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A Joint Statement from Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome


“10,000 people at a game? We wish.”With the announcement that Target Field would be open to fans at reduced capacity to start the 2021 season, the former homes of the Minnesota Twins released a statement to the media regarding this initiative.

 

For 49 years, we provided a home field for the Minnesota Twins and their fans. While we had glorious seasons with playoff runs and nightly sellouts, there were other, less crowded seasons. OK, there were many, many other less crowded seasons. If you feel at all put out by these restrictions, please know that there were years where this was done without public health in mind. Like Mickey Hatcher, it simply just happened.

 

METROPOLITAN STADIUM: Once those legendary teams of the ‘60s and early ‘70s went away, it was a tough sell. If we could have gotten 10,000 fans to watch Willie Norwood butcher a fly ball in Bloomington or thrill to the stocky grandeur of Craig Kusick, we’d have been grateful. As it was, we’d get burnouts who had tickets to Deep Purple at the Met Center accidentally wander into the ballpark. We’d count them towards attendance and give them the boot once they lit their left-handed cigarettes and asked Halsey Hall if he had acid.

 

METRODOME: 10,000 people at a game? We wish. You throw out 1987, 1991, and a few seasons around that, it was basically the players, security, media, and Mike Trombley’s extended family. What was nice is that you could really explore the space of the facility. Stretch out a little bit. Kids could enjoy the wind tunnel effect of the revolving doors over and over and over while the adults went to the Rally Room and got bagged in the comfort of a nondescript bar. Houston Jimenez played so often that the Black Sox were like, “Hey, you got mad at us for throwing games?” We made our own fun at the Metrodome. Now you have iPads and TikTok and craft sausage stands. It’s not the same. It’s not better.

 

As we enjoy our respective retirements as a giant-ass mall and a new football stadium that keeps breaking, we hope you hold our memories close to your heart. Remember, 10,000 fans at a game is just one “we’ve hired an analytics geek from MIT and we’re gutting the team you love to maybe be competitive in 2029 if no one notices our garbage can whacking code” away.

 

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I remember me and a friend driving over to the Met from Eau Claire, Wisconsin one Sunday afternoon in the '70's. Spur of the moment. Got double-header tickets down the first base line at the walk-up window for less than $10. Headed to the concession stand for a couple of $1 beers and bumped into my Dad and his buddy Gib the Mangler who'd driven up from my home town in southwestern Minnesota. Also spur of the moment. Just about had the place to ourselves. No lines at the concessions, no lines at the bathroom. The Twins dropped two. None of us were surprised and we really didn't care. Great day at the ball park.

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While I didn't hear Coach Jim talking, listening to the game broadcast on the radio in the empty Metrodome taught me a little something about the speed of sound compared to the speed of light. The crack of the bat picked up by a microphone 70 feet from home plate got transmitted to the WCCO antenna and broadcast back to my radio before the actual sound from the bat could travel the 430 feet to where I was sitting. 

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Here's a secret I have to share - I never minded the Dome - its not outdoor baseball, but it didn't exactly keep me from going to games since I love baseball.  Obviously everyone is different.

I would profess embarrassment, when out-of-town friends and family would accompany me to ballgames. It was a concrete dungeon. Possibly best of its breed, but still bad.

 

It also was home to some of my happiest baseball memories. So go figure. I look back at the place and smile. It may have been a dump but it was OUR dump.

 

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