Fans hard to find at Target Field

Major League Baseball announced today that the number of people who went to the ballparks over the first two weekends of the season set a new record.

According to MLB, 3,093,382 eclipsed the previous record of 2,978,303 during the first 2 weekends in 2005.

Not so fast with the back-patting, Minnesota.

Here’s Target Field yesterday, just 15 minutes before the game with the Cleveland Indians.

Photo: Bob Collins/MPR News

By the bottom of the second inning, things didn’t improve much.

The announced crowd was 17,923 — an obvious exaggeration probably based on ticket sales — which is just about 400 more than showed up for a day game last week against Kansas City. That constituted the lowest single game turnout in Target Field history.

The weather, of course, was not particularly ideal for baseball, although the forecasts of soaking rain turned out to be wrong.

Only about 24,000 people showed up for Saturday’s game, on one of the nicer days of the spring so far.

The Twins currently rank 27th out of 30 cities in attendance, ahead of only Miami, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay — three cities known for their poor fan support.

Tampa Bay easily eclipsed Minnesota in attendance over the weekend, probably because the New York Yankees were in town.

“The Twins better be careful,” Cleveland broadcaster Tom Hamilton said on Saturday as he looked at empty seats. “As the Indians learned, once the fans give up, they may never come back.”