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Football to return to Target Field this fall with South Dakota State as the hosts

The home of the Minnesota Twins will host a third football game as South Dakota State will face Drake University on September 16, 2023.

North Dakota State fans get up for the opening kickoff against Butler at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO - Football is returning to Target Field.

The Minnesota Twins announced Tuesday night that their ballpark will host a football game for the third time, as South Dakota State will face Drake University on September 16 at Target Field.

"We started talking to South Dakota State prior to their run this year, and they certainly knew we had interest." Twins president Dave St. Peter said.

"It's never been lost on us that South Dakota State has a rich fanbase in the Twin Cities, big number of alums. We do college theme nights at Twins games, outside of the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State is the most successful. By far. No one is close. We think it's going to be a huge success.

This marks the first football game at the Twins home field since North Dakota State took on Butler University on Aug. 31, 2019. A crowd of 34,544 was on hand to see Trey Lance's first start for the Bison. Lance accounted for six total touchdowns in a 57-10 Bison rout.


"The feedback we got from NDSU was great. What they told us, their staff and players had a great experience. We think football works here, playability concerns here, the Twins groundskeeper is huge for these decisions." St. Peter said.

The financial details are not yet known on what South Dakota State is receiving from the Twins. NDSU was paid an appearance fee of $550,000 based on selling over 34 thousand tickets.

"The games we're on the hunt for is regional type matchups. Whether they surpass 34,000 plus tickets and eclipse the Bison number is the magicial question, but I'm interested to find out."

All three football games at Target Field have been played during the Twins season. St. Peter said he's been trying to schedule a game after the baseball season.

"That be preferred for the Twins, we haven't be able to find those games. We'd like to always play in November, but that requires some help from the schedule makers."

St. Peter is a proud University of North Dakota graduate. He said he's had plenty of conversations about scheduling a football game for the Fighting Hawks at Target Field as well.

"I can assure you we've had conversations with people in Grand Forks, we'd like to play hockey here, but that's a different conversation."

St. Peter adds that he's spoken with NDSU about a future game at Target Field and adds he believes there's more football coming to downtown Minneapolis.


"There's a place for it. We're sensitive to our relationship with the University of Minnesota and frankly with St. Thomas being a Division I school now there's some other ideas being kicked around, but I'm excited with the ability to add future games to the schedule going forward."

North Dakota State and Butler team captains meet at midfield for the coin toss at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. David Samson / The Forum

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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