I stayed with family outside of Madison, cutting up my drive up to Minneapolis last Sunday by an hour or so. It was still another four and a half hours to the city and it rained most of the trip, making me a little nervous- I don’t have time for rain delays or rescheduled games! God must have heard my concern because as soon as I entered the city, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Thank goodness! Since it was Sunday I parked for free at a meter about 10 minutes from the park. There was parking right next to the park for $13 and a ton of public transit options that stop at the stadium. As I neared Target Field, I passed a bunch of restaurants and bars all with game day specials. My friend Kim told me to visit Kieran’s Irish Pub, so I stopped by, but it was early so not very crowded. Sure it’s more fun for night games or closer to game time.
When I arrived at the park there were a bunch of craft stands set up for “Crafting at the Ballpark with Jo-Ann Fabrics.” This was for kids and part of the family day at the park. Everything fun is always for the kids! I made my way through the happy families to the ticket office across from the team shop and purchased my ticket- $19. Honestly, I was very surprised that that was their cheapest available. Have they seen the Twins record? Miffed, I walked around the plaza looking at the large display of the Twins stadium history and the pennants with famous former players and teams. This area is really nice and has benches to relax on and people watch. Nearing Gate 34 (right field) there is a giant glove and the topiary bats. At night the bats glow for each inning, but today they just chilled in the plaza. The stadium itself is quite different than most parks. The walls are a squared pretty tan color and atop this is a large metal oval structure that jets out. From the infield gates, it looks like a space ship is sitting on top of the park. This is not a bad thing, it’s futuristic! There is plenty of detailing in the gates that incorporate the metal and some wooden windows and brick work on either baseline that breaks up the stone pattern. It sounds like a huge hodgepodge of materials thrown together, but take my word, it comes together rather nicely!
After I finished my loop around the park, I entered at Gate 6 and headed down to the visitor’s dugout to watch the end of Indians batting practice. Looking around the park I was pleasantly surprised by how “fancy” it was. The patterned stone from outside is brought to left field and even on the dugouts. The metal is present in the rails and large windows along right field. The green seats pop against the tan, so why they put tan seats in the club level is beyond me. They are the only thing in the park that doesn’t fit. The outfield is broken up allowing right field to frame the Minneapolis skyline. The park felt large but not overbearing and very open. When I turned to head up to the concourse, I noticed an Indians fan behind me was reading “50 Shades of Gray.” In public? At a baseball game? Gross! I wanted to take a picture but wouldn’t have been able to do it discreetly so hurried up the steps to the main concourse.
Target Field has a very large and open main concourse lined with plenty of local food and drink options. There were no stands set up against the seats, so there was standing room aplenty throughout the infield. I stood near home plate for the anthem and first inning. During the anthem, the Twins honor a veteran and have them raise the flag in right field. It’s a nice way of saluting those who have served the country and a way to remember that there are those currently fighting for our freedom. During the second I made my way over to the outfield concourse in right field that was packed with fans and vendors. It’s a good view of the field, but there is no cover, so the sun was beating down on us. I moved to though the concourse towards center field and cover, finding a Best Buy Gaming Area and the bullpens. For the side near the batters eye you can stand and watch the pitchers from both teams warm up since they’re stacked next to each other, but you can’t peer down from the standing room directly behind them. Even though you can’t watch the pitchers warm up, this area is a good spot to watch from the outfield because it’s shaded with a nice view of the game. I stayed here for a couple of innings cooling off (it was humid from the rain earlier) before moving to left field.
The ramp up to the Budweiser Roof Deck is in left field as is the team shop and another good home run porch similar to right field. I wasn’t planning on watching long from this spot, but I ended up in a great ballpark discussion with another fan visiting all the MLB parks. He was really nice and we traded stories and experiences. Lucky him, he didn’t need to do trips on a budget either! I love meeting other baseball fans at games, so if you do see me at your park, please come say hi! My friends surprisingly aren’t big baseball fans, so I need an outlet for all my baseball thoughts ;). After watching a few innings with my new friend we parted ways and I headed up to the 200 level.
Most of the 200 level is club and suite seating, but there is some general seating and standing room along right and left field. From the left field, you have a really nice view of the city, though you’re a little far from the game action. It’s not bad, just not great either. This area connects to the building below the Budweiser Roof Deck (special ticket only) to a large concourse with an outside bar and the Town Ball Tavern. The tavern is decked out in Twins memorabilia and has a small sit down restaurant along with bar tables. There are TVs too, so you don’t miss the game. I cooled off a little before heading out to the upper left field bleachers to check out the view from my actual seat.
The left field bleachers are actually three levels and my seat was of course in the third. Between the second and third levels is a large outfield concourse and a Home Run Porch for fans to mingle in. Most of the standing room has small tables to set your food down or lean on. The center field area is in the sun but as you move to either side you can find shade. I went up to my seat for an inning and didn’t feel like the view was worth $19, especially for this match-up. Sorry Twins and Tribe fans, but I’ve seen better for much less! Ready to get out of the heat, I walked back over to the main stands and headed up to the 300 level.
The 300 level concourse was a little skinny, but still full of all the amenities of the lower levels. I did stop at the Best Buy Photo Zone that was advertised on the scoreboard. There are a few around the park and they take your picture for free and email it to you. They have them set up with nice angles of the park and I liked the picture they sent me. Definitely, a cool thing to try at Target Field! I continued along the stands and noticed that the standing room view of the field was fairly obstructed. Not a big issue since there’s plenty of nice views from the lower levels. Behind home plate is the 2 Gingers Pub (a whiskey I’ve never heard of) with a fantastic view of the field. It’s a great option for those want to watch the actual game and enjoy a bar atmosphere. I caught the mascot race which was a bunch of Target characters, though the only one I recognized was the dog (and he won!). While I was up here I saw Joe Mauer hit a home run which prompted the center field Twins logo of Minnie and Paul to celebrate by lighting up. I wished it was a night game so I could better see this (a good excuse for a trip back!) exciting celebration as well as the bats outside the park. Even in the daylight, I could see the rippling effect of the lights along one of the parking garages next to right field. It’s another unique feature of this ballpark and is very pretty looking.
I headed down to the 100 level standing room for the remainder of the game (Twins won 5-1), enjoying the views from behind home plate and along the third and first base lines. I also noticed the Best Buy Charging Zone that I completely missed during my first sweep behind home plate. This is genius marketing on their part. I know the battery on my android starts to die from all the picture taking and social mediaing that I do during the games. Hopefully this trend will spread to all the parks! As I was leaving the park I stumbled upon Hrbeck’s which was a bar and restaurant that was slightly tucked away behind home plate. This place is awesome with all the pop art and nifty ceilings! I couldn’t believe I almost missed this place- it’s a cool option for local food. Definitely, will check it out longer next time I visit Target Field. For this trip I spent $19 on my ticket, $10 (Kieran’s chicken cherry wrap to go), and about $70 on gas getting back to Ohio ($99 in all).
For my entire weekend in Wisconsin and Minnesota I spent $202. Not too shabby- I’m really glad I drive a gas efficient car after all the trips I’ve made this summer! I liked my time in Target Field even though I thought the ticket pricing was a little much. The ballpark is very nice and the fans provided a fun game atmosphere. The city is also surprisingly pretty and vibrant. I never gave Minnesota much thought, but was happy I visited!