With the cold weather in Minneapolis visitors are venturing into the skyway labyrinth. But they’re not on their own.
Super Bowl volunteers are stationed at intervals all around the skyways to provide directions and, if needed, a map. One common question they’re getting has nothing to do with directions, however.
“I think bathrooms have been the biggest question,” Amber Gehring said. “And, of course, there’s limited public restrooms.”
For Gehring, giving directions has been easy. She works in Minneapolis so she’s used to the skyways. For Charles Henninge and William Johnson, it’s been more of an adjustment.
“I learned ‘wait points,’ ” Johnson said. Those “wait points” are where the next set of volunteers will be. If they know a visitor is looking for the Convention Center, but don’t know every twist and turn, the volunteers send them in the right direction. The volunteers at the next “wait point” can take it from there.
“Because of all the crooks and crinkles in the skyway system, just saying, ‘Follow this,’ doesn’t work,” Johnson said. “So the job we’ve got is to get them to the next point to help get them through the maze.”
Jonathan Johnson from Las Vegas is among the visitors who have relied on the skyways to stay out of the cold.
“It’s really amazing how connected everything is,” he said. “But it’s really hard to orient yourself and Google maps doesn’t work in here.”
So he has been relying on the Super Bowl volunteers to lead the way.
“I’m actually amazed by how accommodating everyone is,” Johnson said.
Other visitors choose to just try their luck. Alex Lee and Dave Gillespie are visiting from Cardiff, Wales. Their rule for navigating the skyways is simple.
“Just go where there’s people,” Lee said.
Jeyca Maldonado-Medina is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.