Twins plan to spruce up Target Field, push for '14 All-Star Game

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 19, 2011 - 6:04 AM

The team's president said they plan to submit a bid to Major League Baseball by the end of the year for the mid-season classic.

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Jason Kubel at Target Field in August.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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So the local nine didn't cover themselves in glory this year. So the cool days at the ballpark were colder, and the warm days hotter, than back in good ol' Target Field inaugural year 2010. So the other teams together hit more home runs in downtown Minneapolis than the Twins. So what.

Wait till next year.

With that in mind, the Twins said Friday that they plan to spend more than $1.3 million in the off-season to spruce up Target Field with more photos and displays, new carpet and flooring, an improved wi-fi network and a revamped ballpark menu.

They didn't reveal which new foods they're considering, nor the mystery Twin whose bronze figure will be unveiled sometime next season at Target Field (although if you look at Twins with retired numbers and the statues already in place, it sure looks like Kent Hrbek, the pride of Bloomington, might be on deck).

Another new feature down the road: permanent bollards -- the short immovable posts you typically see around courthouses and federal buildings -- to stop unauthorized vehicles from ramming the ballpark. Target Field now uses temporary structures.

They'll almost certainly be required if the Twins host the 2014 All-Star Game. Team president Dave St. Peter told the Minnesota Ballpark Authority Friday that the team plans to submit a bid by the end of the year for the mid-season classic.

The All-Star Game switches from league to league each season, and 2014 is an American League year. St. Peter said there's less competition right now among new ballparks in the American League than in the National League.

On the other hand, he said, the Chicago Cubs have said they'd like to host the game in 2014 to mark the centennial of Wrigley Field. That would require Commissioner Bud Selig to break the rotation, he said.

The Twin Cities have hosted the All-Star Game only twice: in 1985 at the Metrodome, and in 1965 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, the same season the Twins made their first trip to the World Series.

Although attendance this year remained close to 2010's record 3.2 million, the state took in $10.7 million in sales and use taxes from the ballpark -- nearly $1 million less than last year. That could be because the ballpark was less of a novelty and more fans went elsewhere to eat, said team spokesman Kevin Smith. Or maybe the weather prompted them to opt for cheaper drinks.

"We had a lot more cool-weather games, when fans drink more coffee than beer," he said. "And we had a lot more hot days, when fans go for more water -- and less beer."

Kevin Duchschere • 612-673-4455

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