The Minnesota Twins host Spring Training at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. It is #9 in our countdown of Spring Training Grapefruit League stadiums, but could be much higher. I have yet to see a game at the newly renovated complex and have made it a point to check out the new look this season.
Upgrades to the stadium and facility were completed at the beginning of last season, and pictures (including artist renditions) are very impressive. The outside is one of the best looking among the Spring Training stadiums. It is impressive from the walk up to the box office all the way to the view from beyond the center field fence. With all the improvements, this appears to be a Top-3 Grapefruit League venue, but I have to wait to judge for myself in person.
Seats can be purchased for $9-$30, although most of the seating between first and third base will run around $20 and above. The lower priced options are still beneficial, as some of the best seats are along the grass seating down the right field line. Beyond the right field fence are seats that are reminiscent of those at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
There is also a new grass seating area behind the left field fence. It is below the walkway that wraps around the stadium. Stadium walkways like that are becoming more common, even for minor league venues, and provide a glimpse of the field from every angle.
A lack of talent might be the only downside to watching a game at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. Minnesota does have fan favorite Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier. Rising stars such as Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton could spruce things up, but the Twins lack the star power that other Grapefruit League teams possess. There are definitely larger crowds for teams with bigger fan bases, but the stadium renovations help attendance even for the small market teams.
There is a viewing area for batting cages on the ground level. When I was there for a game, the visiting team was using the batting cage, but I am not sure if the Twins use it as well or have their own viewable cages. Watching a big leaguer take batting practice in the cage is a great chance for kids to see professionals doing the same thing they do. That is a great lesson that even the pros do the fundamentals on a daily basis.
The CenturyLink Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium will likely soon move up this list. There are affordable ticket options and great seats throughout the stadium. It is definitely a destination you will want to check out on your Spring Training road trip, or to see the Class A Ft. Meyers Miracle during the regular season.