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People are coming back downtown for baseball. Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins, pending a possible rainout, are bringing 10,000 people to Target Field today, the first time a sizable crowd has been downtown for entertainment purposes in more than a year.

Big picture: That's not just important for the ballclub, it's important for the image of downtown, Minneapolis Downtown Council President Steve Cramer told Nick.

  • People have been sitting at home for a year. They saw images of downtown being looted back in August and have heard reports of crime in the center of the city.

Reality check: While violent crime is up overall in Minneapolis, it's declined in the two downtown City Council wards.

  • However, the city's homeless problem is more visible without all of the office employees and evening visitors.

What they're saying: "There's this image of a foreboding place," Cramer said. "And it's not that at all. I think people are going to feel, I hope, comfortable (being here)."

Yes, but: Downtown will be much different than people remember. Some of the popular pre-game bars, including Kieran's Irish Pub and The Depot, haven't re-opened.

  • Many businesses are boarded up in advance of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on the other side of downtown.

Of note: The Twins have worked with the city of Minneapolis to secure preferred parking for the games in ramps A and B, which will allow wary fans to park steps from Target Field.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Apr 7, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines City Council cracks down on "scooping the loop"

A gif showing downtown Des Moines near the sculpture park in 1985 and 2021. Images via Google Earth

Scooping the loop in Des Moines is a coming-of-age tradition bred out of Midwest boredom and our love for long drives.

But city officials, like they have for decades, say it's a nuisance to downtown residents that needs to change.

  • Why it matters: The weekend gathering is as classic as a corn dog, but it's at risk because of complaints about noise, loitering and high speeds.
Apr 7, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver eyes open-container "entertainment districts" to boost restaurants

Riley Dyer, right, talks with a friend at the Carboy Winery and Logan Street restaurant in Denver in 2019. Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Restaurants in Denver are beginning to buzz again after a dark and dreary year.

Driving the news: The city's Department of Excise and Licenses will give them a helping hand by finalizing rules Wednesday to allow common consumption areas, or "entertainment districts," where people can openly carry their booze.

Apr 7, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Bloomington tech campus could bring 700 high-paying jobs

This rendering shows what the Sick tech campus will look like. Image: Clow Berg Inc. via city of Bloomington

A German sensor-maker is moving forward with a $100 million technology campus in Bloomington that will eventually bring 700 new jobs to the city — with an annual average salary of $81,000.

Driving the news: The company, Sick USA, already has an operation in Bloomington, but has been working on plans for a new manufacturing and office campus just east of the Mall of America.