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Some had hoped for Hormel Park

Post-Bulletin staff and news services

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins will call their new ballpark Target Field.

The baseball team and Target Corp. announced Monday an agreement in principle on an exclusive 25-year partnership that includes naming rights to the Twins’ new stadium, set to open for the 2010 season just across from Target Center, home to the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Hormel Foods Corp., the Austin-based company with a long-standing relationship with the Twins, was rumored to be one of the companies that might get its name on the new ballpark.

Two years ago, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ranked the top 100 companies with a chance for their name on the stadium.

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In that listing, Hormel Foods came in 14th, with Target ranking first. At that time, a Star Tribune columnist pitched the name Killebrew Field at Hormel Park.

In response to a request for comment, Hormel issued a statement wishing the Twins luck in their playoff chase.

Hormel vice president of corporate communications Julie Craven did not return requests for comment.

The retailer and the Twins also will collaborate on the design of Target Plaza, which includes a pedestrian bridge and public gathering space connecting the $517 million, 40,000-seat Target Field to downtown Minneapolis. The walkway will run next to Target Center, and they’re all a few blocks away from Target’s corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.

This is the first time the Twins have had naming rights to sell. They’ve played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome since 1982 and in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961-81.

"We really focused on Target," Twins president Dave St. Peter told the Star Tribune. "We really had only serious discussions with one company, and that was Target."

St. Peter said the team is thrilled to have a partner with deep Minnesota roots, a strong record of philanthropy and a focus on families. One example of their plans, he said, will include "Target Seats" at every game for disadvantaged children and their families.

Target’s involvement in the plaza design, he said, will mean more cash for features such as additional seating, more canopies to provide shelter from the elements, perhaps public art, as well as extending it all the way to First Avenue.

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