August 2009

Target Field Passes First Test

As installation of the Target Field playing field began last month, Twins Sports Inc. President Jerry Bell asked Dan Mehls of MA Mortenson if the construction team had plans to test the highly-sophisticated drainage system. The project has made a significant investment in one of the most elaborate playing fields ever installed when one considers the coordinated drainage, irrigation and heating systems. With those elements in mind and the natural grass playing field set to be installed starting today (Aug 24), Mr. Bell simply wanted to know if the team could be assured that the drainage system would deliver.


While it’s unclear whether Mortenson had “official” plans to test the playing field, Jerry got his wish last Wednesday (Aug. 19) afternoon when torrential rains blasted the construction site in downtown Minneapolis. Perhaps it’s a reflection of our dry spring and early summer, but it’s hard to imagine it raining any harder for an extended period of time.  How did Target Field’s drainage system perform? The good news is that the playing field drained and drained well. In fact, head groundskeeper Larry DiVito advised that should a game had been scheduled that evening it would have started on time and been played without delay.


Target Field Notes:

The project is now 82% complete … Through last week, MA Mortenson had calculated more than 1.6 million work hours on the construction of Target Field … November 1st is a big date as that’s the internal deadline for the ballpark to be fully enclosed and secured and the south parking lot be completed … The Twins are working with local officials to assist in hosting a series of major events in November in conjunction with the opening of the Northstar Line and Hiawatha LRT extension …  Mortenson and the Target Field project continues to exceed goals with 32% (more than $100 million) of all work granted to small, women and/or minority-owned businesses. In terms of workforce diversity, the project is tracking at 26% minority and 6% female … The Twins are working with the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County on the ceremonial re-naming of a portion of 3rd Avenue South immediately adjacent Target Field.


Minnesota Twins fans should mark September 15 on their calendars, as that is the date Major League Baseball will announce the comprehensive 2010 regular season schedule. That’s the day the Countdown to Opening Day can truly begin as MLB unveils the Twins 2010 schedule complete with the first-ever regular season game at Target Field.  Twins fans will be interested to know that preliminary plans call for a daytime home opener. Beyond the Inaugural season home opener, it will be interesting to see the balance of the Twins home schedule including the first-ever night game, holidays, interleague opponents, etc.



While the Twins await official word on the 2010 regular season schedule, the team continues to work on finalizing plans for a two-game exhibition series at Target Field April 2-3. The team hopes to make an announcement in regards to an exhibition game opponent sometime before the end of August. The Twins are also looking at the possibility of hosting a University of Minnesota baseball game at Target Field in advance of the Twins Opening Day … Look for the Twins to make a series of major sponsorship announcements over the next 2-3 weeks … DNC Sportservice, the exclusive concessionaire of Target Field, is now ramping up their Minnesota-based staff. Look for an announcement soon regarding the announcement of Target Field’s Executive Chef.