Go, Team! Touchdown Entertaining-October 2011
The fall sports season is well underway, and it’s time to take an important guest or group to a game. The question is how can you do it best? While season tickets offer the surest route to the exclusive corners of our local stadium scene, long-term commitments aren’t always required. Check out these plum seats, suites, and stadium eats available on a game-by-game basis.
Start with a pre-game field pass, where you and your guests can watch the team prep for the game. Next, head for the 12- or 16-person suite you reserved in advance. Here you can schedule a special visit from Vikings cheerleaders or retired players such as Carl Eller and John Randle. Tip: Ask J. P. Paul, director of suites and premium seating, to have his staff make a pre-game delivery of Vikings jerseys or other team memorabilia for everyone in your party. Twelve-person single-game suites start at $6,300. 952-918- 8505, vikings.com.
The still–new feeling Gopher football stadium, with its glistening clubrooms and private box seats, is one of the best sports venues in town. For small groups, reserve seats in the indoor or outdoor clubrooms. Larger groups can vie for the private suites; reservations well in advance are a must here, as these are particularly popular.
Wherever you land within the stadium’s premium seating areas, you’ll enjoy reserved parking, a private stadium entrance, and access to the DQ Club Room, a comfortable 20,000-square-foot lounge with private concessions. Premium seating starts at $175 per person. Prices vary by game. 612-626-4653, goldengopherfund.com.
If you’re lucky (and fast) enough, you can put your VIP guests in front-row seats. These are located along an extension of the team benches and come with gourmet food and beverages, leather-padded seating, and access to the Lexus Courtside Club. Another option is to purchase a last-minute bundle of passes to the Back- Court Club. Perfect for out-of-town guests and fans of other basketball teams, the club overlooks the opposing team’s entrances and exits. It’s also equipped with members-only carving stations and private full-service bars. For more information on tickets for the Lexus Courtside Club and the BackCourt Club: 612-673-8070, timberwolves.com.
This year, the Minnesota Wild is boosting the number of Elite Seats at Xcel Energy Center. Located between, and close to, the two teams’ benches, fans sitting in these seats experience an enhanced sense of the game as they watch players duke it out on the ice and then interact with their teammates back on the bench. Before the game, ticket holders are greeted in the players’ parking garage, where a valet parks their cars. They’re then escorted to the Headwaters for a buffet dinner, beverages, and dessert before taking their seats. During the game, guests enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks in the exclusive Fishing Lodge, a private bar right off the ice. Additional perks include being invited to post-game press conference to hear the head coach Mike Yeo talk about the game and the team. Elite Seats start at $2,000 per four-person pack. 651-602-5739, wild.com.
Though the Twins’ season is winding down, there are still a few last games to catch at one of the big leagues’ most attractive new ballparks. With the gorgeous Metropolitan Club—where season ticket holders can catch the game while enjoying a meal—and corporate suites galore, Target Field was practically made for VIP entertaining. Many of the premium seats are reserved for season ticket holders, but there are other ways to enjoy perks at the stadium. On the lower-cost side, if your guests are history buffs, purchase a pair of seats in the dugout box and then take them up to the Town Ball Tavern on the club level for food and beverages. Built in homage to Minnesota’s amateur baseball leagues, the restaurant features an awesome outdoor patio and the the only cuisine truly indigenous to Minneapolis—the Juicy Lucy burger. For a more upscale experience, try reserving a bank of event suites. Located on the Club Level, these suites, sold game by game, feature sliding doors that let you tailor the room to the size of your group. Full-service catering offers everything from hot dogs and peanuts to fi let mignon. Dugout box seats start at $80 per person; event suites start at $2,500 for a 24-person room. 800-338-9467, twinsbaseball.com.