Ahead of the club’s 13th season at its home ballpark, the Minnesota Twins today unveiled the latest enhancements to the Target Field experience, from innovative new spaces to locally-flavored food offerings for fans to enjoy throughout the 2022 season.
Taste of the Twins
The Twins, along with foodservice and retail partner Delaware North, are bringing a variety of new specialty items – each with a connection to the Twin Cities – across general concession areas at Target Field, supplementing the ballpark’s renowned food and beverage offerings.
“We’ve expanded our concessions offerings to include several new items from both longtime local partners and others who are new to the ballpark,” said Pete Spike, Delaware North’s onsite general manager. “We are looking to give fans a true taste of the Minneapolis-St. Paul region and be certain we have something for everyone.”
Local partners and new food items for 2022 include:
• Mac’s Fish (Minneapolis): A longtime Target Field partner brings its hand-battered walleye with sea salt and jalapeño-lime tartar sauce. Served with French fries. Available at Townball Tavern.
• Roots for the Home Team (St. Paul): Sue Moores and her team will be back for a 10th year, focusing on youth-driven specialty salads with ingredients grown and harvested by local farmers. Available near Section 101.
• Bub’s Gourmet Aussie Pies (Lake Elmo): Founder Jason Drysdale is bringing his Australian-inspired, hand-held savory pies to Target Field. Offerings include Chicken Wild Rice and Sloppy Joe. Available near Section 126.
• Upcycle Foods (Minneapolis): Former Target Field Chef Scott Vanden Broecke’s Italian Grinder sandwich featuring capicola, mortadella, ham, salami and provolone cheese. Served on a fresh-baked pretzel bun made with local brewers’ spent grains, a byproduct of the beer-brewing process. Available at Truly On Deck.
• Blue Door Pub (Minneapolis, St. Paul): Pat McDonough’s Cease and Desist Burger features white and yellow American cheeses and is topped with lettuce, onions and ‘Merican sauce. Available near Gate 34.
• La Tapatia (Roseville): Adobo Chicken Tacos served in soft, doubled corn tortillas. Available street- or Cali-style near Section 109.
• Soul Bowl (Minneapolis): New soul food offerings from Chef Gerald Klass include The Henry Sandwich (barbecue-braised beef, coleslaw, potato chips and a potato roll) and Summer Bowl (barbecue-braised beef, Cajun corn and Return of the Mack and Cheese). Available near Section 112.
• Turkey To Go (Minneapolis): A Target Field classic makes its return to the concession stand next to Hrbek’s (near Section 114). Offerings include juicy turkey sandwiches made famous at the Minnesota State Fair.
• Hot Indian (Minneapolis): Another longtime Target Field partner is back with a pair of new items – Chicken Tikka (seasoned, yogurt-marinated chicken breast simmered in a rich, creamy tomato curry; served with brown rice, crispy pappadum, cilantro and HI Slaw) and Vegan Channa Masala (chickpeas and Indian seasonings simmered into a mild and flavorful curry; served with brown rice, crispy pappadum, cilantro and HI Slaw). Available near Section 122.
• Food Building (Minneapolis): Delaware North’s ballpark chefs collaborated with Kieran Folliard of the Food Building to create the official grilled cheese sandwich of Target Field. The sandwich is made from bread and cheese produced from inside the Food Building, which houses artisan food businesses Red Table Meat Co., Baker’s Field Flour & Bread, and Alemar Cheese Company. Available at the new market near Section 126.
• We Are Nuts (St. Paul): Twin Cities Business’ 2021 Family Business of the Year brings a selection of its craft-roasted nuts and treats – handmade in small batches. Located at “The Market” near Section 126.
Additionally, the Twins and Delaware North will once again provide a pair of concessions stands offering family-friendly prices for the 2022 season. Located in Sections 133 and 327, these stands offer ballpark favorites such as hot dogs, soft pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, fountain soda and canned beer, all for under $5 apiece.
The next evolution of the Target Field food and beverage experience, “The Market” inside Gate 6 down the leftfield line is an open-air, walk-through environment delivering both fresh hot food and pre-packaged grab-and-go items not available elsewhere in the ballpark, and – in a first for local sports venues – a walk-in cooler featuring an extensive variety of canned craft beers. Guests can enjoy this customizable, interactive shopping experience at their own pace, before quickly and efficiently purchasing their items through self-checkout stations.
UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite at Target Field
Enhancing inclusivity and empowering all guests to thrive in the Target Field experience, the Twins and UnitedHealthcare are excited to invite neuroatypical ticket holders of all ages and abilities to visit the ballpark’s new, state-of-the-art UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite. Located on the newly-renamed UnitedHealthcare Suite Level, the former “Suite 1” has been completely renovated, reimagined and equipped to deliver a welcoming, compatible environment in which neuroatypical guests may find temporary respite, if needed, during games. “The Twins and UnitedHealthcare share a commitment to the Minnesota community and a passion to create positive change,” said United Healthcare CEO Brian Thompson. “We look forward to partnering on programs to support children and families in our community, and appreciate the opportunity to play a role in providing a more welcoming environment at Target Field for people of all abilities. Together, we can truly take everyone out to the ballgame.”
The spacious Sensory Suite features unique, separated spaces specifically designed to meet different needs, including those of children and adults, while on-site Twins Guest Services staff members have been individually trained to deliver appropriate and diverse assistance. The Sensory Suite’s distinctive location is meant to ensure accessibility, while also helping to ease guests’ transition back to their ticketed seats by offering a controlled, outdoor area overlooking the game. This outdoor option makes Target Field’s sensory area among a select few in professional sports venues nationally to have a view of the playing surface. The unique, design-build Sensory Suite project was a collaboration with leading experts from both UnitedHealthcare and Fraser, a Minnesota-based company nationally recognized for its high-quality, innovative and individualized programs for families with special needs. Additionally, the Twins, UnitedHealthcare and Fraser will provide sensory kits for guests to check out, free of change, at Guest Services stations throughout Target Field.
Twins Accelerator at Target Field
In April 2021, the Twins announced a partnership with Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, for a three-year accelerator program based out of the Ford Center in downtown Minneapolis. “The Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars” – the first of its kind in Minnesota sports and just the second such venture to be operated and funded by a Major League Baseball club – attracts and advances world-class startups focused on the intersection of technology, sports and entertainment, while providing founders with hands-on mentoring from Techstars, the Twins and the Pohlad Companies. The Accelerator’s first cohort, which ran from November 2021 through February 2022, was comprised of a diverse and innovative group of 10 companies selected from more than 120 applicants; represented seven states, along with the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada; and included six startups founded by persons of color.
Two of those companies are integrated into the Target Field experience to begin the 2022 season:
AWSM Sauce, the world’s first sustainably-focused sauce and condiment company, will be featured in the Delta SKY360° Club to open the season. In a country that produces 60 billion pounds of plastic waste annually, Carl Starkey and Paul Lehmann – good friends, fathers, visionaries and the co-founders of AWSM Sauce – are jump-starting a truly meaningful evolution toward sustainability. Through their patent-pending, dry-pack sauce mixes delivered in compostable packaging, AWSM Sauce eliminates single-use plastic containers for staples such as ketchup, mustard, and barbeque and hot sauces – without sacrificing taste. “We have a mission to deliver on taste and sustainability, and to take this massive plastic problem off of our kids’ plates,” Starkey said.
Added Lehmann: “We wanted to partner with an organization that truly cares about the environment, so to connect with the Twins and to land in the ‘Greenest Ballpark in America’ is inspirational.”
EDGE Sound Research, a pioneer in embodied audio and the future of sound, has partnered with the Twins to bring their immersive technology to Target Field. The ResonX Sound Lounge at Target Field will be the first application of embodied audio technology in the sports world and will include two benches outfitted with technology connected straight to the stadium sound system, including microphones at home plate that will allow visitors to feel the crack of the bat and the pop of the catcher’s mitt.
Fans can experience the ResonX Sound Lounge in the main concourse at Target Field near section 117 during the first homestand. Following that, the Twins and EDGE Sound Research will experiment with different content types and locations around the ballpark to optimize the fan experience.
“We couldn’t be more excited to debut the full capabilities of our technology through this venture with the Minnesota Twins,” said Valtteri Salomaki, CEO and co-founder of EDGE Sound Research.
“The work we’re doing at EDGE will herald in the next generation of embodied experiences, and we can’t wait for fans at Target Field to experience the difference in watching a game that sounds as if they were standing on the field among the players.”
(info courtesy of Twins)