Gophers to give Target Field dry run
Minnesota, La. Tech will play first game at Twins' new home
Tickets to the Twins' two exhibition games against the Cardinals at Target Field sold out in 20 minutes on Tuesday, but fans who didn't secure tickets for those games will have another opportunity to get an early look at the club's new ballpark.The Twins announced Wednesday that the first baseball game played at Target Field will take place on March 27, when the University of Minnesota hosts Louisiana Tech at 1 p.m. CT. Tickets will be sold on a general admission basis for $2. All proceeds will benefit the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Tickets will be available exclusively on the day of the game at all Target Field ticket office locations starting at 8 a.m. Attendance for the game will be capped at 25,000 people. Gates to the ballpark will open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. The game between the Gophers and Bulldogs will mark the first time that the general public will have the opportunity to see Target Field. The Twins and the University of Minnesota have long enjoyed a strong relationship and share some common ties, including the fact that Hall of Famers and St. Paul, Minn., natives Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor played for both the Gophers and the Twins during their illustrious careers. So it only seemed fitting that Target Field's "Open House" feature a game involving the Gophers. "We hope this game emphasizes the importance we place on our relationship with the University of Minnesota program," said Twins executive director of public affairs Kevin Smith. "We thought it would be fitting to have the University of Minnesota be the answer to the trivia question of 'Who played the first game at Target Field'?" For the Twins, the event will not only give them an opportunity to let the public see their new state-of-the-art ballpark, but it will allow them to test the facility and to train their staff. "It's a great training tool for us on everything from guest services to how we run the concession stands," Smith said. "It's a great dry run. What better way to have an open house than to have a baseball game being played while you're walking around the park. We thought it was a great opportunity." But while the Twins are pleased to get in yet another test run before Target Field's home opener on April 12 against the Red Sox, the Gophers are equally excited to get a chance to take part in such a special event. "Our staff and players are extremely excited to showcase Golden Gopher Baseball at Target Field and to encourage our great Twins and Gopher fans to join us for this special celebration," Minnesota head baseball coach John Anderson said in a statement.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.