Twins Announce Upgrades to Target Field

No, today’s announcement from the Twins about new upgrades has nothing to do with adding a new “ace” to their rotation, but it’s kind of fun all the same. The Twins issued a press release announcing a series of enhancements to Target Field that should be in place by the time the stadium’s sophomore season rolls around.

Here are a few of the improvements:

  • A new 50′ x 28′ video display will be perched atop the right field grandstands, giving a view to most of those fans with seats that didn’t allow a view of the large video board in LF.
  • A 100′ “Twins Tower” will be erected adjacent to the new RF video board. This new LED tower that will flash messages, graphics, (and one would assume, advertising), etc.
  • Free WiFi (or “TwiFi”, in this case… clever, eh?) throughout the stadium and improved cell phone signal coverage.
  • Additional radiant heat elements for the Home Run Porch and Terrace Level of the stadium.
  • Additional “Kasata Stone” from the Vetter Quary installed below the Metropolitan Club.
  • An additional bronze statue honoring another former Twins star, as well as additional artwork around the ballpark celebrating Twins history.
  • Installation of Phase II of the “Tradition Wall” on Target Plaza.
New LF video screen and clock tower from Field View
New LF video screen & clock tower from LF Bleacher View
New clock tower from Plaza View

The Star Tribune posted an online article about the enhancements, of course, and as I glanced through some of the reader comments that were posted at the end, I was struck by a couple of things. First, if you think some of the comments on the Strib Twins blogs are idiotic, you really don’t want to read the comments that get posted following their regular “news” articles. I try not to be too judgemental about others, because I’ve been known to make less than well-thought-out comments at times, but some of these people are absolute morons. Nevertheless, some of the comments were a bit interesting. Or maybe I just think so because some of them were consistent with my own ideas and impressions from the games I attended.

First, the new video board is a great idea. This was one of the most frequent complaints I heard/read about the new ballpark last season and, frankly, one reason I avoided buying seats in left field for any of the ten or so games I attended. I did read some comments about how the Twins didn’t show enough replays on the board anyway and a couple of people pointed out that MLB doesn’t want teams to show controversial plays. But I just have to say I agree that more replays should be shown. I often would look at the board after a play I wanted to see again, only to be disappointed by the lack of a replay being shown. It was not just on controversial plays. The Twins seemed more intent on using the video board to show advertising or some other graphic than to show us replays. This could be improved substantially.

I’m not sure what the “Twins Tower” thing is all about. They’re going to have the time shown at the top of the tower, which is nice, but several Strib commenters mentioned it would be even better to have the current temperature shown. I agree. It’s not something the Twins ever gave a thought to in the Dome, but outside… yeah… I know the Cardinals show the temperature at their ballpark (because I remember seeing it top 100 degrees at a game I attended there in 2009).

Some people complained that the radiant heat wasn’t turned on when it should have been last season. I can’t really comment on that since the only game I attended in the cold was an Oriole game that I had Legends Club seats for… so we just slipped indoors when it got cold. Regardless, if there were parts of the upper reaches of the ballpark that lacked the radiant heat elements, it certainly makes sense to add more. I also think the stone used for the ballpark was a  terrific choice, so if they’re adding more of it, that’s great.

Now about that bronze statue. That has my curiosity piqued. They have already erected statues of the Killer, Carew, Kirby, the Pohlads and Calvin Griffith. So who’s next? I would think the obvious choices would come down to just a few possibilities, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Bert Blyleven are probably at the top of my list. The first two, Tony O and Hrbie, are the two remaining Twins who have had their numbers retired by the team, but neither was elected to MLB’s Hall of Fame. Blyleven has one more year of HoF voter eligibility and you have to figure he’s got a good shot at getting elected this year. And, of course, there are other HoF’ers that have played here, like Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield. Or maybe you think Tom Kelly is worthy of being bronzed?

I’m an old timer and my vote goes to Tony O, but let us know what you think! Also, what do you think of the announced stadium enhancements? Which are the most important to you and what would you still like to see them improve on at Target Field?


8 Replies to “Twins Announce Upgrades to Target Field”

  1. ack, my first comment was eaten up by a server monster or something

    mt first thought about a new RF scoreboard is that the Twins are trying to hide the giants Stanford Health billboard on Target Center.
    The Twins Tower looks kind of cool, and looks like you can see it from outside the ballpark. So that means there will be TONS of advertising on it.

  2. It looks to me like they’re replacing one of the existing billboard spaces with the new video board, so while I initially wondered about the motives, too, I decided the video board itself probably won’t cover the Target Center advertising. Now, maybe that Twins Tower might partially obstruct the view of the Stanford Health sign from some parts of the stadium.

  3. Sadly, no, this new placement does not in any way block the view of Target Center from any location in the stands more than it already was. Even the tower doesn’t REALLY have enough substance to “block” much.

    Interestingly, fans that are annoyed by the disruption of the skyline (me included) should follow a great free-market option and complain (even organize) to the people who are doing the advertising – Sanford Health. The reality is if they are getting NEGATIVE notoriety, they MAY change their mind… then again, they may fall into the “any press is good press” mindset, in which case, we’re screwed.

  4. Seriously? Are they really going to call it the “Twins Tower”? Yikes! Isn’t that way too similar to the World Trade Center “Twin Towers”?

  5. I actually had the same thought, millie… but I thought maybe I was just being hypersensitive. Glad I wasn’t the only one who had a bit of an internal alarm bell going off. Anyway, yes the “Twins Tower” name came from the press release.

  6. to be honest, I didnt make a Twins Tower connection there. I do think its kind of a hokey name. Im surprised its not the ‘Best Buy Tower of Power’ or something like that

    about the ads on Target Center, I have no objection it it. The Wolves need to make a buck or two somehow. I do know the Twins were mighty peeved about it and they did not hide their feelings about the billboard, even though the ‘greenspace’ at Target Field they were so upset about the ad ‘ruining’ is called Target Plaza

  7. that is not my understanding at all, James. It’s not ruining “green space” whatsoever – it’s ruining eye line. Most directly, it clutters the view of the city skyline as seen from the entire side of the park labeled “skyline view” although to this day, I can guarantee that most fans still don’t know precisely where the billboard is. *laugh*

    And I didn’t make the Twins Tower connection either but then again, I was mentally referring to it as the Clock Tower anyway and all the tweets called it that instead of the label in the press release.