On April 12, 2010, a new era in baseball began here when Target Field opened as the sole home of the Minnesota Twins, and the sport was once again played under blue skies. Not that we’re fair-weather fans here, we’ve always supported the home team, but the fact that we now had one of the nation’s best stadiums made watching our boys all the more exciting. And we weren’t alone in this thought—the stadium immediately recieved national praise, with ESPN ranking it the No. 1 Sports Stadium Experience in North America and Ballpark Digest giving it its Best Ballpark Award, describing it as “one of the best places anywhere to watch a baseball game no matter what the season or circumstances.” So, it only makes since that Major League Baseball would choose to host the 85th annual All-Star Game here. The game, which takes place on July 15, marks the first time Minneapolis has hosted the midsummer classic since 1985—and the city is ready for it.
Target Field was, of course, already pretty great, but the stadium has made some improvements in preparation for the big game. All the photos, tweets, and posts you’ll surely want to share will be able to be done a lot faster, as antennas and upgraded technology have been added to better mobile phone service. And while the food has always been notches above standard ballpark fare (a Murray’s steak sandwich and an ice cold Summit, anyone?), the options have gotten even greater. The chefs have rolled out four new items specifically for the game, including The Hangover Burger, made of two quarter-pound patties of ground beef and ground bacon, topped with cheese, lettuce, onions, a fried egg, and a sauce of sriracha, ketchup, mayo, and cornichons, The Double Play, a polish sausage and bratwurst both on the same bun, The Brat Dog, a hot dog wrapped in bratwurst which is wrapped in bacon, served on a pretzel roll with peppers, and a Lobster Corn Dog, fried and on a stick. For thirsty fans, Target Field unveiled Major League Baseball’s first self-serve beer machines, with four varieties to choose from (Bud, Bud Light, Shock Top Lemon Shandy, and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale), and per-ounce pricing. And at the game you’ll be entertained by more than just sports—Idina Menzel will sing the National Anthem, as well as perform Minnesota-native Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”
But don’t worry about missing out if you’re not able to attend the game—there are plenty of other festivities to take part in.
T-Mobile All-Star Fan Fest (July 11-15, Minneapolis Convention Center): Here you’ll find the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world, with more than 400,000 square feet of attractions related to the sport. Attend a clinic hosted by MLB legends and current players, hit the batting cages, explore exhibits from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, meet former Twins players, MLB legends and Hall of Famers, and more.
The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K (July 13, Minnesota State Fairgrounds): This first-ever run is for all ages, as participants will make their way through an All-Star themed course that featuring appearances by MLB legends, mascots, and other guests. And like any other color run, you’ll be covered in colored powder at each kilometer. A festival will follow, with music, contests, and giveaways.
Taco Bell All-Star Sunday (July 13, Target Field): Catch a seat at the All-Star Futures Game, featuring top minor league prospects, or the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, whose players will include entertainment stars like Jon Hamm of Mad Men and James Denton of Desperate Housewives teamed up with Hall of Famers and Minnesota players like Adrian Peterson, Zach Parise, Kevin Love, and Maya Moore. Before the games start, Panic at the Disco! will perform.
All-Star Workout Day and The Home Run Derby (July 14, Target Field): See which top major league hitters can hit the most home runs.
And in case you have questions about the game, events, or the area in general, the city has prepared for that, too. Simply tweet #askMPLS with your question, and each inquiry will be promptly responded to by individuals well versed in all aspects of the city.
Welcome to Twins Territory—let’s play ball!