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The New Minnesota Twins

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 05:  Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins grounds out to second base against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during their Opening Day game at Angel Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Josh SaboContributor IApril 6, 2010

This offseason is a prime example as why Twins fans should be excited to have their own stadium.

The Twins franchise finally showed that they were willing to raise their payroll.

According to Joe Christensen from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins are expected to start the season at a payroll around a $100 million, placing the Twins, in the top half of the MLB in payroll for the first time since 1989.

The Twins sudden willingness to spend more money is best exemplified with the Orlando Hudson signing, and the Joe Mauer extension.

Some may attribute the Twins increased budget to the fact that Jim Pohlad, who inherited the team from his deceased father, may be willing to spend money on the franchise. This is like the situation when Rocky Wirtz inherited the Chicago Blackhawks from his father.

However, the more likely reason is the fact that that the Twins are expecting increased revenue from their newly built stadium, Target Field.  The new stadium guarantees the Twins will get the resources they need to sway from their typical low budget management.

The reason Target Field is expected to be so financially beneficial to the Twins is that the Pohlad family fully owns this stadium as opposed to the Metrodome, which was owned by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

This is significant, as when the Twins were leasing the Metrodome they couldn’t retain a large chunk of the revenue that they were producing.

For instance, the Twins didn’t receive revenue for in-stadium advertisements, concession sales, and parking for games. All of that went to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

Furthermore, the Vikings owned the luxury suites. The suites alone are expected to give the team an extra eight million a year, which by itself could pay Hudson’s salary.

Additionally, owning the stadium gives the Pohlad family the power to host an assortment non-baseball related activities ranging from weddings to stores and restaurants which would be available year round.

As a matter of fact, according to Alison Kaplan from Twincities.com, a hundred events have already been sold, with inquires of 250 more.

With all that in mind, plus the money Target is giving for the naming rights, it’s hard to imagine that the Twins will remain a small budget team who needs to play “money ball” to survive. 

The scary thing is, the Twins have been competing so well over the years without the luxury of being able to sign a star player or make a big trade. 

By signing Orlando Hudson, the Twins sent a clear message to their fans that they are willing to reinvest their earnings into the team.

Additionally, the move improves their lineup, which ranked fifth in the league in runs scored a year ago.

The quality of their lineup alone promises to keep them competitive, which is sure to attract fans to the new stadium, which in turn should mean the Twins can spend even more money.

While the Twins may never be able to match the spending capabilities of teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, they should at least be able to spend as much as the St. Louis Cardinals and the Seattle Mariners.

Of course, this prediction is dependent on if the Pohlad family reinvests fifty percent of the teams’ profits. 

In conclusion, Twins’ fans have a lot of reasons to rejoice over the opening of Target Field, because Target Field brings forth a new era in Minnesota baseball.

The days of the Twins trading away their all-stars seem to be over. Twins’ fans can sleep well, knowing that their core players might actuality have a shot at retiring as Twins and that their team can finally use free agency to their advantage.

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