Here is a Press Release the Minnesota Twins sent out yesterday -
Early Entry Program Coming to Target Field
Early entry tickets permit entry into the ballpark 45 minutes before gates open allowing fans to watch Twins batting practice
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Twins today announced they will offer fans the opportunity to purchase early entry tickets that will allow them into Target Field 45 minutes before gates open to the general public.
Only available before evening games, early entry will begin at 4:45 p.m. (Mondays – Thursdays), at 4:15 p.m. (Fridays) and 3:15 p.m. (Saturdays). Those times are designed to allow early entry fans to watch a majority of Twins batting practice.
Early entry tickets will be sold on a walk-up basis at the main Target Field Box Office beginning 30 minutes before the early entry time for that game. Tickets will cost $15 dollars, and sales will be limited to the first 60 fans. Fans will also be required to have a normal entry ticket to the game, and will not be allowed to exit and reenter the ballpark after batting practice.
In the case of batting practice being canceled, fans will be offered a tour of the Metropolitan Club, Legends Club and Champions Club as a substitute.
Can you believe this? Back on January 16th I did a blog posting on Florida spring training and I wrote about what I thought was a stupid idea by the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers implemented a plan this spring to charge their fans $5 for the privilege of entering Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland early so that you could watch the Tigers take batting practice. Now our Minnesota Twins have proudly announced they have out done the Tigers with a similar plan but they are going to charge $15 for the right to watch Twins batting practice which is held before the gates open to the general public. Holy crap! What mental genius came up with this idea? I have read some comments from Twins fans and every comment thinks it is a greedy and stupid idea. Some of the fans are blaming the Pohlad family for their greed but there is no way in the world that the business savvy Pohlad family is responsible for an idea as silly as this. This Twins boner falls right in the lap of Twins President Dave St. Peter and the Twins wonderful marketing department. How the Twins could come up with a ludicrous plan like this when they have lost 90+ games two years in a row with attendance dropping like a rock and yet some marketing genius thinks they can bring some extra money in with this plan? Don’t tell me the Twins are doing this as a favor to the fans because if that had any validity what so ever, they would just open the gates sooner and not charge extra for the privilege. This plan is supposedly in effect only during evening games but even if they did it for every one of their 81 home games they would bring in a whopping $72,900 in revenue. Mr. St. Peter, what the heck are you thinking to approve something like this? The Minnesota Twins have done a number of stupid things over the years both on and off the field but to me this qualifies as the dumbest and most stupid move that the Twins have made since they moved here in 1961. If the Twins need the $72K that badly, maybe we should take up a collection and help them to raise the funds. The idea might be slightly palatable if they said that the money that they collected would go to a charity or something but to charge $15 to watch the Twins take batting practice and pocket the money is just plain wrong and is a sin against baseball in general.
I thought the Twins were interested in attracting fans but with moves like this they just shoot themselves in the foot. First off, it has always been stupid not to let fans watch the home team take batting practice but now to say that they are going to charge fans $15 to do this is just plain wrong. Has common sense lost its way at Target Field? Shame on the Minnesota Twins and Dave St. Peter for this ill-advised, nonsensical and shortsighted idea. I love baseball and the Minnesota Twins but ideas like this are what chase people away from the game and keep them from enjoying America’s pastime.
The Twins should immediately come out with an apology and rescind this moronic blunder stating that the recent cold snap and unusually cold spring has temporarily dulled their thinking and that common sense has prevailed over at Target field after thinking the plan through. I would urge all of you to drop Dave St. Peter a quick e-mail at email@example.com and let him know what you think of this Twins announcement. If you want to call the Twins instead, you can reach the team at 612-659-3400. It wouldn’t hurt to also drop a note to Bud Selig and let him know what you think of MLB teams making moves like this. The baseball commissioner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . UNBELIEVABLE!
UPDATE: Later this afternoon the Twins announced that this program is no longer happening because according to Chris Iles, senior manager of corporate communications for the Twins the idea “was not fully vetted across the Twins organization.” The Star Tribune stated that Twins President Dave St. Peter said: “We’re looking at ways to add more access to batting practice, but I’m not sure charging incrementally is the way to go about that. … It was released before it ever should have been. It’s hard to believe, but it was not pulled down because of fan reaction.”
A number of radio shows I listened to today and social media sites I checked out were for the most part very negative about this idea. Whatever the reason for the quick back track, I am just glad to see the Twins back away from this idea.