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Twins Way Leads to Target Field

I’ve long believed the Minnesota Twins long-time Metrodome mailing address of 34 Kirby Puckett Place was one of the coolest in all of sports, perhaps only rivaled by the San Francisco Giants’ 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

 

While it hasn’t been officially announced, the Twins organization has worked with the City of Minneapolis and United States Postal Service to ensure an appropriate mailing address for the new capital of Twins Territory.

 

As the Twins commence business operations at Target Field starting January 4, 2010, I’m thrilled to report the team’s new mailing address will be as follows:

 

1 Twins Way

Minneapolis, MN 55403

 

Twins Way, which replaces a small portion of 3rd Avenue North adjacent Target Field, will serve as the primary entrance for all ballpark deliveries, game day employees, players and staff. This change requires City Council approval and is scheduled to officially go into effect in mid-January.

 

Meanwhile, fans visiting the Twins ticket office or the team’s administrative offices will want to keep two additional physical addresses in mind. The Twins Ticket Office and Ticket Sales and Service staff will be located at 290 7th Street North while the Twins Executive Office entrance can be found at 353 5th Street North.

 

Target Field Notes:

Prior to the Winter Meetings and the recent snow storm, Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire visited the ballpark site to review and finalize the design of the home dugout. Gardy suggested modifications to the front rail system including the addition of a few additional benches … While on site, Gardy observed a “pop fly” test which gave the team its first chance to understand any issues pertaining to the field lighting system. The good news is the lighting system was significantly better than that of the Metrodome and test participants reported few if any issues with losing balls in the lights … Look for the team to announce a series of additional branded food items for Target Field in the month of January … The Target Field playing field was covered the day before the snow storm and will remain covered through early March.

OPENING DAY FOR TARGET FIELD STATION

“All Aboard” was heard promptly at 5 am this morning when the first-ever Northstar commuter rail line departed from Big Lake Station en route for downtown Minneapolis. Some fifty-one minutes later that same train pulled into Target Field Station thus commencing the opening a key segment of Target Field for business.

 

In total, an estimated 3,400-plus rides will be sold each weekday meaning more than 17,000 people will make their way through Target Field Station Monday-Friday. Those commuters, who will pay one-way fares ranging from $3.25 to $7, will venture through the ballpark’s built-in vertical circulation building (otherwise known as Target Field Station) from the 5th Street bridge corridor to the rail platform located immediately below the 5th Street bridge. A trip through Target Field Station will leave little doubt you have entered Twins Territory as the space features a variety of team-related graphics and messaging.

 

While the final weekday train is currently scheduled to depart Target Field Station at a non-baseball friendly 6:10 pm, the Twins have high hopes that the Northstar line will transport thousands of Twins fans to ballgames starting in 2010. On Saturdays, the last train leaves Target Field at 10 pm which should be a positive considering the team’s standard 6:10 pm start times. The final Sunday train leaves at 4:45 pm which also should be ok considering the team’s standard 1:10 pm start time. Meanwhile, the team remains hopeful of seeing a number of special trains added to normal service as demand grows amongst commuters and Twins fans alike.

 

Target Field Notes:

Representatives of Major League Baseball visited Target Field last week to check-in on a number of playability issues including dimensions, outfield wall configuration, field padding and signage. Another set of MLB reps will visit this week to sign off on the field lighting system … The Twins are working to finalize agreements with multiple artists, many of them local, to contribute original pieces to the Target Field interior spaces … Installation of the wind veil on the B-Ramp is on schedule and expected to be finalized by year-end … Testing is well-underway on the Target Field scoreboards and related graphics packages … Carpet installation is now complete in the Twins Clubhouse – complete with a large “Twins” logo in the center of the primary player locker area.

 

Win Twins!!!

 

Dave St. Peter

President, Minnesota Twins

18,000 and Counting

Last week marked another historic milestone on the road to Target Field as the Minnesota Twins sent out 2010 Season Ticket Renewal Packets. The renewal mailing included the traditional season ticket invoices, payment plan info and other key details associated with being a season ticket holder during the team’s Inaugural Season at Target Field.

 

Based on a surge created by this fall’s season ticket deposit program, the Twins have now surpassed 18,000 full season equivalents (FSE’s). That’s an impressive number considering the team’s previous all-time high for season tickets was 11,000 (2009) and we remain five-plus months away from the start of the 2010 season. All within the team’s front office are confident in the club’s ability to far surpass the 20,000 mark in FSE’s which would place the team’s season ticket base in the upper tier (perhaps top 5-8) of Major League Baseball.

 

Much work remains but the momentum for Twins baseball and Target Field continues to surge. Yes indeed, these are exciting times across Twins Territory.

 

Target Field Notes:

The tentative date for the single game ticket on-sale for the 2010 season at Target Field is Saturday, March 13 … Preliminary plans call for single game seats for the exhibition games versus the St. Louis Cardinals (April 2-3) to go on sale at TwinsFest January 29-31 … The Target Field lights will be on much of this week for specific testing and directing aimed at ensuring there are no playability issues next spring … Twins officials recently met with University of Minnesota representatives to compare notes surrounding the recent opening of TCF Bank Stadium and similarities with the opening of Target Field …  The first of the 650-plus televisions have been installed in exterior spaces around Target Field … The Twins continue to plan to move the team’s business operations to Target Field the week between Christmas and New Years Day. Look for the team to officially commence business operations at Target Field on Monday, January 4 … Look for details to soon be announced about a major Twins Moving Sale to be held at the Metrodome Nov. 6-7 …  … Twins Head Groundskeeper Larry DiVito has already turned on the elaborate heating system below the Target Field playing field. The field is currently kept at a constant 55 degrees and will be maintained at approximately 40 degrees throughout the dead of winter … The Twins will unveil the team’s updated logo and uniforms the week of November 9.

 

Win Twins!!!

 

Dave St. Peter

President, Minnesota Twins

Target Field Concessions Taking Shape

With so much focus on the building’s exterior, seat installation and the playing field, very little has been written or said regarding Target Field’s anticipated food and beverage offerings. Fans will be pleased to know that the Twins and Sportservice are working overtime to finalize build out of clubs, restaurants, concession stands and portables; round out menus; and develop strategic partnerships with Minnesota-based branded food partners. Those partnerships will undoubtedly involve some of Target Field’s signature food items which will be announced in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, work is complete on the equipment installation and base theming for the general concession stands across the ballpark. I’m hopeful that fans will appreciate and connect with the local and/or Twinscentric concession stand themes which are detailed below:

 

·         Taste of Twins Territory

o   The ballpark’s general concession stand serving all the basics – hot dogs, peanuts, nachos, etc.

·         Hennepin Grille

o   Burgers and chicken sandwiches are the stars of these stands.

·         Mill City Grill

o   Don’t be surprised if a steak sandwich headlines these locations.

·         Halsey’s Sausage Haus

o   A tribute to the legendary Halsey Hall, these stands will feature the best in brats, dogs and sausages.

·         Senor Smokes

o   A tip of the cap to Mr. Berenguer, these stands will feature a south of the border menu including nachos, tacos, burritos.

·         Frankie V’s Italian

o   A salute to 1987 World Series MVP Frank Viola, multiple varieties of pizza will dominate these stands.

·         State Fair Classics

o   Certain to be a fan favorite with everything on a stick.

·         North Shore Creamery

o   Building on the popularity of ice cream at the Dome, these stands will offer fans a wide variety of ice cream treats.

 

Target Field Notes:

This week the Twins will announce a third Founding Partner for Target Field joining U.S. Bank and Treasure Island … Work on Target Field Station nears completion as the prep continues for the launch of the Northstar commuter rail line and the extended Hiawatha line in mid-November …Look for Target Field to play an important role in the grand finale of the special on-field ceremony following the Twins final regular season home game at the Metrodome.

 

Win Twins!!!!

Target Plaza Takes Shape

Fans following the progress of Target Field have certainly noticed that Target Plaza – the gateway to Minnesota’s new ballpark – is nearing completion. Designed to be the ballpark’s front door, this dynamic public gathering space has the potential to be something special for the North Loop neighborhood, the City of Minneapolis and the region. Over the next 30-90 days Mortenson and company will continue landscape architecture while also working hard to put the finishing touches in place. Fans should look for the following:

 

·         The Golden Glove – The large bronze glove located near Gate 34 has been sculpted, poured and is nearing completion. Jerry Bell and I had the opportunity to check out the Golden Glove last week at a foundry in Howard Lake, MN. The 1,500-pound sculpture is a perfect rendition of an old-school baseball glove. In addition, the team is planning to place a plaque honoring every Gold Glove winner in Twins history at the base of the sculpture. The Golden Glove will be installed on Target Plaza sometime in October.

·         Legendary Player Sculptures - Work is well underway on sculptures of National Baseball Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett. Plans still call for installation of the three sculptures on or around Opening Day of 2010.

·         Tradition Wall – The fan recognition wall sold out last week is now in full production. Fans should expect the eight (8) glass panels featuring the names of 2,400 fans — along with pennants devoted to each and every Twins team since 1961 — to be in place sometime in November.

·         Wind Veil – The work of nationally renowned artist Ned Kahn, the wind veil is now in production. The piece will be titled “The Wave” and should be installed in December of this year.

·         Minnesota Ballpark History - Thanks to funding provided by the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, the team is currently working to design a special glass wall tribute to the history of Minnesota’s ballparks. Located within the 7th street planter, the ballpark history marker will be in place sometime in early 2010.

·         Twins Hall of Fame - The team continues to work with project designers on a number of options on Target Plaza aimed at commemorating the Twins Hall of Fame.

 

TARGET FIELD NOTES:

Beginning this week, construction trailers will be removed from the south parking lot as Mortenson, Populous and various contractors move their project headquarters to the Ford Centre … The Twins will soon shoot a pair of television commercials at Target Field to promote the 2010 season. Participating players will include Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Joe Nathan.

 

Win Twins!!!

 

Dave St. Peter

President, Minnesota Twins

 

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.

2010 SCHEDULE TO BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 15

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.

 

TARGET FIELD NOTES:

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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: TARGET FIELD SOD ARRIVES AUGUST 24

Twins fans should circle Monday, August 24th on their calendars. For that is the date Target Field will reach another huge milestone as the first batch of sod is scheduled to arrive from Colorado. The actual sod installation is scheduled to take place beginning the night of August 24th and concluding the early morning of August 27th.  In total, 30 trucks loaded with rolls of the Kentucky bluegrass will arrive at Target Field over the three-day period. In the meantime, the playing field prep work continues with installation of a elaborate heating, irrigation and drainage systems.

 

TARGET FIELD NOTES:

Representatives from Major League Baseball will visit Minneapolis this week for a routine walk-through of Target Field. The MLB group will meet with Twins staff and review the status of the ballpark construction with a special focus on “baseball” issues such as dugouts, bullpens, outfield walls, padding, etc. … Speaking of bullpens, Twins closer Joe Nathan and setup man Matt Guerrier were among a group of current players who recently visited Target Field and the two continue to mull which bullpen – the top or bottom tier — the Twins should occupy next spring … Phase One of the Target Field Season Ticket Relocation program is now complete with the team’s 2010 season ticket base currently standing at more than 15,000 full season equivalents. Twins staff remain optimistic of approaching the 20,000 mark in FSE’s before Opening Day 2010 … The Twins are in receipt of a preliminary 2010 regular season schedule calling for the team to open on the road Monday, April 5 with the Target Field opener set for Monday, April 12. The schedule remains subject to change and will not be finalized until early September … The Twins continue work to finalize plans to play a pair of exhibition games at Target Field April 2-3, 2010 … Twins Tradition Wall sales remain strong with more than 80% of the available space now committed. Fans should act now to reserve their space on this special part of Target Plaza … The Twins are working closely with local transit authorities to plan grand opening ceremonies in early November surrounding the inaugural running and connection of the Northstar commuter rail line with the extended Hiawatha LRT line which intersects at Target Field.

POHLAD FAMILY CONTRIBUTES INCREMENTAL $55 MILLION TOWARD TARGET FIELD

Earlier today the Minnesota Twins organization provided an update on Target Field construction to the Minnesota Ballpark Authority.

 

As part of that report, the team stated that the construction of Target Field is progressing ON TIME and ON BUDGET.

 

Moreover,  the team reported that thanks to collaboration with the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and the project team of Populous and MA Mortenson, Target Field and Target Plaza are shaping up to be the world class facility we all envisioned and set out to build.

 

That exciting reality would not be possible without the continued support, commitment and investment of the Pohlad family to make this a GREAT public space.  To that end, the Pohlad family’s priorities in making additional investment decisions have been based on maximizing the experience of our loyal fans while, at the same time, creating an architecturally iconic public space for Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota. A space which is FAR MORE than a ballpark, but also incorporates a transit hub for commuter and light rail as well as a spectacular public plaza.

 

We truly appreciate the  Pohlad family’s willingness to go well beyond original $130 million obligation to make this not just a good ballpark — but a truly great destination with the most iconic design features and the best possible fan conveniences, amenities and community benefits.

 

To clarify, it should be noted that the Pohlad family has now committed an incremental investment of $55 million aimed at ensuring the long-term success of Minnesota’s new ballpark. The  incremental $55 million contribution has been earmarked for a variety of  uses, but largely have been focused on enhancements to the overall fan experience and ballpark design and architecture. In order to provide some context, please allow me the opportunity to recap the uses of these incremental project funds:

 

A.   Original Team Contribution Outlined in May 2006 Ballpark Legislation = $130 million

 

B.   Incremental Team Owner Contribution = $55 million

 

1.            The incremental $55 million contribution has been earmarked for a variety of uses, but largely have been focused on enhancements to the overall fan experience and ballpark design and architecture. In order to provide some context to the proposed resolution, please allow me the opportunity to recap the uses of these incremental project funds:

 

a.    Infrastructure Budget – $15 million has been added to the infrastructure budget by the Pohlads  to cover costs which could not be funded within the $90 million budget provided in the legislation.

 

b.    Architectural Enhancements – $22.5 million for ballpark enhancements, including:

 

(i)         The Roof Canopy — fully clad and lighted – This will make a stunning architectural statement whether in the day or night time while at the same time providing additional sun and weather protection for the fans in the upper deck.

 

(ii)        Minnesota Kasota Stone Inside and Outside – This premium finish has been hand set to enhance the beauty of the ballpark

 

(iii)       LEED Certification – Additional costs have been incurred to obtain LEED certification — one of the few ballparks to gain this environmentally significant recognition as a sustainable facility.

 

c.    Target Plaza – $4.5 million (with a matching amount from our partners at Target) to create an enhanced Target Plaza with green park-like spaces, outdoor seating and spectacular public art – This will provide a finished 12-month-a-year public space with amenities for the community’s use — not just on game days. This Plaza will also serve as the important “connection” to the downtown entertainment and business district.

 

d.    Fan Experience Enhancements – $7 million for Fan Enhancements, including:

                                          i.    Added Restrooms

                                         ii.    A Wrigley Field-like Roof Deck gathering space for fans.

                                        iii.    Scoreboard Size and High-Definition Enhancements

                                       iv.    Radiant Heat on Main Concourse spanning Foul Pole to Foul Pole

                                        v.    Technology Upgrades (Audio, Broadcast Quality, and Fiber Optics)

                                       vi.    Incremental Retail Spaces, enhanced finishes and seat upgrades.

                                      vii.    Iconic team-related signage

 

e.    $6 million to furnish and finish public and premium seating areas — this is over and above the amount covered by the base price of the ballpark.

 

C.   These additional commitments from the Twins owners bring the team’s total ballpark contribution to $185 million.

 

With additional support and funding of the MBA, MnDOT, the City of Minneapolis and of course Hennepin County providing $350 million – we are collectively well on our way to ensure that Target Field will soon be known as one of America’s premier urban ballparks, transit station and public plaza.

 

Thanks again to the Pohlad family for their commitment to enhancing Target Field for fans across Twins Territory.

 

Win Twins!!!

 

 

Dave St. Peter

President, Minnesota Twins

Interior Spaces Begin to Take Shape

The past 24 months have been remarkable to watch as the exterior of Target Field rises in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. What started with thousands of piles soon evolved into hundreds of concrete pours, the installation of the exterior stone and glass, and more recently the erection of the roof canopy and stadia. The result is nothing short of amazing as a ballpark emerges on the downtown landscape.

 

However, as we approach the Twins final Metrodome home opener, the happenings INSIDE of Target Field are equally exciting. The ballpark’s interior spaces are now beginning to take shape with more work to come over the next 9-10 months.

 

Twins officials have worked long and hard with HOK Sport and a team of design consultants to ensure the entire ballpark exceeds expectations for fans, corporate partners, the media and the community at large. Many of those efforts have been focused on “attention to detail” within the many interior gathering spaces, clubs and restaurants. I’m excited with the results of that work as the final design and theming of each individual space will help differentiate Target Field as a special ballpark. Examples include:

 

·         Champion’s Club

o   Located on the ballpark’s event level, the Champion’s Club provides the building’s highest-end experience. The space is all about the Twins championship teams, including World Championship clubs in 1987 and 1991 and AL Champs from 1965. This space will house a variety of Twins championship archives  including the 1987 and 1991 World Series Championship trophies.

·         First Base Lounge / Third Base Lounge

o   Located on the ballpark’s event level, the First and Third Base Lounges will be accessed by fans sitting in the Dugout Club seating area. The interior spaces are essentially a tribute to Twins first and third baseman through the years.

·         Twins Pub

o   Located on the main concourse behind home plate, the Twins Pub is certain to be one of the prime destinations within the facility. Open to all fans, the Twins Pub is themed as a celebration of the franchise with décor and graphics focused on past and present Twins marks and players.  

·         Town Ball Tavern

o   My favorite spot in the ballpark, the Town Ball Tavern is open to all fans and will be largely a celebration of Minnesota amateur baseball. Graphics will pay tribute to the great teams, great players and great ballparks in Minnesota’s rich Town Ball history. The space includes a real time scrolling scoreboard which will bring fans the latest in MLB and Town Ball scores.

·         Legend’s Club

o   While the Champion’s Club is all about team, the Legend’s Club is all about the players. Located on the ballpark’s Club Level, the Legend’s Club pays tribute to the greatest players in the history of the franchise. Three niche spaces on this level – honoring Twins Hall of Famers – will undoubtedly be amongst the most talked about spots in the park. The 573 Bar – a tribute to Harmon Killebrew – sits behind home plate and features dramatic two-story interiors and bar designed to emulate one of Killer’s favorite Louisville Sluggers. Meanwhile, the Carew Atrium and Puckett Atrium – sit down the third base and first base lines respectively – and both include two-story wood etched graphics of two of the greatest hitters in MLB history. Following the legend theme, the Herb Carneal Press Box is also located on this level.

·         Metropolitan Club

o   Open to all Twins season ticket holders, the Metropolitan Club is positioned down the right field line and offers some of the most dramatic views in the ballpark. The Metropolitan Club interiors will be highlighted by the stellar photographic images of the “old Met” as well as other Minnesota ballparks such as Nicollet Park, Lexington Park and Siebert Field. Longtime Twins fans will note the colorful Metropolitan Club logo which is designed to emulate the pastel-color brick façade of the old ballpark.

 

Target Field Notes: The Twins front office is preparing to visit New York with hopes of “going to school” on Opening Day games at the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field … Work is now underway on pedestrian walkway which will connect the A Parking Ramp to Target Field … The Twins will use the exact same online technology – provided by a company known as Balena — the University of Minnesota is using to manage seat relocation for TCF Bank Stadium.

 

Win Twins!!!

 

Dave St. Peter

President, Minnesota Twins

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