A peek into Target Field

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March 29, 2010 // UPDATED 8:31 am - March 29, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott

Stadium workers were still blasting the seats with power washers, bubble wrap still swaddled the turnstiles, and the beer taps had yet to pour their first Premium. But there we were, wandering around the new Twins ballpark, the mid-March weather even nice enough for us to ditch our coats at the office. Outdoor baseball is finally here — no longer as a highly anticipated concept, but as a gorgeous, fully-outfitted, limestone-clad piece of actuality.

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Twins Territory, tagging along on a March 15 tour of Target Field lead by Twins president Dave St. Peter. Strolling the stadium concourse, it was easy to feel the potential of out-of-the park homeruns, grass stained jerseys and pop-ups lost in the sun. Even the thought of a rain delay was sweet.

Here are some of the highlights:


Target Plaza

If right field is “the front door to the ballpark” — St. Peter estimates that 60 percent of fans will access the stadium from its southeast corner — then Target Field is a 2.2 acre welcome mat, a “bridge to baseball” that puts visitors in Twins mode before they even get to the ballpark.

It’s here that you’ll find the Golden Glove, a 7-by-9 foot cast bronze baseball glove sculpture that honors every Golden Glove winner in team history. It’s also here that you’ll find The Wave, the 285-foot-long wind sculpture, created by Ned Kahn, rumored to be the largest piece of public art in the state. Like a towering curtain of chain mail, The Wave links thousands of baseball card-sized metallic panels in a shimmering veil that covers the entire expanse of the B parking ramp.

Bronze statues of Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett — each at a larger-than-life scale of 125 percent — will be installed on the plaza just in time for exhibition play. Then there’s also a tribute wall honoring fans and past players, and the original flagpole from the old Metropolitan Stadium.

Finally, for any player — Twins or otherwise — that manages to hit a baseball 460 feet to the Target Plaza gate, a congratulatory marker will be placed on the walkway, St. Peter said.
Foul Ball Snagging
According to St. Peter, there are only “five or six” major league ballparks with less foul territory space than Target Field, making it a great destination for foul ball chasers. “At Target Field, you are right on top of the action,” he said. “Bring a glove. Pay attention.”


Five full service restaurants

In addition to myriad food stands, beer counters and pubs, Target Field offers five full service restaurants, each boasting its own theme and its own unique touches.

The Town Ball Tavern, St. Peter’s “favorite spot in the ballpark,” is open to all fans and aims to celebrate the state’s history of amateur baseball. Graphics pay tribute to the great teams, great players and great parks of Minnesota’s town ball history. And the wood floor laid behind the island bar is the actual floor from the Minneapolis Armory, the last home of the Minneapolis Lakers prior to their move to Los Angeles.

The Champion’s Club, located on the ballpark’s event level, is the most exclusive of the five restaurant areas. Open only to fans seated in the Champion’s Club section (tickets for these seats cost between $175 and $275, and in some cases, include valet parking and some complimentary food and drink), the restaurant is essentially a tribute to the 1987 and 1991 World Championship Twins teams. The two World Series trophies are displayed here, in addition to various championship rings.

The Metropolitan Club is another exclusive restaurant area, accessible only by season ticket holders. The décor here is built on visual nods to past Minnesotan sports venues, including photographs of the old Met, Nicollet Park, Lexington Park and Siebert Field. High above Target Plaza, the Metropolitan Club’s Light Box is a scenic perch constructed of multi-colored panels, a visual reference to the pastel façade of the old Metropolitan Stadium.

Hrbek’s is an everyfan’s kind of sports pub, a tribute to Bloomington native and Twins great Kent Hrbek. Besides the charm of the beloved first baseman — and classic ballpark basket fare — the appeal here will most likely be the bar’s expansive outdoor patio.

The Delta SKY 360 Legend’s Club, open to Club Level seat holders ($48 to $55 per game), features plush interiors that honor individual Twins players from over the years. Located directly beside home plate and equipped with a bar designed to resemble a giant Louisville Slugger is 573 Bar, a tribute to slugger Harmon Killebrew, who hit 573 home runs in his career, the most by any American League right-hander.


The Herb Carneal Press Box

Located on the Club Level, adjacent to the main entrance within the Legend’s Club, one of the ballpark’s full service restaurant areas, is a wall devoted to the most memorable radio broadcast calls in Twins history.  Fans will recognize a number of phrases printed on blond planks of wood, including “Touch ‘em all Kirby Pucket!”, “Oh what a play by Allison!”, and of course, Halsey Hall’s famous “Holy Cow!” The wall welcomes media folks to the stadium’s press area, which includes the broadcast booth and an expansive area for print journalists.


Budweiser Roof Deck

“The place to be in the park, bar none,” said St. Peter.

The Budweiser Roof Deck, located at the peak of the left field foul pole, in the northwest corner of the ballpark, is a spacious party platform offering spectacular views of Downtown. A bar area and a 10-foot-long gas fire pit pretty much ensure that this will be a magnet for 20-somethings, but they may have to settle for standing room only admission. The 150 bleacher seats on the Deck have long been sold out.


Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew Atriums

Also located in the Legend’s Club is a pair of plush, carpeted lounge areas, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and full bar and food service. In the Kirby Puckett Atrium, which provides a view of International Market Square and the Basilica, a two-story tall, laser-burned mural depicting the Hall of Fame centerfielder towers over one of the service counters. Rod Carew gets the same treatment in an atrium elsewhere on the Club Level.


Foul Ball Snagging

According to St. Peter, there are only “five or six” major league ballparks with less foul territory space than Target Field, making it a great destination for foul ball chasers. “At Target Field, you are right on top of the action,” he said. “Bring a glove. Pay attention.”