Anyone who has been to both Seattle and Minneapolis likely came away with this impression: they’re really not all that different. Both are clean, nice, medium-sized cities with plenty of culture and authenticity. If you live in Minneapolis, you could imagine living in Seattle — and vice-versa.

Football, however, will turn the similar cities into a battleground for competition Sunday. You’ll find an assessment of the gridiron differences between the Vikings and the Seahawks elsewhere in this section. Right here, with a lot of help from Twitter feedback, let’s take a look at the cities themselves:

Defining year for music

Minneapolis: 1984 - Prince’s Purple Rain (movie and soundtrack), The Replacements’ Let it Be and Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade were all released in 1984, setting the tone for the Twin Cities scene and sound for years to come.

Seattle: 1991:  Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten and Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger were all 1991 releases, signaling the mainstream birth of the grunge era. That’s a pretty heavy lineup.

Advantage: Seattle

Notable TV character

Minneapolis: Mary Richards, a fictional local news producer in Minneapolis played by Mary Tyler Moore on the aptly named The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the 1970s comedy.

Seattle: Frasier Crane, the spinoff character from Cheers who moved to Seattle and worked on an advice call-in show.

Advantage: Minneapolis


Minneapolis: The craft beer scene has exploded here, including mainstays like Summit and hard-chargers like Surly.

Seattle: Washington has its share of breweries, too, with Redhook being the top producer.

Advantage: Minneapolis


Minneapolis: Caribou is based in Minnesota and has never been involved, to my knowledge, in a Christmas controversy.

Seattle: Starbucks is based in Seattle and has been involved in a Christmas controversy.

Advantage: Minneapolis


Minneapolis: Walleye is one of the world’s most delicious water creatures.

Seattle: Salmon is the world’s most delicious water creature.

Advantage: Seattle

Major landmark

Minneapolis: Mall of America

Seattle: Space Needle

Advantage: Seattle


Minneapolis: The Metrodome was a lovable dump that served as a multipurpose sports arena and was a distinct home-field advantage for two Twins World Series teams.

Seattle: The Kingdome was a lovable dump that served as a multipurpose sports arena but yielded no championships for the Seahawks or Mariners.

Advantage: Minneapolis

Twin city

Minneapolis: St. Paul is a charming place that feels like a big small town.

Seattle: Tacoma is near the airport.

Advantage: Minneapolis

Climate woes

Minneapolis: You might not be able to feel your toes in the winter.

Seattle: You might not get to see the sun in the winter.

Advantage: Nobody

Villain owners

Minneapolis: Norm Green moved the North Stars to Dallas.

Seattle: Clay Bennett moved the Supersonics to Oklahoma City.

Advantage: Nobody