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Gate of dreams: Target Field's busiest entry getting a facelift

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Target Field
The Minnesota Ballpark Authority and the Twins announced plans to revamp Target Field's Gate 34.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

Target Field's most-used entrance is getting an off-season makeover.

The revamp of Gate 34, on the right side of the field, will move the gate farther out from the ballpark and open up 5,100 square feet of space inside the stadium, the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and the Twins announced.

Dan Kenney, executive director of the Ballpark Authority, said the overhaul serves dual purposes: speeding up security checks and creating an open area where fans can watch the game.

"The gates will be scattered ... more towards downtown, so there'll be more points of entry," he said, "and there will be a canopy over the top of the gate line so that area is weather-protected."

Kenney said the new gate will get fans through faster and in an orderly fashion.

"Fans tend to arrive closer to game time now than when the ballpark first opened, so you get kind of a back-up situation." He said. "So by having more points of entry, it just makes it easier for fans to get in."

Part of the revamp includes 5,800 square feet of synthetic turf for kids to play, Kenney said. 

"Younger families who have kids who don't necessarily want to stay in the seat for nine innings," he said. "They may need a little area to run around and burn off some energy."

But it's not all for the kids — Kenney said the open area fits into an ongoing philosophy to let fans experience the game from different angles in different ways.

"It's almost like there are little neighborhoods within the facility that you can visit along the way. You can get different vantage points into the game," he said. "Maybe it's a look from center field in and you're watching the pitcher versus standing behind home plate."

The changes involve ripping up some existing features. The TV and raised seating right next to the gate will be moved elsewhere, and the topiaries right outside the gate will be removed. 

The Gold Glove statue, however, will relocate from atop Ramp B onto ground level, making it more accessible.

Kenney said the Twins will be bankrolling the project, expected to cost between $5 million and $6 million. It is scheduled to be completed ahead of opening day 2019.