Monday, April 22, 2024
Home Road Trip Let’s Road Trip 2024: Trip #7 – To the West! Oakland/Arizona/Seattle (June 21-30) – Twins

Let’s Road Trip 2024: Trip #7 – To the West! Oakland/Arizona/Seattle (June 21-30) – Twins

by Staff

If things go according to the team’s plans, this could be the last time the Twins go to Oakland for a long, long time.

Oakland Athletics – June 21-23
Oakland Coliseum:
Capacity 56,782
2023 Attendance: 832,352, up from 787,982 in 2022 (Averaged 10,276, ranked 15th out of 15 AL teams, 30th overall MLB)

On the one hand, the Athletics gained fans last year! On the other hand, the bulk of this gain came through a reverse protest during the summer, and the team is still gearing up to move to Las Vegas. The Oakland Coliseum was a living trailer for the Hall of Fame in the 1980s, then the setting for an actual Hollywood blockbuster in the early 2000s. Lately, the club has been known more for thriftiness than for victories, and the stadium hasn’t been updated for years. Paint is peeling in the suites, and A’s fans’ tears are running in the streets. (There’s also sewage in the dugouts sometimes. That’s a statement better posed in prose.)

The Coliseum itself bears the weight of being home to Al Davis’s Raiders starting in the 1990s. The addition of a towering bowl of seats increased capacity, while magnifying just how empty the stadium looks today. Interestingly enough, the Coliseum used to mirror Dodger Stadium before “Mount Davis” was erected.

With such low attendance, Twins fans can find their way down to the field level for little-to-no cost. Oakland itself boasts connections to the sights and sounds of the Bay Area in general, and there are waterfront and cultural experiences throughout the region. The Oakland Zoo gets solid reviews, and the entertaining sights of San Francisco are just a bridge away.

Hopefully the Twins can stack the wins in Oakland after just facing them at Target Field the week prior, because after an off day, they have a date with the defending NL champion Diamondbacks in the desert.

Arizona Diamondbacks – June 25-27
Chase Field:
Capacity 48,405
2023 Attendance: 1,961,182, up from 1,605,199 in 2022 (Averaged 24,212, 12th out of 15 NL teams, 20th in MLB)

The last time the Twins landed in Phoenix in June to play the Diamondbacks, the year was 2022 and the temperature on the ground was 108. My airport Snickers bar melted between the gift shop and my friend’s car. Luckily, Chase Field has high-quality air conditioning!

With only the Metrodome to guide my indoor baseball expectations, I found Chase Field in and of itself worth the trip. A 20th Anniversary Museum display opened in 2022, and it pointed out how this young franchise had won a World Series against the Yankees during my lifetime. While it seemed a bit overly ambitious at the time, in 2023 they almost repeated the feat. This balanced and youthful team remains loaded and ready to keep aiming for championships, while MLB remains their broadcast partner. How will the finances support keeping the young nucleus intact? The Twins should be paying very close attention to that answer as it unfolds.

The Phoenix area has plenty of hiking and outdoor activities, delicious local eateries, and indoor entertainment venues. The abundance of spring training parks also gives the opportunity to catch a rookie league game or two while you’re there.

The stadium itself opened in 1998, and boasts a retractable roof and plenty of room to roam. From the outfield swimming pool and restaurants to the kid-friendly experiences, Chase Field has plenty to offer a visiting fan. As the fourth-oldest stadium in the National League, however, renovations are in order, and the fight about funding has been circling the media as of late. Will another playoff run seal the deal, or will the fickle fans in Arizona see their team chase a new home?

Win or lose against the defending NL champs, the longest road trip of the season continues with a flight to the Pacific Northwest to face old friend Jorge Polanco and the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle Mariners – June 28-30
T-Mobile Park:
Capacity 47,929
2023 Attendance: 2,690,418, up from 2,286,267 in 2022 (Averaged 33,215, ranked 4th out of 15 AL teams, 110th overall MLB)

Fresh off hosting the All-Star Game in 2023, T-Mobile Park dials up the fan experience with a retractable roof, beautiful sight lines, and stellar food and beverage options. This isn’t your grandpa’s Kingdome, for sure. Success hasn’t been a part of the Mariners’ story, but their current squad is on the way up.

Established in 1977, the Mariners endured losing seasons every year until 1991. They hold the less-than-awesome honor of having never been in a World Series, so the town is hungry for change, even if the ballpark is now entering its 25th season.

The park hosts the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest and Mariners Hall of Fame, which pays homage to great moments in professional baseball throughout the region. The ‘Pen is a foodie and pub crawler’s dream, and there is a Fan Walk with engraved bricks memorializing those who root for the squad.

The Mariners and the Twins don’t share much history, but the Polanco trade will add immediate intrigue. They never seem hot at the same time, and their superstars never seem to be competing for attention simultaneously. I’m not heading to these games looking for baseball drama, but hoping for some relaxing and captivating scenery and experiences.

If you like heights, the Space Needle is a must-see. The Museum of Pop Culture also seems like a worthy stop, and you can’t be in this part of America without the temptation of a Goonies filming site pilgrimage coming up in the conversation. The Seattle Japanese Garden also looks amazing and perfect for healing and restoration, especially if the Twins are struggling at this point in the season.

The Twins will be traveling 6,789 miles for 9 games, 1 off day, and ____ wins?

How do you think the Twins will fare on this western swing? Anyone planning to go to say farewell to Oakland, or hello to Phoenix or Seattle? Any favorite watering holes or tourist traps? Baseball is almost here Twins Territory…let’s get talking!

Let’s Road Trip is a series of stories exploring the Twins’ 13 road trips during the 2024 season.  I will focus on stadium highlights, attributes, Twins history, and community amenities.  Potential pitfalls and roadblocks get considered, and travel considerations get mentioned.  My handy-dandy Baseball Road Trips by Timothy Malcolm and Moon travel guides will be a go-to for this conversation.

Leave a Comment

Copyright ©️ All rights reserved. | Tourism Trends