It's batter up Thursday for the St. Paul Saints who open the 2015 regular season at their new home, CHS Field in downtown St. Paul's Lowertown district.
With the switch from the old Midway Stadium to the spiffy 7,200-seat ballpark on E. 5th Street and Broadway, there will be new commuting routines for fans, both for those who drive or take public transportation.
The closest Green Line stop is two blocks away at Union Depot. Metro Transit local routes 21, 54, 63 and 70 and Express route 94 serve CHS Field. Metro Transit will offer free rides for fans to all 2015 home games.
MVTA Routes 480, 484 and 489 also serve the Union Depot Transit Station.
Those who drive will find parking a plenty as there are more than 3,000 spaces within a 3-block radius of CHS Field and more than 26,000 in downtown St. Paul. Options around the stadium include on-street meters, ramps and surface lots. Most of those are south of the stadium on Kellogg Blvd.
Downtown St. Paul has many short blocks, so even parking closer to the center of the city will lead to a quick walk, said John Sage-Martinson, director of Economic Development for St. Paul
And good news for those who want to come early grill before the first pitch: A 500-space tailgate lot in the DART Lot off Prince and Lafayette Streets.
Drivers on eastbound I-94 can easily get to CHS Field by taking the 7th Street exit while those on westbound 94 can use 6th Street. With a majority of fans likely to use those entrance points Sage-Martinson said fans should have alternate routes in mind.
Fans on eastbound 94 can consider using the 5th or 10th Street exits. Both provide a straight shot through downtown to CHS Field. Fans on westbound 94 might consider exiting at Mounds Blvd. and using the 3rd Street bridge. Shepard Road and Warner Road also are viable options to bypass traffic that will be heaviest near the stadium. Fans coming down on I-35E can consider the Wacouta Street.
Bicycling also is a good option, weather permitting, with several trails running near the ballpark.
"It should not be much of a problem for people to get in and out of Lowertown this summer," Sage-Martinson said.