It has been three glorious years since the Minnesota Twins moved out of the cavernous confines that are the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and into the astounding glamour that is Target Field.
While the move hasn’t necessitated the type of on-field results that the team had envisioned, Target Field is still a great draw for baseball fans because of its spectacular design and fan experience. While that is all good and well, one problem still seems to be facing the Twins as they head into a future of outdoor baseball: what is the team going to do about the early spring weather in Minnesota during the early weeks of the season?
For years, there was plenty of discussion regarding whether or not Target Field should be built with a retractable roof or not, and the organization and lawmakers ultimately decided on building a stadium without one.
This saved the team and state millions of dollars, but was it the best decision for the organization moving forward with all of the uncertainty surrounding the Minnesotan weather?
While I do not argue with the point of view that a retractable roof would be nice because of the helter-skelter climate that Minnesota possesses, I believe that the roof is not a necessity for baseball outdoors in Minnesota.
The problem facing the Twins, however, is what to do with the first few weeks of the season when there could still be freezing temperatures and snow on the ground or forecast.
During the first few seasons, the Twins were able to open up the season on the road and didn’t have to worry about it being an issue. This year, however, the team opens up at home against the Detroit Tigers on April 1 and there is a decent chance the temperatures will be in the low 40s — there may even be snow still on the ground.
One local Twin Cities’ writer for the Pioneer Press by the name of Joe Soucheray has come up with the perfect solution to combat the team’s upcoming dilemma: play in the Metrodome.
While this solution may only be short-term because the Metrodome is slated to be torn down this winter after the completion of the football season, it does provide a logical option for the team instead of having to reschedule or push back games.
The Metrodome is already set up to host baseball games because it already hosts a slew of local college and high school baseball games during the spring. Soucheray poses the option of having two ballparks available all season — which would be ideal — but understands that option is not logical or responsible.
However, the Twins could very well use the Metrodome this year to get in their games during the early portion of the season while preserving the true “home opener” for when the weather is actually enjoyable and can attract large crowds.
No matter where the games are played, some within the organization are fearful that attendance will be down this season because of the low expectations of the team in 2013. Even the wonderful experience that Target Field is may not be able to draw healthy crowds this year like in years past.
Regardless of the attendance, the Twins should consider using the Metrodome as a great marketing ploy and send off for the stadium that produced two Twins’ World Series championships and gave the team a distinct home-field advantage for almost 30 years.
While this is merely a pipe dream, give Soucheray credit for proposing this idea. I find it a brilliant ploy and recommend the Twins seriously consider it during this final year of the Metrodome’s existence.