MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are set to make improvements to the right-field bleacher section at Target Field, as the Minnesota Ballpark Authority approved the changes in a board meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The changes -- named the Target Field right-field bleacher project -- are set to create a destination similar to the Budweiser Roof Deck in left field.
The Twins will tear the existing bleacher seats down in right field and create a new 200-seat space that will be defined by a canopy with radiant heating at the back of sections 139 and 140. Seven rows of drink-rail seating will replace the bleacher seating in sections 139, 140 and 141.
"Ownership and our executive team really want to keep the focus on the Target Field experience for our fans and do what we can to keep the fan experience fresh, new and updated," said Kevin Smith, the Twins executive director of public affairs. "The thought was to take a look at the right-field bleacher area where we had some obstructed views coupled with the fact with the fact we don't have too many options for group sales other than the Budweiser Roof Deck, which has been tremendously successful. So we thought we'd redesign it as a group-sale area with drink rails and tall stools with setbacks and add another area for standing room on the main concourse."
The overall capacity will be reduced by about 400 seats with the existing bleacher seats being donated to youth baseball fields in St. Paul.
Additionally, the concourse platform at section 141 will be extended with added drink rails. It'll also feature a Kasota limestone facade and will be a new standing area for fans. It's expected to improve traffic flow between Gates 34 and 29 around Target Plaza.
Construction, which will be entirely paid for by the Twins, is set to begin on Monday and is scheduled to be completed by January. The final touches, including the stools, will be placed in March ahead of the club's season opener against the Tigers on April 1.
"It'll be another destination place for our fans," Smith said. "Our ownership is always on the look out to make this the best place for fans in baseball and we're hoping this is another way to showcase that."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.