Friday, May 7, 2010

Target Field Observations...

We finally attended our first game at Target Field on Tuesday night this week. We are bummed it took us so long to get there. Everyone we know -- including that guy in accounting who doesn't know who Wilson Ramos is and that girl who didn't like baseball until this year -- has been to a game. We've lived and breathed the Twins for more than 30 years and hadn't even sniffed the ball park until this week.


The game we saw had the Twins beating the Tigers in the bottom of the 9th inning when JJ Hardy hit a triple and then scored on a wild pitch. And it also featured Michael Cuddyer almost throwing out Magglio Ordonez at 1st base on a single to right field. I've never seen a big leaguer try that move before in person and it almost worked. Maggs couldn't have been more irritated. Great game -- great ball park.

A few quick observations about the field...

First, its a lot more fun to watch a game outside compared to inside. I know, alert the media. But the thing that stood out most for me when I entered the stadium is that I actually felt like I was in a real city. I've spent countless hours sitting/eating/drinking on Nicollet Mall and Peavey Plaza but until I walked into Target Field, Minneapolis never quit felt "metropolitan" to me. I can't described it any better than that -- to hear the light rail buzzing, to see the buildings, and to watch the rain and the sunshine battling it out over the heads of Minny and Paul in center just felt like a big league city. We were really robbed of that experience for a long time. So happy to have it now.

I was surprised at how large the seating area is behind home plate. Let's make no mistake, this is a stadium, its not a ball park. At worst, that area reminded me of the cookie cutter stadiums of the 1970's and at best it reminds me of Yankee Stadium. I was really surprised to see how big and gaudy that seating area is and even more surprised that I haven't heard anything about it at all. From baseline to baseline its one of the most beautiful ball parks I have ever seen in my life. But behind home plate, it is kind of an eye sore. Still, if you are complaining about that aspect and only that, you have a pretty good situation.

The other stuff...the food, the parking, the actual game-day experience itself is really second to none. After seeing Target Field and seeing the Gophers new football stadium, I find it hard to believe people are actually going to want to go back into the Metrodome to watch the Vikings play. The legislature has to figure out a way to get a stadium deal done this year or next -- or the Vikings will leave. Those two stadiums were the best and worst things to happen to the Vikings. If they don't get a deal done soon, it could be trouble.