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Minnesota Twins To Close Last Remaining Pro Shop

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Twins have already closed their Pro Shops in Roseville and Apple Valley, and will shutter their store in Minnetonka by the end of the month.

The team has been operating off-site merchandise and ticket sales since opening the first Twins Pro Shop in 1987 in downtown Minneapolis at the corner of 8th Street and Nicollet Avenue. Since then, they have also had Pro Shop sites at the Hub Shopping Center in Richfield and Mall of America.

"It's not uncommon for teams to open and close stores," said Matt Hoy, Twins senior vice president of operations. "We just felt that at this time, it's best for us to kind of retool and consolidate everything."

That means the place to buy official Twins merchandise right off the shelf or the rack is the team's Clubhouse Store, down the right field line at Target Field. The 4,800-square foot, year-round store opened along with the new ballpark, and no changes are expected before the start of the 2017 season.

Most retail stores can thrive with online sales, but that element for all big-league teams is handled solely by Major League Baseball.

"Frankly, we don't have that capability anymore," Hoy said. "While they continue to grow, they don't grow and accrue individually to our (Pro Shop) stores."

Twins Pro Shops were also game-day ticket outlets, but Hoy says those sales were affected by more and more fans buying tickets online.

Hoy says the Pro Shops were still viable up until the decision to consolidate. He remembers that first store, which opened just as the Twins were preparing for the 1987 World Series.

"It was an incredible run," Hoy said. "For eight or ten days, we had lines up the stairs and out onto the street."

It is possible Twins Pro Shops will make a comeback.

"We may jump back in at some point here in the future," Hoy said.

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