Ever since Target Field opened, the Twins have added something new to their ballpark every year. To recap some enhancements that the Twins have made: two new video boards in right field, heaters on the upper deck concourses, installed a restaurant, called Barrios, in left field, and added grass just beyond the center field wall. The 2015-2016 off-season will be no different as the Twins announced October 26 a stunning overhaul to center field that will be completed by the start of next season. Just above the black batter’s eye, the club is adding multi-layered sections, called Minnie and Paul’s and the CATCH. Naturally, I wondered what accessibility in each new section will be like.
The upper level will be known as Minnie and Paul’s, referencing the large iconic sign that sits right above that space. The section will feature a pub with high tables, large canopies and a bar with Minnesota-style food and beverages. Minnie and Paul’s will cover 1,300 square feet of empty space. According to Kevin Smith, Twins Senior Director of Communications, this area will be very much accessible. A portion of the drink rail that faces the field will be at wheelchair height and concession stands at Minnie and Paul’s will have lowered spots for fans in wheelchairs to purchase food and drinks. One other ADA feature that Minnie and Paul’s will have is “ADA height tables with high top tables in the seating area which will be under a canopy in that spot,” says Smith.
Just below Minnie and Paul’s will be a suite-style lounge called the CATCH, named after Kirby Puckett’s 1991 World Series Game 6 catch. The CATCH, which is a 120-person area for season ticket members, will have tapas-styled food, beverages, couches, and photos of famous Twins catches. The facing of the CATCH will be made of limestone, looking at the pictures. Smith informed this area is also wheelchair accessible by having “designated wheelchair seating areas provided at front low drink rail.” Like with Minnie and Paul’s, the CATCH will have spots at the counters that are at appropriate height for wheelchairs. Fans with mobility impairments can access both the CATCH and Minnie and Paul’s via “adjacent elevators,” Smith explained.
During the announcement, the Twins said the renovation will cause Target Field’s overall capacity to go down a bit, but it is still unclear by how far. There were just 2 small sections above the batter’s eye, which will need to be removed. I love that the Twins are changing that area of the stadium due to the fact it will create more handicap seating and those two sections will improve the look of the six-year-old ballpark. And, sorry guys, Smith said that there will be “no trees to the best of my knowledge.” To learn more about this project, click here.
Written by: Michael L. Sack