Reporting Mike Binkley
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoes Nation Tour” with the Zac Brown Band set a Target Field record last week with nearly 44,000 fans attending.
In 2012, Chesney and Tim McGraw drew more than 42,500 fans to Target Field for their “Brothers of the Sun Tour.”
Those figures will get the attention of concert promoters as they consider the Twin Cities for big events in the future.
The Twins hope to host a big summer concert each summer if they can find the right artist with a stadium tour. For now, though, the team is eager to see how things go with a smaller music event.
“We’re trying to experiment with Target Field,” said Kevin Smith, senior director of corporate communications. “To see if we can get into the kind of amphitheater-type business, some of the smaller shows … 5,000 to 7,000 attendees.”
On Friday, July 26, the team will get its first chance. It’s hosting the Skyline Music Festival, featuring Soul Asylum, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Gear Daddies and Matthew Sweet.
“The skyline will be the background,” Smith said. “People will be sitting in these chairs (along the left field line). The stage will be on the field outside of third base.”
The stadium has the acoustics, but the key is finding a period of at least one week when the Twins are out of town – time to set up, tear down, and repair any damage to the field.
“Yeah, it gets beat up a little bit,” Smith said. “But the recovery isn’t that bad.”
Smith said Chesney’s crews set up a day later this year, and the stage wasn’t quite as large, leaving less turf to repair.
The team also has its eye on other big events — including one in the winter.
“There are a lot of hockey nuts in Minnesota and our front office,” Smith said. “So we have made it fairly clear that we would be up for hosting the NHL’s Winter Classic on Jan. 1 of some year.”