Updating Target Field after brand refresh a massive undertaking for Twins staff
Of the roughly 4,500 logos around the Twins’ park, about 4,000 will be changed for the team’s April 6 Opening Day
MINNEAPOLIS — Limestone pieces engraved with the Minnesota Twins’ new logos sat wrapped in plastic on palates in the bowels of Target Field last week. Many of the freshly printed graphics that still needed to be applied around the park sit in an upstairs suite. Clubhouse carpeting bearing the old logo still needs to be replaced, as do many logos on aisle seats throughout the ballpark.
“Next week, it’ll be a dusty mess down here,” vice president of ballpark operations Dave Horsman said last week, gesturing to Twins-branded flooring inside the park that would soon be replaced as part of a two-week process.
While Twins players are busy preparing for the season down in Florida, a project to transform the ballpark to reflect the Twins’ new logo and branding has reached its final month. Of the 4,500 or so logos and marks around the ballpark, Horsman estimates nearly 4,000 are being swapped out, a massive undertaking that has consumed the offseason.
When the project started, Horsman had two words to describe it: “Completely overwhelming.”
“There’s no better way to put it,” he said.
But while much installation work remains to be done to get the ballpark in Opening Day shape — the Twins start the season on the road and will host their home opener on April 6 — the project is well on track.
The first step was identifying every logo on the premise, inside and outside of the building. That job fell to a trio of interns last year: Nora Lund, Adam Lillestol and Brenna Zuehlke. It was a task that’s as daunting as it sounds.
“We tried to look everywhere. It was a good thing that there were three of us doing it because some of them are really small and they’re difficult to see,” Lund, now the Twins’ office services coordinator, said.
They searched for days, going level by level through the ballpark and sometimes spending as many as four hours at a time on the task while also balancing the job with their everyday work.
When they found a new logo, they would mark down the location, noting which logo it was and what material it was made of. That information was compiled in a giant spreadsheet. They also photographed each logo they found. The project started in July and ended in early-August. In total, Lund estimates the trio spent more than 40 hours apiece on the lookout.
“It was fun and a little bit chaotic at the same time,” Lund said. “There was one moment where we all just had to stop and look at each other and be like, ‘OK, we’re good but we’ve got to keep counting logos.’ Some things are hidden.”
While most of the logos the trio identified are being refreshed, there are some the Twins have opted to keep for one reason or another. After everything that needed to be swapped out had been identified, Horsman had vendors come in, walk the building and put together bids.
A group of local vendors have been hard at work on the project since late last year. Among them, Mankato-based Vetter Stone, is doing limestone work; The Vomela Companies and Resolutions Graphics are some of team’s graphics partners; Advance Terrazzo & Tile Co., Inc., is in charge of the flooring; and Art Partners Group teams up with the Twins on, you guessed it, art.
Printing work started in November and is ongoing. The vast majority of the installation is happening now as the Twins race the clock to April 6.
Horsman knew things were getting done during the early months of the project. But it was hard to see.
“(There’s) that feeling, like ‘Are we really on top of this?’ ” Horsman said. “And logically, I knew we were, but you walk around and you want to see the finished project. That was a challenge for me to know that it’s all getting done but to not actually see it. But I’m confident we’re going to get there.”
After a slower-than-expected beginning to the installation process, things have started to come together quickly, new logos being hung around the ballpark daily. Most prominently, a new Twins script logo rests above the main scoreboard, which is 75% larger, and the celebration sign with Minnie and Paul now reads “Win! Twins!” after the old logo was swapped out.
The biggest challenge remaining now, Horsman believes, will be cooperative weather. An initial plan to go level by level was scuttled by the weather. There are things that have to happen outside. And for some of those things to happen, the temperature must be warmer than it has been.
For the applied vinyl, for example, it must typically be at least 40 degrees, though if there’s direct sunlight, it can be a little cooler. There haven’t been many days this winter have fit that criteria.
But as the days toward the home opener tick down and the weather (hopefully) starts to heat up, a new-look Target Field is nearly ready to welcome back fans after a long offseason transformation process.
“Every day there’s more and more things that are popping up and it’s good to see,” Horsman said. “It’s good to see.”
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