Citizen’s Stadium. Public Park. Taxpayer Grounds. Bubbas’ Ballpark. Fans’ Field. Any of these names would have been more apt and fair for the Twins new ballpark than the official name announced yesterday, Target Field.
I’ve got nothing against Target. I regularly choose it as my favored place to buy loads of worthless crap. But really, should Target get all the glory?
After all, Target didn’t make the Twins new baseball playground possible. The taxpayers of Hennepin County did. When no one else, including Target, would step forward to fund the ballpark, the taxpayers of Hennepin County ended a bitter decade-long ballpark financing stalemate by shelling out $392 million, in the form of a 0.15 sales tax increase…often paid at Target. Without our Hennepin heroes, we’d still be suffering through faux relocation threats from our favorite subsidy starved billionaire.
But Target, not taxpayers, will get the glory. Gone are the days when we named community-funded stadiums after soldiers’ sacrifices, visionary leaders or the community’s team. No more Soldier’s Field, Memorial Stadium, Humphrey Metrodome or Yankee Stadium. Pucket Park and other quaint suggestions to name it after Twins heroes never stood a chance.
No, now we do with the name what we do with everything else in society, sell it to the highest bidder. Between Target Center and Target Field, we also learned yesterday that we will have Target Plaza. In coming months, expect to learn that the Target Light Rail will be delivering fans to the freshly rebranded Targetapolis. The aisles promise to be nice and wide.
Look, I’m a big boy. I know corporate-branded, community-funded assets are the way of the world these days. Hard to put the Genie back into that bottle. And goodness knows, it could have been way worse. Haliburton Grounds. Waste Management Field. Penthouse Park. 800-588-2300 Empire Stadium. But then again, perhaps if that could have yielded another million per year for Carl…