Target Field rendering shows outdoor baseball under a Minnesota sky. (Image courtesy Minnesota Twins)
Baseball fans in Minnesota are about to undergo a change in thinking. The days of baseball under a Teflon sky will come to an end this fall. Starting next year, Twins fans will be enjoying the full menu of all the weather Minnesota has to offer.
That will be a new thing for baseball fans younger than 37 years. There will be sunny brilliant days, rainy days and maybe even a snowflake or two. From my look at Target Field, the Twins have done a pretty good job of designing a ball park that will take in the best weather Minnesota has to offer and shield fans from the worst. Yes there will still be rain delays, and fans will have to get used to that again. There will be plenty of places to run and hide or grab a beverage on those days. From an overall weather enjoyment standpoint, Target Field looks like a home run to me. The designers have oriented the stadium and the design to create a pretty good microclimate to shield the chilly northwest winds of spring and fall, and shade the hot sun of July.
There are a lot of weather dependant decisions that go into your average outdoor sporting event. There are people behind the scenes that have to make critical decisions at a moments notice.
That’s why many MLB teams use a variety of sources for weather support. These range from NWS data to in house weather radar systems and private weather consultants. As with everything in weather no one of these sources may be right 100% of the time. But the batting average is much higher than the best hitters in baseball, and that can save hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars over the course of a season or two.
For my money there will be nothing better than to sit at an outdoor ballgame on a beautiful Minnesota day. The real test for fans will be to see how well we adapt to those weather days that aren’t so “Minnesota Nice.” I’m guessing most Minnesotans will take it in stride, just like we do every other outdoor event during a Minnesota summer.