With the Twins’ home opener this week (Thursday’s planned date may move to Friday because of weather concerns), Target Field has big plans for this spring—to bounce back after a few less-than-ideal years. The downtown ballpark held a media preview on Tuesday to highlight new food vendors and offer a peek at a new “sensory suite” for neuroatypical fans. Read about other additions—like a high-tech “sound lounge” and an open-air market—below:
New and Returning Food Vendors
“We’ve expanded our concessions offerings to include several new items from both longtime local partners and others who are new to the ballpark,” said Pete Spike, the onsite general manager of Delaware North, the Twins’ foodservice and retail partner, in a press release. “We are looking to give fans a true taste of the Minneapolis-St. Paul region and be certain we have something for everyone.”
For vegans and vegetarians, note the Vegan Channa Masala from Hot Indian, the grilled cheese from the Food Building, and the presence of Roots for the Home Team.
Here’s what else to look out for (from the press release):
- Bloody Marys: Available at Truly on Deck and at Hrbek’s, Bloody Marys come garnished with bacon from North Dakota-based Cloverdale.
- Blue Door Pub (Minneapolis, St. Paul): Pat McDonough’s Cease and Desist Burger features white and yellow American cheeses and is topped with lettuce, onions, and ‘Merican sauce. Available near Gate 34.
- Bub’s Gourmet Aussie Pies (Lake Elmo): Founder Jason Drysdale is bringing his Australian-inspired, hand-held savory pies to Target Field. Offerings include Chicken Wild Rice and Sloppy Joe. Available near Section 126.
- Food Building (Minneapolis): Delaware North’s ballpark chefs collaborated with Kieran Folliard of the Food Building to create the official grilled cheese sandwich for Target Field. The sandwich is made from bread and cheese produced from inside the Food Building, which houses artisan food businesses Red Table Meat Co., Baker’s Field Flour & Bread, and Alemar Cheese Company. Available at the new market near Section 126.
- Hot Indian (Minneapolis): Another longtime Target Field partner is back with a pair of new items—Chicken Tikka (seasoned, yogurt-marinated chicken breast simmered in a rich, creamy tomato curry; served with brown rice, crispy pappadum, cilantro and HI Slaw) and Vegan Channa Masala (chickpeas and Indian seasonings simmered into a mild and flavorful curry; served with brown rice, crispy pappadum, cilantro and HI Slaw). Available near Section 122.
- Mac’s Fish (Minneapolis): A longtime Target Field partner brings its hand-battered walleye with sea salt and jalapeño-lime tartar sauce. Served with French fries. Available at Townball Tavern.
- La Tapatia (Roseville): Adobo Chicken Tacos served in soft, doubled corn tortillas. Available street- or Cali-style near Section 109.
- Roots for the Home Team (St. Paul): Sue Moores and this organization that engages youth in urban gardening will be back for a 10th year with specialty salads and ingredients grown and harvested by local farmers. Available near Section 101.
- Soul Bowl (Minneapolis): New soul food offerings from Chef Gerald Klass include the Henry Sandwich (barbecue-braised beef, coleslaw, potato chips and a potato roll) and Summer Bowl (barbecue-braised beef, Cajun corn and Return of the Mack and Cheese). Available near Section 112.
- Turkey To Go (Minneapolis): A Target Field classic makes its return to the concession stand next to Hrbek’s (near Section 114). Offerings include juicy turkey sandwiches made famous at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Upcycle Foods (Minneapolis): Former Target Field Chef Scott Vanden Broecke’s Italian Grinder sandwich featuring capicola, mortadella, ham, salami and provolone cheese. Served on a fresh-baked pretzel bun made with local brewers’ spent grains, a byproduct of the beer-brewing process. Available at Truly on Deck.
- We Are Nuts (St. Paul): Twin Cities Business’ 2021 Family Business of the Year brings a selection of its craft-roasted nuts and treats—handmade in small batches. Located at “The Market” near Section 126.
Two concessions stands will continue to serve up the classics—hot dogs, soft pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, canned beer, etc.—for under $5 apiece. Find them in sections 133 and 327.
Inside Gate 6, down the left-field line, “The Market” feels like an open-air convenience store. Find pre-packaged grub, hot food offerings, and a walk-in cooler that stocks canned craft beers. It’s a first for local sports venues, according to the press release, with self-checkout stations and staff on hand to help (and check IDs).
UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite
Neuroatypical fans of all ages and abilities can check out Target Field’s “sensory suite.” Formerly known as “Suite 1,” this set of carefully redesigned spaces offers “a welcoming, compatible environment in which neuroatypical guests may find temporary respite, if needed, during games,” the press release explains.
Experts from UnitedHealthcare and Fraser, a Minnesota-based company known for individualized programs for families with special needs, collaborated on the project. Sensory kits will also be available for check-out, free of charge, at Guest Services stations throughout Target Field. On-site Twins Guest Services staff members have also been trained to offer assistance.
“The Twins and UnitedHealthcare share a commitment to the Minnesota community and a passion to create positive change,” said United Healthcare CEO Brian Thompson. “We look forward to partnering on programs to support children and families in our community, and appreciate the opportunity to play a role in providing a more welcoming environment at Target Field for people of all abilities. Together, we can truly take everyone out to the ballgame.”
The suite’s location is “meant to ensure accessibility, while also helping to ease guests’ transition back to their ticketed seats by offering a controlled, outdoor area overlooking the game,” the press release states.
This outdoor option makes the sensory area “among a select few in professional sports venues nationally to have a view of the playing surface.”
This one you may not even notice: The Delta SKY360° Club will carry AWSM Sauce. These dry-pack sauce mixes come in compostable packaging. Add water to the powder, and you end up with ketchup, mustard, or barbecue or hot sauce. This patent-pending idea aims to cut down on plastic, single-use condiment bottles.
“We have a mission to deliver on taste and sustainability, and to take this massive plastic problem off of our kids’ plates,” co-founder Carl Starkey says in the press release.
Adds the other co-founder, Paul Lehmann: “We wanted to partner with an organization that truly cares about the environment, so to connect with the Twins and to land in the ‘Greenest Ballpark in America’ is inspirational.”
EDGE Sound Research
The ResonX Sound Lounge will be “the first application of embodied audio technology in the sports world,” according to the release, and will feature a pair of tech-integrated benches that connect to the stadium’s sound system. Microphones at home plate even allow fans to “feel the crack of the bat and the pop o the catcher’s mitt.”
Find the sound lounge in the main concourse at Target Field near Section 117 during the first homestand. The Twins and EDGE Sound Research, the pioneer behind the sound technology, plan to experiment with different locations.