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.

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

IMAG2740

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.”

  • You should’ve snuck down to some better seats. It is the silver lining of cheering for terrible teams.

    • We paid $8 at Ticket King then snuck down to these seats which actually were quite good.

      Not sure I ever want the Twins to be good again and have the price of the secondary market go up.

      • A lot of days, I feel the same way about the Timberwolves. Sure, it’d be great if the Wolves were any good, but then how would I pay $20 to watch Kevin Durant from the lower level?

        • It continues to be problematic — at least for me — that if you buy a ticket to the Twins, you get a $10 market with the convenience charge and “fee” for the honor of purchasing the product they’re selling.

          • Not to mention the scourge of on-demand pricing and different tiers of “value or premium” games to thoroughly confuse everybody who is looking for consistency in pricing.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    Lets look at this again after the next home stand. The Twins were battling the weather and an afternoon Wild playoff game. Given the option to sit out at the ballpark on a damp day or stay in and watch the Twins and the Wild on TV I’m betting many people who might have gone to the ballpark didn’t. Fortunately for the Twins they’re on the road this week while all the attention is in downtown St. Paul. I would expect better attendance for the next home stand (weather permitting) with the Tigers and the Mighty Whities coming to town.

    • Postal Customer

      do the Twins even compete with the Wild? I had no idea there was a Wild game until I called a guy for an ad I found on Craigslist. “Sure, I’ll be home, I’m just watching the Wild game.”

      • KTFoley

        Not usually, but the Wild had just tied the record for the longest winning streak in away games (12), pulled off an impressive mid-season turnaround (24-10 since Feb 1), and beat #1-ranked St. Louis Blues in the last game of the season & first game of the playoffs. Fans who have usually nodded off by this point are hanging on a bit longer.

  • Brian Simon

    So, is it safe to conclude the ‘new stadium smell’ is gone? Sure am glad to be paying for that for another decade or two. It’s pretty telling when the home opener media focuses on the food available at the stadium. Oh, wait – there’s baseball too?

    • Remember when the selling point for building the stadium is it was needed to “stay competitive”?

      • We’ve been a bottom five team in terms of payroll for the past three years. What baloney.

        • They haven’t been, really. In fact, as recently as 2012, they were 13th, presumably because much of what was going to M&M.

      • Ralphy

        Maybe a class action suit is in order. The Twins certainly did a great job of “bait and switch”, and though the public wasn’t biting, the politicos sure did.

        • To be fair, the Twins have proven they’re generally lousy at spending money when they do open the purse. Nishioka is the punchline but the Nolasco, Pelfrey, Correia, and Hunter signings all looked terrible the moment they were announced. Not to mention the extension for a below-average catcher in Kurt Suzuki and or the unnecessary Dozier extension that didn’t lock him up for any additional years, but rather just gave him a raise for the 4 years we already had him under team control.

  • Ralphy

    How’s the view, Bert?

  • Baba

    At least ¾ of the fans drive in, watch the game, and drive back to the suburbs. Anyone who thinks these stadiums help a city economically is delusional.

    • Jeff

      Hey we drove in Friday from the far reaches, hung out at Fulton tap room for a while and spent more money at the ball park and went out for food after a glorious Twins victory. I don’t think I’m unusual (…in that sense anyways).

      • Good call on Fulton! Great beer.

      • Baba

        I agree about Fulton. I know the owners and am 5 blocks from their place. But 200 fans buying two beers each isn’t going to pay the light bill for the stadium we had shoved down our throats. The football stadium across town is 1000X times worse in ROI. Remember also, that very little of the money you spend in the stadium helps the community.

  • Brian Estrada

    Looks like nothing more than the usual April crowds in northern cities, perhaps slightly exaggerated by the recent losing. As a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities, I am pretty impressed by the amount of Twins gear I see around town, particularly in light of the recent bad seasons. I think you have to wait until a late June homestand looks like this to really push the panic button.

    • Yeah, it does. The problem is the two lowest crowds came on days that weren’t THAT bad. Now, I shoudl correct myself. Yesterday’s crowd wasn’t the second-lowest in Target Field history. That honor goes to this date one year ago against the KC Royals.

      It might well be that Central Division teams not named the Tigers and White Sox simply aren’t a draw.

      But the trend is not a good one.

      OTOH, I have to believe we can see Buxton and Sano a little sooner if the team itself isn’t giving people a good enough reason to come to the park.

      Still. I LIKED the Metrodome precisely for this reason — weather. The last year it existed, on this date the team drew almost 30,000. Sure, better team at all, but also a guarantee the game would be played.

  • Colin Andrews

    Most people do not like the new airport style scanners. Personal I rather stay home and watch the twins lose on TV. Beer is cheaper too

  • At least the Twins aren’t poisoning their fans on dollar dog night. Yikes: http://deadspin.com/the-royals-are-serving-fans-moldy-garbage-hot-dogs-1699066858