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Good Question: Do The Twins Lose Money On Rainouts?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO)
— It’s only April and already the Minnesota Twins have had more rainouts than they did in all of 2010. So, when the Twins have a rainout, do they lose money?

“Not really,” said Kevin Smith, Twins Vice-President. “Maybe incrementally if we have duplicate costs. If we have staff we brought in, part-time staff, and send them home and bring them back in for make-up game. It’s not a real money loser.”

The Twins don’t lose money on parking revenue, nor do they double-dip if people come to the game and then have to go home, because they don’t own the ramps.

“We don’t get any parking revenue,” said Smith.

When you buy a ticket to a major league baseball game, you can’t get a refund. According to the Target Field rainout policy, your ticket is good for the make-up game.

“If people don’t show up, we might be out some incremental concessions. But if it’s a great sunny, summer night, we might do better than we would have on a bad weather day like this,” said Smith.

As for who makes the decision, it depends on the timing.

“Generally, the home team gets to make that decision before the game. As soon as the lineup cards are exchanged at home plate, the weather is in the hands of the umpire,” Smith explained.

The team President, General Manager, team manager, and operations director are all involved in making the decision, according to Smith. The trick is making the call early enough to save fans and employees the trip to the ballpark, but late enough to make sure the skies don’t clear.

Some teams let you use your rained-out ticket on any day, according to Smith, but those are generally teams that don’t consistently fill their ballparks. Because the Twins are sold out most of the summer, they have double headers with enough time in between to completely empty Target Field, and then bring in the crowd for the next game.

“In some regards fans are invited to enjoy a game on a much better weather day,” said Smith.

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