When the gates open at Target Field for Thursday’s home opener, Gate 34 will no longer be a mere portal to the ballpark—instead, it will be the “Gate 34 Experience.”
Despite the hyped-up name, the main improvements to the ballpark’s busiest entrance are functional, aimed to improve accessibility and keep foot traffic flowing. For instance, there’s a dedicated wheelchair lane and lanes for season ticket holders, as well as a canopy to protect staff and fans from the elements as tickets are scanned.
But tucked off to the side is a bonus for food lovers: a row of several stalls that will be filled by a rotating lineup of local vendors.
According to Twins communication manager Matt Hodson, vendors will switch with every three-game series, with some repeats on the schedule. Hodson notes that this will keep the area fresh and new for fans, while also offering access to the ballpark for small vendors who may be unable to commit to all 81 home games.
“We’re focused on inclusivity,” he explains. “We want to give opportunities to women-owned and diverse businesses, as well as nonprofits.”
A Gate 34 Experience preview showcased a handful of the vendors who will be making an appearance throughout the season. Food vendors included Spinning Wylde, Dearest Baker Macarons, Thumbs Cookies, and Breaking Bread Cafe. On the retail side, vendors included artist Adam Turman, Faribault Woolen Mill, and Through Jimmy’s Eyes, which offer a range of boutique-worthy gifts, art, and clothing.
While the pop-up food vendors may be familiar names to local foodies, many of their menu items will be unique to Target Field. For example, Thumbs Cookies will be offering warm cookies for the first time, sold in adorable takeout containers (go with chocolate chip for an amazing hit of molten chocolate).
In addition to a selection of 6 to 12 flavors of macarons in classic and inventive flavors, Dearest Baker will have ice cream sandwich-style macarons and character macarons inspired by team mascots. Spinning Wylde will be offering 15 flavors of cotton candy, and they’re considering serving it in light-up glow cones and buckets. Breaking Bread plans to serve “a variety of elevated comfort food.”
“This is a different space than you’ll find in other ballparks,” Hodson says. “We believe it’s unique to North America. It has a farmers market feel.”