Scouting Target Field’s Biggest Games of 2018
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsBefore we get into the individual games of note, I just wanted to pass along some information regarding the tickets and packages that are currently available.
Tickets are already available for the home opener, which is Thursday, April 5 at 3:10 pm CT vs. Seattle . The cheapest ticket is $20 for ballpark access (standing-room only). The first 30,000 fans will receive a Twins Hoodie.
The cheapest package is the Pick 10 Plan, which costs $220 per seat for Home Plate View (behind home plate, upper deck). But the cheapest 20-game package is just $260. That’s for Field View seats (upper deck, along the foul lines, furthest from home plate), but with so many great standing areas at Target Field, this represents the best value in my mind. Of course, there are also other flex plans, weekend plans, 40-game and full-season packages. A lot of people would argue that tickets are often cheaper on the secondary market, but there are some perks that come along with being a season-ticket holder.
Spring Ballpark Pass
At this time, the Spring Ballpark Pass is not being offered. The Twins unveiled this new opportunity in early March of last year, so it’s entirely possible its return will be announced at a later date. I did a breakdown of the pass here at Twins Daily and eventually talked myself into buying it. For $99 flat – no additional fees – you got a standing-room only ticket for all the April and May home games other than Opening Day (30 in total). I think I “only” attended 13 games, but it was definitely a worth-while investment.
Again, single-game tickets are available at 10 am CT this coming Saturday. Actual pricing is unknown at this point, but as in recent years there will be tiered/demand-based pricing. Here are some of the noteworthy promotions this season:
Friday, June 1 vs. CLE: Max Kepler
Friday, June 22 vs. TEX: Byron Buxton
Friday, July 13 vs. TB: Eddie Rosario
Saturday, Aug. 4 vs. KC: Johan Santana
The Kepler, Buxton and Rosario bobbleheads sit together to form a “nothing falls but raindrops” sort of bobblehead mural. The Santana bobblehead will be handed out on the same day as his Twins Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I expect the demand for these, as always, will be very high. Bobbleheads will only go to the first 10,000 fans in attendance for those games.
Other Noteworthy Promotions
Friday, April 13 vs. CHW: Dozier & Buxton Gold Glove T-shirt
Saturday, April 14 vs. CHW: Twins plaid flap cap (sort of a trapper hat meets baseball cap)
Saturday, April 28 vs. CIN: Twins cap
Tuesday, May 22 vs. DET: Star Wars T-shirt (there will be another Star Wars promo available via a special theme night ticket)
Saturday, July 7 vs. BAL: Twins “Flash” Cap
Friday, Aug. 3 vs. KC: Johan Santana Hall of Fame pin
Saturday, Aug. 18 vs. DET: Jack Morris Hall of Fame night
Saturday, Aug. 25 vs. OAK: Jim Thome Hall of Fame night
Friday, Sept. 28 & Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. CHW: Twins stocking hat
It’s pretty cool that the Morris night coincides with the Tigers being in town. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher as to why the team couldn’t line up Thome’s celebration with a Cleveland series.
Promos for the Kiddos
Sunday, April 8 vs. CHW: T.C. T-shirt
Sunday, June 24 vs. TEX: Play Ball cap
Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15 vs. TB: Back to School item
Sunday, Aug. 5 vs. KC: T/C/ pillowcase
Sunday, Aug. 19 vs. DET: Twins backpack
Sunday, Aug. 30 vs. CHW: T.C. trapper hat
One thing I noticed about this year’s home schedule is the lack of games on major holidays. The Twins will not be in town for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day or Labor Day. Here are what I would consider to be some of the marquee matchups at Target Field this summer:
Other Noteworthy Games
Houston Astros: April 9-11
The defending World Series champs will be the second team to visit Target Field in 2018. Being a series during the week in April, this should be a great opportunity to see the Twins face off against some top competition early in the season. The Wednesday game (April 11) will be at noon. Seems like a good opportunity to pull a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The first 10,000 fans will receive a Twins magnet schedule at all three games of the series.
Toronto Blue Jays: April 30-May 2
I know what you’re thinking, “Blue Jays? Seriously!?!?!” Yes, seriously. The fans of Canada’s team travel well, and always seem to pack Target Field when they’re in town. This series is during the week, so that may prevent a lot of Jays fans from making the trek. There’s a different vibe in Target Field when a good percentage of the fans are pulling for the road team. It can be embarrassing, infuriating even, when a road team gets a nice ovation or chant going, but that makes it all the more sweet when the Twins stop ‘em out.
Milwaukee Brewers: May 18-20
The Twins host the Brewers for a weekend series, which should draw a lot of Sconnies into town. Personally, I think it’s was nice how the Brewers being in the National League has made this more of a friendly rivalry. It should be fun weekend as long as everybody leaves their football gear at home. A border battle t-shirt will be given out at the Friday night contest.
Los Angeles Angels: June 8-10
Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and the Angels are coming to Minnesota for a weekend series in June. Ohtani could be the biggest draw in baseball by then, or he could be playing in Triple-A. It’s anybody’s best guess, but this still seems like a big-time series, either way. A lot of the 2018 projections are forecasting both the Angels and Twins to be battling for an AL Wild Card spot. Albert Pujols is chasing 3,000 career hits, but he enters the season just 32 hits shy of that mark. If healthy, he should reach that milestone before the Angels come to town, but that’s a big if for the 38-year-old.
Players Weekend: Aug. 24-26 vs. OAK
The Twins were in Toronto for the inaugural Players Weekend last season, so this will be the first time it’s hosted at Target Field. On Friday night, the first 10,000 fans will receive “player’s weekend mystery nickname” T-shirts. Not sure what that means, but it could be fun. Saturday is the Thome Hall of Fame celebration.
New York Yankees: Sept. 10-12.
The Yankees will be in town on 9/11, which is a Tuesday. There will be a special remembrance at Target Field that evening. The Yankees are always a big draw, but I’d suspect the outfield seats and concourses will be a little more packed than usual with fans hoping to snag an Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton home run.
And Don’t Forget About the Gophers
If you’re starved for baseball and unable to make the trip down to Fort Myers, don’t fret. The Gophers start their U.S. Bank Stadium schedule Tuesday, Feb. 27 against North Dakota State and then host South Dakota State the next evening. That following weekend, March 2-4, is the DQ Classic/Big Ten-Pac 12 Challenge. The Gophers, Illinois and Michigan State will be representing the Big Ten against Arizona, UCLA and Washington of the Pac-12.
If you’re interested in learning more about the setup at U.S. Bank Stadium, I wrote about baseball’s debut in the building for Twins Daily last year. Also, Seth has had a few of the Gopher baseball players as guests on his podcast. Here’s a link to the most recent episode, which featured senior third baseman Micah Coffey.
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