Traffic delays inevitable with dual Twins, Vikings home gamesby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — More than 100,000 fans of Brett Favre, Joe Mauer, and singing witches will converge on downtown Minneapolis Thursday night and could snarl traffic for miles.
The evening marks the first time the Vikings and the Twins will play home games on the same night. The cast of the musical Wicked will also be in town for an evening performance at the Orpheum Theatre.
City officials issued a statement asking event-goers to plan ahead for their trek into the downtown area.
Among the transportation options:
Parking: City officials are discouraging football and baseball fans from intruding on each other's turf. "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," the statement said. The venues are separated by 11 blocks.
The city will also use over 50 "dynamic messaging signs" to point fans in the right direction.
Light-rail: Officials expect that Hiawatha Light-Rail trains will fill up quickly. Metro Transit will provide buses to supplement rail service before and after the games. Before the games, buses will pick up passengers at the 28th Avenue and Fort Snelling stations and stop at the Metrodome and Target Field.
After the games, separate sets of buses will depart from both venues and deliver sports fans back to the two stations.
Commuter rail: An eight-car Northstar train will leave Big Lake station at 5:03 p.m. and will make stops in Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley. The train will arrive at Target Field Station at about 6:10 p.m. Vikings fans can take a free ride on the Hiawatha Light-Rail line to the nearby Metrodome.
A Northstar train will leave Target Field 30 minutes after the Twins game. Another train will leave one hour after the Vikings game.
Metro Transit bus: Route 679 buses will transport Twins fans from the west metro to Target Field. The buses will depart from the surface parking lots on the northwest corner of County Road 73 and I-394 starting two hours before the Twins game. Buses will provide return service for one hour after the game ends. The buses will not stop at the Metrodome.
Bicycles: Event-goers could bypass parking and transit fees by bicycling to their destination. Hundreds of bicycle racks are located throughout the downtown area. Nice Ride Minnesota, the city's new bicycle rental program, also has stations near Target Field, the Metrodome, and the Orpheum Theatre.
Walking: Although it didn't make the city's list, the oldest mode of transportation is still an option.