The food options at Target Field keep getting better and better, and this year, messier.
Beer lovers will also be excited to see a larger local craft beer selection this year.
“The Twins are thrilled with the continued evolution of the Target Field menu and merchandise offerings,” said team president Dave St. Peter. “The high quality products, local favorites and unparalleled selection have played a significant role in making the Target Field fan experience so special.”
New items at the ballpark for this season include:
— Valentini’s Mega Meatball — a meatball stuffed with cheese with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese from Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm and Duluth.
— Deep-fried pickle chips from The Preferred Pickle — a State Fair favorite.
— A backed potato bar with four varieties: a nacho cheese, salsa and sour cream potato; a cheddar and broccoli option; a classic baked potato with bacon, sour crime and chives; and a jumbo yam with crushed pecans and maple butter.
— Fries seasoned with garlic and parmesan marinade.
— A Bacon Sloppy Joe and Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese from The Food Network brand.
— SuperAmerica’s SuperMom’s Mini Donuts.
— Leann chin’s chicken stir fry in a red chile sauce or vegetarian stir fry with teriyaki sauce.
— The Big Ginger, a ginger ale with lemon and lime garnish at the new 2 Gingers Pub, formerly the Twins Pubs.
— The craft beer selection includes new brews from Surly, Fulton, Summit, Finnegans and Schell’s.
At a glance: Twins home opener on April 9
There is far more to see at 2012 Twins home opener than just the game against the Los Angeles Angels. The game kicks off at 3:10 p.m., but opening day festivities begin at noon, with a rally at the IDS Crystal Court. From the rally, a processional will head to Target Field, led by pedicabs carrying members of the 2002 Twins team. Players scheduled to participate in the rally include Eddie Guardado, Jacque Jones, Brad Radke, Corey Koskie, Denny Hocking and Doug Mientkiewicz.
At 1 p.m., the gates to Target Field open, with legendary Twins players and their relatives ceremonially opening their respective gates. Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Rod Carew will be on hand to open the gates that bear their names, as will the grandsons of Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett Jr. and Catherine Puckett.
Once the gates are open, both teams will be introduced along the foul lines. Outgoing Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein will raise the Hennepin County flag and incoming Twins Community Fund board member Richard Hartnack will raise the American flag. The National Anthem will be performed by the Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps, followed by a flyover by the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Following a fireworks display, former Twins manager Tom Kelly will raise the Twins Territory flag, and a pre-game video celebrating the Twins 2002 AL Central Division Championship will play before the Twins take the field for the game.
All fans at the home opener will receive a free Twins schedule magnet and will be entered into a prize drawing that will take place in the new version of Target’s Race to Target Field between the 4th and 5th innings. Once an onscreen-only event, the new version takes place on the field and feature live versions of mascots Louie the loon, Wanda the fish, Skeeta the mosquito, Babe the ox and Bullseye the dog.
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be performed during the 7th inning stretch by members of the 2002 American League Central Division Championship Twins team.
For more details, go to Minnesota.twins.mlb.com.