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Target Field
Minneapolis, MN

Review by Mike

Target Field is the home of the Minnesota Twins of the American League. The first thing you notice about Target Field is that it has no roof… and it’s in Minnesota. As has been often mentioned, “what if the Twins get to the World Series…?” But they haven’t yet and I was there in June, so was able to fully appreciate the lovely open-air stadium they DID build.

The Twins home is right at the edge of downtown Minneapolis, walking distance from City Hall and right next to the Target Center, home of the Timberwolves. In squeezing the ballpark into a neighborhood, they have produced a really old-school intimate ballpark that feels like it was always meant to be there. Juxtaposed with the modern stone and steel exterior and Target Field stands apart from a lot of the newer downtown ballparks.

Everything feels very close, especially the home run decks in left and right field, which are steeply pitched to give you the feeling of sitting right on top of the field. There is a great view of the skyline behind right field and an unusual, tiered bar / entertainment area in the left field corner that looks like a cross-section was sliced out of a cruise ship and dropped in behind the foul pole.

The concourses are narrow, which means that you can see the field from just about everywhere. Most of the concessions, bars and gathering places are within sight of the playing surface, which makes a nice change. Unlike some new stadiums, this does not feel like a shopping mall with a field in the middle, but rather a ballpark with some nice places to eat and drink.

The bottomless soda deal is a good one and the chili was excellent. There is a small family section beyond right field with a miniature golf course where the holes are stylized letters spelling out Twins. And, of course, there is the giant neon “Twin Cities” logo in center field which lights up when the Twins score and win. You can see Minneapolis and St. Paul shake hands in peaceful coexistence.

One oddity is a small section of the right field fence that juts out over the field, with about 3 rows overhanging the warning track. On the night I went, this little extension had an impact on the game as a home run just dropped on the other side of the railing on a ball that would otherwise have been caught by the right fielder. It was the difference in a game the Twins won by a single run. I hope the architect who tossed that in got a bonus.

Target Field is a well thought out, tightly packed urban ballpark that I can find absolutely no fault with. Of course, if I were to be there for a late-October playoff game, I might feel differently, but I’m not, so I don’t, so I say well done, Minnesota. After playing in the suburbs, then in a dome with a questionable roof and a Hefty Bag for a right field fence, you have surely gotten this right at the third attempt.

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Where They Played Before

Metropolitan Stadium

Metropolitan Stadium was home to the Twins from their arrival in the Twin Cities from Washington D.C. in 1961 until they moved into the Metrodome in 1982. In 1985, the stadium was demolished to make way for The Mall of America. Remnants of the old ballpark remain, including a marker at the position of home plate and a red seat high on the wall marking the spot where Harmon Killebrew's 520-foot home run landed in 1967.

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