MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins' surprising start has meant more than a a big jump for the team in the AL Central standings.
The on-field success has also translated into a brisk pickup in baseball-related business in and around the Metrodome.
With nearly double the amount of fans heading to the Metrodome than last season, the Twins have seen an 85 percent increase in ticket sales. And with each beer and brat, peanuts and Cracker Jack sold, the Twins are raking in a 35 percent share of the cost -- 45 percent when attendance passes the 1 million mark.
Paid attendance totaled 525,877 for the Twins' first 25 home games through Friday. Last year, 285,012 visited the Dome for the same number of games.
It's not just the stadium cashing in from the Twins, who are 32-16 and atop the American League Central.
Rob Nelson, general manager of the Old Spaghetti Factory near the Metrodome, said game-night business is up "dramatically ... easily 20 percent better this year -- 50 percent depending on the visiting team."
He's had to hire more workers to keep up with the flow of fans, which Nelson said are "very polite and very good tippers."
At Hubert's Bar and Restaurant across the street from the Dome, an employee said Friday night that "we're too busy to talk about business right now."
But baseball isn't the season of choice for Bob Torbenson, manager of nearby Sawatdee Thai Restaurant.
Business is up only 5 to 15 percent -- far below the bump he gets from Minnesota Vikings football games, he said.
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