Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Target Field pushing for other events

Since the Twins opened Target Field in 2010, there have been a variety of events to come through the gates at 1 Twins Way. The Minnesota Gophers baseball team, the 2011 RBI World Series and the Minnesota State High School League Baseball Championship have all been hosted in the friendly confines of the Twins new home. While all of these events have been baseball related, there are still plenty of other uses for the facility and the Twins have started to make a push for those events.

In an interview last week with Judd and Phunn, Dave St. Peter spoke of the possibility of bringing some other major events to the Twin Cities area in the near future. There have been rumors of other major events making stops at Target Field and the Twins are going to continue to push to keep the ballpark as integral part of the downtown area. 

Here is a breakdown of the major events the Twins have expressed interest in since their facility opened. At the end of the post, you will find a poll to express what event you would most like to see at Target Field.

MLB All-Star Game
The Twins and the city of Minneapolis have officially submitted their bid for the 2014 All-Star Game to be held at Target Field. The Royals will host the festivities surrounding the event during the 2012 season and it seems the Mets are the front-runner to host the 2013 game at Citi Field. Another team trying to get into the mix for 2014 is the Chicago Cubs because it will be the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. This would force MLB to break the tradition of rotating the host city between leagues every other season. The Twins have previously hosted the MLB All-Star game on two separate occasions. Met Stadium served as the site for the 1965 All-Star Game and 20 years later, the Metrodome hosted the 1985 All-Star Game.

NHL Winter Classic
"That's the event we covet the most," said St. Peter in his recent interview on 1500 ESPN. Minnesota is considered the State of Hockey so it is only logical to think the NHL Winter Classic will make a stop in the state at some point. The NHL is in control of the event and there is always a chance they would consider holding the event at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Since the Winter Classic debut in 2008, the event has been held in two NFL stadiums and three MLB ball parks. With the realignment of the NHL next season, there are plenty of potential opponents to face the Wild. The logical choice for a big market city would be the Chicago Blackhawks.

NCAA College Hockey Game 
As a University of North Dakota graduate, I would love to see the Fighting Sioux and the Gophers square off for a series at Target Field. St. Peter's connections to the University of North Dakota seem to lead some to think this match-up would be a possibility. If the Twins are serious about hosting the Winter Classic, a practice run with college teams could be a step in the right direction. There are plenty of UND and U of M alumni in the Twin Cities to make this an exciting event and these two teams comprise one of the best rivalries in college sports.

Major Touring Concert
The first concert at Target Field sold out in hours as two of the biggest names in country music will be gracing the stage in July. The Brothers of the Sun Tour features Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw on a multi-stadium summer tour across the United States. The Twin Cities and Midwest is a hot bed for country music so it is not surprising how fast the event was able to sell out. Originally, the first concert was reported to be Paul McCartney but his September concert was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. The country genre does not appeal to everyone so it will be interesting to see if the Twins go in a different direction with their next big time show at Target Field.

Other Event
There have been whispers of a few different major events which could be played at Target Field. The Twins Low-A Minor League Affiliate, the Beliot Snappers, is projected to have some of the best prospects in the farm system next season and a weekend series at Target Field could be fun. It also makes sense because Beliot is also the closest minor league affiliate of the Twins to the Twin Cities. St. Peter also mentioned the possibility of bringing in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament. Some baseball stadiums, like Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium, have been host to college football contests in recent years. Out of all of the events, football seemed to be the furthest away from happening at Target Field. Underneath the grass at Target Field, there is a sand layer to help water drain and this might not hold up to a football game.

So what do you think? Pick an event listed below and let your voice be heard.


Andrew said...

Watching the NHL classic the other day, all I could think was how great it would look being held at Target Field. A game against the Blackhawks would be awesome. What about the Dallas Stars, for old time's sake?

thrylos98 said...

I have no problem doing anything sort of a demolition Derby from November until January. I do have a problem with them doing other things during the season, or close to the season unless they are baseball-related and will not mess the field up. And pretty much everything even a concert will mess the field up. I went to my local (IronPigs) park after a large concern a couple of summers ago and the whole place was like a cow field. Not good.

nchickens said...

Would love to see UND vs Gophers and NHL Classic. If they have the ice on for one of them they might as well do both.

Corey said...

As a hockey fan I'd love to see the Winter Classic here but Minnesota is simply not a big enough market to compete with an eastern dominated league right now. It's almost guaranteed that when the Wild do get the classic they will play the Blackhawks, and the NHL hasn't shown the willingness to repeat teams in the classic either.
With eliminating this option I would love to see a Hockey Day Minnesota atmosphere at Target Field, bringing in 2 top High School games and a college game or something entertaining like that.
I agree that any non baseball activity will need to be outside of baseball season to keep the field in good shape