Giving Clients A Taste Of The Minnesota Sports Scene
Clients who appreciate baseball and urban design in equal measure will be enchanted by Target Field—ranked North America’s No. 1 ballpark experience by ESPN—and the award-winning Target Field station. Begin the evening with a round of Duluth’s Bent Paddle cold press black ale, with foie gras hot dogs and bison sliders at Apothecary Bar & Lounge in the Loews Minneapolis Hotel. As you stroll to Target Field, admire the kinetic wind veil sculpture, alive with the spirits of Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett and other Twins greats.
Home games: Chicago White Sox, Sept. 1-3; Detroit Tigers, Sept. 14-16; L.A. Angels, Sept. 17-20; Cleveland Indians, Sept. 22-24; twinsbaseball.com; Loews Minneapolis Hotel, 601 First Ave. N., Mpls., 612-677-1100, loewshotels.com
St. Paul Saints
If your clients have a high capacity for fun, take them out to a good old-fashioned St. Paul Saints ballgame in the newfangled CHS Field, designed by architect Julie Snow and named for the ag conglomerate ranked 69 on the Fortune 100. Leave the office early and start the party at Heartland’s stylish wine bar. Quench your thirst with frosty August Schell 1919 draft root beer brewed in New Ulm or Summit Organic Hopvale, accompanied by fried cheese curds with apricot ketchup and pork ribs with cherry barbecue sauce.
Home games: Gary Southshore Railcats, Sept. 1-4; New Jersey Jackals, Sept. 5-7; 651-644-6659, saintsbaseball.com; Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar, 289 E. Fifth St., St. Paul, 651-699-3536, heartlandrestaurant.com
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
Impress your football-loving clients with tickets to the Gophers’ season opener against powerhouse TCU on Sept. 3. With a strong home field advantage (11-3 in 2013 and 2014), and sterling kicking and defense, the Gophers were ranked No. 15 by NFL.com in its annual list of college football surprise teams. The game starts at 8 p.m., so there’s plenty of time for happy hour at Spoon and Stable, which has the most coveted bar seats in the Twin Cities. Order a pint of Mercantile, the house beer brewed by St. Paul’s Flat Earth Brewing Co., followed by a sporting mix of corn dogs with grape mustard, duck meatloaf sliders and hand-cut fries with bÃ©arnaise powder.
Home games: TCU, Sept. 3; Kent State, Sept. 19; Ohio, Sept. 26; 612-624-8080, mygophersports.com; Spoon and Stable, 211 N. First St., Mpls., 612-224-9850, spoonandstable.com
Entice your clients to extend their business trip over the weekend with an invitation to an outdoor Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium. Games start at noon, so begin the day with breakfast at Birchwood CafÃ© in the colorful Seward neighborhood. Get your game on with zesty grapefruit mimosas or sinus-clearing bloody marys made with horseradish-infused sake, followed by savory corn and cheddar waffles with honey basil butter, sunny-side-up eggs, bacon lardons and other embellishments.
Home games: Detroit, Sept. 20; San Diego, Sept. 27; 612-338-4537, vikings.com; Birchwood CafÃ©, 3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474, birchwoodcafe.com
Minnesota United FC
Clients who favor European football over the American version will get a kick out of watching Minnesota United FC play in the intimate National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, part of the largest soccer complex in the world. On your way to the stadium, stop at Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking for a round of refreshing Minnesota mules with locally made Prairie Organic Vodka and a hearty platter of whiskey-marinated sirloin and pan-fried walleye.
Home games: Indianapolis, Sept. 2; Carolina, Sept. 12; New York, Sept. 19; 763-785-5600, mnunitedfc.com; Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking, 4365 Pheasant Ridge Dr. NE, Blaine, 763-398-2475, bonfirewoodfirecooking.com