Vikings stadium beat: A hunger to railgate again next season

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 6, 2013 - 11:22 PM
hide

On 5th Avenue S., or the "Purple Path," designated for "railgating" on a Vikings game day in September.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Minnesota Vikings won't kick off another NFL season for a good six months, but already, Minneapolis officials are making plans for Season 2 of the great "railgating" experience.

The experiment, pitched by Mayor R.T. Rybak as an alternative to more traditional tailgating at Vikings home games, was launched in September to encourage fans to get off the couch, hop the light rail and head downtown to eat, drink and party along a three-block stretch of 5th Street leading to the Metrodome.

The goal, Rybak has said, is to "add more sizzle" to pre-game festivities around the Metrodome in anticipation of the opening of a new Vikings stadium on the site in 2016.

Nearly 1 in 5 fans attending home games travels to the stadium, located in one of the NFL's most urban settings, by light rail. That number is projected to jump to 1 in 4 by 2016.

Railgating debuted Sept. 23 -- before the team's second home game -- with 13 food trucks alongside the light-rail tracks on 5th Street.

The number jumped to 18 the next week before slipping to three on Dec. 9 and again Dec. 30 in the season finale against Green Bay.

Cold weather -- most trucks weren't winterized -- was blamed for the dropoff, yet even with the late-season slide, city officials consider the experiment a success. Roughly 30 mobile vendors had licenses to do business in the city when railgating started. By season's end, that number doubled.

Linda Roberts, district supervisor for the city's Licenses and Consumer Services Department, attributes "the interest and positive energy around railgating" for the spike.

Chuck Lutz, city development chief, said city officials will tweak the concept next season with an aim toward working more with Warehouse District restaurants to ensure they are part of the experience.

He said the city hopes to open it up to vendors for all Vikings games, preseason included.

"What it did," Lutz said, "was it gave fans more food options."

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Washington - WP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 0
Philadelphia - WP: S. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
Toronto - LP: J. Francis 7 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: M. Rzepczynski 10
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 5
Tampa Bay - LP: S. Geltz 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: T. Hunter 4
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 13
Detroit - WP: A. Sanchez 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie 4
Seattle - LP: C. Smith 6 FINAL
Houston - WP: P. Neshek 7
Pittsburgh - LP: R. Liz 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Socolovich 3
Milwaukee - WP: W. Smith 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 3
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 7 FINAL
Texas - LP: Y. Gallardo 1
LA Angels - LP: J. Weaver 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 5
Colorado - LP: K. Kendrick 6 FINAL
San Diego - WP: J. Shields 8
Arizona - LP: E. Marshall 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Howell 1
NY Yankees 8 Bottom 9th Inning
Boston 5
Washington 104 FINAL
Atlanta 98
Memphis 86 FINAL
Golden State 101
Tampa Bay 6 FINAL
Montreal 2
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Chicago 4
Calgary 0 2nd Prd :04
Anaheim 1
Chicago 0 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Seattle 3 FINAL
New York City 1
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings draft selections

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close