MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Twins open their season Friday in Toronto and open their second season at Target Field a week from Friday against Oakland. So, if the weather doesn’t warm up much by then, now fans will be a bit better off than last year.
If you build an outdoor ballpark in Minnesota, you’ve got to be ready for cold weather. The Twins added an extra 130 radiant heaters this year, which is about $170,000 worth.
“We watched fans and how they utilized the facility,” said Kevin Smith, Twins Executive Director of Public Relations. “We took some notes and made some recommendations to ownership, and came up with what we call Target Field 2.0.”
They had heaters last year, but only in the infield concourse. Now, they’ve added the outfield.
“We did not use those radiant heaters very much,” said Smith. “There were just a few games in April, because we had that beautiful weather last year that we didn’t need to use them. But when we did, they were very popular.”
In fact, just about everything was popular. The Twins set a team attendance record last year, but they’re still working on some tweaks, like an extra scoreboard above the right field seats and the 100-foot-tall Twins Tower right next to it.
“It can have video,” said Smith. “It can do animation, it can do graphics and we’ll integrate that Twins Tower into our full game presentation package.”
Another Twins addition is a bit of an experiment. The Twins wired the concourses for free Wi-Fi, and hope they have enough bandwidth for everyone.
“Quite frankly, we don’t know what to expect,” said Smith. “A number of other teams have different numbers of fans who use those smart phones during a given game. We’re going to try to meet those needs, and we’ll monitor it, and if we need to make some changes, we will.”
The Twins also added about a half-dozen new food items this year. They introduced Walk-A-Tacos last week, and will unveil the rest of them Tuesday morning.