Rand: Green Line passes sports fan's test

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 17, 2014 - 7:13 AM
hide

Looking to skirt parking and traffic hassles? The University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium rests conveniently behind the Stadium Village stop along the newly opened Green Line light rail transit station in Minneapolis.

Photo: Michael Rand, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The true benefits of the new Metro Green Line, the light rail connecting downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, will develop over time thanks to the patterns of dedicated users — not based on one weekend of use from curiosity seekers.

That said, having given it a spin on Sunday (along with my wife and 11-week-old daughter for the full experience), I’m confident in predicting a few things about the Green Line as it pertains to sports:

• First and foremost, it’s fantastic that almost every major stadium in the metro area is or will be accessible from the train. Target Field (Twins), Target Center (Wolves and Lynx) and the Dome (RIP)/new Vikings site were already served by the existing Blue Line, but now folks coming from the East can reach those destinations as well.

Almost every Gophers facility, including Mariucci Arena, Williams Arena and TCF Bank Stadium, can be accessed by multiple stops on the new line. Keep riding from Minneapolis all the way to downtown St. Paul, and you can get to a Wild game at Xcel Energy Center (the Central Station stop seemed to be the closest to the X; it’s a 10-minute walk, which in winter is not perfect but is hardly impossible.) Next year, the new Saints ballpark in downtown St. Paul will be well within reach, too.

This is a wonderful feeling if you dislike traffic, parking and other gameday hassles. These facilities are also served by bus routes, but there is a certain big-city feel and camaraderie when it comes to riding a train to a game, not to mention the reliable regularity of the schedule.

• The biggest game-changer (pun intended?) is being able to get to the U of M campus on the Green Line. The logistics of vehicle traffic and parking on campus are hit-or-miss, and the critical mass only figures to swell with the Vikings playing there for two years. There is a stop that is basically front-door service at TCF Bank Stadium. It took me 35 minutes to get to it, and I started at the 38th Street Station on the Blue Line. This is something I can easily picture doing again, with a family.

• The inevitable temptation will be to attempt some great rail-based doubleheaders — for example, Twins/Gophers football (perhaps Sept. 6 or 20, depending on Gophers home game times) — on those days when one team plays in the afternoon and another plays at night. Just note that it does take time to get places. Our Green Line train left the Downtown East station at 11:12 a.m. Sunday and reached the end of the line in St. Paul 52 minutes later.

Plan accordingly, and don’t be afraid to hop off at a couple places to break up the ride along the way. If Green Line bar crawls weren’t the reason for this massive project, they at least figure to be a glorious bonus for thirsty sports fans.

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
UCF 57 FINAL
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
SMU 60 FINAL
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the hockey season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close