The weather may be cold, but Minneapolis will be a hot place to be for entertainment and sports action this weekend. With that, expect heavy traffic downtown starting with tonight's Twins-Mets game.
The boys of summer play at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Target Field. Games on Saturday are at 3:10 p.m. and Sunday at 1:10 p.m.
But they are not the only game in town. On Saturday the wizards of the hardcourt, the Harlem Globetrotters, will show off their rim-rattling dunks and tricks at 1 p.m. at the Target Center. Later at 7, the Timberwolves will square off against the Phoenix Suns (now only if the visitors could bring some of that Arizona sun and warmth with them).
The Supercross off-road motorcycle spectacular invades the Metrodome at 7 p.m. You'll want to bring the earplugs for that one.
On Sunday, Target Center hosts Christian singer Chris Tomlin. Other events include the Gaither Vocal Band Friday at the Oprheum Theatre. The same venue hosts Celtic Women on Saturday and Widespread Panic on Sunday.
It will be a busy weekend for sure. With lots of activity, here's a guide for those coming downtown.
There are several options for parking in downtown Minneapolis, including 7,000 parking spaces conveniently adjacent to Target Field in the A, B, C and Hawthorne ramps and nearly 25,000 parking spaces in ramps and lots throughout downtown.
For handicapped spaces, the Minnesota Twins recommend using Ramp A (enter off of I-394 or 9th Street) or Ramp B (enter off I-394 or 5th Street). Both ramps have direct access to Target Plaza and Target Field. Skyways also connect with Target Center.
On-street parking also is an option, but be sure to check rates, hours of enforcement and no parking restrictions.
Bus and Trains to Twins games
SouthWest Transit will provide express service to the Friday night Twins game from the Chanhassen Village Station at Hwys. 212 and 101 (5:20 p.m. pick up) and the Eden Prairie Station, Hwy. 5 and Prairie Center Drive (5:30 p.m. pick up) to Target Field (6 p.m. arrival). Fares are $2.25 to $3.
Return trips will depart Target Field 20 minutes after the last out or 20 minutes after (heaven forbid) the game is called due to bad weather. Buses will depart from the lower level of Ramp C on 4th Street. One bus will leave 20 minutes after the final out of the sixth inning for fans who want to leave early.
For fans in the western suburbs, Metro Tranist will offer express service via Route 679 from the I-394 & County Road 73 Park & Ride ramp in Minnetonka. Buses will leave every 15 minutes starting two hours before each game. Return service begins two hours after first pitch and continues until an hour after the game ends.
These bus routes also serve Target Field and Target Center:
From the north: 4, 5, 14, 19 and 22
From the east: 3, 16, 50, 61 and 94
From the west: 9 and 14
From the south: 4, 5, 6, 14 and 22.
Metro Transit will also run Northstar Commuter Trains for all three weekend games (and other games during the season) For Friday: Trains depart Big Lake at 5:06 p.m., Elk River at 5:16 p.m., Ramsey at 5:21 p.m., Anoka at 5:27 p.m., Coon Rapids at 5:31 p.m., Fridley at 5:39 p.m., arriving at Target Field at 5:55 p.m.
For Saturday: Trains depart Big Lake at 1:23 p.m., Elk River at 1:33 p.m., Ramsey at 1:38 p.m., Anoka at 1:44 p.m., Coon Rapids at 1:48 p.m., Fridley at 1:56 p.m. and arriving at Target Field at 2:12 p.m. There also is a train that leaves Big Lake at 10:23 a.m.and 5:13 p.m.
Metro Transit has added a departure scheduled to leave 1 hour after the Supercross event is over.
For Sunday: Trains depart Big Lake at 9:33 a.m. and 11:53 a.m., Elk River at 9:43 a.m. and 12:03 p.m.; Ramsey at 9:48 a.m. and 12:08 p.m.; Anoka at 9:54 a.m. and 12:14 p.m., Coon Rapids at 9:58 a.m. and 12:18 p.m., and Fridley at 10:06a.m. and 12:26 p.m., arriving at Target Field at 10:22 a.m. and 12:42 p.m. respectively.
Return trips depart 30 minutes after the final out. Fare is $3 to $6 each way. Special family fares are availble.
Northstar Link buses will allow fans from St. Cloud and Becker to connect with trains heading to Target Field. The shuttle will not run after the Supercross train arrives on Saturday night.
The Hiawatha Light Rail (also known as the Blue Line) stops on the northeast side of the stadium along 5th Street. Transit personnel will direct riders to the station due to construction of the Interchange hub that is underway.
Racks with space to accomodate up to 400 bicycles are positioned outside Target Field, with scores of racks nearby the stadium. Here is a map as to where you can find them.
Plan on allowing 10 minutes if your walk to Target Field or Target Center is 4 to 5 blocks or fewer; for longer walks give yourself up to 20 minutes. The same is true if heading over to the Metrodome.