Plan ahead for a busy Sept. 16-18 weekend Downtown

The weekend of Sept. 16-18 will be busy in downtown Minneapolis, as large events take place at Target Field, Target Center, Mall of America Field, and on Nicollet Mall. Combined with plays and shows going on at smaller venues, it will be an exciting weekend, but it’s important that people plan ahead and explore their transportation options. The City of Minneapolis, Metro Transit, the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Lynx and many other partners are working together to mitigate traffic congestion as much as possible and to spread the word to people who are coming Downtown this weekend so they can plan ahead.

Events that are expected to draw large crowds this weekend include:

Friday, Sept. 16

Twins vs. Cleveland Indians 7:10 p.m. at Target Field

Lynx vs. San Antonio Silver Stars – 8 p.m. at Target Center

Saturday, Sept. 17

First Responder Parade 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nicollet Mall from Convention Center to 5th Street

Twins vs. Cleveland Indians – 12:10 p.m. at Target Field

Sunday, Sept. 18

Vikings vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – noon at Mall of America Field

Twins vs. Cleveland Indians – 1:10 P.M. at Target Field

People coming Downtown should also be aware of a street construction project that will affect traffic this weekend. There will be lane restrictions on 6th Street South, as work continues to resurface the streets. At least two lanes will be open to traffic throughout the work. If weather cooperates, the final length of the downtown paving will be completed on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Road closures around Mall of America Field Sunday Sept. 18

As with all Vikings games, there will also be street closures around Mall of America Field as a security measure. The following streets will be closed starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18 and are expected to reopen around 4 p.m.:

Fifth Street, from 11th Avenue to Park Avenue

Chicago Avenue, from Third Street to Sixth Street

Fourth Street, from Park Avenue to I-35W

Norm McGrew Place, from Third Street to Fourth Street

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

1. Plan ahead Visit DestinationTargetField.com , Targetcenter.com or vikings.com/stadium 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 and Target Center, 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.

3. Consider transit and bicycling – Target Field, Target Center, and the Metrodome are extremely transit- and bicycle-friendly facilities, and it’s easy to get there by light rail, commuter train, bus, or bicycle. Bicyclists are reminded to use headlights and taillights after dark.

4. 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. Downtown businesses look forward to welcoming fans before and after events.

Ramp parking

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. The City will use more than 70 dynamic messaging signs Downtown to help Twins fans find parking on the west side of Downtown and help Vikings fans find parking on the east side of Downtown.

Taking transit

Getting downtown via bus or train is convenient and economical. Plan your trip in seconds at metrotransit.org/tripplanner or call 612-373-3333 to speak with a transit representative.

Hiawatha light-rail or bus service are popular options and service will be maximized to accommodate game and event-goers. Dozens of local bus routes – including six Hi-Frequency routes – serve downtown. "Twins Express" bus route 679  from the park-and-ride ramp at County Road 73 and I-394 in Minnetonka serves Twins fans from the western suburbs.

Northstar commuter rail will serve every Twins and Vikings game this season. Find Northstar game schedules at metrotransit.org/twins or metrotransit.org/vikings. 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 $11 roundtrip at Fridley Station to $20 roundtrip at Big Lake Station.

Managing traffic

The City of Minneapolis takes a number of steps to manage traffic during concurrent 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, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, Target Center, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin County, Metro Transit, ABC Ramps, the Warehouse District Business Association, 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, 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 15, 2011