Twins tickets will be harder to come by at Target Fieldby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Tickets to Twins games this season are generally going to be a lot tougher to get than they were in past seasons.
The team has already sold out about 50 games. The Twins expect they could sell out all 81 home games during their inaugural season at Target Field, which means the more casual and frugal fans among us will have to have hustle to get their mitts on tickets this season.
Michael Haas was at the recent Gophers baseball game at Target Field. He was scooping out the stadium with a couple of buddies. They figure when they get to Twins' games, they'll usually land in the cheaper seats, in the outfield and upper reaches of the ballpark. Those seats sell for about $10 to $20.
Haas knows bargain seats won't be as easy to get as they were in the past.
"A lot of people aren't used to planning ahead, because at the Metrodome, you could just kind of walk out and get really, really cheap tickets," he said. "If you're going to walk down here the day of the Yankees, you're not going to be able to find anything for under probably $50. The scalpers are going to be out in full force."
Haas and his friends are thinking about grabbing whatever cheap seats are still available from the Twins. Right now, most of what's left are night games in April and September against weaker teams.
Haas' friend, Tony Rezac, said he expects he'll have to buy tickets from scalpers to get into the more popular match-ups.
"I'm willing to pay face value plus however much to be able to see a game here," he said. "It's a beautiful stadium."
The Twins have sold enough season tickets this year to fill more than 24,000 seats per game. That's a record - and more than twice as many as last year. It means more than half the seats in the ballpark were gone before the team started selling single-game tickets.
Even with the season yet to begin, the Twins have sold more than two-thirds of the 3.2 million tickets they have available this season.
Twins president Dave St. Peter says fans who want to catch games this season would be wise to buy their tickets soon.
"Buy your seats now," he said. "I think waiting is it is going to perhaps result in people getting shut out. We're really encouraging people to try to plan ahead and buy their seats now so they can secure their seats at Target Field during the inaugural season."
Single-game tickets purchased from the Twins start at $11 and top out at $275, but the priciest tickets are sold-out.
Luke Neuville thinks the Twins have kept ticket prices quite reasonable.
"The tickets seem to be priced right," he said. "They didn't out-price the middle class. They're not going to have trouble selling all these tickets. In Yankee Stadium, last year they're selling tickets for like 2,500 bucks for a game and 100-grand for season tickets. It's like just out of the world."
For selected games, the Twins are offering some discounted tickets, including $9 Home Run Porch and Grandstand seats for kids 14 and younger.
The Twins, of course, aren't the only source of tickets.
That should give hope to fans who feared they might not get into games this season. There's always the "secondary market."
The boom in season ticket sales should mean there will be more Twins' tickets available from scalpers and ticket brokers.
"We get the majority of our tickets from season ticket holders," said Brian Obert, co-owner of Ticket King, a ticket broker with offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul. "We buy the games they can't use and try to resell them for them."
What are those tickets selling for? It largely depends on the seats, time of year and opponent.
For the Twins home opener against the Red Sox, Obert says his cheapest seats are going for around $200, and they're in the upper deck. Obert has $700 seats behind home plate.
"We don't set the prices," Obert said. "The market sets the prices."
Meanwhile, on StubHub some fans have been trying to sell tickets for the Twins' home opener for as much as $5,000. StubHub is Major League Baseball's official ticket reselling service.
After the opening game frenzy, ticket prices get much more reasonable.
But, Obert said, tickets for games in June, July and August are likely to sell above face value.
Obert said fans can even get a discount on tickets if they're willing to endure some chilly weather and weak teams.
"There are games where we're selling tickets below face value," he said. "These early weeknight series versus Cleveland and Detroit, early in the year when it's still fairly cool outside, it's a tough sell."
But this season, there's a chance even those tickets will find takers. Frigid spring and fall nights might not cool the fervor of fans eager to see the Twins in their new outdoor ballpark.
- Morning Edition, 04/02/2010, 6:20 a.m.