Commuters and Vikings fans had pre-season taste of what traffic can be like in downtown Minneapolis when there is a weekday football game. On Monday, it's the real drill as Adrian Peterson and the New Orleans Saints come to U.S. Bank Stadium for a 6:10 p.m. game, the Vikings' home opener.
The real crunch will come mid-afternoon when 4th Street from Park Avenue to I-35W closes at 3 p.m. With that direct route out of downtown shut down, expect extra vehicles and buses on Washington Avenue. A few other streets around U.S. Bank Stadium, Chicago Avenue between 4th and 6th streets and Norm McGrew Place between 3rd and 4th streets will close down at noon.
Metro Transit will run one Northstar Train for the home opener. It will leave Big Lake at 4:23 p.m. and arrive at Target Field at 5:15 p.m. From there, fans can take a light-rail (Blue or Green Line) to U.S. Bank Stadium. Round trip tickets can be purchased ahead of time online. Family tickets good for two adults and three children as well as individual tickets are available.
Both Blue and Green Line trains stop directly across from the stadium. The best bet is to buy an All Day Pass, which allows fans to skip the vending machine post-game and linger downtown well after the game as the pass is good until 2 a.m. Tuesday.
With many fans coming early to tailgate and take in pre-game festivities inside and outside the stadium, parking will be a challenge. Many lots will be filled with downtown workers until late afternoon. Ramps A, B and C near Target Field may be a good option as they have the most spaces, and afford for an easy exit onto I-394 following the game. From there, fans can walk to the game or hop on a light-rail train for 50 cents.