Treasure Island among Target Field's elite sponsorsMINNEAPOLIS - When Twins fans look up to Target Field's scoreboard, the emblem of a prominent Red Wing business will be staring back at them.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
MINNEAPOLIS - When Twins fans look up to Target Field's scoreboard, the emblem of a prominent Red Wing business will be staring back at them.
Treasure Island Resort & Casino will be one of four major corporate sponsors at the new stadium, casino and Twins officials announced Thursday. The casino also will hold naming rights in partnership with the Twins Radio Network and will become a partner in the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.
Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal President Ron Johnson emphasized the community fund, saying the partnership allows the tribe to give back to communities through youth baseball and softball organizations.
"We're out to help," Johnson said in an interview with the R-E after the announcement, held near home plate at the new stadium. "We needed that at one time. So we're giving back."
Officials did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but Johnson said Treasure Island's contribution was less that $1 million.
"It's money well spent into what we're investing," he said.
The Treasure Island logo will be featured on one of four large panels flanking the stadium's scoreboard, which stands 101 feet wide and 57 feet high. Treasure Island, and US Bank are the first two corporate sponsors; team officials said the remaining sponsors will be announced soon.
Treasure Island has been a 15-year Twins sponsor, but Twins President Dave St. Peter said "this partnership will go deeper than that." Twins officials said the Treasure Island sponsorship "features a number of branding, traffic building and community partnership elements."
St. Peter said fans will notice less signage at the new ballpark than at the Metrodome, calling the look "a little bit cleaner."
Thursday's announcement marks an extension of Treasure Island's association with the Minnesota professional sports market. The casino also contributes to youth hockey programs through a Minnesota Wild partnership.
"It's no different than what we're doing in St. Paul. We're doing it in Minneapolis, too," Johnson said.
Other members of the Tribal Council were on hand for the announcement, joining former Twins Kent Hrbek and Tony Oliva.
Anticipation for the stadium's opening was palpable during the announcement. Johnson said he would "love to go out and run around on it."
"It raises the hair up on the back of my neck," he said.
Hrbek called the stadium "cute," gesturing to downtown skyscrapers visible above the right field wall.
"It's a dream come true for the Twins," he said of the $425 million stadium.