Target Field became the new home of the Minnesota Twins in April 2010. It’s an outdoor ballpark located blocks north of Downtown Minneapolis, and seats about 39,500.
The first push for a new Twins ballpark began back in 1994. It was led by Twins owner Carl Pohlad, Jerry Bell – the team’s president, and Bob Starkey – the Twins Financial adviser. The Twins home at that time, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, was not providing enough of a revenue stream to support the team on a long term basis.
There was much opposition to a publicly funded ballpark beginning in 1997, and as a result, the Twins organization responded with threats to sell the team, move the team or even eliminate the team altogether through a contraction arrangement made possible by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. In 2002, the Twins decided to switch gears, and instead spent their time focused on a plan that would keep the team in Minnesota.
There were dozens of plans presented to finance the new ballpark, but most required financing at the state level, which the public opposed. In 2006, a plan that included a local county tax, along with private funds from the Twins was agreed upon and final arrangements to build the ballpark were complete. Groundbreaking for the new ballpark occurred on Aug. 30, 2007 and the Twins played their first home opener in their new ballpark on April 12, 2010. They won that first game by defeating the Boston Red Sox 5-2.
Construction costs for Target Field totaled about $425 million dollars. Hennepin County contributed about $350 million (including infrastructure costs). The Twins organization contributed about $185 million dollars. Target Corporation paid an undisclosed sum for a 25 year, naming rights agreement. Target also kicked in about another $4.5 million dollars for improvements to “Target Plaza”, a public space at the park. The team expects to generate an additional $40 million a year or more in revenue than they did at the Metrodome. (source: Twin Cities Business)
The ballpark was designed by the architectural firm Populous (formerly known as HOK Sport). Populous is a “global design practice specializing in creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences.”
Prior to 2010 the Twins played their major league baseball games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis (in 1983-2009), and Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, MN (in 1961-1982).
|MN Twins Ballparks||Target Field (2010 +)||Metrodome (1982-2009)||Met Stadium (1961-1981)|
|Location||Minneapolis, MN||Minneapolis, MN||Bloomington, MN|
Target Field Awards and Recognition
Target Field has been the recipient of a number of awards since it’s opening. These include:
- In 2010, Target Field was ranked #1 for “Best Stadium Experience” by ESPN.
- In 2011 was called “The Sports Facility of the Year” by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily.
- Awarded the LEED Silver Certification by The U.S. Green Building Council, only the second MLB ballpark that has attained this standard as of April 2010. (Nationals Park in Washington, D.C is the other LEED certified ballpark)
Target Field Fun Facts
- Target Field’s footprint is only 8.5 acres large – the smallest in Major League Baseball – but it covers a total of 10.5-acres when looked at from above because portions of it extend over surrounding roadways.
- Target Field is the first baseball only park for the Twins. Prior to Target Field, the Twins had shared the same sports venue with the Minnesota Vikings (Metrodome and Metropolitan Stadium).
- The main scoreboard is the fourth largest in the majors. It measures 57 feet tall by 101 feet wide.
- The live turf was grown at Graff’s Turf Farms, Inc. in Fort Morgan, Colorado. It was shipped to Target Field in 19 refrigerated trucks, and installed within 24 hours of being cut.
- The turf is heated to about 40 degrees in the winter to keep it in tip top shape for the next season.
- Target Field’s facade is built with more than 100, 000 square feet of limestone from southwest Minnesota.
- There are 54 luxury suites that range in price from $90,000-$200,000 per year.
- Target Field features one of the closest seating bowls to the playing field in all of Major League Baseball. It has approximately 18,500 infield seats.
- The upper deck is partially protected by a large canopy and has heated concourses, restrooms, concessions and restaurants to help fans deal with bad weather.
- For 2010, the team sold a record 24,000 season tickets. The old record was more than 11,000 in 2009.
- The Twins set an all-time club attendance record in their inaugural season at Target field (2010) with 3,223,640. The previous record of 3,030,672 was set during 1988 season, the season that followed their first World Series Championship.
- Also during their inaugural season at Target Field, the Twins sold out 79 games (78 consecutively), another franchise record.
- Most of the seats at Target Field measure between 19-22″ wide and supposedly have an extra 2 inches of leg room compared to the Metrodome. They were manufactured by Irwin Seating Company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- The Legend’s Club includes padded seats along with access to private, climate controlled lounge areas featuring full-service bars, large screen TVs, fireplaces and upscale food options.
- Target Field has approximately 20,000 fewer upper deck seats than the Metrodome.
- There are 401 women’s and 266 men’s restroom fixtures at Target Field. In comparison, the Metrodome has 256 women’s and 192 men’s fixtures.
- The first fireworks show at Target Field occured on July 2, 2010, after a night game with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. July 2nd was chosen because both the July 3rd and 4th home games were scheduled as day games.
- In 2011, 14 black spruce pine trees originally planted behind the centerfield wall were removed because they caused sight-line issues for several hitters in the Twins organization.
- Statues of Twins greats were placed around Target Field in 2010. These statues are; Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett, and former owner Calvin Griffith. A statue of Tony Oliva was unveiled at the start of the 2011 season.
- There are five retired Twins player numbers on display at Target Field; Harmon Killebrew (No. 3 in 1975), Rod Carew (No. 29, 1987), Tony Oliva (No. 6, 1991), Kent Hrbek (No. 14, 1995) and Kirby Puckett (No. 34, 1997). A sixth will be added in 2011 (Bert Blyleven (No. 28). Jackie Robinson’s number (No. 42, 1997) is also on display although he never played for the Twins. His number has been retired for all MLB teams.
View playing field from any section in the ball park (simultion – may be slight delay with page display).
View time-lapsed webcam (recorded) showing one year of construction of the Minnesota Twins’ new stadium.