Target Field hits and (minor) misses
Last month, Target Field was recognized by ESPN the Mag as the "top stadium experience in North America," an accolade that will receive no dispute herein. Having had the pleasure and privilege of experiencing a wealth of sporting joints about the country over the years, I'd personally include the Twins new home among my top five.
After their longest road trip of the season, the club returns home today for what ties as their longest homestand of the campaign. Owning a one-game lead in the Central over the ChiSox, the stretch run has now begun with just 47 ballgames left to play (at least in the regular season), 28 of which are at home.
As anticipated, support has been spectacular, with Target Field claiming an attendance percentage of 100.2, one of just three stadiums in baseball to lay claim to over-capacity this season. While the turnstiles are no doubt well-greased, there seems to be a natural declination in "Have you been?/Have you seen?/Have you eaten?" in the last month. That's not to say the buzz isn't still alive, but most people who were craving to go have likely already done so.
That said: now seemed like a fine time to open the notebook and share some personal stadium observation made over the course of the debut season to date. Reader impressions are encouraged, so please share your own Target Field thoughts and experiences herein. We'd love to hear them.
Love walking infrom 6th Street and taking a huge baseball breath as the stadium appears. The experience is religious after all those years of trudging into the Dome.
Love the plaza area. I try to make it a point to take in the vibe for at least 10 minutes. My personal choice for observation: beneath the sign for the 1972 Twins roster and the "Heart Memories" plaque.
Skeptical about the left field wall. If any alternations are made in the offseason, I'd love to see this lowered along the line of the bullpen to the foul pole to afford for a few more long balls (even though I'm not a big HR guy), while also offering center and left fielders to display some additional leaping athleticism.
Love the grilled hot dog kiosks. Great deal for just $5.25 with chips included. Lines are
always manageable, and the most skilled of vendors will place your onions (grilled for me, please) underneath the dog to best maximize navigation of additional condiments.
Really dislike the smoking area. I'm biased, of course. But with all the modern amenities offered by Target Field, it would seem there could something better for we sick fools than to group the smokers together in a tiny, roped-off area where grotesque receptacles near capacity and passing arms are in constant danger of getting burned by waving embers.
Love the small stands in concourses where one can set their drink or snack behind many seating areas on the main level. I just wish there would be more of them.
Skeptical of the big glove outside the main entrance. I think I'd rather lick the flooring of the Bud Deck then plop in there for a photo op.
Love the quality of the Gelato. Go for the chocolate.
Worried about player's comfortability with the wood benches. I see a number of them sitting on towels.
Thinking that $22.00 for standing rooms tickets are a bit steep. Granted, there are numerous places to view, stroll, and grab a seat in a bar. This will play for a few years -- But will fans still be willing to drop dollars to not claim a home base a few years down the road?
From a cosmetic standpoint, the flower beds adoring the outfield are a really lovely touch. Yet, from a practical vantage, they do seem to cause some small degree of confusion for umpires gauging home run balls.
Love the viewing offered on the Captain Morgan deck high along the left field line. Not the
place for diehard fans, but a great social vibe and unique view of the field.
Wish there was a little more space to view the bullpen. Now that there's a non-improvised space for pitchers to warm up, it would be cool if more than 20 people at a time could peer down there. Patience pays off here, however. An inning wait will get you a good look.
Love strolling through the main concourse and taking in all the views and angles. My personal favorite: standing near the bullpen behind center and watching the fielders shift and react. This is also a great spot should you need to make a quick exit (gate directly behind) at the game's close.
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