On April 5, we had a private tour of Target Field to check out all sorts of accessible features. Chris Iles, Corporate Communications Manager for the Twins, spent more than an hour showing us around. Minnesota Public Radio reporter Euan Kerr and his photographer also went along and will be airing a report on Friday, April 9, during All Things Considered (we think it’s on between 3-6pm).
Here’s our report: We parked in Ramp A, on the west end, level 3. That’s where the skyway connects directly to Target Field. The weird thing: NO handicapped parking on that end, even though that is the most accessible entrance into the field. It would be good if the parking ramp guys fixed that! We walked all the way around the outside of the stadium to find the Executive Offices. MN Twins’ President Dave St. Peter had his assistant take us to the Captain Q deck, where we met Chris for our tour.
Here is what we discovered and found interesting:
- The concession stands and ticket booths are at a great height for wheelchair users.
- The rails in front of handicapped seating are at an outstanding height. We’ll actually be able to see the game!
- There are places to charge power wheelchairs by the guest services stations if necessary.
- It will be easy to find straws (impossible in the Metrodome).
- There’s a ramp on the main concourse to the next level.
- There are heaters hanging from the ceiling on the main concourse and heated “bad weather” rooms on each level.
- There are wheelchair seats on the Metropolitan Club deck (great place to eat and watch the game) and a ramp to the bar area.
- Bars in back of some wheelchair sections will keep crowds from tripping over fans in wheelchairs.
- There are several family bathrooms in case a fan needs assistance from a person of the opposite gender.
- You can pick up a “Target Field Access Guide” at any guest services stations.
What else do we need?
- Handicapped parking spots in Ramp A near the skyway.
- Better signage for the elevators. (Chris Iles said the Twins are aware of this and will be making some changes).
- A World Series victory in the new Target Field!
- Opening Day!
An insider’s note: There are 11 flag poles on top of the left field seats with nothing on them. But, on opening day, the players from the Twins post-season teams will raise the flags of the post-season appearances.
Post by Michael Sack & Sam Graves
You can listen or read the MPR story at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/04/09/accessibilityballpark