The Twins, holders of baseball's best record, anticipated another sellout crowd on Sunday as they looked to sweep the White Sox in the three-game series at Target Field - and they expect 35,000 in attendance on Monday when they play host to the Brewers on Memorial Day.
The surge in attendance led to long lines - and grumbling on social media - on Saturday, as an announced crowd of 39,139 watched the Twins beat Chicago 8-1. One fan posted a video of long lines down 7th Street and people tried to enter through Gate 14. At first pitch, thousands of fans were still trying to enter the park through the stadium's largest entrance, Gate 34.
With the club surging and attendance starting to surge, the club is looking at ways to ease congestion.
"Walked up more than 5k yesterday," Twins president Dave St. Peter wrote on twitter, "but agree Twins can do better. Club is looking at revising bag policy. Hoping fans plan ahead to allow more time. Season Ticket Holders can expedite ballpark entry via Sweet Spot Card. Other fans should consider @Clear entry."
Matt Hoy, the Twins senior vice president in charge of operations, confirmed walk-up sales of about 5,300 on Saturday. He pointed out that the combination of a late-arriving crowd and bag inspections contributed to the human traffic jam. He added that 65 percent of fans enter the park through Gates 34 and 29, located behind right field and the right field foul line, respectively.
He suggested that fans plan to arrive earlier. And, if they can, don't bring a bag that needs to be inspected. There are separate lines for fans without bags, season ticket holders and fans who register through CLEAR, to enter the ballpark. The Twins have directors at every gate, communicating with each other about which gates have the shortest lines, then passing that information along to fans.
But families often bring bags, and bag inspections takes time. Homeland Security plants agents among the crowd with bags that need every pocket inspected to make sure the Twins aren't cutting corners.
"Let's say a third of them have bags," Hoy said. "So now you have 13,000 bags. Every time a bag has to be searched it takes a minute or so, which is lost down the line. So think about 13,000 minutes of delay just from the bags.
"We are considering different bag policies, which we are studying pretty hard right now, in terms of what other teams have done and what we might do here. We also have some opportunities for people to get in quicker even if there are lines out there."
Hoy also said the metal detectors around the ballpark will be updated with new software that will allow fans to walk through while keeping their automobile keys and phones in their pockets.
"The software is on the magnetometers now and we're slowly rolling it out," Hoy said. "It's been approved by baseball. It's been approved by homeland security. So were going to probably roll that put there in the coming weeks. It will be another thing that's going to help expedite entry."
Jake Odorizzi goes for his seventh win of the season - which would match his win total for all of last season.
Charlie Tilson, CF
Yoan Moancada, 3B
Jose Abreu, DH
Yonder Alonso, 1B
Eloy Jimenez, LF
Jose Rondon, SS
Yolmer Sanchez, 2B
Seby Zavala, C
Ryan Cordell, RF
Dylan Covey, RHP
Max Kepler, RF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Eddie Rosario, DH
C.J. Cron, 1B
Luis Arraez, 2B
Willians Astudillo, 3B
Jason Castro, C
Byron Buxton, CF
Jake Odorizzi, RHP