MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s game day for the Minnesota Twins. Thursday marked their third home game at Target Field, and it was an exciting one for the hometown fans with a come-from-behind win.
Justin Morneau’s eighth inning home run put the Twins ahead to stay. They beat the Angels 10-9 in front of 31,700-fans, which would have been the lowest attendance in Target Field history if they hadn’t drawn even fewer fans Wednesday night.
Year three at Target Field looks and sounds just like the first two, but with one big exception: The seats are becoming harder to fill.
“A day game is a beautiful time to come out, so I’m surprised people aren’t out here,” said Twins fan Michele McCabe of Minneapolis.
Michele and Lisa had plenty of elbow room in their right field seats, a far cry from the last two years.
In fact, the Twins drew just more 31,000 thousand fans Wednesday night, setting a record for fewest fans at their new park. They only had a few hundred more than that Thursday.
One sidewalk salesman blamed the smoking ban.
“I believe all these seats they gave to the company, probably people that smoked cigarettes that couldn’t make it today,” the man said.
But others say the honeymoon with the ballpark may be fading, and everybody agrees that the team is struggling.
“Weather, school’s not out yet and we’re 1-5,” said Dan Sinn of Ham Lake.
Sinn was close. The Twins were 0-3 after their season opening series at Baltimore, then took two of three games from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to get to 2-4.
“If you don’t have the apples, how can you make apple pie? If you don’t have the players, you can win. We don’t have the players,” said Twins fan John Montra of Duluth.
The Twins say April and May are tough months for most teams, with uncertain weather and kids in school. They think some fans have almost been trained to think the games are already sold out.
Instead, good deals are available because they’re adjusting the prices daily based on demand.
“Because we would rather have people look at that and buy that ticket at the dynamically priced price than not buy it all and go to the secondary market and buy a ticket,” said Kevin Smith with the Minnesota Twins.
They’re not offering huge discounts, but some outfield seats start at $11 for Friday’s game against Texas. The same seats range from $16 to $18 next week against Boston.