WINNER: Innovative Management – Medium Project
“People love the ballpark, we had a tremendous number of people taking public transportation, upward of 20 percent.”
Location of the new Target Field in downtown Minneapolis was due in large part to the existing transportation infrastructure serving the location, including Interstates 35W, 94, and 394; state owned parking facilities; public transit services, including bus, commuter rail, and light rail; and the Cedar Lake Bike Trail.
Although existing transportation infrastructure was ample, the new ballpark’s success would rest on how well these pieces worked together to serve baseball fans and maintain mobility for downtown Minneapolis commuters. Careful planning was critical to success. Public and private entities came together in an unprecedented way. Those stakeholders included the Minnesota Department of Transportation, ABC Parking Ramps, the city of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Warehouse Business District Association, Metro Transit, Hennepin County, the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, the Minnesota Twins, and the Target Center/Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx.
Planning efforts began early, and the use of new technology was integral to implementation. Effective communication was another key strategy to ensure public awareness regarding transportation options to and from the field. After nine home games, traffic management and mitigation strategies have achieved demonstrable success. Fans are using all available transportation choices. Metro Transit boasts more that 20% transit ridership mode share of the 40,000 fans at Target Field, up from 11% of the 15,000 fans that attended games at the Metrodome. Parking facilities are operating efficiently and traffic on the city streets and freeways is flowing smoothly. Between 300-500 bicyclists ride to the games.
This project is an example of cooperation and collaboration between public and private stakeholders to provide creative and innovation solutions to better serve the public. Having multiple transportation options led to the effective movement of people, improved safety, positive economic impact on the neighborhood, and accessibility for all fans. This project has enhanced community life in downtown Minneapolis.