04/27/10 7:45 PM ET
Chat transcript: Twins executive Smith
By / MLB.com
Kevin Smith: The biggest challenge was trying to anticipate how the building would operate when 39,000 people actually moved through it. From transportation to concession lines, we needed people in here to see how it all worked. By in large, it's going well.
jzullo: Kevin, what do you think of Target Field. Is it everything the club hoped for?
Kevin Smith: We think Target Field is awesome! The initial reaction from fans and media has been all positive - but we're still tweaking things to make the experience better.
jzullo: After signing Joe Mauer to his long-term deal, does the club hope to continue this trend with other top level talent?
Kevin Smith: As you saw from what our baseball department did in the off-season in signing Hudson, Hardy, Thome and Mauer - I think it's safe to say the main goal is to remain competitive but still responsible.
josh_frost: Mr. Smith, what's been the biggest surprise of Target Field so far?
Kevin Smith: The April weather! We've been blessed that our inaugural homestand had good weather and proved we can play baseball outdoors again!
xntrick: When will season tickets be available for next year?
Kevin Smith: As you know, we've stopped selling season tickets for 2010. However, we are currently offering "The On Deck Circle" for fans interested in season tickets for 2011. Just call 1-800-33-TWINS to find out more. It's a $100 deposit per seat.
clem0811: Sir, I have no question but just want to say opening day looked great. I am currently in Iraq and stayed up late just to take it all in.
Kevin Smith: I appreciate the kind words. It was certainly a special day! Most importantly, we at the Twins appreciate your service to our country.
thekids20: When you say remain competitive what does that mean? Does that mean just enough talent to compete in the division or finally take it to a new level and compete past the first round in the playoffs?
Kevin Smith: Our goal this year and will always be to win the division and make that next move in the playoffs. We want to advance!
xntrick: When will Joe Nathan return?
Kevin Smith: Joe is re-habbing from "Tommy John" elbow surgery. That means he will not be available until next season. I can tell you that I see him everyday here at the ballpark diligently working out.
gerlach: The concessions at Target Field were even better than expected. I really enjoyed Murray's. What was the key to all the local fare. Also do you have a favorite eat in the ballpark Kevin Smith: I'm glad to hear that you liked the food! We really concentrated on providing iconic local fare here at the ballpark as part of our effort to make Target Field very reflective of Minnesota and Twins Territory.
mauernmorneau: Is there any plan yet to bring an All-Star game to Target Field in a coming year?
Kevin Smith: We are indeed working with Major League Baseball to secure an All-Star game - although nothing is confirmed, we're working for the 2014 game.
xntrick: How many pro shops are there?
Kevin Smith: Great news about Target Field is that we have 6 retail locations here. The main one is the Majestic Clubhouse Store near Gate 29. It's huge and offers stuff you can only get here!!
jshaugen: Mr. Smith, I absolutely love the new ball park and my only major complaint is the conjestion between gates 29 and 14, what is being done to address this issue?
Kevin Smith: I think you're talking about Gates 29 and 34. Those two are right off Target Plaza and that's where most of our fans enter the ballpark. My suggestion would be for you to walk up 7th Street and come in Gate 14 right by Hrbek's restaurant!
tboorstein: How do the media work areas at Target Field compare to those at the Metrodome?
Kevin Smith: The work areas in our new pressbox are state of the art with wi-fi, a private work room and even -get this - bathrooms for both men and women! At the Dome the bathroom was uni-sex...not so great!
thekids20: Kevin, with all the one year contracts that will be over after this year are you looking to sign these guys back for more or look for new talent this offseason?
Kevin Smith: Good question. Each off-season our baseball department reviews the season and looks ahead to any holes that may need to be filled. Some of those players could be back if the need is there and the on-field performance warrants.
clem0811: Sir, Is there anything to do at Target field when the guys are on the road?
Kevin Smith: Actually, we've just launched a non-game day tour operation. For a fee, we offer tours 4 times a day. Check out our Web site later this week for that info.
xntrick: Is the Dome Dog still avalible?
Kevin Smith: No more Dome Dogs. We've replaced it with another brand - Schweigert - and they are really tasty.
xntrick: You should add fried gator.
Kevin Smith: Hey, if it sells at the State Fair, it may end up here someday.
Dierk_2: If purchased on-line each ticket is charged $5-$7 convienence and handling Fee. Will we ever see these extra fee prices drop?
Kevin Smith: I don't see those prices dropping. The fees are charged by MLBAM, the group that runs all team Websites for MLB.
tboorstein: I read somewhere beat writers could get from the Metrodome pressbox to the field in under a minute. Is that possible at Target Field?
Kevin Smith: I don't think our beat writers are in that good of shape to get from the Dome pressbox to the clubhouse - joking, of course. Here at Target Field there is actually an elevator in the press box that takes writers and media down to the level the clubhouse is on and from there it is a very short walk...but it takes more than a minute.
inky116524: It appears the batters boxes are painted. Where's the chalk?
Kevin Smith: Actually, the batters boxes are painted - but not with paint you and I buy at the hardware store.
thekids20: Kevin, will the Twins organization make a move this year around the trade deadline to finally push us over the edge and move forward in the post-season?
Kevin Smith: Well, we will see. We have the best record in baseball right now.
xntrick: Do you guys regret not putting a retractable roof on Target Field?
Kevin Smith: No regrets. Once the decision was made to play baseball outside, we moved past that stage. Not having a roof allowed the architects to be more creative with their design of Target Field to help make it one of the best in baseball. Having said that, we are fully aware of the weather that could befall us but also remind fans that outdoor baseball is played in many other northern climates and those fans seem to be able to deal with some bad weather on occasion. If they can, so can we!
inky116524: Is it possible to keep the cameramen off the field during the game?
Kevin Smith: You must be referring to the camera operator who was running around during the ESPN telecast?
xntrick: What is the new hot dog called?
Kevin Smith: We have a few. The Original Twins Dog is the "regular" dog. It's actually the same recipe from the Schweigert dog from the Old Met. We have the Big Dog - the Dome Dog repalcement and the Dinger Dog which is an extra long dog.
inky116524: Rumor has it the Twins turned down a Paul McCartney concert at Target Field. Is that true?
Kevin Smith: I don't think so.
thekids20: I agree we are looking outstanding, and we do have the SECOND best record in baseball. However; it just seems with all our pitchers(except possibly Liriano if he keeps it up) we have a group of 3rd starter pitchers. That always makes things tough for play.
Kevin Smith: The hope is the staff will settle into good form - and I know it's being closely watched.
evan3783: How many Twins do you know?
Kevin Smith: I know quite a few of them...especially the guys who like to be active in the community. All of them are good guys, too.
thekids20: At the dome there was a chance to see players go to their cars and possibly get autographs, is there any place like this at Target Field? Nothing helps to make the game more fun to watch like the feeling of talking to the players in person.
Kevin Smith: Now that we are in a new facility, our parking lot is secured. The best place may be outside the gate on Twins Way.
IowaTwin34: Not to get ahead of ourselves, but if the Twins would make the playoffs and possibly the world series, would the Twins sell Standing Room Only tickets?
Kevin Smith: Wow- I like that positive thinking! I believe we would give serious consideration to standing room seats for playoffs.
xntrick: What is your favorite piece of art at the Target Field?
Kevin Smith: I gotta go with the three statues on Target Plaza. They are very cool. Have you seen them?
xntrick: What are the benefits of the suites at Target Field?
Kevin Smith: The suites are great for entertaining groups in a pretty upscale fashion!
thekids20: Is there any hope in signing Torri Hunter back when his contrack for the Angels is up? I heard in an interview he wants to finish his career here? Any truth to that?
Kevin Smith: Stranger things have happened. Let's see how he's doing by then.
xntrick: How good of a chance do you think the twins have to win the league this year?
Kevin Smith: I think we have a great chance to be the AL Champs this year!!
xntrick: Will there be any dog days at the Field?
Kevin Smith: The only dog days we'll have here are hot ones in August.
double00devin_3: What's the most difficult part of your job?
Kevin Smith: Web chats :-)
inky116524: I haven't seen, or heard, Wally the Beerman this year. Is he working?
Kevin Smith: I am happy to report that Wally the Beerman is indeed working the aisles of Target Field!
cherry3: Where are the Twins going to hold TwinsFFest now?
Kevin Smith: As long as the Metrodome is standing we'd like to continue it there. For all that's been said about that place, it's a fabulous facility for TwinsFest. If that goes away, we'd move to another venue such as Target Field, the Convention Center or a hotel...but that would change the dynamic completely. Maybe if/when the Vikings get a stadium, we would do it there!
IowaTwin34: Do you offer internships in the Twins organization?
Kevin Smith: We do offer internships in every department here at the Twins. We begin interview in November and December for the following season. We like older kids (senior year or just graduated).
thekids20: Will the autograph party be held at Target Field?
Kevin Smith: Yes, we will hold the Autograph Party here on June 12 this year. In fact, I have a meeting about that on Thursday!
inky116524: Tube-top day was a promotion at the Old Met. Any chance of bringing that back?
Kevin Smith: Holy cow, how times have changed.
hkillebrew: Will Target Field have free Wi-Fi available? It would be great to look up stats on my iPod Touch with MLB At Bat 2010 app at the game.
Kevin Smith: Working on that.
Kevin Smith: Hey, thanks everybody for the great questions today. We appreciate your support and enthusiasm!
thekids20: I have noticed the giveaways seem more stingy than last year, obviously because the new stadium will sell seats on it's own. But will there be more bobbleheads and things next year?
Kevin Smith: If you look at our promotion calendar, I'd say it's pretty good including bobbleads, DQ caps, etc.
inky116524: Since the games are now outdoors is there a curfew for games that run late so people at Mary's Place aren't disturbed?
Kevin Smith: Believe it or not, MLB allowed a game to be started as late as midnight. We hope to never exercise that rule!
Kevin Smith: Hey, all - I gotta run to a meeting. We'll see you at Target Field. Bring your appetite! Thanks.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.