Last April, Minnesota opened up a new ballpark. Target Field received great reviews instantly, with some saying that the limestone-filled ballpark is the “best ballpark in America.” More importantly, Target Field has become one of the most accessible stadiums in the country. Even after rave reviews, the Twins were still looking for ways to improve the fan experience for the 2011 season. In November, the Twins announced some upgrades.
Coming this April, fans will notice a second scoreboard above the grandstand, also known as “The Trap.” This new scoreboard will allow fans who can’t see the main scoreboard to view stats and replays. This smaller high-def scoreboard will be 28 feet high and 50 feet wide. The scoreboard will help people with visual impairments because it will have big, easy-to-read lettering.
The Twins are also adding a 100-foot tall tower behind the grandstand, nicknamed “Twins Tower.” The LED-illuminated tower will have more than 4,300 LED stripes on all four sides. The tower will have animation, graphics, and will provide meaningful information to Twins fans. It will be 5 feet wide and 11 feet deep. The “Twins Tower” will look like the message board on top of the Guthrie Theater.
The Twins are adding radiant heating to the upper deck and Home Run Porch. Last year, fans in the upper deck had to go inside the “Twins Pub” to get warm. In April, they can stand under an overhead heater and keep watching the game to warm up. (I always wanted heaters by my seats in case I got cold.)
As far as changes to the accessibility features, this year there were none. “We did not make any enhancements to those [accessible] seating sections because they really do not need anything. The hard work of the ADA committee during the planning phase made those sections the best they could be. In fact, members of the Department of the Justice that work on ADA compliance issues toured the ballpark last season and gave it glowing reviews,” said Kevin Smith, Executive Director of Public Affairs, in a November 21 e-mail.
These improvements should improve the fan experience at Target Field. The Twins have really tried to make Target Field the best ballpark in the world and I think they have just done that!
Written by: Michael L. Sack