Metro Transit thrown for PR loss in Vikings stadium opener

Metro Transit had a big chance to show off with last night’s opening of the Minnesota Vikings stadium in Minneapolis via a soccer match.

It blew it.

One person tweeted after the game that it took an hour to get from the stadium stop to the West Bank Station. That’s one stop.

[edited to correct] While some fans waiting tweeted that Metro Transit was running two-car trains, Metro Transit said only two of 24 trains were two-car trains.

Metro Transit had tweeted before the game that the trains going to the event were packed.

Some good may come from the SNAFU. It gives transit proponents ammunition against politicians who argue there isn’t enough ridership to support additional state investment in transit.

Driving a car to games remains an option, of course. Parking lots in the area around the new stadium were charging $40.

Adam Duininck, the head of the Met Council, which runs Metro Transit, apologized for problem while noting that the system had the same problem when TCF Bank first opened.

“We’ll improve it ASAP,” he tweeted.

Pro-tip: Walk to the previous station (Government Plaza, in this case) to get on an eastbound train after a game.

Related: Photos: Inside the stadium (MPR News)

  • Kassie

    Tip for real pros: Take the bus.

  • Gary F

    Just think when winter comes and you are standing out there and its freezing with a belly and bladder full of beer.

    • Like you’d care. :*)

      • Gary F

        Already had that problem at the Whiskey Junction station years ago. All the cars were full going to the game had to run back in and lost my spot in line, then all the cars were filled. Most of the people at the Whiskey junction station couldn’t get on a train until after the game started.

    • Thanks Stadium Pal!

      • Gary F

        I’ve thought of that. And I still have some fat pants from my pre-weight loss days that I could wear a depends under. They do have men’s depends and it’s OK to wear them because a football player advertises for them.

        • J F Hanson

          or just do a catheter.

  • Gary F

    Just think when the soccer stadium comes and you could have driven the minivan full of kids to game but instead chose light rail.

    • That Target parking lot at Hamline is one of the best kept secrets. I suspect that’ll be a disaster once the stadium is built.

      • Deb

        Shhhhhhhhhh.

  • >>Pro-tip: Walk to the previous station (Government Plaza, in this case) to get on an eastbound train after a game.<<

    As an aside – The "Pro Tip" for leaving Target Field used to be "get on the LRT at the previous stop going west, then stay on and ride that same train east." They caught on to that and force everyone off at Target Field…

    • Carlton Schaps

      That’s going to be fun… Not only will there be traffic but there will be rioting soccer fans.

  • Jeff

    No, no, no – don’t walk up the street, there’s the 8 million dollar pedestrian bridge, people have to use it. They should put up a barrier.

  • MrE85

    As Gary notes, this is nothing new. I can also attest that the NorthStar gets packed on big game days, too. I recommend leaving early for the games, then leaving the games early.

    • “Leaving the games early.”

      Ugh.

      Why not just come to the game at halftime?

      • MrE85

        It’s America’s pastime. We can screw it up anyway we want to. 😉

      • One cheer I hear at almost every sporting event i attend as people start streaming out early, “BEAT THE TRAFFIC!”

      • jon

        Pro-tip it’s cheaper to show up at halftime, and then leave before buying a ticket to get in. Plus you beat the traffic both ways!

  • Jay T. Berken

    “Pro-tip: Walk to the previous station (Government Plaza, in this case) to get on an eastbound train after a game.”

    Did it and worked like a charm. We got onto the first train that arrived and got a good standing spot next to the window and waited for the crowd to pour in from the next stop.

    • Deb

      Same experience! Walked one stop down and the ride was perfect and moved at expected rate. We were in the first wave of people leaving the stadium however. We should be talking about the lines in front of the mens’ rooms!

      • Jay T. Berken

        First, the men’s signs are small and hidden on a side hallway. Second, once you find the bathroom through the maze, it is like another labyrinth to get in and out of it. There are angled walls to find more urinals. I think the architect tried to get cute with the design…it’s a bathroom, make it functional.

  • Mike Worcester

    I had Twins season tickets when the Hiawatha Line first opened and there were definite growing pains. In less than a month there were few issues other than people trying to run across the tracks to go the other direction rather than use the crosswalks.

    We’ve taken Northstar to Twins games from Big Lake and it’s amazing. Comfy ride and drops you off right there.

  • John O.

    Since last night’s event was the English variant of “football,” shouldn’t the headline read “Metro Transit shown yellow card in Vikings stadium opener”?

  • jeff c

    I hope Metro Transit figures this out before the Super Bowl in 2018. I can imagine the ridicule that the Twin Cities will suffer if we have tens of thousands of attendees standing for over an hour in below zero weather waiting for a train….

  • Carlton Schaps

    $40 for parking?! That’s double what they got away with for the Dome. I’m all for supporting transit but I think Minneapolis should consider cracking down on price gouging or people are going to be charged more for parking than they are for tickets.

    • theBean

      They do cap it… So Minneapolis doesn’t feel that $40 is gouging

  • theBean

    Looks pretty normal to me. Not sure why this is news all of a sudden. But hey if it forces them to improve the system for the upcoming Vikings game then I’ll grab my pitchfork too

  • KenB

    I just shake my head when I see stories like this. In front of my TV, the view is better; the replays are clear; the concessions are cheaper; the bathrooms are closer, clean, and uncrowded; I don’t have to drive, pay for parking, or take public transit; and the company is better … if I even watch a game.

  • Russ D

    The main reason I see this as a Metro Transit fail is they new there were 61000 people at the bank, they posted how full the trains were but they did not have trains for people to get on. Twenty minutes between trains for the blue line was beyond poor management. What I want to know is why such poor management and planning is tolerated. People should loose their job over this, our tax dollars go to pay for this and they always have lame excuses. Make changes in leadership or mass transit will fail in this state.

  • Sven

    Ha Ha… ball chasing.