Even though it doesn't feel like baseball weather, it's batter up as the Minnesota Twins open the 2013 season with a 3:10 p.m. game against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.
A few hours later, the Timberwolves have a game at Target Center against the Boston Celtics. And with the normal work day traffic, things will be busy around the stadium and arena.
Here is a primer on getting to the game, whether by car, bus, bike, moped or on foot. Best advice is to come early as many ramps and lots will be full with downtown workers who use them during the day. Information on parking will be displayed on dynamic message signs in the area. Traffic control agents will be stationed at many intersections to direct traffic.
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.
On-street parking also is an option, but be sure to check rates, hours of enforcement and no parking restrictions, such as those on 1st Avenue where there is no parking from 4 to 6 p.m.
SouthWest Transit will provide express service to the game from the Chanhassen Village Station at Hwys. 212 and 101 (1:20 p.m. pick up) and the Eden Prairie Station, Hwy. 5 and Prairie Center Drive (1:30 p.m. pick up) to Target Field (2 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 at 1 p.m. Return service begins two hours after first pitch and continues until an hour after the game ends.
These bus routes also serve Target Field:
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 Monday's (and other games during the season) 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. 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 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 is 4 to 5 blocks or fewer; for longer walks give yourself up to 20 minutes.