The Twins want to put things in a better light next year at Target Field.
For the first time since the ballpark opened in 2010, the team is seeking to tap the Ballpark Capital Reserve Fund for structural improvements. The plan is to use $1.6 million to replace lights in the crown-like canopy with more efficient LED lights.
“This is a perfect opportunity to keep Target Field first rate,” said Dan Kenney, Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) executive director.
The MBA, which owns and oversees the facility, is being asked to approve the use of the money, which would leave $15 million in the fund. Hennepin County and the Twins have deposited annually into the capital reserve, but the Twins have thus far updated and upgraded the field with $19 million of their own money, adding a new scoreboard, gathering places and additional seating.
The lights to be replaced are on the circular ring atop the building. The lights used now require occasional replacement, a major maintenance ordeal for ballpark personnel. The new, efficient, energy sipping lights will not require replacement and come with a 20-year warranty. The lights are similar to what has been installed at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Fans probably won’t notice much difference except from the outside.
The field lighting will still be white and high above the seating. But if they can find the right product, the white outside lights will be replaced with programmable versions that could light the building in different colors.
The new lights also would be more focused, providing less “spillover” into surrounding neighborhoods, Kenney said.
Of the $1.6 million, $1.45 million will go toward the field lights. If they find the right LED lights for the “uplighting,” that would cost $150,000, according to Kenney.
If approved, the new lights would be in place at the start of the 2017 season.
The Twins lease the building and report to the authority regarding operations, maintenance and repairs. The authority meets at 1 p.m. Thursday at the ballpark.