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The giant flat HD screen over the center field deck is the fourth largest in major league baseball.

Second-largest college crowd opens new ballpark


MINNEAPOLIS - The first baseball game at the new outdoor stadium on the edge of downtown Minneapolis drew 36,056 people, curious to see the nation's newest major league ballpark.

On a mild late-in-March afternoon, the home-town fans saw much to delight the eye but little to cheer. The Minnesota Gophers fell hard to Louisiana Tech 9-1, one day after defeating the same team 3-2 at the Metrodome.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

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