My friend Marea and I are pretty excited to get all bundled up for our first trip to Target Field, where we'll watch the Minnesota Twins play the St. Louis Cardinals April 3 at their very first home exhibition series.
Since we're both Minnesota natives, we're used to the chilly April weather, the likelihood of snow, possibility of sleet, and that overall feeling of "When the crap is Spring going to get here?" Luckily, nothing cures cabin fever better than baseball, even if it is only 35 degrees outside. Who needs a roof in the winter? Sissies, that's who.
Walleye on a Stick: Walleye is one of my favorite things in the world to eat, so I'm pretty annoyed that I didn't ever think of putting it on a stick. On the other hand, slather anything in tartar sauce and I'll call it a meal. Along with other Taste of Minnesota-type treats, Target Field concessions will also be serving pork chops on a stick and wild rice soup (not on a stick.) Delicious.
Tons of Bathrooms: If you're like me, you'll have to hit the ladies room by the seventh inning stretch after spending roughly $52 on beers and $8 on food to soak up said beers. The new ballpark has 36 restrooms, which is kind of a lot when compared to the 16 that were never close enough to where I was sitting at the Metrodome.
Bleacher Seats: Nothing says outdoor baseball quite like sitting on a hard metal surface. It'll be like watching a game from your high school ball field, except slightly pricier and with way better players. If this doesn't sound like much fun to you, the lower deck offers comfy, wooden chairback seating.
Goodbye, Baggie: A 23-foot-high right field wall has replaced the Metrodome baggie. What makes this wall extra special is that one of its flagpoles comes from the old Metropolitan Stadium, which was turned into a cesspool of shoppers back in 1992.
Sweet Rooftop to Hang Out On: In the tradition of Fenway's Green Monster and rooftops at Wrigley, The Budweiser Roof Deck above of the stands in the left-field corner is sure to be a blast. Besides, it has a fire pit in case you're body temperature drops to a lethal level.
In Your Face, Bernie Brewer: If Jim Thome hits his 600th career homer at the new ballpark this year, a 46-foot-high sign of the old team logo will light up and Paul and Minnie will shake hands, much like in this awesome 2010 Twins commercial...
Old School Flavor: Twins history is honored all over the stadium, from the gates being named after former players' numbers to Kirby being immortalized in wood above the bar in the Puckett Atrium. There's even a pub named "573" in honor of Harmon Killebrew's career number of longballs. And if the overhead heating at your seat isn't doing it for you, you can always head into Hrbek's watering hole to watch the Twins win.
Home of the Twins: Regardless of whether you agree with the asinine decision not to add a $125 million retractable roof, this is Twins Territory. This is the house they'll play at least 81 games a season in, and that makes it the best ballpark on earth.
What are you most looking forward to about the new stadium?