The 2014 MLB All Star Game: Target Field’s Impact on Display
Tuesday was a big day for Minneapolis, the Twins and Target Field as they played host to the 2014 MLB All Star Game. In the midst of the flurry of media, avid fans and the nation’s most talented ball players descending on Minneapolis, all eyes were on Target Field. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune mentions, the ballpark is “a star for the all-stars” , a “gorgeous ballpark in the heart of a picturesque city” and an opportunity “to watch the world’s very best players in one of the world’s very best ballparks.” Since opening in 2010, Target Field has become a standard for what an urban ballpark can become, extending Minneapolis’ footprint and creating connectivity to the city’s growing downtown. Since we always love to revisit America’s most urban ballpark, here are a few suggestions of features and experiences at Target Field that you should be sure to check out on your next visit to Minneapolis, from the architects who designed it.
One of Target Field’s most incredible attributes is its accessibility. The ballpark can be reached by foot, bike trail, commuter rail, light rail, bus… or car if you prefer! Traveling to the ballpark from downtown makes it evident just how connected the ballpark is to the rest of the city and is a benefit of the tight, urban site. Be sure to hop on the light rail and take in the energy of fans, then get dropped off at the newly opened Target Field Station, and appreciate one of the most unique experiences in baseball.
- Pedestrian Access
Target Field’s site is linked to bridges on all edges, allowing pedestrians to mingle and reach the ballpark in a variety of ways. As part of the design process, we thought carefully about how to allow fans to circulate and access the ballpark’s site. The design has created numerous gathering points for pedestrians and enjoyable places to spend time before and after the game.
- Target Plaza
The ballpark has become a living room for Minneapolis – a comfortable gathering point for citizens and visitors alike and an opportunity for the city and team to tell its story. Key to this is Target Plaza, a public gathering place used year-round, including recently for World Cup watch parties, and located on the southeast edge of the site. Being a pedestrian bridge, the plaza displays the history of baseball in Minneapolis, through photos, plaques, a tribute wall, a large-scale bronze glove, 44 foot tall topiary bats and sculptures. While you’re there, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to walk around the plaza, talk to fans and enjoy the atmosphere that has made Target Field famous.
- Ballpark Beacons
One of the unique design features of Target Field is that each corner of the ballpark is an architectural beacon. These cantilevered glass buildings feature the Home Plate Club, the Metropolitan Club, a Brew Pub and offices, and are recognizable from outside the ballpark. As you’re walking along the outside of the ballpark, be sure to notice these buildings, and if you have the opportunity while you’re inside, make your way inside one of these spaces and take in the views.
- The Neighborhoods
Last, but not least, Target Field’s site is elevated by the growing neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark. Check out the Warehouse district, which is expanding and reinventing itself quickly; stop in for dinner or a drink before or after the game. The full impact of Target Field is felt in these neighborhoods, which are more alive and revitalized than ever.
We hope you get the opportunity to enjoy all that Target Field has to offer – whether you were in town for the All Star Game or planning a trip to Minneapolis in the near future. It’s a ballpark that has taken an impossibly small site and created an unforgettable experience that is modern, flexible, accessible and a true urban design success.