Middle America loves baseball. And residents of the Twin Cities, specifically Minneapolis, love the Minnesota Twins. Fans of the team love its modern ballpark, as well.
That may be because Target Stadium is only six years old. It opened in December, 2009 and the home team Twins began playing games there in April, 2010. It was a welcome change of venue for the players and for the team’s loyal fans.
Home games over the previous twenty-eight years had been played in the Hubert H. Humphfrey Metro-Dome, a multi-use stadium that was also the site of home games for the Minnesota Vikings, an NFL franchise.
Target Field, named for the national retailer, has a seating capacity of 39,504. Its single event attendance record occurred a little more than a month ago on July 15th. On that day, Kenny Chesney performed before an excited and appreciative audience.
Target Field’s dimensions are considered fair. Left field sits 339 feet from home plate while right field is a little closer in, just 328 feet away from the batter’s box. Left Center-Field requires a slugger’s strength. A ball has to travel 377 feet to clear the fence, only 365 feet in right center-field. It is dead center-field that requires the most power. A ball must travel more than 411 feet to become a home run.
Interestingly, Target Field is the first stadium that exists for the exclusive use of the Minnesota Twins. The Metro-Dome as noted earlier was a dual purpose stadium, built for the use of baseball and football teams.
Target Field has several features that fans appreciate. Its double-decker bullpen enables Twins relievers to warm up at a lower level while the visitors throw their practice pitches a level above them. The visitors bullpen is clearly visible to fans seated in the area where the warming up takes place.
There is a Budweiser Roof Deck that is located above the left field fence and provides fans with an excellent view of the action on the field.
The Minnesota Twins revere their storied history and have numbered entry gates to honor some of their past heroes.
Gate number 6 in Left Field is known as the Tony Oliva gate while the Center Field entrance is known as Entry Point Number Three to honor the late, great Harmon Killebrew.
Other gates are numbered to honor and remember such legendary performers as Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew and Kent Hrbek. There are also statues located around the ballpark of these same great players.
For the past two years, Target Stadium has been the home of the Skyline Music Festival. Performers work from a stage in the infield while music fans sit on movable chairs that are set up around the stage creating an amphitheatre which increases fan enjoyment of the musicians and their music.
ESPN, the Magazine has called Target Park the number one baseball experience in America. That may be why so many fans are in attendance for every Twins home game.
Graphic via bettercities, twincities