Seats dictate weather at Target Field

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Young Twins Fan soaks in the view to sunny right field as shadows move across the outfield.

(Photos by Paul Huttner. Click for bigger image)

It can be like spring or summer in Target Field at the same moment, depending on where your seats are.

At a recent Twins/Yankees game I took the time to visit several different sections and “take the temperature” of the seats and the fans. What I found are temperatures that vary widely in different sections of Target Field at the same time.

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Outfield bleachers in sun and shade on the playing field as the grounds crew prepares for a 7:10 start.

While it is not a surprise to find changing temperatures in Target Field, the magnitude of the difference in the apparent or “feels like” temperature was remarkable. It was like the difference between a cool spring day and a warm summer afternoon depending on the section number on your ticket.

Thursday May 27th

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Left field seats section 313.

-Air temperature: 80 degrees.

-Apparent temperature: Near 90 degrees.

I enter Target Field through Killebrew Gate 3 in center field. Under the crowded but shady concourse with the breeze it feels very close to the ambient air temperature of 80 degrees. But as I emerge into the direct sunshine in the left and center field bleachers, it’s instant July.

The seats are very warm to the touch. The fans are dressed for summer. My low tech thermometer and weather spidey senses tell me the apparent or “feels like” temperature in the sun soaked center field seats is close to 90 degrees. Center field faces directly west into the now sinking but still potent evening sun, and you can feel every degree.

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Fans settle into a sunny and very warm section 331 minutes before gametime.

Time: 7:10pm

Location: 3rd base line near section 11, row 1 .

-Air temperature: 77 degrees.

-Apparent temperature: 74 degrees.

As Nick Blackburn throws the game’s first pich to Derek Jeter, I am in the press pit next to the Yankee dugout at field level just below the first row of section 11.

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Yankee Derek Jeter loosens up on deck

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Twins starter Nick Blackburn rocks and fires.

The shade of the stadium’s high canopy has covered the area along the 3rd base line now for some time, and the temperature is noticeably more comfortable than it was in the outfield just minutes earlier.

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Derek Jeter ready at the plate. Note the sunny patch in the right field seats as the game gets underway.

There is now a slight breeze to subtract just a few more degrees from the apparent temperature. I would estimate the feels like temp here is a cozy 74 degrees as the game starts.

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Texiera, A-Rod, Jeter, Mauer & Morneau ready for the pitch.

Time: 7:30pm

Location: 1st base side concourse at the top of section 109 .

-Air temperature: 74 degrees.

-Apparent temperature: 68 degrees.

I make my way to the concourse along the first base line behind section 109. This area has been in shade pretty much all day. It now feels considerably cooler here. The breeze blowing through the openings in the concourse is cool to the senses. I notice many fans here wearing sweatshirts, even as T-shirt clad fans in center field soak up the last rays of evening sun across the stadium.

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A-Rod makes contact with a Blackburn pitch.

Conclusion:

On this relatively warm summer like evening at Target Field, I observed differences in apparent temperature in different sections of the ball park of as much as 22 degrees over a period of about an hour. On this day it was relatively warm, but it would be good to know where you’re sitting on a sunny day as you decide how to dress for the game.

I talked with Kevin Smith, Twins media guru about the stark contrast in temperatures around Target Field. His observations seem to indicate that the biggest differences occur on sunny, relatively cool and breezy spring days with temperatures in the 60s. He has seen fleece in the upper deck sections along the 1st base line and shorts and T-Shirts in the sun down the 3rd base line during cool sunny day games.

Bottom line: Know your seat, sun angles and the expected weather before you head out to Target Field this summer.

PH

Here are a few more images from the Twins Yankees most recent game.

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Twins warm up on their “field of dreams.”

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Mauer takes inside.

1 A-Rod warm up.jpg

A-Rod warms up.

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Cano warm up throw.

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D-Span ready.

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“Roof deck guys” soak up the view from above.

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Your intrepid weather reporter checks out the roof deck on the way out as the game ends.

  • John

    great post! I have partial season tickets in section 302, along the first base line, and indeed, with the breeze and permanent shade from the sun, have only made the mistake of sporting a t shirt and shorts once. even on a beautiful sunny day in the 80′s, it gets pretty cold up there.

    our first game i had a good friend sitting in left field, and while she got a nice sunburn to bring home, my buddy sitting next to me took away a week long case of sniffles!

    of course, i’m very much looking forward to our first afternoon game in the 90′s. should be lovely up there.