The Minnesota Vikings asked the city of Minneapolis for a three-block stretch of Chicago Avenue in front of the team’s new stadium to be renamed Vikings Way for reasons obvious to football fans: the Chicago Bears.
Changing the Minneapolis street name between 3rd and 6th streets makes sense to Purple Pride fans, who otherwise would enter U.S. Bank Stadium from a street bearing the name of a division rival.
The city will likely take official action on the request next month, said Steve Kotke, director of Minneapolis Public Works. Costs for the change will be minimal, he said. City officials say the request has received support from affected landowners. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority owns nearly all of the land in the three-block stretch.
Several months before Target Field opened in 2010, the City Council approved renaming a stretch of 3rd Avenue North near the ballpark “Twins Way.”
Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said the new street name would “honor and celebrate Vikings history in this part of downtown.”
During the Metrodome era, the proposed Vikings Way stretch was named Kirby Puckett Place, in honor of the Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Twins outfielder. The dome was shared by the Twins and the Vikings.
Recently, a one-block street on the stadium’s south side between 6th and 7th streets, which was called Rod Carew Drive in the dome years, was commemoratively renamed Bud Grant Way in honor of the most successful coach in Vikings history.
The city anticipates releasing a public hearing notice on the proposed name change on March 18. It is tentatively scheduled for the Planning Commission on April 11 and the full City Council on May 13.
Anderson said, “Our hope is that it will probably be late spring, early summer for a formal announcement or formal change.”