May 10, 2024 - Sports

Timberwolves mania takes over downtown Minneapolis

Mike Conley looks out at a sea of cheering Wolves fans

Wolves fans were rabid for the Suns sweep. They should be even more crazed for the next two games. Photo: David Berding/Getty Images

Downtown Minneapolis will be hopping this weekend as a Wolves team taking the sports world by storm returns home for two playoff games against the Denver Nuggets.

Why it matters: The team has created a buzz across the Twin Cities and that excitement should provide a shot in the arm for a downtown already seeing a solid visitor rebound.

Stunning stat: With a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, there's huge interest in tickets. The games on Friday and Sunday quickly sold out, and the cheapest tickets on the secondary market start around $225 before fees and taxes. Lower-level seats start at $400.

State of play: For those who can't afford those prices, eleven downtown bars will host official watch parties with merchandise giveaways during the games.

  • Otherwise, tonight's 8:30pm game is on ESPN and Sunday's 7pm tipoff is on TNT.

Friction point: The last Blue and Green line trains normally leave the Warehouse District Station at 11:22pm and 11:26pm respectively, but a Metro Transit spokesperson said it's tacking on one extra trip for each line after the last scheduled departure.

By the numbers: The Wolves' April 23 win over the Phoenix Suns on a Tuesday night filled 78% of hotel rooms downtown, so far the seventh-best night for occupancy in 2024, according to Meet Minneapolis.

  • Hotel bookings for this weekend's games won't be available until Wednesday.

Fun fact: Following Monday night's blowout of the Nuggets, a pair of Twin Cities tattoo artists took to social media and promised $20 Naz Reid tattoos to anyone who wanted them. There's a 200-person backlog, according to Racket.

What we're watching: If the team advances to the Western Conference finals or NBA Finals, will the city shut down streets for outdoor watch parties? Milwaukee has done something similar, though its arena has its own large plaza.

  • A city spokesperson said it "has nothing to share yet."
  • The Twins told Axios that while they've got nothing planned yet, they are open to playing Wolves games on the big screen at the Target Field Station lawn when they aren't hosting baseball games.
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