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Your guide to getting to Friday's Vikings-Raiders game at U

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 7, 2014 - 5:13 PM

Just as the Vikings will be auditioning new players during Friday night's preseason opener, the game against the Oakland Raiders will serve as a test run for fans trying to get to the team's new home for the next two seasons, TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.

The U is always a congested place and that will exacerbated by the fact that fans will have to fight Friday's notoriously bad rush hour traffic to get to their seats in time for the 7 p.m. kickoff. But Tim Busse, communications director for the U's Parking Services department says the school has a traffic management plan in place to keep cars and pedestrians moving. His advice: "Arrive early, have a plan in place and know where you are going."

Take transit

The good news is that there are plenty of options, and fans won't have to totally abandon old routines. Fans can park in the same ramps and lots that they did when games were played at the Metrodome and hop a Green Line train from the Downtown East Station in Minneapolis over to the campus. Get a 6-Hour Event Pass when you board to avoid standing in line to buy a return ticket.

Trains stop at the Stadium Village Station, right across the street from the gridiron. Bus routes 2, 3, 6 and 16 stop at or near TCF Bank Stadium. Metro Transit also will run Northstar service, departing Big Lake at 5:06 p.m. and arriving at Target Field at 5:55 p.m. From there, take a Green Line train to the U.

Taking the Blue Line into downtown and transferring to a Green Line train at the Downtown East station also is an option. Take note that trains will not pick up or drop off passengers at the 50th Street or VA Medical Center stations due to construction work.

Driving

Football fans will be descending on the U as commuters try to make their way out of downtown Minneapolis meaning gridlock is a real possibility. Expect ramp jams on I-94 at Huron Blvd. and on I-35W at the University Avenue/4th Street exits, the two main ways to get to campus from the freeways.

Both freeways usually start plugging up around 2 p.m. on Fridays, so traffic could be insane, especially in the three hours before kickoff. Even Hwy. 280 will likely see increased traffic, and expect a surge in traffic on University Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, Washington Avenue and 15th Avenue SE.

To help matters, police officers will be stationed at key intersections to help with traffic flow. Traffic lights on campus streets will be timed to favor in-bound traffic pregame and outbound traffic post game. The U also has electronic message signs to beam pertinent traffic and parking information to motorists, Busse said.

Some roads will be restricted after the game and officers will direct traffic to the freeways along a specific route.  This warning from the University Parking and Transportation Services: "Because of limited road capacity around the stadium, fans should anticipate that streets around campus will be congested for about one hour after the game. Incidents on the roadways or freeways can increase exiting time."

Here is another tip for fans from the south metro. Be like Cinderella and get off campus before midnight, or you might be taking the long way home. MnDOT will close southbound I-35W. MnDOT from Hiawatha Avenue/Hwy. 55 to 46th Street at midnight. The detour will be via westbound 94 to westbound 394 to southbound Hwy. 100 to eastbound Hwy. 62.

Parking

Parking on campus will be at a premium, so the best option might be to park at the Gortner Avenue ramp on the St. Paul campus and take a shuttle to campus. Football shuttles will run every 10 minutes starting three hours before the game. After the game, buses will run continuously until the crowd is cleared. The football shuttle to St. Paul picks up fans on the Transitway between 23rd and 25th Avenues (north of the Minnesota Lot).  Parking and bus service cost $20.

Many spots on campus will already be spoken for by those with season tickets and who have pre-ordered passes. Campus lots open to football fans about 3 to 4 hours before kickoff. Keep in mind Friday is a work day for school employees so some spaces will be occupied.  Tailgating is allowed in certain lots. Check with the parking attendant before firing up the grill.

Single game parking is based on availability, and for Friday Busse said there are still spots open. It's cash only, but Busse said fans should use the 4th Street, Oak Street and East River Road Parking Garage. As a parking facility fills, parking attendants may direct you to the nearest available location, the University said.  Here is more information on parking options and costs.

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Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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