How expensive is stadium parking? FREE: 2% $5-$10: 68% $10-$15: 23% $15-$20: 5% More than $20: 2%
Is public transportation a viable option? Never: 7% Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 20% A good option to avoid rush hour: 23% Pretty easy if you know the system well: 41% The only way to go: 8%
How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game? To the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 2% Slow, but usually steady: 18% Moves well outside of rush hour: 43% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 26% A smooth ride at all times: 8%
From the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 12% Slow, but usually steady: 43% Moves well outside of rush hour: 21% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 18% A smooth ride at all times: 3%
How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women? Bring a map: 10% It depends on the section: 24% Never more than a short walk away: 32% A satisfactory amount: 16% Plenty: 7%
How long is the wait to use a bathroom? Always available: 32% 1-5 minutes: 59% 5-10 minutes: 7% More than 10 minutes: 1%
How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options? Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 13% Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 35% A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 31% A nice variety but locations are spread out: 15% You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 3%
How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you? $5-$10: 29% $10-$20: 63% $20-$30: 6% $30-$40: 1% More than $40: 0%
How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game? Nonexistent: 19% So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 4% Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 53% Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 6% A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 16%
"Look up the word 'austere' in the dictionary. That describes the Metrodome pretty well." "The cold feeling of the concrete, teflon, artificial turf and air-conditioning are less than enjoyable." So is the fact that seats down both lines "do not face the infield." On the bright side -- if there is a bright side to the notion that "watching baseball indoors on a beautiful summer evening is about the most depressing thing ever" -- it is that with a roof that obscures baseballs hit in the air and bounces crowd noise to the field, the Twins have a "true home field advantage." The food mirrors the stadium in that it is "as ordinary and mediocre as stadium food gets." Famous Dave's barbecue and its brisket sandwiches offer a bit of a reprieve, as do prices that are "cheap as hell." Those "occasional rainy days when the dome is perfect" may have some fans reminiscing when a new park opens in 2010, but when more than one describes the park as a "big, inflatable toilet," we can't imagine there will be many.
As if a charmless dome weren't bad enough, the Twins' home sits amid a "sea of surface parking lots and warehouse-like buildings, which discourage the walk to downtown Minneapolis." "The dome is on the other side of the city from most attractions." Thankfully, the rest of this deceptively fun city doesn't take its cue from the dome, which is about a 10-minute walk from downtown or, perhaps a better option, a five-minute ride on a new light-rail system. Interesting food, inviting bars and a hearty helping of culture (thanks in large part to the University of Minnesota ) await in the Twin Cities. If "you're into the frat scene," wander over to the Warehouse District; if you're into shopping on a gargantuan scale, take the light rail to the massive Mall of America. No matter what you do, though, you likely won't be doing it near the dome.
2006 record: 83-59 (all statistics through Sept. 10) Players worth the price of admission: Joe Mauer (.350 Avg., 11 HRs, 78 RBIs), Justin Morneau (.320 Avg., 33 HRs, 118 RBIs), Francisco Liriano (12-3, 2.19 ERA, 142 Ks), Johan Santana (18-5, 2.75 ERA, 230 Ks).
Help is on the way, Twins fans. By the end of the decade the nightmare that has been the Metrodome is scheduled to become part of the Twins' past when a new open-air ballpark opens. No more baggie in the outfield. No more bad food. No more dungeonlike surroundings on a beautiful summer day. Just baseball the way it was intended. As the end comes closer for the dome, the elements that gave it such a uniquely bland feel will undoubtedly acquire a nostalgic patina. Though perhaps the home field edge created by the Teflon room and the bouncing acoustics will be missed, nothing else in this "thing" will be.