As the end of the first Twins season at Target Field approaches, I think it is fair to make a comparison. As a Gopher season ticket holder, a partial season Twins season ticket holder and having attended Sunday’s home opener for the Vikings, I have come to some conclusions while comparing the fan experiences, taking into consideration everything I consider important at a game for my FAMILY. Overall, TCF Bank Stadium comes out ahead in relation to the two other options for the following reasons.
1. TCF Bank Stadium: Overall gameday experience with my 6-year-old daughter is superior, lifting it to the #1 spot. The band, the student section (I find it entertaining to watch), cheerleaders, Goldy, and seeing everybody in maroon and gold makes it a very interesting day. At Saturday’s loss to USC, we had a great time. We like walking around the stadium before the game, as it still has a plaza like feel you don’t get at Target Field.
2. Target Field: While it is better than TCF Bank in several ways (including concessions, concourse space and restrooms, as well as design (baseball stadiums by their very nature are more interesting and aesthetically pleasing than football fields), TCF is a more enjoyable family experience. There aren’t cheerleaders, bands, etc., and for a family the little extras put the Bank over the top, although it is close. If I were going with a buddy, Target Field would be the choice. With the family, the Bank is the choice. At Target Field, it’s simply get in the stadium and then the experience begins. At the Bank, it starts the moment we drive onto campus and see the frat houses with their pre-game parties.
3. Metrodome: Way behind in third place is the dome. There is only one way the dome and a Vikings game is more enjoyable and that is in the form of intensity. When the crowd gets into the game, you can feel the intensity. The sound is overwhelming, although a lot of it is WWF manufactured. But in every other way, it is miserable. Poor site lines, bad parking, drunk people all over the place. You’re indoors. Everything feels contrived, and good luck getting through the concourses. And simply put – I would never take my children to a Vikings game. It’s an R-rated affair.
Many of my friends and family think I am nuts for having Gophers season tickets, but each year I am giving some of them the chance to use the tickets so they can see what being at the Bank is all about. It is more than simply what goes on between the lines. Although, if/when the Gophers rebuild the program, the Bank will be an awesome place to experience college football.