Target Field is poised to go completely tobacco-free -- at least for the fans. The ban at the Twins ballpark will not cover the players.
Twins spokesman Kevin Smith said Friday that the collective bargaining agreement under which players operate doesn't explicitly bar them from smoking or using tobacco while playing.
Players are obligated, on the other hand, to keep their tobacco use to themselves, he said. They can't be seen smoking on TV, for instance. Even the outline of a jar of snuff in a player's pocket is a no-no, Smith said.
For the team's first two seasons at Target Field, fans who smoked were relegated to a corral on the promenade outside left field. But the nicotine outpost will be no more starting Monday, when the Twins have their home opener against the Angels.
The Minnesota Ballpark Authority, which oversees Target Field, officially announced the new policy at its quarterly meeting Friday. They went to the team last fall with the idea of eliminating the smoking corrals. Twins officials agreed.
Now all of Target Plaza, the sidewalk along N. 7th Street, the promenade on the west side and Target Field's side of N. 5th Street will be smoke-free, along with the ballpark itself.
Last season, Tsuyoshi Nishioka was the only Twin who smoked. He is with the team's minor-league team in Rochester, N.Y., this season, but there are some on the roster who chew tobacco, Smith said.
The Twins have a no-reentry rule, meaning that smokers who want to leave for a smoke will not be allowed back in. The smoking ban applies to any event at Target Field, whether it's a concert or a private gathering such as a wedding.