Even though the playoffs start on Wednesday, we've finished one year of regular season baseball at Target Field and it's time to evaluate some of the myths that cropped up in the planning and design of Target Field and how they actually played out over 81 games and 6 months.
Myth #1 - No Roof means rainouts.
Fact - There was one official rainout and one suspended game this year, actually below league average. Rain had practically no impact on baseball played at Target Field this year.
Myth #2 - O.k. no rain but it will be cold in April and October.
Fact - Opening day saw temperatures in the 70's. I went to two games this past weekend (Oct. 1 and 3rd) both days were quite pleasant, yesterday was quite warm. Two playoff games are scheduled for later this week. Forecasted temperatures those two days? Low to mid 70s.
Myth #3 - Target Field had to be shoe-horned into a small space. It will be a bandbox with lots of cheap homeruns hit.
Fact - Target Field had dimensions quite similar to the Metrodome and had the 3rd least amount of homeruns hit of any Major League park this year.
Myth #4 - I can't believe they built Target Field next to a garbage burner. It's ugly and going to smell like rotting garbage.
Fact - Funny how not one word has been written about smelly garbage once 3 million plus people started showing up. This was and is a non-issue.
Myth #5 - Twins will make a lot of money at Target Field but the Pohlad's are cheap. They aren't going to spend any money on the team for a couple of years to "make up" for the lost opportunities at the dome (Dan Barreiro was a big proponent of this one).
Fact - Twins payroll went up nearly 50 percent this year and is around $100M with all indications that it will continue to stay at this level if not higher for the foreseeable future.
UPDATE! One more Myth:
Myth #6 -- Downtown Traffic is going to be a bear during Twins games, it can't accommodate all that Twins traffic.
Fact -- Traffic was no issue, even when there were events at the Metrodome, Target Center, etc. People used public transportation, bikes, and parked all over downtown to get to the game. I went to 13 games this year and I drove, biked, carpooled and took the bus. I found it was easier to get out of downtown this year then in past years at the Metrodome. And this was with full houses every game.
Clearly the ballpark haters were wrong on all counts. Also I haven't heard of any family going bankrupt paying 15 cents to help fund the ballpark every time they buy $100 worth of electronics at Best Buy in Hennepin County. Target Field has been a huge success aesthetically, the way it plays on the field, national exposure, and for the Twins bottom line. The Twins and Hennepin County hit a home run with Target Field and it look forward to enjoying it for many many years to come.