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.
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.