This past Saturday while in Minneapolis my friend took me to Target Field for a close up look of the new outdoor home of the Twins. Before you read any further, it’s really nice, but it’s not Wrigley, but I would whole heartedly recommend a trip to visit. It was a sell-out crowd and the field held it easily.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly. First the good, and there are a lot of them. Target Field sits right on top of I-394, literally. Very easy to get to, ample parking at an affordable price (we paid $15 and parked in the shadows of the field). There is also a train that stops right at the entrance if you want to park off site. The food here was tremendous. I recommend a stop at Kramarczak’s stand for either a brat or polish. $7 and they are awesome. My friend said in the middle of games the wait is innings long. When we arrived (it was all of 45 degrees and windy) we headed to one of the sports bars in the stadium called the Town Ball Tavern. Full menu, full TV action and extremely upscale, plus it was warm and by the time we left, packed. There is an enclosed 5 star restaurant overlooking the field that my friend ate in and said it was great. With so many things to do in the park the Twins capture the people early and keep their money inside, something Wrigley will never be able to do.
There is a Budweiser Deck and Captain Morgan deck, both good places to stand and watch the game. The concourses are huge with many different food vendors. You can get your standard ball park food (chili cheese dog for $3.50 which I had toward the end of the game) and specialty foods such as a popular (long line) Cuban sandwich or Italian pasta or pizza. I like the beers of Minnesota stand which was popular. There is a Legends Club on the 2nd level which requires a separate ticket. It’s all enclosed with memorabilia from Twins history, the usher told us it’s a must see for Twins fans.
During the 5th inning we took a lap around the entire park. Although our seats were good, between 3rd base and the left field wall, 22 rows from the field, the lap proved interesting. On the concourse you can stand behind the back rows and watch the game. Many fans took advantage of this because of the heating lamps which were on made it a lot warmer. Another nice point was the observation decks where fans could climb 4 steps and stand on an elevated deck to watch from the concourse, they held about 6 fans. No ushers were pushing people to seats, viewing from the concourse must be encouraged. We stood and watched the game in every part of the park and there are a lot of great seats, right on top of the action. The home run porch in the outfield hung over the field, the outfield baseline seats were awesome. The ball park sits on 7 acres and it is tight and there are so many good places to sit I would never be able to pick a favorite spot. The seating is so compact and tight that the stiff north wind was not felt in most areas.
The bad was in reference to jumbo scoreboards and ribbon displays around the park. I was on a sensory overload much of the game, so much so my eyes were off the action on the field and onto the huge TV in left field. The scoreboard with all MLB scores turns into another replay screen also. It is busy, too busy.
The ugly seemed to be minute. The upper deck outfield seats are way up and extremely steep. They seemed a little unattached from the rest of the seating. Don’t fall, it appeared you’ll go down fast. The vendors are many and up to 4 at a time were in our aisle blocking our view of the field, not sure how you have baseball without vendors but it was annoying.
A comment my friend made comparing the Metrodome to Target: “The fans seem to have more fun here, they were always grumpy in the dome”. Well said because everyone around us reminded me of a game at Wrigley, talkative and enjoying a game of baseball.
Here’s my last observation that I found a little different. The beer vendor of choice sold Miller Lite and Premium Grain Belt, Minneapolis’ own brew. They were popular and before you groan, they are pretty darn good when you buy it fresh at the game. I enjoyed a couple and would do it again. You can find your Bud products too but the Grain Belt was selling fast.
Awesome place to visit, I highly recommend it. Next time I’m in the Cities, I want to go again. If you like to eat and do new things this is your park. It’s so awesome for Minneapolis to have outdoor baseball again. If you like to watch baseball and not be overwhelmed, then I’ll see you at the Cubs game Friday and Saturday, the best place to watch baseball with the greatest fans in the world.