Minnesota Twins-United Healthcare health deal


Minnesota Twins will launch sensory room Image: Delaware North

Bringing the joy of baseball together with a shared vision of empowering health, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Minnesota Twins and UnitedHealthcare announced a progressive and multifaceted partnership on March 29th aimed at enhancing inclusivity both at their residence – Target Field (US) – and in youth sports.

The ‘MLB’ stated that beginning on Opening Day 2022, the Twins’ home ballpark will offer a welcoming environment for neuroatypical ticket holders via the new UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite, among the most advanced such spaces in professional sports venues nationally.

The Minnesota Twins are an American professional baseball team based in Minneapolis (US). The Twins compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League Central Division. The team is named after the Twin Cities area which includes the two adjoining Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The 39,504-capacity Target Field is a baseball stadium in the historic warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis, US. Since its opening in 2010, the stadium has been the home ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins. The stadium hosted the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The UnitedHealthcare is the health benefits business of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, an American multinational managed healthcare and insurance company based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, US. It offers healthcare products and insurance services.

The ‘MLB’ further stated that additionally, youth baseball and softball coaches throughout the region will have the opportunity, through upcoming Twins Coaches’ Conferences, to learn specialized techniques to help neuroatypical children thrive when playing ball. (Neuroatypical is a term to describe people of atypical developmental, intellectual and cognitive abilities. It refers to individuals who have autism or another developmental difference).

Said club President and CEO Dave St. Peter, “The Minnesota Twins truly believe that baseball brings communities together and makes them stronger. Every time we open the gates at Target Field, each time we help our kids play baseball or softball, we do so with the conviction that our game is for everybody. We are proud to partner with UnitedHealthcare on important steps to make that vision a reality, as together we work to ensure that all are recognized, accepted and welcome at Target Field and on the diamond.”

Said United Healthcare Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Thompson, “The Twins and UnitedHealthcare share a commitment to the Minnesota community and a passion to create positive change. We look forward to partnering on programs to support children and families in our community, and appreciate the opportunity to play a role in providing a more welcoming environment at Target Field for people of all abilities. Together, we can truly take everyone out to the ballgame.”

Sensory Suite

Enhancing inclusivity and empowering all guests to thrive in the Target Field experience, the Twins are excited to invite neuroatypical ticket holders of all ages and abilities to visit the ballpark’s new, state-of-the-art UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite. Located on the newly-renamed UnitedHealthcare Suite Level, the former “Suite 1” has been completely renovated, reimagined and equipped to deliver a welcoming, compatible environment in which neuroatypical guests may find temporary respite, if needed, during games.

The spacious Sensory Suite features unique, separated spaces specifically designed to meet different needs, including those of children and adults, while on-site Twins Guest Services staff members have been individually trained to deliver appropriate and diverse assistance. The UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite’s distinctive location is meant to ensure accessibility, while also helping to ease guests’ transition back to their ticketed seats by offering a controlled, outdoor area overlooking the game. This outdoor option makes Target Field’s sensory area among a select few professional sports venues nationally to have a view of the playing surface.

The unique, design-build Sensory Suite project was a collaboration with leading experts from both UnitedHealthcare and Fraser, a Minnesota-based company nationally recognized for its high quality, innovative and individualized programs for families with special needs. Additionally, the Twins, UnitedHealthcare and Fraser will provide sensory kits for guests to check out, free of charge, at Guest Services stations throughout Target Field.

Community programs

The Twins and United Healthcare are also partnering to remove barriers to access for children in the region, both on the diamond and at mealtime:

  • Coaching for all: Beginning with the next Twins Coaches’ Conference, UnitedHealthcare will provide content, developed in partnership with Fraser, to educate and empower youth coaches to create and foster an equitable environment for neuroatypical kids without physical limitations. By helping coaches understand the challenges some youth face, while equipping them with appropriate and inclusive coaching techniques, it is possible to have teams, practices, games and seasons wherein the love of the game is shared and felt by all; and
  • Fighting child hunger: More than 300,000 children in Minnesota live with food insecurity. The Twins and UnitedHealthcare will be partnering with Every Meal on a food-packing event, in support of the nonprofit’s mission to fight child hunger.

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