As planning for the new Minnesota United stadium continues, St. Paul officials are already raising concerns about how fans will get to the new Midway-area facility.
One big plus for the St. Paul location of the stadium: it’s centrally located and well served by freeway, light-rail and bus access. But the density of the Midway area is a negative: for a full crowd, there will likely not be enough parking in the area to accommodate everyone.
But that’s an assessment based on some outmoded thinking when it comes to the soccer fans most likely to show up for an MLS match at a new Minnesota United stadium. To wit: the marketing will aim for millennials who are predisposed to taking the Green Line to the game, parking closer to each Twin Cities downtown for some pre- and post-game libations. And, of course, there’s a sea of parking relatively close to the stadium: the Minnesota State Fair is an oasis of asphalt and perfect for pregame tailgating and stadium access via shuttle.
Still, residents are worried that fans will park in the surrounding neighborhood and walk to the game. From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
“Neighborhood parking is already being used by people using the Green Line,” Midway resident and stadium opponent Yvonne Schneider said at the Tuesday night forum. “If I were driving, I’d be going to take a free neighborhood parking spot over paying for parking.”
“My concern is that trying to cross Snelling and University at anytime of day is dangerous,” she added.
But Midway resident Margaret Schuster, a stadium supporter, said she sees sports fans by the dozens on her light rail commute heading west into Minneapolis.
“We already have the infrastructure to be able to handle the crowds,” she said. “We need this development, and we’re primed in this neighborhood to have it.”
Of course, this is a problem most neighborhoods would like to have: traffic. It’s a problem that can be easily addressed by the team.
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