In 1960, the Washington Senators moved from the nation's capitol to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and changed their name to the Minnesota Twins. To house their new franchise, the Twins converted a minor league venue called Metropolitan Stadium into a major league-ready facility. The ballpark could seat 18,200 people when it first opened, and later expanded to more than 45,000. However, concerns over the fickle Minnesota weather caused the team to move to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1982, which they shared with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. The 56,144-seat stadium had its fair share of drawbacks, with balls bouncing awkwardly off the turf surface and others hitting the ceiling, but fans gradually warmed up to these quirks. After years in the dome, the Twins finally returned to open-air baseball in 2010 with the opening of Target Field.
The beautiful new ballpark is filled with countless amenities, breathtaking views of downtown Minneapolis and more activities than a fan could pack into one day. In fact, Target Field was rated the No. 1 fan experience in all of professional sports by ESPN the Magazine. The 40,000-seat ballpark is located in the heart of Minneapolis and is accessible from the city's light rail system and buses and has many surrounding parking garages. On the outside of the stadium, visitors are greeted by the Tradition Wall, a mural of inscriptions paid for by Twins fans that will adorn the outside of the ballpark for years to come.
Venturing inside, attendees have the option of visiting the Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a slew of pro shops and merchandise stores, as well as an interactive gaming and play area for young children. Target Field also features two full-service restaurants, Town Ball Tavern and Hrbek's, for ticket holders looking for gourmet eats at the stadium. Of course, there is also the Taste of Twins Territory food court that offers a wide range of vendors and eateries from the Minneapolis area.
The move into Target Field happened during one of the most successful periods in Twins history. With division championship wins in 2006, 2009 and 2010, the Twins have become one of the low-payroll success stories in the American League - putting together a talented roster without making huge free agent splashes. The Twins' stellar lineup and beautiful facilities have made them one of the biggest draws in the Major Leagues.