I'm pretty sure Gardy feels strongly one way on this issue. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Win in the Metrodome or Lose at Target Field?

It’s time for another round of Would you Rather!  This time around, let’s try to decide if ballpark matters more than on-field product.

In 1982, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome housed the Minnesota Twins for the first time.  The Dome was something.  It was covered (obviously) so the weather was never a real concern.  Some of the seats didn’t face the right way, since the stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings as well.  However, the stadium was huge, and the sheer volume of fans that it would hold contributed to a distinct home-field advantage for the Twins.  It also didn’t hurt that the structure held in sound like you wouldn’t believe.  Within 10 years, the Twins had won two World Series titles, before struggling through most of the ’90s.  Between 2002 and 2009, the Minnesota Twins made the playoffs 5 times.  The Twins experienced playoff baseball 7 times in the history of the Dome.

In 2010, Target Field became the new home for the Twins.  The stadium is beautifully designed, with excellent architecture.  The concourses are wide and easy to access from the seats.  The ticket prices are nowhere near as cheap as late 2000s Metrodome tickets, but the prices are still reasonable.  The food options at Target Field are vast, and the atmosphere in downtown Minneapolis is hard to beat.  On the field, the Twins had a successful first season in their new home, making the playoffs and hosting the New York Yankees in the first round.  The reviews of the new field were almost universally positive, and the concerns about playing outdoor baseball in Minnesota weather were forgotten very quickly.

Unfortunately, on-field success at Target Field is rapidly becoming a distant memory.  The first year in Target Field was a success on the field and in the stands.  Since then, the team has nose-dived and the attendance figures are dropping as well.  Many people aren’t going to pay good money to watch a decrepit team just to sit outside.  However, there are some casual fans who would rather go to a game at Target Field  and watch a loss, than sit inside the Metrodome and watch a win.  Others would gladly give up the beautiful architecture, if it ensured a return to on-field-turf success.

The Metrodome is not without some charm.  You can’t have a rain-out (or snow-out for that matter) in a dome.  The climate controlled atmosphere made for a pleasant game time temperature right around 70 degrees for each game.  As someone who turns on their air conditioning around mid-April, I can get behind that.  The tickets were so cheap!  I remember when I was a student I could go to a Wednesday night game for 3 bucks.  Add in dollar hot dog night and you could have a disgustingly filling meal for about 10 bucks (six dogs, one soda).  In addition, since no one else liked the Dome, you could almost always move to better seats, usually within the first few innings.  Of course, I sat here thinking of other good Dome qualities for a good 15 minutes and came up with nothing beyond AC, hot dogs, and my cheapness.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Target Field is obviously nicer.  Much nicer in fact.  Even a Dome defender like myself can admit that.  I did get sunburned at Target Field once, which was not pleasant.  However, that was probably at least 90% my fault.  The food options are better, although the hot dogs are terrible (I don’t care if they are made in Minnesota either).  The field is nicer, the seats all point out to the field, and the landscaping, architecture, and ambiance are light years ahead of the Dome.  And even though they shouldn’t be, the parking and escape from the stadium at the end of the game are better as well.  The fan experience gets an A+.  All that being said, I am a fan of baseball teams and players, not stadiums.  I would watch a winning team play at Frank Viola field in Shoreview.

Odds are, things will turn around and we will get to watch a winning team play at Target Field.  But, what if they don’t turn around?  What if the Twins never get back to the glory days spent at the Dome?  What if our only options are to continue to watch a bad team play at a great stadium, or invent a time machine and go back to the days of winning in a Dome?  What if you had to choose?  Great stadium or great team, but not both?  Which would you choose?

So, would you rather watch a winning team play in the Metrodome or watch a losing team play at Target Field?  Please feel free to respond in the comments below.

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  • Brad Bettin

    Winning baseball is more fun to watch. Winning baseball draws fans & more fans make watching winning baseball that much more fun.

  • thrylos98

    No brainer
    Anyone who prefers a losing team to a winning team is not a fan of the team. Period. Might like to go out and watch ball and eat food and stuff but does not care about the team. Lots of people who are attending baseball games at TF, unfortunately fall into this category. Love to be entertained and happens that the Twins are the home team…

  • Joel Thingvall

    The setting of Target Field is simply beautiful to watch and enjoy baseball, aside from the same old same old bumper music and bad in-house scoreboard promotions. A winning (or in the case of Twins management “let us just e competitive”) team is a joy to watch. Someone does have to win, someone does have to lose. It is the level of play that would concern me most. Hate to always be an underdog. I can find excitement in old timers as well as young guns. And that is the joy of baseball. No matter how much money you have, the talent still has to play and play together. The last two seasons…2011 was injury-filled. 2012 had no rotation. I’m sorry, I looked at 2012 at the beginning of spring training with a rotation of Baker (14-16 wins), Pavano (12-15 wins), Liriano (maybe 20, at least 10-12), Blackburn (a 11-11 record) and Marquis (giving us at least 7-9 wins before moving on and replaced by Hendriks of someone giving us another 5 wins). I would hope a rotation can pull together 60 wins. If they can do 70, you are in the mix. The Twins barely did 40 with their patchwork. And who would;ve thought that the gem didn’t start the season with the team and all the top five would be done or elsewhere by season’s end. Baseball is a game to watch, be involved in, and what better way that outdoors with the sun, breeze, skyline, good concessions and surrounded by like-minded fans. And it is a team sport. And someone DOES have to win and someone DOES have to lose. As long as they play the game.

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  • PMinell

    If forced to choose, I’d rather watch a winning team, no contest, even though I call Target Field my “Favorite Place”. But I’m going to be selfish. I want both a winning team & Target Field!!