MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — About 160,000 people are exiting the Twin Cities Wednesday on the heels of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. And the preliminary consensus is it was a success.
Target Field housed more people the past few days than it ever has before. Around 50,000 people watched baseball’s best, and their families, roll down the Red Carpet in Tuesday’s parade.
Minneapolis Police say they had no major security problems, despite the fact bars were open until 4 a.m. on Wednesday.
Lou Hurwitz of Baltimore was one of the many fans to make the trip.
“I’m on a life-long quest to see all of the current major league parks, and this is my 21st,” Hurwitz said.
The Orioles die-hard says he’s now a fan of Minneapolis.
“It’s a really nice city,” he said. “People are very friendly. I mean, talk to people just very easily.”
Hurwitz also complimented the stadium. Kevin Smith with the Twins says he’s gotten quite a few, too.
“From everyone we’ve spoken to, from the Major League level down to the folks who sat in the highest seat in Target Field, it was a tremendous success,” Smith said.
He credits most of the compliments to the joint planning between the city, the league and police.
“How great of a place that we live that we can come together as a community and put on one of the biggest shows in sports and pull it off well,” he said.
It’s a point the city’s tourism center, Meet Minneapolis, agrees with, according to Amanda DePhillips. She says their biggest success was the service where visitors could tweet questions about restaurants and how to get around. The hashtag “#askMPLS” was used by 2,500 people.
It’s something DePhillips says they will try to grow from going into the Super Bowl.
“Whether that’s in a restaurant or it’s at a hotel, we want to get them connected so that they’re not just happening across something,” DePhillips said.
When asked if he would consider a second trip, Lou Hurwitz was clear.
“A city like this and ballpark like this? Yes,” Hurwitz said.
Kevin Smith says parking is something they will look at if they have another event. They will try even more so to get people to use buses and trains.
He says his advice to the Vikings is try to get the word out to fans early on about how to navigate the area.
It’s estimated about 75 percent of ASG attendees were from the upper Midwest. The Super Bowl is expected to draw a wider geographic range of visitors.