Going to a Twins Game on a Budget
By Kristin Boldon
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of extra Minnesota Twins tickets is not in want of a friend. When a friend offered me tickets to a Twins game last week, my husband and I argued over who would take our older son. I was interested in the food, while he wanted to check out the new offering from Surly, Bandwagon, a west coast−style IPA exclusive to the Twins' stadium. When I said I could write about it for this blog, he conceded. And only pouted a little.
Our game was on a Wednesday night, so after my son got home from school, our first stop was Big Brain Comics; Wednesday is new-comic day. Unsure about parking near the stadium, I opted for a spot on Third Street South; meters there are only 25 cents an hour till 10 p.m. We got there at 6 p.m. so our spot cost a whopping dollar. From there, we walked about three blocks to the Metrodome station of the Light Rail. A dollar each got us a round-trip ticket to the stadium. I felt pretty smug spending only $3 for parking.
Smug, that is, until I saw the crowded train. We squeezed in, but didn't have anything to hold on to for most of the trip. The three stops looked so easy on a map, but along with red lights, made for a slow, awkward ride. In retrospect, I'd get out at the Warehouse Station and walk—our train was passed by pedestrians who had done so.
Our friends had stopped at Candyland on their way and taken advantage of the Game Day package, with their addictive Chicago Mix, plain popcorn, and soft-shell peanuts or sunflower seeds. (Yes, you can bring it into Target Field!) For the rest of the game, our group happily passed peanuts and popcorn up and down the row.
After the third inning, my son and I went exploring. Our seats were near the Town Ball Tavern, where the Vincent burger is served. The original is a favorite of mine, so I was eager to try the stadium version. Well-seasoned and distinctly flavored with melted smoked gouda cheese on the inside, in the Juicy/Jucy Lucy tradition, it came with a generous portion of thick potato chips. My son opted out of the burger, and instead went for the quarter-pound all-beef Twins Big Dog. To wash these down, I got two wide-mouth bottles of beer—Killebrew RootBeer, that is.
My son was excited by the prospect of a late night out, on a school night no less, so I figured we might as well make his first major-league game a memorable one and stay till the end. And memorable it was. The boy and his friends joyously danced during breaks in the game, earning THREE turns on the Jumbotron. When the game did come to its bittersweet end (so close!), our group headed to the exit, where the maintenance crew worked.
"Hey, kid, who's your favorite player?" one of them asked my son.
"Joe Mauer," he replied, not missing a beat.
The guy held up a ball. "Mauer hit this into the stadium during practice today. You want it?"
He clutched that ball during the walk to the train stop downtown, wailed when we got passed by an out-of-service train, and sounded pleased but tired when I let him call my husband to say we were on our way home. For our next game, we'll get tickets for all of us. It truly was an excellent Twins adventure.