Target Field Guide – Where to Park, Eat, and Get Cheap Tickets
Target Field is the gem of a baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins. From what I can gather, fans in Minnesota have been clamoring for an open air ballpark; because it feels more like baseball.
Now let’s be clear; I love the Twins’ fans and the Twins’ fans love me. However, did you forget that you live in Minnesota? The Twins are no strangers to October baseball, and I would have to imagine that those games will be played in freezing temperatures. I guess the moral of the story is to grab a Snuggie and go enjoy some baseball.
The seating capacity of Target Field is 39,504, which is about 15,000 less than the old Metrodome. I guess in part that is because the Twins have widened some of their seats and provided a couple extra inches of leg room. As a ballpark patron, I see both of these as big benefits to Target Field. Americans continue to get fatter, and rather than curse the darkness, the Minnesota Twins decided to light a candle in the form of more spacious seating at Target Field.
As far as seating capacity and square footage (close to 1M) of Target Field; this stadium is very comparable to PNC Park in Pittsburgh which should be welcome news to Twins fans, as that is widely considered one of the best ballparks in baseball.
The Twins also bring good tidings of great news for those with irritable bowel syndrome and small bladders. The Metrodome, while seating many more, only had 256 women’s toilets and 192 for men. Target Field has upped that to 401 for women and 266 for men. This is one toilet for every 60 fans in a sellout.
That’s right; say good bye to long lines at the bathroom. In fact, I would encourage you to over-hydrate yourself on the way to the Twins game just because you can. Hopefully you are writing this down; this is some great analysis of the new ballpark.
(I have learned that in actuality, there have been long lines for the mens bathroom at Target Field. Apparently, the bathrooms are like a maze and people aren't utilizing all of the urinals. Click here to learn more about how you, yes you, can help solve the urinal under utilization crisis at Target Field.)
Can we move on to something more important? Thank you.
cheap twins tickets
Ticket prices at Target Field are dynamically set. The prices vary based on opponent, the day of the week, weather, etc. It makes sense, and you can use this to your advantage. If you are a casual fan, I encourage you to plan ahead, know which games are value games, and go. This will save you at least $10 on tickets if you take your family. In most cases it will save you more like $20 just on tickets for a family of 4.
Looking at prices comparatively from the Metrodome to 2010 at Target Field, it isn’t a huge jump. In fact, there is one section where prices went down. To be in the left field bleachers, you pay $18 for a value game ticket where you would have paid $19 for seats in the same vicinity of the dome. Ticket prices for the muckety-mucks and the cuff-links rose at a much higher clip than they did for my people; the working stiffs of Minnesota. That translates to good news.
Upper deck seats went up just a few dollars in general, and I see great value in the cheapest seats in the house. The field view seats are not bad at all in right, specifically Sections 306 and 307. These range from $11 to $16 depending on the game, and it seems as if you will have no restrictions on your view, and you’re not on the very outer part of the stadium.
Another great place to buy tickets is from Score Big. Let's face it, most ticket broker sites are the same but this one is actually different. It is kind of like the Priceline of sports tickets. Essentially you can search events in your area, and make an offer on tickets and get an instant answer on whether your bid is accepted.
Next you enter in a price, again it gives you an idea how how likely that is to be accepted. I made the comparison to Priceline, and it is true, you have to put in payment details prior to making an official offer. But if you are going to the game, what a great way to save money on tickets!
Here are discounts for upcoming games:
You should be able to look to your right for the “skyline view” and the plate will be to your left. Keep in mind, if you are looking for aisle seats, I recommend sitting on the aisle furthest from home plate in the section. Try to visualize this, if you are sitting on the aisle closest to home plate in section 306, all the late comers, concession goers, and people eager to take advantage of the extra bathrooms will be going in and out right next to you. This will obstruct your view of home plate and most of the infield.
If you sit on the aisle furthest from the plate in the same section, all of the foot traffic will be directly to your right and will not block your view of the action on the field. This is a best practice anywhere in my opinion.
When the Twins are good, they will sell out pretty frequently, which has led to the team making standing room only tickets (SRO) tickets available. These went for $22 when I went to Target Field, but that may vary by opponent. If you are stuck with SRO tickets, make the best of it. Here is my review on the best spots for Standing Room only at Target Field.
Another way to think about ticket value is "what are they giving away." Teams are pretty generous with their promotion nights, so you may score a pretty nice take-home gift with your ticket purchase. Check out the Twins promo schedule.
Finally there has been some discussion of restricted view seats at Target Field. The team is pretty open about it, and after reading some information sent to me by my favorite blogger at the Star Tribune, Howard Sinker, I think it is much ado about nothing. Here are the Twins descriptions of these so called restricted view seats.
Granted I haven’t sat in these seats, but after reading the descriptions I never really thought of these as “restricted views”. My recommendation would be to visit Fenway Park and then go back and enjoy the immaculate views from Target Field. You know what I mean?
Let me make one final point. With the way Target Field is positioned, for an evening game, the sun is going to set behind home plate. The reason you should care is because if you are sitting in certain spots of the outfield, you are likely to have the sun setting in your face in the middle of summer. This can get really annoying, and may be new to you Twins fans just getting a taste of open air baseball.
On second thought, maybe temps are in the 40's in Minnesota in July, and this could be a good thing. I am not sure, I haven't visited.
Therefore, any seats in the infield for a night game you will have the advantage of not battling the sun through the first few innings. Keep that in mind.
Stubhub is the official marketplace for MLB tickets, and they protect you against fraudulent tickets. If you want to buy on Stubhub, you are usually better off if you can wait until close to game time. For baseball, you usually print your tickets at home after you buy. This means you can often buy tickets up until a couple hours before game time.
From the seller perspective, Stubhub encourages sellers to reduce their price incrementally as the event gets closer so they aren't stuck with the tickets. So when you are looking at a game that starts in just a few hours, it is likely you are going to find some great value.
parking at target field
One of the easiest ways to save a few dollars during your trip to the game is to find cheap or even free parking. If you’ve read a few of my guides, you’ll know that finding free street parking is the holy grail of stadium parking options. While that may not be entirely possible near Target Field, the savviest of fans headed to a Twins game should be able to come away with minimal parking expenses.
The streets surrounding Target Field, and downtown Minneapolis itself, are ripe with metered parking options. The city of Minneapolis provides a handy interactive online map that allows you to view street parking rates and hours for any street in the downtown area. Our guide highlights the best spots available, but click here to check it out for yourself and dig deeper.
On that map, you’ll see that the city has established “Target Field Event Zones” for metered parking on certain streets nearest the stadium. You can park in these zones for special event rates on an hourly basis for up to three hours before the start of the game, and one hour after. The closest zones charge $2.50 per hour, while ones further away are only $1.50 per hour.
Assuming that the game lasts three hours, the maximum fee you would pay in one of the $1.50/hr spots would be $10.50, but you could get out of there for only $8.50 if you arrive only 1 hour before the start of the game. Not bad for a primo parking spot only a few blocks from the stadium. Check the image below to see where these “event zones” are located.
The other obvious street parking destination are avenues 2 - 5 in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Meters on these streets only operate until 6pm each night. If you arrive early, you should be able to find a spot on these streets, feed the meter until 6pm, and then walk to the ballpark. The walk is a bit further, but with hourly rates at only $2/hr in this part of town you could park for virtually nothing. Not saying that we’re geniuses around here...but we’re pretty good.
Two quick keys to metered parking. One, arrive early to find a space. Simple enough. The second is to always pay attention to signage in the area to make sure nothing has changed and that you’re not going to be ticketed or towed.
If you’re like my Dad and more inclined to just suck it up and pay for parking at a lot or garage (or “ramp”, as they say in lovely Minnesota), there are a ton of reasonable options for you.
The first would be the “ABC Ramps”, which are all located right across the street from the stadium and connected to Target Field via skyway. Parking here for a Twins game costs up to $15, and spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Another great way to do parking for a Twins game is through a service called Parking Panda. This website and app allows you to reserve guaranteed parking ahead of time. You can compare available options in the area, pay for a ramp that works for you, and they’ll email you the parking pass. You can drive to the game knowing exactly where you’re going to park, how much you paid, and that a space will be waiting for you. Check it out in the window below.
If you don't feel like driving yourself to the game, consider pre-gaming at Tiffany's Sports Bar and taking "Tiff's Shuttle" for a free shuttle to the Twins' game. Here is a link to their website to find out more.
I would always call ahead on any given night to confirm the details of the shuttle.
food at target field
Does that look amazing or what?
You may not believe this, but when I uploaded this picture while writing this, my mouth literally started watering. I know that is cliche, but I am Pavlov's Dogs right now on my couch. No joke.
I took this photo from the Twins site, and it is called The Vincent burger; made with Angus beef and stuffed with braised short rib and smoked gouda cheese. This is going to be some of the food served at Target Field. I have now officially tried the Vincent Burger at Target Field. The price tag was $12 for the burger alone. That is pretty hefty and in my opinion, probably not worth it. I don't regret trying it, and it was very good but not worth 12 bucks. As you can see I enjoyed it.
The best budget option that I saw walking around the stadium was the Original Twins Dog. This was $3.75 and includes chili and nacho cheese on top of it.
I didn't eat one, but I saw a guy walking with one and asked to see if that was the original or the $5.75 "jumbo" Twins dog. He confirmed that it was the original. To the naked eye, that was a pretty big standard dog.
I went onto try a $5 bag of mini donuts, which can be found on the main level in right-center field. There are probably a dozen of cinnamon sugar donuts in the bag, and they are served hot and freshly made. It was a cool little stand and a great value buy if you are looking to split something sweet at the ballpark.
In the photos below you can see me holding up a donut in right field, celebrating with Kirby Puckett, and getting whacked by Harmon Killebrew. Needless to say it was an interesting night.
The Twins have made an effort to mix standard ballpark fare with some Minnesota favorites, like the aforementioned burger that came from a local French restaurant. Ballpark prices are always going to be high, so if you are on a budget, try these options.
I always recommend Restaurant.com as a place to visit to save money on dinner. I use it all the time, and you can get $25 gift certificates for $10. You can also google search for a coupon code, and usually end up paying $3 for that $25 cert. It is a great way to eat a little better, and save some money. Combine this with a trip to Target Field and you are living high on the hog, as they say.
You can bring food and drink into Target Field. According to one of my readers, who is a season ticket holder, he said the following: "Sealed water is ok as is bringing food into the stadium. The rules on food are: They must be consumed in the general seating areas (not brought into restaurants, club lounges, suites, etc). Food containers must be soft sided and fit under your chair. Any food that could be dangerous if thrown (i.e., apples) should be sliced."
So there you have it, save some money and take your own food and bottled water to the Twins game. However, you may want to splurge for the aforementioned burger once.
I also found this list of interesting things, courtesy of a guy named Andrew. His blog is here.
(I'm quoting his blog)
- You can bring an empty hard bottle, like a Nalgene, into the stadium to fill with water once you’re inside. Also, water will be provided for free at various spots around the park.
- Sunscreen will be free. Just go to Guest Services.
- Also at Guest Services, you can exchange dead batteries from your camera for fresh ones. Remember though, this is a trade. You can’t just show up and start asking for some double-A’s. I believe they’ll also charge reusable batteries and will contact you 1/2 hour or so later so they can return it/them to you.
(I'm done quoting)
free stuff at target field
- Target Field is among the first professional sports venues to provide FREE wireless access to all fans in all concourses and seating areas. If you bring a WiFi-enabled device to Target Field you will be able to gain free access to the Internet and TwinsWiFi.com.
- The Minnesota Twins offer complimentary admission to children less than 30" in height for regular season games, provided they are accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. These children must sit on the lap of the accompanying adult and not occupy an additional seat.