Even though I’m not an active sports fan, I still get a rush of nostalgia whenever I hear about the Twins, and I’m assuming I’m not the only one who has spent a few afternoons or evenings at a game with family. The Twins have been based in Minnesota since 1961, and for the home opener on March 28 at 3:10 p.m. against the Cleveland Indians, the team is celebrating with new experiences and the return of favorite players. Standing room tickets are only $15, so if you’re looking for a mid-week perk, this is it.
For the devoted and the nearby, free ballpark breakfast is available on the plaza from 6 to 9 a.m. You can also enter to win tickets and listen to a live broadcast of Dave Lee and the WCCO Morning News.
At 1 p.m., the gates officially open.Throughout the ballpark will be Twins legends and progeny: Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, and Kent Hrbek will be at their namesake entrances. Casey Killebrew (Harmon Killebrew’s grandson) will be at Gate No. 3. Former Twins manager and icon Tom Kelly, Kirby Puckett Jr., and Catherine Puckett will be at Gate 34. (If meeting these folks before the crowd gets too thick isn’t incentive enough, the first 30,000 fans will also receive a Twins Puffer vest.)
Also at Gate 34 is a new rotating, pop-up market and community area highlighting local food, beverage, and retail vendors. On the docket for the season is Spinning Wylde, Thumbs Cookies, artist Adam Turman, Faribault Woolen Mill, and more. Some of the food vendors will be serving Target Field-exclusive items, and from the few hints that have been given out, I’m most excited for when Dearest Baker takes the field and serves up character macarons inspired by team mascots.
Other updates for the season include family-priced concessions from Delaware North (think popcorn at $3, hotdogs at $4), new food items like customizable soul food from Soul Bowl, a batter’s eye greenery wall as the backdrop for centerfield, club renovations, and more.
To help begin the game, two F-16s from the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing will do a flyover, and the national anthem will be sung by Har Mar Superstar (a.k.a. Sean Tillman.) The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Twins favorite and four-time All-Star Justin Morneau.
If you want to see some of the work it takes to bring Target Field to life, check out this photo essay by Stephen Geffe.
(And if you’re wondering what the Twins are doing for our beloved Joe Mauer … )
Don’t worry; the Twins have chosen June 15 as Joe Mauer Day and are hosting a pregame ceremony to celebrate Twins legends and retire No. 7. Outside of that day, the Twins will also be giving away a series of four Mauer bobbleheads (with a fifth available to those who purchase the four-pack of tickets). The first features Mauer in his high school jersey; the last publicly available one will be him at his last game. Click here for more details and tickets.