A new season has begun and the home opener is just days away. While the Front Office is trying to improve the performance on the field, improvements to Target Field are also underway. Every year since the ballpark opened in 2010, the Twins have made enhancements to improve the fan experience. News organizations have made a lot of the new foods at Target Field, but there have been other things added for this year that should go unnoticed.
Debuting in May is the “Target Field Station.” It will be more like an entertainment hub, with a large video board and a small amphitheater, which will be used for concerts and plays, among other events. The screen will be used mostly for Twins games and movie nights (it would be cool to watch the Wild in the play-offs there!). Most light-rail train lines and the Northstar line will converge at this station.
As for accessibility at this Hub, the amphitheater has two designated ADA seats (with signage), but the entire ring of front row seating is accessible. The entertainment area has three elevators and there is a seamless connection to Target Field’s promenade. “The upper plaza is completely ADA accessible including surmountable curbs on the Great Lawn”, says Kevin Smith, Senior Director of the Twins. Smith also indicated that there are seven ADA spots in the nearest parking ramp.
Major League Baseball is requiring all ballfields to have metal detectors by the start of 2015. The Twins have decided to start using them in preparation for the All-Star Game this July. This got me wondering: what happens when a power wheelchair goes through the detectors? Smith quickly put a kabosh on that, saying the Twins “will have guards with wands who can assist with people in power wheelchairs.” So, that’s good!
In other non-food upgrades, the Club has installed a grassy berm beyond center field and the trees are back in center field, though the 14 trees have been moved up to the Minnie and Paul level so that players can stop whining. Unlike the Black Spruce trees that were there in 2010, these trees are Spartan Junipers from Hartman Companies of Victoria, Minnesota.
Written by: Michael L. Sack