It is a ballpark like no other, one with so many hometown touches you expect to find Garrison Keillor handing out hot dish and egg coffee at the front gates. But it’s also a thoroughly modern facility, a ballpark winning praise for its many green features and unique design. The most urban ballpark in the major leagues, Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins, is the clear choice for the 2010 Ballpark of the Year award from Ballpark Digest.
“The opening of Target Field was one of the most eagerly awaited happenings in baseball in recent years,” said Kevin Reichard, publisher of Ballpark Digest. “Expectations were high, but they were exceeded. From the Minnesota limestone on the exterior to the flagpole from Met Stadium and the brats from Kramarczuk’s, this is a ballpark totally in touch with its community.
“Admittedly, we may be a little biased because the ballpark is in our backyard. The best ballparks are the ones that couldn’t exist elsewhere – they’re tied to their fans with an overwhelming sense of place. There’s little doubt Minnesotans have overwhelmingly embraced Target Field , with good reason: it’s definitely one of the best places anywhere to watch a baseball game no matter the season or circumstances.”
“The Twins are immensely proud of Target Field and of our loyal fans who have helped make our ballpark the best in baseball,” said Dave St. Peter, Twins President. “Thanks to the many partners that worked incredibly hard to deliver the best ballpark and best experience in all of professional sports.”
The new ballpark, designed by Populous (Kansas City), built by Mortenson Construction (Minneapolis) and funded by Hennepin County via the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, pushed the Twins into the upper echelon of Major League Baseball attendance. The team ranked sixth in total attendance, drawing a franchise-record 3,223,640 fans (averaging 39,798 fans per game) and playing to 100.7 percent of capacity. The Twins sold out 79 games at Target Field (78 consecutively), another team record.
“Target Field has made a significant impact on the urban fabric of Minneapolis well beyond game day,” said Earl Santee, Senior Principal at Populous. “It shows what happens when all the stars align, from civic support, to transit, to urban development, and it’s been wonderful for us to help bring back energy and spirit to a great city.”
“Target Field represents the spirit of the Twins organization, the state of Minnesota, and the legions of Twins fans around the country,” said John Wood, senior vice president at Mortenson Construction. “Target Field was challenging to build, rewarding to experience, and made possible by everyone who worked together toward the goal of making it happen.”
Mortenson also built Camelback Ranch-Glendale in Glendale, Ariz., the winner of a special Editor’s Choice Award in 2009 from Ballpark Digest and the spring-training home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
“It’s an amazing turnaround for the Twins, going from a team targeted for contraction to a team drawing sellout crowds at Target Field,” Reichard said. “The community rallied to save the Twins, and they were rewarded with one of the best ballparks in all of baseball. It was put together by people who love baseball, love ballparks and love their community.”
ABOUT TARGET FIELD
Target Field, one of America’s most urban ballparks, is located in the historic Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis. ESPN The Magazine has ranked Target Field as the best stadium experience in all professional sports in North America. Designed by Populous with Mortenson Construction serving as construction manager, the 39,504-seat ballpark was completed prior to Opening Day 2010 at a construction cost of $440 million. The Twins and Target Corporation announced a historic 25-year naming agreement for Target Field and Target Plaza on September 15, 2008. For more information on Target Field visit www.twinsbaseball.com/targetfield.
ABOUT THE BALLPARK DIGEST AWARDS
Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go though the submissions (numbering some 400 pages of documentation last year). The awards cover both individual accomplishments as well as team accomplishments. This is the fourth season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards.
Since inception in 1983, Populous has grown into the world’s leading design firm dedicated exclusively to creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences. The firm has completed more than 1,000 projects around the globe with construction value exceeding $20 billion. Populous has worked with 24 Major League Baseball franchises, 30 NFL franchises, 80 professional and civic arena clients, 40 global soccer and rugby teams, 120 universities, 40 convention center clients, 29 equestrian clients and has planned more than 30 major worldwide events.
Populous’s portfolio includes such icons as Yankee Stadium in New York; the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games main stadium; Nanjing Sports Park in China; ANZ Stadium in Australia; Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona; the new University of Minnesota football stadium and event planning for the Super Bowl and Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
ABOUT MORTENSON CONSTRUCTION
Founded in 1954, Mortenson Construction is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction company. As one of the nation’s top construction organizations and sports builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build, and turn-key development.
Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Seattle with international operations in Canada and China.
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