I was there: Target Field

I think I’ve mentioned before that we try to visit one out-of-town MLB Ballpark every summer. Since I’m spoiled and got to spend a week in Italy, this summer’s trip had to be a bit closer to home. A weekend jaunt to Minneapolis to see some of the bf’s college friends while simultaneously checking out the Brewers and Twins during Interleague seemed like a great excuse.

It’s about a six hour drive from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, so we headed up Friday morning and drove home Sunday afternoon, since I have class on Monday

follow the jump for pics galore

We’ve heard nothing but great things about the stadium from Brewers fans who’d already made it to Target Field since its opening. Had to speak to my Brewers season ticket rep on the ride up there and he mentioned how jealous he was because he loves Target Field so much.

Before I tell you anything else about Target Field, since this is the spot for Ladies… I have to tell you that every time I used the restroom at Target Field, there was a line for the men’s room and none for the women’s room. This is inexplicable but so wonderful that it bears mentioning!

Because the friends lived out in the far burbs, we didn’t stop by them before the game, but grabbed dinner (Raising Cane’s FTW!) and headed right to the field. We were early enough that we were able to park right on the street nearby, pay the meter about $5 and walk the two blocks to the stadium.

Banners outside inform you that you’ve entered “Twins Territory”

I’m all turned around, so I’m not positive what side of the field this is – I’m pretty sure it’s down the third base line.

Along the left side there is a really ugly factory, so the fence is covered and there are player card style pics of Twins greats

Heading around the outfield wall we found this statue of Tony Oliva with a plaque with an awesome quote from Harmon Killebrew

View of home plate from center field

So one of the great things about Target Field is how many small, fan-centric details they really got right. There was free wi-fi throughout the stadium. There are like 4 screens and scoreboards to give you soooo much information. And in the outfield, for the standing room only “seats” there were small ledges to hold your food and beer.

One of the worst things was how steep everything is, especially in the outfield bleachers. They squeezed the stadium into a small plot of downtown and there are certain places you can really feel where they had to skimp on space to make it fit. The left field bleachers are basically completely covered by the overhang from the above sections – it makes it feel very indoors and enclosed.

Three more great details – the cell phone charging station (don’t know about other fields, but Miller Park’s is sponsored by US Cellular, so you feel bad using it if you’re not a customer and it also closes by the sixth inning, which is silly since the later innings are when you’re most likely to need it) and also the scoring decisions shown up on the scoreboard. As someone who uses a scorebook, that info is usually lacking in many stadiums and it was everywhere here.

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And lastly – they (repeatedly over the PA and on the scoreboard) tell fans to not get up while action is happening! And the ushers kind of hold you at the opening of the section, like they do at hockey games! It was such a revelation! Encouraging folks to, you know, be courteous and actually watch the game they paid to see!

View from home plate

We were pretty happy with our seats in 319 (despite their being at least 5 levels, the upper level of seats were inexplicably the 300 level), especially the sunset view of downtown Minneapolis

And our seats from Saturday’s game in 239

Two last pics – their retired numbers and the awesome old logo sign in the outfield, that’s lit up in neon when it’s dark out and also sparkles and flashes when they hit a home run (which Trevor Plouffe did a lot of).

Overally, it was a great trip. Despite both teams struggling this year, the attendance for both Friday and Saturday was great and also split about 50/50 between Brewers and Twins fans.

We didn’t try any ballpark food, since we ate outside both days. The BF did have a Surly, a universally loved microbrewer in these parts. Of course, I offered to get it and they had one stand and the line was epically long. As popular as Surly is with the hop-heads, they should probably offer it at more than one little stand.

The concourses were pretty average sized – I was glad they didn’t skimp too much on those while Iooking to save space. There were plenty of TVs to keep up with the action and you could see the field from the first level concourse. Upstairs, you’re actually below the seating so you can’t see outside.

The worst part about the upstairs seats were the bugs. The lights sit right above you and the bugs are, of course, drawn to them. At this point, we hadn’t really seen mosquitoes yet in Milwaukee, but they were abounding in Minneapolis. I didn’t get eaten alive or anything, but there was just a general ickiness feeling that accompanied that many bugs that close.

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