The new feature at the new stadium will come with a Minnesota icon: a fire pit.
Outdoor baseball soon will be taken to new heights in Minnesota -- to the roof, to be exact.
A roof deck, complete with a fire pit and a bar, will be the latest addition to the Minnesota Twins' new outdoor stadium, giving a Minnesota twist to the famed rooftop decks that surround Chicago's Wrigley Field.
"Anyone who has gone on a road trip to watch baseball, i.e., Chicago ... just realizes the experience we're missing in Minneapolis and St. Paul," said Brock Guettler, 39, an avid fan who has followed the Twins since he was 12. "And anybody who has grown up in Minnesota and gone to the lake has sat out in the back by the lake and the fire pit. Now we have another opportunity, except now we get to watch our favorite baseball game."
The $3 million to $4 million roof deck is part of a $13 million package of enhancements the Twins owners are adding to the park. Twins officials say that with its 150 bleacher seats and standing room for 150 other fans, the deck will become an "iconic piece of the park." With its views of the park and the skyline, the deck will become a highly sought-after destination that will offer fans the "consummate Minnesota outdoor experience," said Dave St. Peter.
"Every ballpark has its own nuance," said St. Peter, the Twins president. "Arizona has the swimming pool. San Francisco has the Bay and the Coke bottle slide. ....The fire pit will be uniquely Minnesota."
Although a final decision hasn't been made, the area is likely to be open for single-game sales and not reserved for season-ticket-holders, he said. Corporations and groups may be able to buy out the entire deck for a game as well as rent it for nongame events.
"Originally, when the ballpark design was unveiled, it was simply a roof," he said. But eventually the idea for the deck and fire pit built on top of the Twins administrative offices began to bubble up.
"We saw what happened [with rooftop decks] across the street from Wrigley Field and how it morphed into its own cottage industry," St. Peter said. "The difference here is that the rooftop [is] inside the ballpark."
The deck, on the northwest corner of the ballpark, will include a canopy over a portion of the seating and bar areas. In a bow to a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, the area will be dubbed the Budweiser Roof Deck.
"It will offer a different take on watching Twins baseball," St. Peter said. "You're not buying a seat there for the best view of every pitch. You're buying a seat there for the best view of the ballpark. You can take it all in from up there, and the Minneapolis skyline is an added bonus."
Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788