MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Baseball fans headed to the Minnesota Twins home opener won’t have to worry about frigid temperatures like previous years — but they will likely need an umbrella.

Rain is expected Thursday, enough to possibly delay the game but hopefully not postpone it. The good news is the field was designed with this kind of weather in mind.

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A fresh set of lines in the outfield here, a spot check of the grass there. It’s all about dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s at this point for the grounds grew at Target Field. Larry DiVito is the head groundskeeper.

“It’s been a good spring. Probably the second easiest we’ve had since we opened,” DiVito said.

When you consider some years included shoveling snow and cranking up the heat beneath a frigid field to prep for the home opener, it’s no wonder DiVito’s stress level is low.

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“Getting to our playability level has been no different than it would have been in May,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

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But they’re not out of the weather woods yet, with a solid rain storm expected early Thursday ahead of the game. It’s also rain on and off since Tuesday night. Fortunately, it’s nothing the crew and infrastructure beneath the grass can’t handle.

“We built this [stadium] on a very aggressively drained sand. So it’s actually a 100,000-square-foot golf green, I call it,” DiVito said.

It’s almost like a like a layer cake of sand and gravel in the ground beneath already porous grass. There’s also drain pipes set up every 10 feet.

“The industry standard is 15 feet, so we have a tighter interval on the drainage lines,” he said.

Much of that rainwater is filtered, stored, then re-used for tasks such as washing down the stands or irrigation. In essence, a storm here and there is actually a good thing.

“My preference is just a couple, one or two heavy rains a week is great,” DiVito said with a smile.

Just maybe not in the middle of a game.

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It’s estimated the storm water recycling system underneath the field saves more than 2,000,000 gallons of water per year.

Jeff Wagner