In the tax game, Target Field wallops Dome

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 19, 2011 - 12:34 AM

The Twins ballpark in its first year brought in far more tax revenue than the Dome did in 2009.

In its inaugural season last year, Target Field generated more than three times the sales and use-tax revenue than what the Metrodome returned during the 2009 Minnesota Twins season, officials said.

At its quarterly meeting Friday, the Minnesota Ballpark Authority reported that Target Field brought in $18.6 million in sales and use taxes. That doesn't include tax revenue from bars, restaurants and hotels that catered to Twins fans when the team played at home.

The biggest winners were Minnesota and Minneapolis. The state took in $11.6 million from Target Field, $6.6 million more than it got from the Dome in 2009. The city's take from the Dome in 2009 of $900,000 soared to $6.3 million last year at Target Field.

Most of the difference in Minneapolis' revenue came from the city's 3 percent entertainment tax, which wasn't collected on tickets at the Dome but was applied to the cost of Target Field seats. That tax alone put $4.8 million into city coffers.

The Twins drew 3.2 million fans to Target Field, while in 2009 they drew 2.4 million fans to the Dome.

Hennepin County's ballpark sales tax of 0.15 of 1 percent -- levied to build Target Field -- generated $254,000 at the field.

In other Target Field news Friday:

• After repeated complaints from batters, the Twins are replacing the distracting black spruce trees beyond center field with a honeycombed aluminum panel that's punctuated with small holes. The Seattle Mariners found that the product, from Maryland manufacturer Alcore Inc., improved their visual backdrop, said Matt Hoy, Twins vice president of operations.

And the trees? They may be replanted on the ballpark grounds or in state forests, and some might go to charities.

• The Twins reported that the team contributed $632,000 in 2010 for youth activities. That's $175,000 more than called for under the terms of the Twins' ballpark lease.

• The authority thanked former Twins President Jerry Bell for his work on Target Field and wished him well in his new role as chair of the team's executive board. Bell explained how the ballpark project came together after years of failed efforts: "You don't quit; you keep going."

Kevin Duchschere • 612-673-4455

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