Downtown will be bustling as the Twins and Vikings play Sunday, Sept. 19

A Twins game, a Vikings game, and two plays will bring big crowds to take part in the action in downtown Minneapolis Sunday, Sept. 19. This is the second time nearly-concurrent games have been played, and Downtown is ready to welcome folks to take part in all the activity. During a previous double event on Sept. 2, traffic congestion was minimal and there was plenty of available parking. Since the Sept. 19 events are taking place on Sunday, which is typically a lower-traffic day Downtown, and because the games begin 70 minutes apart, things should flow relatively smoothly during these events. With a little bit of planning ahead, game goers, and anyone else coming Downtown Sunday can have a great experience.

When attending any event Downtown, it’s a good idea for folks to plan ahead and explore their transportation options. The City of Minneapolis, Metro Transit, the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings, and many other partners are work together to keep traffic and pedestrians moving as smoothly as possible, and to spread the word to people who are coming Downtown on especially busy days so they can plan ahead for the increased activity.

Events during the day on Sept. 19:

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, Target Field, or the Metrodome, there are four tips people should remember to minimize delays and maximize their enjoyment of all the activities happening Downtown.

1. Plan ahead Visit Vikings.com to learn more about all your transportation choices.

2. 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. The eastern side of Downtown near the Metrodome has many ramps and surface parking lots. If you need to drive to the game, Vikings fans should try to park near the Metrodome, and Twins parkers are encouraged to park near Target Field. This will help reduce the amount of traffic crossing through Downtown and help mitigate congestion.

3. Consider transit – Both Target Field and the Metrodome are extremely transit -friendly facilities.  Because of high anticipated demand, fans using transit should start their trips early, if possible.

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 – Take part in activities, shopping, dining, and other entertainment before and after games and concerts. Enjoy the extra time to experience all Downtown has to offer, and avoid transportation delays.

Taking transit

Light-rail - Because Hiawatha Light-Rail trains will be full, Metro Transit will use buses to supplement light-rail service, both before and after the games. Before the games, buses will pick up passengers at the 28th Avenue Station and Fort Snelling Station and go to both the Metrodome and Target Field. After the games, separate sets of buses will depart both venues and deliver passengers back to Fort Snelling Station and the 28th Avenue Station.

Commuter rail - For this Sunday’s games, a 10-car Northstar train will leave Big Lake Station at 9:33 a.m. and, after stops in Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley, will arrive at Target Field Station at about 10:22 a.m.  Fans headed to the Vikings game will make a free transfer to the Hiawatha light-rail line for the short trip to the Metrodome. Twins fans also can choose a second Northstar train that will leave Big Lake at 11:53 a.m., arriving at Target Field at 12:42 p.m., in advance of the 1:10 p.m. first pitch.

One 10-car northbound train will leave Target Field at 4:55 p.m. This is scheduled service – not a special Twins/Vikings train. It will leave on-time regardless of the status of the games. This is the last northbound service of the day.

Northstar roundtrip family passes are available from ticket machines at Northstar’s suburban stations. Prices for a family of five – two adults and three kids ages 6 through 17 – range from $8 roundtrip at Fridley Station to $17 roundtrip at Big Lake Station.

Route 679 - Metro Transit Route 679 is available for people from the west metro who are heading to the Twins game. Buses for this game will leave from the free ramp on the southwest corner of the intersection of County Road 73 and I-394 beginning two hours before the Twins game, with return service for one hour after the last out. Please note Route 679 ends at Target Field and does not serve the Metrodome directly.

Managing traffic

The City of Minneapolis takes a number of steps to manage traffic during dual events. The volume of pedestrians, bikes, and cars Downtown before and after these events means increased traffic, but there are several ways the City works to improve operations and minimize congestion, including:

Making event days a great experience

Many City departments, the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Ballpark Authority, Target Center, the Minnesota Vikings, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin County, Metro Transit, ABC Ramps, the Warehouse District Business Association, the Hennepin Theatre District, the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Guthrie Theater, and others are all taking steps to make event days in Downtown success. To help fans plan ahead and make the most of their experience Downtown, these partners have collaborated to create DestinationTargetField.com on the Minnesota Twins website. The site helps folks explore all their options for getting to Downtown events, whether it’s by car, on a bus or train, or by biking or walking.

Published Sep. 17, 2010