Take me out to the ball game

The Minnesota Twins have their first home game today at Target Field. It is the second season they will play at the park that provides fans with an outdoor experience. One of the factors at the park is that it favors pitchers. The Star Tribune has the stats:

As a team, the Twins hit 142 homers last season — but only 52 came at their shiny, new ballpark. First baseman Justin Morneau, in half a season before a concussion ended his campaign, hit 18 homers, four at home. Catcher Joe Mauer, coming off a career-high 28 homers in 2009, hit nine all of last year, including four at home.

Consequently, the players expressed concern over the dimensions. Behind the scenes, there was a request to move the fences in, which was turned down.

MPR’s Brandt Williams takes a look at the other numbers.

Target Field has been a financial success for the Twins. More than 3 million fans — the most in team history — attended home games in 2010. The team doesn’t disclose revenue data to the public, however, Forbes Magazine estimates that Target Field brought in an additional $70 million to the team.

Williams report continues in an exploration of if the Twins are contributing to the local economy beyond tax revenue. It isn’t clear. Certainly businesses close to the field are feeling a bump, but it is hard to say if that isn’t coming at the expense of other buisnesses around the metro.

While the outcome of today’s game remains as uncertain as the economic impact, the odds are high that national anthem will be sung beautifully and the beer will be ice cold.

Also clicking on MN Today

Fargo-Moorhead flood cams.

Mississippi on the rise again

Water on the upper Mississippi River is on the rise again, passing flood stage in many places and heading toward another crest next week (Rochester Post Bulletin).

The flood picture in Minnesota’s river valleys

Crests and second crests arrived Thursday in some rivertowns, while others awaited the weekend and watched the skies (Star Tribune).

River levels dropping in Crookston

The Red Lake River may have already crested in Crookston. The last of the ice appears to have passed by Wednesday, causing some jamming that caused river levels to spike but now it looks like they’ve fallen (Grandforks Herald).

Years of flood preps paying off in Granite Falls

Granite Falls is benefiting first from river levels more than six feet lower than ’97. But also from more than $15 million worth of flood mitigation, funded with local and federal funds, but mostly with money from the state’s Flood Damage Reduction Program (KARE).

Farmers in Minn. tripled their income last year

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Minnesota farmers more than tripled their income last year, helping shore up the state’s economy. Based on a survey of 2,500 farms, the average farmer made almost $120,000 (MPR).

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