"Railgating" along "The Purple Path": Mpls' solution to Vikings tailgaiting problem

Coming to the game on the train? Now you can eat yourself silly all the way from the Warehouse District to the Dome.
Coming to the game on the train? Now you can eat yourself silly all the way from the Warehouse District to the Dome.

Say what you want about the plan itself, but you have to give Mayor R.T. Rybak and the Minneapolis hospitality industry credit -- they certainly have a way with words.

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Downtown Minneapolis is too urban and cramped to accommodate the sort of tailgating that Met Stadium helped make famous, so here's the Rybak/hospitality industry solution: "Railgating" along "The Purple Path" (i.e., Fifth Street South between the Warehouse District and Metrodome).

A city press release provides some details:

Mayor Rybak unveiled the new Purple Path signage that will line each side of the blocks of Fifth Street South between the Metrodome and the Warehouse District on game days, which are designed to and will encourage traffic between the two hubs of activity.

Beginning at the next Vikings home game on Sunday, September 23, the first enhancement to the fan experience along the Purple Path will be "railgating" on the two blocks of Fifth Street South between Fifth Avenue South and Portland Avenue South, There, 16 mobile food trucks will be stationed for fans to sample from around 7:00 a.m. until around 1:00 p.m., or about an hour after kickoff of the Minnesota Vikings-San Francisco 49ers game.

So-called railgating, according to the release, is intended to give fans riding the train to the game a similar game-day experience to those who drive to a surface parking lot, break out a grill and a cooler, and have a couple thirteen fourteen before kickoff.

"People who ride the train to the game should have as much fun as people who drive a car," Rybak said, adding that he urges out-of-town Vikings fans to "come early, stay late and paint the town purple!"

But fear not, Vikings fans who want to tailgate old-fashioned style. According to the Star Tribune, officials plan to provide some additional curbside parking near the Dome for you. The hope, Rybak said, it to entice tailgaters out of the more residential Mill District and Elliot Park neighborhoods and toward the downtown core.

The Strib reports that the original railgating plan called for beer vendors along with food trucks. Unfortunately, that idea fell through, but Rybak said it may be revived down the line.

So if you want an adult drink to wash down your food truck eats before this Sunday's big game against San Francisco, bring a flask. Either that or head to Brothers Bar & Grill and hang out with R.T. According to the press release, the mayor will even buy a drink for the patron wearing the most outlandish Vikings outfit. What a homer!

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