After disrupting the 2020 MLB season, COVID-19 is now ruining the Twins’ offseason traditions, too.
TwinsFest, an annual interactive weekend with the team and its players, and the Twins Caravan, a chance for the rest of Minnesota and its neighboring states to meet the current and former players, will not take place in 2021, the Twins announced Tuesday.
The cancellation was a foregone conclusion, given the recent surge in infection rates in the Upper Midwest, but the team held out hope that its annual winter outreach might somehow go on.
TwinsFest has taken place every year since 1989 and, at its peak, drew more than 30,000 fans to the Metrodome. Moving to smaller venues at Target Field in 2014 limited attendance to about half that number, but the team has explored renting U.S. Bank Stadium in order to expand again.
The Twins promote their 60-year caravan, which travels around the state and to gatherings in North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa in mid-January, as the oldest and most extensive offseason outreach program in the majors.
In a news release, the Twins said they will bring fans a series of specially designed virtual experiences throughout the offseason, with details coming.
“An offseason without our longstanding and beloved fan events is certainly tough to digest, but our top priority is, and always will be, the health and safety of Twins Territory,” President Dave St. Peter said in the release.
“With COVID-19 certain to be present at some level in January 2021, we feel it is the prudent, responsible and correct decision to cancel our events that would have otherwise brought together large groups of people in confined, indoor spaces. As we’ve all done so much in these unprecedented times, we will adapt. We’re excited to roll out some unique, fun ways for Twins fans to safely engage with the back-to-back American League Central champions this winter, and we’re already looking forward to the 2022 return of Winter Caravan and TwinsFest.”