It's days before MLB All-Star Game events kick off, and Target Field and the city of Minneapolis are making their final preparations.
"This is a multimillion dollar puzzle that a lot of people have worked on a long time to try to put it together," Kevin Smith of the Minnesota Twins told KARE 11.
Smith, the senior director of Corporate Communications and Broadcasting for the club, says although the official events start Friday, hundreds of people have already arrived in Minneapolis for the All-Star Game, and even more have been working to make sure everything is ready for the week to come.
All-Star Game events
Friday, July 11 - Tuesday, July 15
Saturday, July 12
All-Star Concert with Imagine Dragons and Atmosphere at TCF Bank Stadium (sold out).
Gates open at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 13
Sunday, July 13 - Tuesday, July 15
MLB All-Star Summer Pepsi Block Party near Target Field.
12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday, July 14
Home Run Derby at Target Field (limited tickets available).
Gates open at 4 p.m., derby starts at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 15
All-Star Game Red Carpet Show near Target Field (free to the public).
85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field (tickets available on secondhand ticket websites).
Gates open at 3:30 p.m., game is at 6:30 p.m.
Musical lineup announced
Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel, who performed the Oscar-winning song "Let it Go" from Disney's "Frozen," will sing the National Anthem prior to Tuesday's All-Star Game, MLB said in a news release.
Menzel will also perform Minnesota native Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" as part of a pregame on-field ceremony honoring "All-Star Teachers," the release says.
Also in the musical lineup for the All-Star Game is the Minnesota Orchestra Brass Quintet playing "O, Canada" and country music artist Joe Nichols singing "God Bless America."
The ticketed All-Star pregame celebration outside Target Field Tuesday will feature the rock band O.A.R. and Minnesota's a cappella group Home Free.
During Monday's home run derby, rapper-singer Aloe Blacc will perform "Wake Me Up" and "Can You Do This."
Prior to Sunday's legends and celebrity softball game, Panic! At the Disco will give an on-field performance.
Imagine Dragons and Minnesota-based Atmosphere will also be performing during the All-Star Game events. The groups are performing a free concert at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. Tickets to that show sold out in minutes last month.
Food and drink
There are several new food and beverage choices for the All-Star Game, Delaware North SportService, which runs the concessions, announced Monday.
Target Field unveiled self-serve beer machines, which let fans buy beer by the ounce. All they have to do is buy a beer machine prepaid card for $10, $20 or $50, take the card to the DraftServ machine and pour the amount of beer they want – and it'll charge them by the ounce.
There are also a number of new foods available at Target Field. The Washington Post previewed some of the food choices, which include a "hangover burger" and lobster-filled corn dogs.
WCCO also takes a look at some of the new food choices. There's a brat dog, which is a foot-long hot dog inside a bratwurst. But that's not it – it's also wrapped in bacon and covered with onions, peppers and sauerkraut, and served on a pretzel roll.
There's a Double Play Dog, which is half bratwurst, half Kramarczuk's Polish sausage together on a hoagie bun. The brat is topped with sauerkraut and peppers, while the sausage half is covered in cheese and pico de gallo.
Besides the self-serve beer stations, there's also the new Bigger, Better, Burger Bloody Mary, which comes with either a bacon cheeseburger slider, bacon or brat as a garnish, WCCO reports.
Delaware North SportService is also pushing Target Field favorites – Murray's Steak expects to serve 1,200 steak sandwiches and Butcher and the Boar figures it'll sell 700 orders of BBQ rip tips, WCCO says.
All the other ballpark favorites will still be available, and Delaware North SportService is ready for fans – over 1,000 pounds of beef is ready to be made into burgers, and there are 5,000 pieces of chicken fingers, 1,500 orders of fries, 4,000 servings of nachos and 2,000 pounds of peanuts ready for fans to enjoy, WCCO notes.
Transforming Target Field
There's going to be a lot of attention on Target Field this week, so the ballpark is getting prepared.
Crews are making sure everything is spick and span. A specially equipped crew polished the giant video scoreboards in the outfield and crews even washed the roofs of concession stands to get everything looking like new, MCT News reports.
The grounds crew also replaced sod and fertilized grass, planted new flowers and replaced some dead trees, MCT says.
In the last few days before the All-Star Game, crews worked to transform Target Field from the Twins' ballpark to All-Star Game headquarters. Everything was removed from the Twins clubhouse and Twins paraphernalia was hauled out of the stadium, MCT says.
Next, crews will bring in All-Star Game gear, paint All-Star logos on the field and drape bunting around the ballpark.
In addition to cleaning up the ballpark, some of Target Field's features have gotten an upgrade. Target Field added antennas and new technology to improve cell service during the All-Star Game and Minnesota Twins games, the Business Journal says.
The new antenna system will provide additional coverage in seating areas and at the ballpark's entrances for the nation's largest service providers.
Minneapolis road closures
Several streets in downtown Minneapolis will be closed to traffic July 11-15 because of All-Star Game events and the Basilica Block Party, which is being held a few blocks away from the ballpark.
Many streets around the ballpark will be closed throughout all the All-Star Game events, while streets around the Basilica will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. For a complete list, click here.
These events will also impact parking in downtown Minneapolis.
As part of an anti-terrorism initiative, the Minneapolis police department released a video Monday urging people who see something unusual during All-Star Game week to say something about it.