I grew up going to the Metrodome, that is to say, I grew up going to baseball games inside of an inflatable moonwalk where all the seats faced the 50 yard line. There was a lot of controversy when the Twins wanted a new stadium, as there always is in every city. Now that I’ve visited Target Field, I feel confident calling it “money well spent.” I was fortunate enough to head to Target Field with my dad, Bob Scott, who gave me a thorough tour and supplied me with all the background information for this article.
What I was able to pick up on my own was that the stadium is incredibly well-planned. It’s easy to get around inside, and while I have no idea how they fit such an incredible arena into such a tiny pocket of downtown, the resulting views of the field (and sometimes the skyline) from almost every seat are amazing.
Not only does it give fans a whole new appreciation for the beauty of downtown Minneapolis, but it has truly reinvigorated the area — I hate how trite that sounds, but this field has made downtown a “family” destination again. Target Field welcomes its guests with a distinctly Minnesotan vibe. Besides the standard “Dinger Dogs,” the vendors serve cuisine from local restaurants. Bars within the stadium include Hrbek’s, where jerseys that local hero Kent Hrbek wore as far back as high school are on display, and Town Ball Tavern, which has a gallery of baseball fields throughout Minnesota on the wall. The effect is a “community” feeling I think Minnesotan baseball fans have been missing, and a pride — which they already had — celebrated.
Colorful statues of legendary baseball players from over the years line the streets of downtown Minneapolis, making the famous statue of Mary Tyler Moore seem almost an afterthought. Kieran’s Irish Pub, a well-known local tavern, has relocated to the nearby spot where Bellanotte once stood, and I have it on good authority that they regularly allow their bartenders to go watch most of the game, because they fill up before and after — but not so much during — Twins home events. I find this practice pleasing.
With no further ado, I’ll jump into the tour, which I’ve decided to make gallery-style because each feature deserves a photo. Ever seen a stadium with fir trees in the outfield? Can you imagine almost 40,000 fans cheering their brains out the first time it rained during a game, simply because they were so happy to be, at last, outside? Welcome to Target Field.
[Photos by Annie Scott.]