Sept. 1, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) Today, Sept. 1, will be exciting in Minneapolis, with three large sports events taking place. Because big crowds will be coming to Downtown and the university area it's a good idea to know your transportation options and plan ahead, whether you plan to drive, take transit, or bike or walk.
- Twins vs. White Sox at Target Field
7:10 p.m. – doors open at 5 p.m.
- Vikings vs. Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium (preseason game)
7 p.m. – doors open at 5 p.m.
- Minnesota vs. Oregon State at TCF Bank Stadium (season opener)
Street closings near U.S. Bank Stadium
The following streets around U.S. Bank Stadium will be closed for the Vikings game:
- Fourth Street will close at Park Avenue at 4 p.m.
- Chicago Avenue, from Fourth Street to Sixth Street will close at noon.
- Norm McGrew Place will close at noon.
All three streets will reopen 30-45 minutes after the Vikings game.
Drivers should also be aware that westbound Washington Avenue, from Portland Avenue to Hennepin Avenue is closed for street reconstruction. Traffic is being detoured onto Third Street South at Portland Avenue.
Getting where you're going
Downtown is an urban setting that provides transportation opportunities to meet everyone's desired experience, whether you want to drive, ride a bus, take a train, or bike or walk.
When visiting Downtown, there are five tips people should remember to minimize delays and maximize their enjoyment of all the activities going on.
1. Plan ahead – Visit TwinsBaseball.com/transportation, www.vikings.com/fans/metro-transit.html or pts.umn.edu/park/gopherfb.html to learn more about all your transportation choices. Visit the Downtown Improvement District's events calendar at www.MinneapolisDID.com and the University of Minnesota events calendar at events.umn.edu/online to see what events are going on any day.
2. Know your parking options – There is parking availability throughout Downtown. If you prefer convenient access to Target Field and Target Center, the adjacent A,B,C, and Hawthorne ramps have plenty of capacity, and the ramps empty smoothly after games, without long waits. If you're parking on the street when coming Downtown, make sure to check the signs to be sure of the time limit and hours of enforcement for your parking space.
NOTE: Because of the Minnesota State Fair, there will be no game day parking on the Saint Paul campus and no Saint Paul shuttle for the U of M football game. Also, there will be no park and ride options for the State Fair on the East Bank campus due to the footbal game.
3. Use transit – Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium and TCF Bank Stadium are extremely transit –friendly.
4. Bicycles are another great way to the games – Bicyclists are reminded to use headlights and taillights after dark and, if possible, to wear light or reflective clothing.
5. Come early/Stay late – The areas near each stadium are ready to welcome fans for sporting events, shows and excitement. Take part in activities, shopping, dining, and other entertainment before and after games and concerts. Enjoy the extra time to experience all each area has to offer, and avoid traffic congestion.
Taking transit to events
The Northstar commuter rail line offers direct service to Target Field Station from stations in Big Lake, Elk River, Ramsey, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley. For added savings, the Northstar Roundtrip Family Pass offers roundtrip rides for two adults and up to three kids ages 6-17 for $20 or less. Customers can buy round-trip tickets and Northstar Roundtrip Family Passes for games online at metrotransit.org/Northstar. Full train schedules for every game and fare information are available for viewing and printing at metrotransit.org/twins. Additionally, Northstar Link bus service from St. Cloud and Becker is scheduled to connect with trains at Big Lake for every game this season.
The METRO Blue Line runs from Bloomington to downtown Minneapolis. It serves large Park & Ride facilities at Fort Snelling and 28th Avenue stations which have nearly 2,800 free parking spaces.
The METRO Green Line runs from Union Depot in St. Paul, along University Ave, into Minneapolis.
Direct bus service on Twins Express Route 679 from the County Road 73 Park & Ride in Minnetonka with hundreds of free parking spaces will be offered for every Twins home game again in 2015. Buses start taking fans to the ballpark two hours before each game. Return service begins two hours after first pitch (example: 7:10 p.m. game, buses begin returning to the Park & Ride at 9:10) and continues roughly every half hour until an hour after the game ends.
A number of popular and frequent bus routes stop near these three stadiums. Routes 3, 14 southbound and 94 (94 only until 7 p.m. weeknights, no weekend service) serve Ramp B/5th Street Transit Center adjacent to Target Field. Routes 2, 3, 6 and 16 all serve TCF Bank Stadium and the U of M campus. Many other frequent routes travel along Hennepin and Nicollet avenues just blocks away. Online tools and information for instantly planning bus or train trips to Twins games is available at metrotransit.org/twins.
Managing traffic congestion
The City of Minneapolis takes a number of steps to manage traffic congestion during big events Downtown. The volume of pedestrians, bikes, and cars Downtown before and after these events means increased congestion, but there are several ways the City works to improve operations and reduce delays, including:
- Police and traffic control agents are at many intersections during peak times before and after the events.
- Special traffic signal timing patterns are used to move high numbers of people during events.
- Dynamic messaging signs provide drivers with real-time information as they move around the area. They notify drivers when key parking ramps fill, and to help drivers find their way around.
Events calendar makes it easy to plan ahead
Whether you want to go to a game, catch a play, or see a concert, finding just the right events and activities for your family is easy when you use the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District's online events calendar.
The calendar is on the Downtown Improvement District's website at www.MinneapolisDID.com. The list includes events and entertainment at dozens of venues, big and small, throughout Downtown. The list can be viewed and sorted in several different ways to help you find what you're looking for. The calendar includes sporting events, live performances, theater events, festivals and parades, exhibits, and many other entertainment options. The calendar makes it easy to find out if there are lots of events on a given day, and knowing what else is happening Downtown will help you plan ahead to minimize transportation delays.
Help prevent car break-ins
The Minneapolis Police Department encourages you to protect yourself from vehicle break-ins and "Put Your Junk In Your Trunk." Get in the habit of keeping all of your belongings in the trunk of your car, prior to arriving at your destination, and never leave belongings in plain view. Remember to always call 911 if you see suspicious behavior.
Making event days a great experience
Many City departments, the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Ballpark Authority, Target Center, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin County, Metro Transit, ABC Ramps, the University of Minnesota, the Warehouse District Business Association, the Downtown Improvement District, the Hennepin Theatre District, the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Guthrie Theater, and others are all taking steps to make event days in Downtown success.