twins had to play in a domed stadium they shared with the NFL’s Vikings for almost three decades is beyond me.

Target Field has been the Twins home since 2010.

I’ll spare this blog from my full ramblings about the MetroDome, but simply put it wasn’t a good baseball stadium. Baseball is meant to be played outside, on grass, and not in an indoor stadium on an artificial surface.

Target Field opened in 2010 and has become one Major League Baseball’s finest parks. But there were plenty of trials before the triumph for the Twins. In 1994, Twins owner Carl Pohlad called the MetroDome “economically obsolete.” Referendums to build ballparks in Greensboro, North Carolina, and St. Paul in the late nineties both failed. The Twins franchise was nearly eliminated all together in 2001 when MLB owners voted 28-2 to eliminate them and the Montreal Expos. Obviously both those teams are still around today. The Expos now of course are the Washington Nationals.

The Twins Minnie and Paul logo lies straight ahead in center field.

Perfectly nestled into the historic warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis, the easiest way to get to Target Field in my opinion is either by bike (Minneapolis is one the friendliest cities for bicycle users in the U.S.) or by their light rail system. If you take the light rail to get to the game, it will drop you right off at the left field gates. Save the money on parking and avoid the hassle.

The light rail will drop you right off at the left field gates.

Target Field’s structure and appearance can be defined from its Kasota Limestone, which comes from Minnesota itself. The light beige of the limestone gives the ballpark its own unique look.

One of the first things that stood out to me about Target Field was how you could walk around the entire lower level concourse and see the field. I noticed that you could watch the game while standing almost anywhere on the lower concourse and be covered the entire time.

Throughout the ballpark, there are drink rails that provide excellent views of the ballgame. I had a Twitter follower that said Target Field was almost like a giant bar. That statement turned out to be pretty true. One of Target Field’s most popular features is the left field Budweiser roof deck. It features standing room on multiple levels.

Drink rails like these are all around the lower concourse.

Target Field appears to be much bigger when you’re watching a Twins game on television. In reality, the park is actually pretty intimate when you’re there in person. Out in left field, part of the upper deck hangs over the bleachers, so it’s closer to the playing field than upper decks in other parks. Target Field fits perfectly into the downtown area of Minneapolis.

Since Target Field opened back in 2010, the Twins have consistently done well at the gates, even when the team has struggled on the field. Attendance has done pretty well even during the often cold Minnesota Aprils. Further proof the Twins should have never moved into the MetroDome at all.

This was my food choice for the evening.

The Twins do a good job of paying tribute to their history, too. Each gate is numbered after Twins legends such as Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, and Tony Oliva. Out in center field is a large version of the Twins’ Minnie and Paul logo. The two shake hands after each Twins home victory.

Downtown Minneapolis overlooks Target Field.

I think Target Field will pleasantly surprise you if you have never been to Minnesota. I recommend going during the summer time, when the weather up there is near perfection. Be sure to check out all the lakes Minnesota has to offer, as well as the world famous Mall of America. I was only up there for one night the first time I went, so I’m looking to go back there and check out Target Field again, and the rest of Minneapolis.