Yellon: Touring Target Field

From SABR member Al Yellon at Baseball Nation on June 10, 2012:

The Minnesota Twins played outdoors at a stadium called Metropolitan Stadium from the day they moved to Minnesota from Washington in 1961 through the end of the 1981 season. It was located in suburban Bloomington, the first suburban, parking-lot-surrounded stadium in the major leagues (asterisk to Milwaukee’s County Stadium, which had the parking lots a few years earlier, but was located within Milwaukee’s city limits).

It’s cold much of the spring, and some of the early fall, in metropolitan Minneapolis; the area has the coldest average climate of any major American city. The Twins were tired of getting snowed out or playing in 35-degree temperatures; it happened much more often than they would have liked. The Minnesota Vikings, though they appeared to have a huge home-field advantage playing in icy conditions, also wanted some climate control.

Up went the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It was great for the Vikings, and the Twins had nice conditions to play in April and May. Unfortunately, said some, they missed having pleasant summer afternoons and evenings outdoors at Twins games. The Twins wanted a new ballpark, and they argued about it in the state legislature, as has been the norm in recent decades. Eventually the politicians agreed to fund a new stadium for the Twins, with the team paying about a third of the money and the rest financed by a local sales tax. When the place was completed, the total price tag was around $440 million.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money to build a retractable roof like the one on Miller Park in Milwaukee, a city with a climate somewhat warmer than Minneapolis.

Read the full article here:

Related link: We’re taking a private tour of Target Field at SABR 42, June 27-July 1, 2012 in Minneapolis. Register today and join us for the SABR convention!

Originally published: June 11, 2012. Last Updated: June 11, 2012.