Tips on getting to the venue, and what can be done to make the place better.

3 things to love at the Armory

Size: The venue’s 8,000-person capacity is its greatest asset, perfectly situated between theaters and arenas and likely to attract more concert tours to Minneapolis. Beyond the numbers, it just feels like a good size for concerts, grander than a theater show but without any nosebleed seats.

Layout: Sightlines are good throughout the large and long general-admission floor, with plentiful in/out access to the bars and restrooms. The two-floor balcony sections (situated along each side of the building’s long walls) also offer great vantage points, though not great enough to merit the VIP ticket prices.

Historic vibe: There’s no mistaking the 1930s facade and art-deco flourishes in and around the building, with display cases and murals adding nicely to the nostalgia value.

 

3 things to improve at the Armory

Entry: Even by 2018 standards with heightened security needs, getting into the shows has sometimes been a long and confusing process. Patrons should allow extra time until things (hopefully) smooth out.

Bookings: Things are definitely picking up, but the star value of the acts so far is relatively lackluster. Slayer and Jack White are the only sold-out shows currently on the venue’s calendar alongside a lot of acts often relegated to suburban venues such as Myth. Look at the 2018 schedule at Colorado’s similarly sized Red Rocks Amphitheater for comparable tours the Armory can and should attract.

Public relations: We’ve heard many complaints — and had some ourselves — about the lack of information on the venue and unresponsiveness of the staff in its first few months, from simple ticket-pricing questions to accessibility and age issues. Some of those questions are answered here.

Armory FAQs

Where is it? 500 S. 5th St., between Portland and 5th avenues, downtown Minneapolis, abutting the Commons park.

Where to park? Nearby ramps include Centre Village (501 4th Av. S.) and Government Center (415 S. 5th St.). Cheaper but farther ramp options include Downtown Auto Park, Gateway and Leamington. The Armory will soon sell VIP parking beneath the venue.

Transit options? Metro Transit’s Green and Blue Lines both stop two blocks away at either the Government Plaza or U.S. Bank Stadium stations. The Hiawatha Bike Trail also extends to the football stadium, about four blocks away.

How to buy tickets? Ticketmaster.com. The venue also has a box office for in-person sales, open noon-5 p.m. Fri., Sat. and Mon., 612-315-3965.

Chris Riemenschneider