This week?s Hennepin County Board committee meeting once again demonstrated the Pohlad family and Minnesota Twins commitment to build America?s best ballpark. During that meeting it was announced that the team had agreed to cover $22.4 Million worth of ballpark upgrades ? raising the $390 Million project budget to $412.4 Million. That $22.4 Million expense is in addition to the incremental $15 Million contributed by the team to supplement the County?s original $90 Million infrastructure budget. Do the math. The Twins current ballpark contribution now totals $167.4 Million ($130M + $15M + $22.4M). Don?t be surprised if that total continues to rise considering the team?s ongoing commitment to ensure quality and a legacy project.
The good news for Twins fans is these enhancements are almost exclusively aimed at ensuring a superior fan experience. Among the elements included in these enhancements are the following:
· Full Roof Canopy Soffit ? Largest in baseball
· Scoreboard Upgrade ? High Definition board at least 102 feet long and 57 feet high.
· Warming Shelters ? Located on the Terrace Level
· Mankato Limestone ? 100,000 square feet of exterior stone
· Restrooms ? Incremental women?s restrooms
· Concessions ? Incremental concessions locations and enhanced operations
Stay tuned for more detailed information on the elements outlined above. We think these enhancements are critical and a huge win for the team ? and most importantly ? our fans.
Twins Ballpark Notes: A group of Twins officials visited Cisco?s San Jose headquarters this week to better understand how emerging technology can enhance the fan experience at the ballpark. The Oakland Athletics new home ? Cisco Field ? is slated to open as early as 2012 ? Last week?s construction milestone featured the initial placement of part of the promenade which covers the BNSF track. With that piece in place, last week marked the first time a BNSF train would pass ?under? the ballpark ? The Twins will officially launch the sale of Club Seats (3,000 Legend?s Club seats and 400 Champion?s Club seats) during the week of February 25 ? To date, 43 of the planned 55 private suites have been sold. That early sales success may lead the team to decide to increase the total number of private suites to 60 ? The Twins will soon finalize a definitive agreement with a well-known baseball concessionaire to handle all food and beverage services within the new ballpark ? Look for a ?Countdown to the New Ballpark? element to be incorporated during home games at the Metrodome during the 2008 season.
Dave St. Peter
President, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club