Down on the Farm: Target Field is a delight
If everybody who said they were against tax money going for a new Twins stadium refused to attend a game, Target Field would be empty.
Instead, they've sold out nearly every seat for the entire year.
As happens with most publicly-funded projects, people hate the thought of taxes but love the toys tax money builds.
It took a while for the overlords to disguise the tax increase well enough to allow legislators to vote for the project.
According to the scheme, you only pay for the stadium if make a purchase in Hennepin County. If you stay out of Hennepin County for the rest of your life, you won't pay for the stadium.
But cross the county line and buy a candy bar, you're paying for a beautiful stadium.
Trouble is, most of Minnesota's fun stuff happens in Hennepin County. Before all is said and done, most Minnesotans, a vast majority of whom were against tax money going for a ballpark, will have helped pay for the place.
As a taxpayer, I find the sordid dealings, all of which line the pockets of people whose pockets are already full, to be corrupt.
As baseball fan, I thank you all.
Target field is magnificent.
Honoring a long American tradition of baseball-related truancy, I skipped work and snuck down to a ball game last week.
It is amazing what a half-billion dollars can buy! The place is like a giant cruise ship, and I didn't even get to see the Twins' clubhouse, which is reportedly a resort unto itself.
To squeeze the stadium on the tiny lot, the architects had to innovate. The stadium's charm comes, in part, because of the nooks and crannies which result from the cramped space.
Unlike most stadiums, which impress upon first glance but fade upon closer inspection, Target Field is rich in detail.
Once he secured public funding for the basics, Jim Pohlad, the man holding the purse strings for the Twins, dove in and splurged on the details.
Minnesota limestone on the dugouts. Radiant floor heating under the grass. Heat lamps on the concourse for the fans.
Just by touring the nooks and crannies in search of the little extras, one could enjoy the entire three hour experience of a baseball game without seeing a pitch in person.
In fact, walking around the hallways and concourses is so fun that roughly one-third of the seats sit empty while those who paid for them wander on foot.
While you walk, you can follow the game on one of the thousands of TV screens which hang from every rafter.
High upstairs in the hallway outside the door of a secret club where rich people get served gourmet meals during the game, we spent about an inning looking at a beautiful display of photographs of every other stadium in the major leagues.
Some of the very best seats are in the upper decks of the outfield. Tickets there cost about as much as a meal at Applebee's, but because the decks are stacked right up against the left field fence, the views of the field are breathtaking.
While walking up the ramp to the upper levels you see that a couple dozen yards behind the seats is the light rail line. The architects had to stack those decks up like a layer cake because they didn't have the room to do otherwise.
When you do sit down, it is difficult to follow the game for all the distractions. A beautiful sunset reflected off the skyscrapers which tower over the right field fence. The massive scoreboard kept the masses mesmerized with the usual bag of tricks.
It was cool night, sort of like early October. But everybody was happy. The masses love spectacle, and Target Field delivers more than its share.
In fact, if you are one of those principled grumps who doesn't like the idea of your tax dollars going to benefit billionaire bankers and millionaire ballplayers, it wouldn't be difficult walk around and imagine you are at the mall.
At least until you pay $11 for walleye on a stick plus $7 for something to wash it down.