Baseball’s return signals a boon for businesses by the ballpark

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With plans back on for Minnesota Twins games at Target Field, Minneapolis bars, breweries and pubs are breathing a sigh of relief.

Thursday, Major League Baseball’s players and owners ended a nearly 100-day lockout. All 162 games will be played, and if the schedule that was planned before the lockout holds, the Twins’ home opener is set for April 7 against Seattle.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but we’re pumped,” said Claire Bjerke, taproom manager of Modist Brewing, just a short walk from Target Field.

On the day the lockout was lifted, Bjerke and the team at Modist held a meeting to discuss plans in the event games won’t be held at Target Field, but now staff will plan for their ideal spring and summer: with both brews and baseball.

“It just brings a whole new energy,” Bjerke said about home game days. “It really kind of feels like the beginning to what is a fun, refreshing season,” she added.

Twins games are also a pivotal part of operations at Darby’s Pub & Grill, across the street from Modist. And with cheap tallboys all day, every day, owner Marcus Dorn says Darby’s is a great spot to be before, during and after the game.

“Tallboy Hamm’s and PBR [for] $3 — so much cheaper than that at the stadium anyhow,” Dorn added.

Dorn said the news of the lockout ending was fantastic to hear and will bring in needed business following a tough few years during the pandemic, which included no fans at Target Field in 2020 and limited fans in 2021.

As for what to expect when the gates open for the 2022 season, Twins President Dave St. Peter said it will be a “pretty normal experience.” St. Peter added Target Field will remain cashless, masks will not be required and there will not be a limit on capacity.