Her friend Vikki Hancock injected, “Then who does she pick?”
LaDonna Lundberg added, “We wanted to at least go to the game or the Home Run Derby. Even the old-timers’ game would have been fun.”
Wiplinger said she would have handed the tickets to her friends rather than choose between them. “I know what would have happened — I would have stayed home,” she said.
Joe Thompson, who attends just a couple of Twins games a year but listens faithfully to them at his Willmar home, said he wasn’t interested in the All-Star contest, calling it “more hype than anything else.”
“It does give some recognition to the good players,” he said. “But the best players sometimes don’t even get into the game. I’m more interested in seeing a game like tonight that counts.”
Nearby, Fry, his daughter Abby, 11, and son Liam, 8 waited. Abby will go to the All-Star Game and Liam will see the Home Run Derby the night before. “He gets to see tons of home runs, and I get to see a real game,” Abby said.
Seat prices up to $4,952
For those with the best seats, the All-Star Game has been expensive.
Target Field’s Champions Club features 400 capacious, padded seats that come with access to an all-you-can-handle food and drink buffet, as well as a view of the Twins’ indoor batting cages. Those front-row seats, just 45 feet behind home plate, cost $295 during a regular-season game.
Twins spokesman Kevin Smith said all season-ticket holders in the section bought All-Star ticket strips at $1,266 to $1,416 per seat.
On the ticket broker site Stub Hub, Champions Club seats for the All-Star Game were priced at up to $4,952 on Thursday.
Ticket King’s Nowakowski said his best seats — in the front row, behind the dugout — are selling for $2,800 each. His cheapest seat was $500.
“It’s not exactly like they’re cheap seats to begin with,” said Brian Short, a Champions Club season-ticket holder who sat in the second row to the right of home plate. “If you like baseball, you couldn’t be in a better place.”
Dale Ewald’s season tickets are not nearly as expensive — he sits in a section alongside the Champions Club — but he said he was still paying roughly $900 for an All-Star Game seat.
Escalating ticket prices are just part of life, he said. He recalled paying about $40 a ticket when he saw the Vikings lose in Super Bowls in the 1970s.
Ewald, who lives in Hutchinson, said he attended both the 1965 and 1985 baseball All-Star games in Minnesota, and that come “hell or high water, we’re going to be here.”
Free chance to see players
MLB’s Bourne touted the variety of options for those of modest means. “You can still have a great All-Star experience,” he said.