Apr 8, 2021 - News
As Twins fans return, a sign of hope for downtown Minneapolis
Outside of Target Field
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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