Twins to add bar as part of Target Field changes

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014

By Rochelle Olson

Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins want to pump $2.5 million into Target Field to create a new “destination bar” and an expanded event space before the April 13 Opening Day for the 2015 season.

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The team will ask for formal permission from the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, which operates the Minneapolis ballpark, at a meeting Tuesday. The Twins aren’t seeking public assistance for the projects and declined comment Monday.

The bar would replace retail space on the main concourse between Gate 6 and the left-field foul pole. About 200 fans could gather at the new bar, which will be elevated, creating additional drink rows from which to see the field.

Drink rails already have proved popular in right field, as have standing spaces. “Fans like to roam as they’re enjoying the game,” Ballpark Authority executive director Dan Kenney said.

The bar also contain a “video element” for spectators who want to keep track of the action on the field.

The other main project will add another “Skyline Suite” — an extra-large suite — by combining Suites 52, 53 and 54 to meet the demand for business meeting space, the team’s proposal said. The open design will allow for various configurations, audiovisual capability, and a variety of food and drink options.

The suites are on the third-base side of the ballpark. “What they found is they had businesses that wanted to conduct their meetings in conjunction with the game-day experience,” Kenney said.

The five-member authority is likely to approve the plan, Kenney said. “We like the fact that the team has continued to invest in a first-class facility,” he said, adding that the team has spent at least $10 million to upgrade the ballpark since it opened in April 2010.

Twins attendance dropped to about 2.2 million last season, the lowest since the ballpark opened. Tickets sold per game have dropped 30 percent in the field’s lifetime. The falloff mirrors the team’s abysmal play; they have lost at least 92 games in each of the past four seasons.