TCF Bank Stadium promises to be a busy place this weekend as both the Gophers and Vikings play games on the University of Minnesota campus.
University officials tell fans that roads leading to campus often start getting busy a couple hours before game time and at congestion can be expected 60 to 90 minutes after the final gun. The U has plans in place to get fans on and off campus as efficiently as possible, but officials recommend taking transit to the games, The Gophers play Kent State at 11 a.m. Saturday and the Vikings host the Detroit Lions at noon Sunday.
Fans who attended one of the team's two home pre-season games probably have their parking and transit routines down. For those making their first visit to the U, here are some parking tips from the Vikings. Plan ahead as roads around the U will be most crowded about 2 hours prior to kickoff and 90 minutes following the game.
For those who drive, single day-of-game parking is available at Oak Street and 4th Street ramps and the East River Road Garage. Many people opt to use the lots at the State Fairgrounds and take a free shuttle to game. Here is on-campus parking information.
A number of Metro Transit bus routes connect to the Green Line. Blue Line riders can transfer to the Green Line at the Downtown East Station. Green Line trains stop right across the street from the stadium at Stadium Village. However, disembarking or boarding at the East Bank Station and walking a couple blocks to and from the stadium can help you avoid the throngs near TCF Bank Stadium.
Northstar trains will operate for Sunday's game. Here is the schedule.
Which ever stop you use, buy a 6-hour event pass to avoid standing in line at the vending machine after the game.
The early kickoff means fans wanting to use the Northstar line will miss part of the first quarter. The Saturday departure from Big Lake arrives at Target Field at 11:12 a.m. From there, fans need to transfer to a Green Line train to complete the trip to the stadium. Return trips leave Target Field at 4 and 7 p.m.
Parking on campus might be a tad easier as the Gophers usually don't draw a big of crowds as the Vikings. But, it will still be crowded and fans will need to allow extra time to get on campus and to their seats on time.
Here are some of the recommended parking options from U staff:
University Avenue Ramp, Church Street Garage, Oak Street Ramp, East River Road Garage, Washington Avenue Ramp or the State Fairgrounds. A free shuttle runs from the fairgrounds to the stadium.
Cheaper parking options include the 19th Avenue Ramp or 21st Avenue Ramp. Meters will cost $4 an hour until 3 p.m.
Transit is always a good option. See the tips above or click here to get to the Metro Transit page.