Plan ahead and know your transportation options
It’s going to be a busy and exciting weekend in Minneapolis with the final Twins regular season games, a Vikings game, the Minnesota Gophers football team’s Big 10 conference opener and the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon all taking place. These events will be drawing big crowds, so it’s a good idea to know your transportation options and plan ahead, whether you plan to drive, take transit, bike or walk.
- Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers at Target Field
7:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 – doors open at 5:10 p.m.
6:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 – doors open at 4:10 p.m.
2:10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 – doors open at 12:10 p.m.
- Minnesota Gophers vs. Maryland Terrapins at TCF Bank Stadium
11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 – doors open at 9:30 a.m.
- Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium
Noon Sunday, Oct. 1 – doors open at 9:30 a.m.
- Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon start at U.S. Bank Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 1
- 7 a.m. – 10-mile race start.
- 7:55 a.m. – marathon wheelchair start.
- 8 a.m. – marathon runner start.
Those heading into downtown Minneapolis should be aware that the Interstate 35W from Highway 62 (the Crosstown) to Interstate 94 will be closed to traffic this weekend, starting 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 and lasting until 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2. Drivers heading to any of the downtown events will need to find alternative routes.
More information on the I-35W closing is available on MnDOT’s website.
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, 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.
- Plan ahead – Visit TwinsBaseball.com/transportation, vikings.com/fans/metro-transit.html or www.pts.umn.edu/park/gopherfb to learn more about all your transportation choices. Check out the Downtown Improvement District’s events calendar, available at mplsdid.com. Also, check out the spectator’s guide for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
- Know your parking options – There is parking availability throughout Downtown. If you prefer convenient access to Target Field, 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. Also note that many of the metered on-street parking spaces in the area of Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium have event rates and enforced maximum parking times.
- Bicycles are another great way to the games – There are bike racks you can use at Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium and TCF Bank Stadium. Bicyclists are reminded to use headlights and taillights after dark and, if possible, to wear light or reflective clothing.
- 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. The Warehouse District looks forward to welcoming fans before and after Twins and Vikings games.
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 , metrotransit.org/vikings and metrotransit.org/gophers. Additionally, Northstar Link bus service from St. Cloud and Becker is scheduled to connect with trains at Big Lake for every Twins 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.
Routes 3, 14 southbound and 94 (94 only until 7 p.m. weeknights, no weekend service) serve Ramp B/Fifth Street Transit Center adjacent to Target Field. Many other frequent routes travel along Hennepin and Nicollet avenues just blocks away. Online tools and other information to help plan your trip are available at metrotransit.org/twins, metrotransit.org/vikingsand metrotransit.org/gophers.
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.mplsdid.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.