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Oops! Twins retract offer charging $15 to watch batting practice

Apr 9, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT

Target Field

UPDATE: OK, now this is weird. Twins corporate communications senior manager Chris Iles just sent out another press release retracting the whole “early entry” offer from this morning:

My apologies as I sent a release out prematurely earlier today. The early entry program outlined in the release was not fully vetted across the Twins organization. To that end, please disregard the earlier release as the Minnesota Twins will not be offering an early entry program as stated earlier today. There will be no change in policy regarding gate opening times and season ticket holders will continue to be given early-access priority as part of the Sweet Spot program. On behalf of the Twins, we apologize for a lack of internal communication which led to the premature release of this misinformation.

Suffice it so say that the reaction among fans was not positive.

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Today the Twins sent out a press release “announcing plans for an early entry program that will allow fans into Target Field 45 minutes before gates open to the general public, allowing them to view a majority of Twins batting practice.”

They’re charging $15 to get into the ballpark 45 minutes ahead of everyone else and fans have to a) already have actual tickets to the game, and b) line up outside even earlier to get one of 60 available spots for each night game.

Apparently quite a few other teams have a similar program, but I’ll be curious to see what the interest level is like in this case because the Twins are having a hard enough time selling regular tickets to games at this point. I can’t imagine paying $15 to watch some batting practice, although for kids interested in snagging a home run ball it sounds like a pretty favorable setup.

UPDATE: Apparently the Astros charge $45 for a “VIP view” of batting practice, in which case $15 for the Twins is a helluva bargain.

  1. Ben - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    15 dollars is 9 dollars more than I paid on StubHub to sit behind home plate last week at Target Field.
    Good luck with that.

    • Ben - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Related–why does anyone buy tickets in advance from official sources anymore? My family did because we wanted 15 tickets for a particular game this year, but since the advent of StubHub, every other game I’ve gone to I’ve decided to go 3 hours before. Gotten me into Yankee stadium for 10 bucks, randomly at Matt Cain’s perfect game for 5 bucks. I don’t really care where I sit, which might be why I’m fine with it. It just doesn’t even occur to me anymore to buy tickets from official sources anymore.

      • rcali - Apr 9, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        Add to the fact that teams charge “Walk-Up” or “Game-Day” fees. Really encourages me to pay above face value.

  2. schlemealsschlimazel - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    It’s the best deal in MLB…

    Well, aside from the free prostate exams the Marlins provide to their fans, of course.

  3. louhudson23 - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    We used to go early and watch BP at Memorial Stadium all the time…..I had no idea teams make people pay for it now…….I have been to only a few MLB games in the last twenty years(lots and lots of AA games)…..I guess my comment makes that clear….

    • kopy - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      The key part of the phrase is watching the TWINS take batting practice. Anyone who shows up early is always able to watch the visitors practice simply because of how early they open the gates.

      And as mentioned below, they open even earlier on weekends and special occasions. I caught a ball from Jim Thome on opening day 2010. It was the first game at Target Field so I went in 3 hours early like everyone else.

  4. Sideline Mob - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Good news Minnesota fans, you can now pay $15 to watch the only shot most Twins hitters have to make contact with the baseball.

  5. mybrunoblog - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    If I lived in Minesota this would be me to my kids “No way I’m paying an extra $15 so you can try to get a batting practice ball. Don’t ask me again”

  6. Caught Looking - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    It should come with a $25 Target gift card.

  7. historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    $15 more? Does it get you a date w/ Gleeman too?

    • historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Update: Too bad, Gleeman.

  8. pinkfloydprism - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    And the side effects of the Mauer deal begin.

  9. Bryz - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Two things.

    1. While this is great for fans that want to take their kids to see batting practice, unfortunately I’m sure a lot of ballhawks will be taking advantage of this deal as well.

    2. You can save the $15 by going to a weekend game where gates open 2 hours before first pitch (instead of the normal 1 1/2) and the Twins start BP pretty much right when gates open anyway. Granted, you have more fans to compete with for balls, but as I already mentioned, it’s cheaper.

  10. dalucks - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    That should be the price of the game tickets.

  11. mungman69 - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Ouch! I remember when watching batting practice was free.

  12. dowhatifeellike - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I was lucky if my dad got me to our seats before first pitch. I’ve come close to catching a few foul balls but never got one. It would be cool to get one but I’d never pay extra for the opportunity – If I did get one, I’d probably just give it to a kid anyway. Give him the cool thing that I never had.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Besides, there’s a good chance that BP ball you snag is beat to hell anyway. They get reused until they end up in the seats.

  13. aarontzach - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Can we get a discount if we promise to help shovel some snow?

  14. Kevin Gillman - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Why don’t teams allow fans to check out batting practice? When I was a kid, I’d make sure to get there earlier, so I can check it out. It’s all a part of the experience of seeing a baseball game live.

    • kollin7 - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Not to speak for all of baseball, but I know that the Brewers stopped opening the gates as early this year, because it wasn’t worth the extra cost of paying workers, and other expenses.

      • Kevin Gillman - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        You’re probably right, and I think the Indians stopped letting the fans in right when Jacobs Field was opened. But as a kid, at old Municipal Stadium, they allowed the fans in much earlier and I remember watching batting practice as a kid, for both teams and it was part of the awe of being at a live game. Good memories.

  15. bat42boy - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    How greed has set in on baseball as well as all other major league sports. Now that is a real fan friendly gesture. Hope all the fans say no and stop buying regular game tickets.

  16. Blackbird0520 - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    While i don’t agree with a $15 charge to enter early, what most of you commenting are missing is that they’re letting you in early to watch the home team hit BP. When they normally let you in, it’s the away teams turn to hit. The “Big selling point” is catching the home team hit BP.

    oh yea, good luck with that haha

  17. 1twinsfan - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    No thanks. The only Twins hits I want to see are during the game (no matter how long that takes). Go Twins!

  18. shullstein - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    The $15 the Twins charge is a GREAT deal when compared to the Astros $45. The odds the Astros will hit a SINGLE Home Run during batting practice is EXTREMELY remote.

  19. hansob - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    maybe it shouldn’t matter, but this and the fact that the stadium is publically funded is going to really rub people the wrong way. And if you want kids to grow up baseball fans wanting to go TO THE STADIUM, free BP is the least you can do.

  20. cardsfan773 - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Cardinals games have always had free batting practice

    • jm91rs - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Well yeah, you gotta reward the best fans in baseball somehow.

  21. jm91rs - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Every time I take my boy to a Reds road game we go early and watch BP. It’s always been free for visiting fans and it’s a great chance to get a ball, which is pretty much the highlight of the summer for my son. Just don’t count on a player throwing a ball to you unless you’re an obnoxious jerk or a pretty girl. If I had a dollar for every time Johnny Cueto ignored my 6 year old to throw a ball to a drunk 21 year old girl, well I’d have at least 3 dollars.

  22. Caught Looking - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    The Astros charge $45 for a “VIP view” of batting practice?

    Anyone attending an Astros game should be a VIP.

    • wlschneider09 - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      Wait, does the “I” stand for important or insane in that case?

  23. rcali - Apr 9, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Only chance Twins fans will get to see the overpaid Mauer hit a home run. Who pays that much for a banjo hitter anyway?

  24. moagecu - Apr 9, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Wait BP isn’t free with a ticket to the game? I’ve never heard of this, I’m actually shocked

    • Bryz - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      It is, but typically the Twins (as are most/all home teams) are done with BP by the time gates open on weekdays (which is 1 1/2 hrs. before first pitch at Target Field). This promotion was going to allow fans to enter the ballpark 45 min. before gates opened to everyone else so they could watch the Twins hit.

      However, as I mentioned above, you can save yourself the $15 and just be at the ballpark when gates open on weekends, as gates then open 2 hours early and you catch most of the Twins BP anyway.

  25. UgglasForearms - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    I hate when premature release happens!!!

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