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Is stadium a benefit to Hamline-Midway?

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Residents have mixed views on effect of 20,000 soccer fans coming into neighborhood

Midway resident Jacob McGill said, “No one ever gave the neighbors the chance to vote on whether we wanted the stadium here. I hope they’ll at least consider helping us with the street maintenance we’ll need now, due to increased traffic.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Neighbors who live within a few blocks of Allianz Field are having to adjust to new levels of traffic on MNUFC game days. On the evening of Game II, April 24, people shared the following thoughts.
A neighbor at Sherburne and Simpson (who asked to remain anonymous) said, “My wife and I have lived here for 16 years. I love watching the people go by and seeing the action around the stadium on game days, but parking is a big problem for us. We don’t have a garage, and both my wife and I are handicapped. We have to park in front of our house. If we can’t get home in time to park in our parking spaces, we don’t have a place to park.”
Tina Sweesy, who lives three blocks away from Allianz Field, said, “The stadium hasn’t presented a big deal for us. I’m just glad the Super Block is starting to feel safer. I feel like, for 18 times/year, why not have people come and visit our neighborhood?”

Her 16-year-old daughter Emily added, “I just hope the development brings some nice restaurants into the neighborhood. When I want to hang out with my friends, we always go to Grand Ave. or Highland Park. It would be great to have better alternatives here in our neighborhood.”
Rebekah Rexius and her family are also near neighbors. She said, “We’re not happy with so many people parking in our neighborhood. It feels disrespectful, as we’re the ones who pay for street and sidewalk maintenance. We wonder if the team could offer an incentive for people taking public transportation, like a few bucks off concessions for showing an LRT or bus ticket?”
Jacob McGill and his family live just west of Snelling Avenue. He said, “I go to Central Baptist Church. We’re concerned about the 12:30 p.m. games on Sundays, and how people leaving church will get out of the neighborhood. We cancelled our choir practice tonight because there was a 7 p.m. kickoff, and we didn’t want choir members to get stuck in traffic. I’m not really complaining, but I am concerned. Our taxes are skyrocketing in this neighborhood, and I don’t see the benefit to the community yet of having the stadium here. All this extra traffic sure won’t help the condition of our streets either.”
A spokesperson for the MNUFC said fans were discouraged from parking in the neighborhood, but it was clear that many were anyhow. From a paragraph near the end of the MNUFC Transportation Plan, which can be found online: “Allianz Field is located just off Interstate 94 on a Minnesota commuter pipeline that connects Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Fans from across the state will be able to hop on the interstate and drive directly to Allianz Field. However, given the amount of pedestrian, bicycle and transit traffic around the stadium on game days, it is recommended that fans do their best to avoid driving directly to Allianz Field.”

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