Twins fans say goodbye to winter with early Opening Day at Target Field

The weather, the new food, the upgrades to the ballpark and, of course, a positive outlook made Opening Day at Target Field one to remember for Twins fans Thursday.

Fans streamed into the stadium by the thousands Thursday to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

“You know I plowed so much snow this year, it’s going to be good to see some real green grass and a really good game,” said Ron Levelien, a Twins fan.

Even though it was the team’s earliest home opener in its history, you wouldn’t know by the weather.

“It’s so refreshing,” said Madison Levelien. “It’s warm this year. I think last year I wore a penguin onesie to dress up as the arctic theme because it was so cold.”

Fans were geared up for the game, including Ben Knudson who had his pins, pajamas, Twins shirt and his sister’s accessories on for the ball game.

“I’m a big, dedicated fan,” said Carter Cortez. “I’m so happy, I’m like a kid right now. I’m ready to get in and watch some baseball.”

The first 30,000 people received a Twins puffer vest Thursday, too.

Some of those lucky fans came through the revamped Gate 34, which now includes more room, local merchandise and food vendors that have fans excited about all the choices.

“I’m excited for this year and the Twins are going to be good this year, but, uh, this chocolate is really make me feel really good about this year,’ said Bruce Ekholm.

“Since I was born, my dad and his dad have taken me to a different stadium every year and when they were born, they came and joined the tradition with us,” said Koby Agor, who traveled to Minneapolis from southern California. “And so we get an Opening Day ball at every stadium we go to.”

Whether it was their first game or their first home opener, everyone was a fan Thursday.