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Roundtable: Target Field Among Baseball’s Best Ballparks

Attending MLB games has been a summer ritual for baseball fans, but the 2020 season could mark the first year where no fans will be able to attend games. The sights, sounds and smells of the ballpark are an integral part of the baseball experience. Twins fans have been lucky to spend the last 10 years roaming Target Field, one of the best ballparks in all of baseball.
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Recently at the Athletic, 9,000 fans were surveyed to decide what was MLB’s best ballpark. Target Field finished in third place behind Oracle Park (Giants) and Petco Park (Padres). The areas ranked in their survey included location, overall quality, atmosphere, amenities, sight lines, and aesthetics.

There is a lot to love about Target Field and here is what the Twins Daily writers love most about Minnesota’s ballpark.

John Bonnes: I love how they keep reinvesting in the park. It gets better every year. Several of my favorite places to hang out there literally didn't exist when it opened, including Minnie and Paul's, Bat & Barrel and the Gate 34 craft beer taps. I love that Sue the organist plays in a bar behind home plate and is approachable (and interacts, including selfies) with fans.

I love the sandstone on the outside. I love the view of the skyline from the left field side. I love that the footprint is small. It's a lie to say there are no bad seats (some with limited outfield views), but there aren't too many bad seats. When I'm asked by visitors where they should sit (which is pretty often), I tell them they really can't go wrong. I love that they stay open after the game for a while, especially Bat & Barrel, to sort of wind down after the game.

I really think an underrated aspect of the park is the attention they paid to the art. I'm not talking about the statues, which I can take or leave. But throughout the part, there are touches that we overlook. Check out the parking garage wind sculpture, some of the murals on the outside along the rail line, the enormous Kirby picture in the Delta Sky Club or the S Preston stuff (and MLB bat sculpture) near the parking garage entrance. I love that all the awards, including the World Series trophies, are available for fans to enjoy in Bat and Barrel.

Seth Stohs: There are so many things to like about Target Field. There are the statues and the Gate Numbers. There is the breathtaking architecture. There is the giant screen towering beyond left field. There is history of the organization throughout the stadium, from large photos of Twins greats to the Carew and Puckett Atriums in the Legends club. The concourses are wide, and you can watch the game while standing in line. There are photo ops all over the ballpark. There is the smell of brats.

Tom Froemming: I love how small it is. Even the cheap seats are still right on top of the field, much closer to the action than most other MLB parks. I also appreciate how many common areas there are where you can stand and watch the game. There have been many games where I never actually ventured to the seat my ticket was for. The view from along the third-base line is gorgeous. Being able to go see Sue Nelson play organ in 2 Gingers Pub adds a unique experience.

Cody Christie: Minnesota’s ballparks have followed the trends that stretch back to their first park in Bloomington. Met Stadium and the Metrodome had their quirks, but Twins fans have found a perfect home in Target Field. A perfect downtown location, amazing views of the skyline, and a plethora of local food and beverage options help to set the ballpark apart from many others in baseball. The Twins have also made annual changes to the park to improve the fan experience. Hopefully, Target Field because a place that can one day be thought of in the same light as some of the other legendary ballparks across baseball.

Nate Palmer: I will start with I never understood the hate for the Metrodome until I walked into Target Field. (That may be more a reflection of how little other ball parks I had been in than anything) To this point, everywhere I have sat inside the stadium provides a tremendous view of the game. The ability to walk the open concourse and still know what is going on is also tremendous. The skyline view, especially when sitting on the 1st base side, is also amazing. Especially on the nights when the sun does its work as well!

Lastly, I would add the move to adding the "family friendly" priced options in the concessions was great for this father of 2. Next step is to take a page out of the Brewer's stadiums playbook (Whatever insurance field it is now) and allow fans to bring in unopened bottles would be great!

Ted Schwerzler: Target Field is very much like Minneapolis itself. It has all the amenities of a larger stadium while being on a smaller scale. The skyline view behind the outer edges is amazing, and the standing viewing options may be some of the best in baseball. Seats are incredibly close to the action, but you also can’t go wrong taking a walk around the park and enjoying the action somewhere new every few innings.

Matthew Taylor: Nothing beats the MPLS skyline view beyond the right field wall. Watching a game on the third baseline while taking in the skyline from our beautiful city is as good as it gets!

Matthew Lenz: Target Field has so many great options and experiences where you can watch the game from. The balcony in CF, the porch in RF, a bar behind home plate or in LF. There’s really not a bad seat in the house. Idk how many times I’ve bought tickets to the game but never made it to my seat

Nash Walker: Minneapolis mostly has brutal winters. It ends up being worth it when you’re watching the Twins at Target Field in the summer. The skyline is beautiful and being there makes me proud to be a Minnesotan.

Cody Pirkl: Definitely the food and the friendly atmosphere. The whole park is basically a big piece of art too.

Matt Braun: Well as someone who mainly frequents Safeco, the thing I like most about Target Field is that I don't feel like I'm being suffocated by a giant movable roof. In all seriousness, the atmosphere of the game is absolutely tremendous and has yet to be topped by any other stadium I've been at. The tiles mixed with the plants in the stadium give it such a fresh feel that makes it feel like a ballpark just happened to grow from the spot rather than being built there.

Rena: Where do I even begin. I think the parking is extremely manageable and generally affordable at Target Field. To me, that’s huge. Even though it’s brand new, you can see a hint of history and Minnesota everywhere, from the Sheboygan brats to its proximity to the historic Warehouse District, and the gorgeous skyline. You’re not going to a game, you’re having an experience at Target Field.

Plus, the refillable water bottle stations everywhere sponsored by Ecolab are neat. I had a heat stroke at Wrigley last summer and ended up spending almost $50 on water. Wouldn’t have happened here.

Steve Lein: The Minnie & Paul sign in center is the best such team and in-game monument in the league, in my opinion. I've also sat nearly everywhere Target Field has to offer, and while sight lines get dinged in the upper decks of the outfield, you're still right on top of the action everywhere. There is not a more intimate setting for a game in Major League Baseball.

While I do wish they'd bring back the Brat Dog at Hrbek's, there is still more than enough other fantastic local food and craft beer options throughout the stadium. My favorite stops are the Red Cow out on the upper deck concourse in center for a 60/40 burger, and the Minnesota Beer stand on the third base line for my favorite local beer. The Bat & Barrel and bars in left were great additions as well.

The best thing they did in the design as far as watching the game goes, is the open concourses. You literally can watch the game from everywhere, and that is a major gripe of mine at many other stadiums, including the one with McCovey Cove that ranked number 1 in the survey (that place is a maze).

What do you love most about Target Field? What are you going to miss this season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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6 Comments

For me, Target is top 5 for sure. SF, SD, PIT, BOS round out my faves, and I am lucky enough to have seen games in all of them.

I agree with John, the fact that they try to improve it every year is nice, makes me hopeful that they wont pull a Rangers and get a new stadium when the "old" one has only been used for 20 years. 

 

As a father of 2, I like that they added TC's clubhouse in the outfield, so my kids can play a bit before the game or during if they get squirmy. And the turfed area just inside Gate 34 is nice too. In the same vein, I agree with Rena, the water filling stations are HUGE!

 

I think one of the under appreciated aspects is the staff. The ushers/guest service are great. They seem to genuinely love their jobs.  

 

This article made me miss Target Field so much. Cant wait for the Touch 'em all Pub Crawl, whenever we are able to do that again.

Who knew my last game at this fun ballpark would be my last..We just would NEVER go downtown because the City is just not safe. My other fav park was Dodger Stadium, least fav..Tampa.

 

Who knew my last game at this fun ballpark would be my last..We just would NEVER go downtown because the City is just not safe. My other fav park was Dodger Stadium, least fav..Tampa.

....are you serious? You are never going to go to Minneapolis again? 

    • drbob524 and wabene like this
Photo
SkyBlueWaters
Jul 08 2020 10:39 AM

Regarding the small footprint of the ballpark, I'm always impressed by the wide and open concourses. Great job, architects!

 

And anything that keeps my wife happy with going is a plus. Several years ago, they had an Indian concession and she still talks about the biriyani and naan as one of the best ballpark food experiences of her life. Sadly, when we went last year it was gone.

 

I'm still a beer & sausage kinda guy, but when in a mixed marriage with a vegetarian you appreciate what keeps her jazzed about going to the ballpark.

 

Regarding the small footprint of the ballpark, I'm always impressed by the wide and open concourses. Great job, architects!

And anything that keeps my wife happy with going is a plus. Several years ago, they had an Indian concession and she still talks about the biriyani and naan as one of the best ballpark food experiences of her life. Sadly, when we went last year it was gone.

I'm still a beer & sausage kinda guy, but when in a mixed marriage with a vegetarian you appreciate what keeps her jazzed about going to the ballpark.

If you want to re-create that experience, you can get the heat at home kits to eat while streaming a ball game. I doubt they still have the food trucks running during the Covid, but OMG is that good!

https://www.hotindianfoods.com/

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