If a game at Target Field has to be delayed because of rain (or snow—LOL), power wheelchairs must be protected. Power wheelchairs absolutely cannot be drenched with rain because water can kill a battery. Unless the Twins plan on having a wheelchair service company at Target Field for each game, the team must have a plan for power wheelchairs in not-so-perfect weather. I know what you may be thinking: Why can’t they just bring an umbrella to the game? The simple answer: An umbrella would only cover the person, NOT the wheelchair.
So, here is how the Twins can solve the problem:
As soon as the game is delayed by rain, there should be rooms in Target Field that fans in power wheelchairs can go into to wait out the delay. We need two rooms like this on each level of the ballpark. In the room there should be tables, chairs, towels, and three televisions. One television could carry a live feed of the crowd getting drenched (it will make the crowd in the room feel like they are still part of the experience!) and another television should carry the live weather for Minneapolis. The last television should carry ESPN or a similar sports station. Those three televisions would keep fans in the “waiting” rooms updated to what is happening during the delay and to keep track of the weather situation. Connected to each “waiting” room, there should be a handicap bathroom.
There should be access to drinks and snacks in the room in case the delay is three hours and rain is falling sideways into the concourse. After the delay and if the game resumes, each fan in a wheelchair (and their companion) should be individually escorted back to to his or her seat seat to avoid a crunch as many wheelchairs will be trying to leave the room at once.
If a battery happens to die, there should be manual wheelchairs available (or good luck trying to push a 500-pound wheelchair through Target Field!). And while fans in manual chairs don’t have to worry about batteries, they should also be able to wait out weather delays in the “waiting” rooms.
By the way, the last day to post your questions for us to ask on our tour is April 4. Sam and I will be taking the tour of Target Field on April 5, with an Minnesota Public Radio reporter accompanying us.
Written By: Michael L. Sack