Friday, April 16, 2010

On Target Field

The view from my seat on Twitpic
I managed to snag some tickets to the Twins Home opener a few weeks ago, that small chance that I talked about here panned out for me - as I had the opportunity to purchase tickets from a guy that always gets us tickets for the opener. His allotment was way down so I couldn't get as many tickets, but I was still able to get some.

I got down to Target Field early, about 1pm, after doing some work in the morning on my couch while watching the countdown coverage. I parked in the NorthStar ramp and walked down 6th street, being told it was the best and most dramatic way to come into the park. I hadn't really been downtown near the Target Plaza in a while (though I had seen lots of pictures), but I was still impressed by how it melds right into downtown so seamlessly. (the bridge that starts close to the Target Center seems like it's always been there). And it really is a dramatic entrance - the park is quite visible from a few blocks away - and walking there in my Twins garb among the people working downtown was pretty fun.

I got into the park and found my seat. There were not many people there yet, but for almost 2 hours before game time, there were quite a few. I decided to walk around the concourse once. It reminds me a lot of the newer ballparks I've been in - Miller Park and Minute Made Park come to mind - the open concourses are pretty similar. Target Field seems like it's the most open of all - pretty much all the way around on the first concourse it's open to the field. Even at those other parks there are stretches where it's not. The attention to detail is really striking at Target Field too - the art, the granite, the perfectly sculpted canopy (which looks awesome at night when they are not playing, all lit up), the way the lights are integrated into the canopy. I could go on and on. And the fan friendly features - such as the area where you can look right down into the bullpen, the number of seats they put into the first level bowl, the rail in left center where you can have a drink and watch the game from basically fieldside, the area in right field right off of Target Plaza where you can congregate.

We sat in the right field bleachers - one of the only places where the seats are benches instead of plastic seats. I didn't mind it one bit, as people were coming and going the whole game and there was plenty of room by the end. The view was great - you could see everything but a very small part of right-center field and the scoreboard behind the wall there.

The ceremonies before the game were great fun as well, and it was fun to be a part of a historical moment in Minnesota sports history. In recent years at the dome, I only went to a couple of games every year because of how stale of an experience it was. I only have tickets to one other game at the moment for this season, but I'm sure I'll end up going to at least a half dozen games - you almost have to if you're any kind of baseball fan and live in this town. I can go outside and watch a game, like I did for the vast majority of my childhood. And there's really no other sports experience like that for me.