The Vikings will announce Friday that they’re giving fans a new option for getting to the next two home games at U.S. Bank Stadium: a dedicated skyway route from downtown Minneapolis.
The route’s main goal is to help alleviate postgame congestion around the stadium for fans in cars. With more than 66,000 fans often leaving the home games at the same time, managing traffic close to the stadium will be a permanent concern.
The dedicated skyway will give fans a specific route to the stadium, and that portion of the skyway will have extended hours.
The Vikings have already played two preseason games and one regular-season game in the new $1.1 billion stadium. The team has sold out the building for the entire season, and if it maintains the strong performance that’s led to a 3-0 start, fans will want to hang around until the end of games, meaning everyone will leave at once.
The first regular-season game in the new building, a Sunday night match with the Green Bay Packers, was a legitimate test of fan flow because most people in the capacity crowd stayed until the end of the game. No major problems were reported, but traffic was sticky.
An easy 10-minute walk in the skyway from downtown would help fans avoid much of the traffic scrum, save money and get their 10,000 steps in.
Parking in lots and ramps near the stadium costs in the neighborhood of $50. But near the downtown core, parking for less than $10 is easy to find on nights and weekends.
After the game, fans who use the skyway option presumably will have easier access to some downtown exits.
The Vikings say they will give the dedicated skyway a test run for the game against the New York Giants on Monday night and again for the home game at noon Oct. 9 against the Houston Texans.
Team spokesman Jeff Anderson said the plan will be tested for the next two games to see if fans warm to it and to determine how much security is needed.
The Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Greater Minneapolis Building Owners and Managers Association helped the team work out a route.
The route will remain open until midnight for the Monday night game and will open at 9 a.m. for the game the following Sunday.