MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 29: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers hits a three run double as Josmil Pinto #43 of the Minnesota Twins catches during the second inning of the game on May 29, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to take a baseball trip with some buddies as we headed up to the Great Lakes region to catch a couple of Minnesota Twins games at Target Field, right smack dab in the middle of downtown Minneapolis.
That's where we'll start in our ballpark review, the setting of the field was fantastic. There's a lot to be said for the downtown ballpark as opposed to the one in a lifeless 'burb such as Arlington. Bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. are all in abundance within walking distance of the stadium and it also provides a stellar backdrop that you just don't get in places like Arlington, with all apologies to Six Flags and Jerry World, which you can't even see from your seats, anyway.
In reference to the above tweet, there were also some cons to the place. The music selection was awful, just horrendous. We're talking the likes of Cher, George Michael, that awful "Elvira" song, Mr. Roboto, awful "new country" (had no idea how much Minnesotans love their country music, but they do), and when they started playing Amy Grant, that was enough. Yes, they played Amy Grant, extensively, at a baseball game.
Thanks to the great Chuck Morgan (@TEXPAMAN) we have some of the best in-game music/entertainment around at Globe Life Park. Target Field was the opposite end of the spectrum — weird bits, lifeless PA folks and again, just god-awful music.
Another negative? The concessions. We went to two games (Friday night and Sunday afternoon) and looked extensively but failed in finding anything real special or anything that stood out. They had some really awesome donut holes and the self-serve beer bit that debuted during the All-Star Game, which was terribly overrated and pretty stupid, actually. Every concession stand you see offered the same few things — burgers, hot dogs, a few different sausages and the general popcorn/nachos selection. Their two "specialties" seemed to be a bowl of chili and a bowl of wild rice soup. Hmm, no thanks. There was pork chop on a stick, which was somewhat unique, and a pork belly sandwich I had on Sunday that was pretty good, but not spectacular.
In short, there was nothing close to a Beltre Buster or Boomstick or Choomongous. The Rangers definitely win in creativity with their concessions.
Now, some positives other than the downtown location: the sight lines were great. You could see the field from anywhere in the stadium with open concourses, meaning you can walk all through the concessions area and still see the game, to some extent. Everyone was very friendly in the entire area, and the weather in late July was phenomenal. Everything was also very clean, given that the stadium is just a few years old, which was also a bit of a drawback with the modern feel of things.
There's a bar in the 200 level that sells a drink called the "Big Ginger" that was quite tasty, and in that bar sits the stadium organist, who we talked to for a bit. She was a 16-year veteran on the job and plays every night, even with an arm in a cast like she had on Friday after breaking her arm. Pretty cool to see the organist right there amongst everyone.
To sum things up, the concessions and music (thanks, Chuck Morgan) make Globe Life Park a great place to watch a game. When you consider the pricey seats at Target Field, which seemed on average to be at least $10 more per comparable seat in Arlington, Globe Life seems to put out a much better product. That whole downtown thing adds a ton to Target Field's case, as do the sight lines.
Note to self, Rangers. Next time you build a stadium, if you insist on staying in Arlington, at least consider the open concourse thing, but please, stay away from the Amy Grant.