By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  The Super Bowl may be 18 days away, but road closures for events surrounding the Big Game start Wednesday night.

Beginning at 10 p.m., MnDOT will shut down northbound 35W from 26th Street in south Minneapolis to downtown. Crews will be adding a lane into the city. The highway will reopen by 5 a.m. Thursday morning, but will close again from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ramp from I-35W North to I-94 West will close at the same time.

(credit: Super Bowl Host Committee)

The most-visited attraction during the Super Bowl  will not be the game itself, but Super Bowl Live on the Nicollet Mall. It’s free and runs for ten days before the Big Game, but a widely-circulated map of the event is creating confusion.

A major clarification for those who live and work downtown, and the expected one million visitors: the event on Nicollet Mall will be accessible from across downtown, not just from the entrances listed on the map.

Laurel Village a large downtown apartment complex sent out an erroneous alert to its residents warning “Access during the ten days of events will only be granted through these four main checkpoints.”

Not true says the Vice President of the Host Committee Andrea Mokros.

“Nicollet Mall will be open to the public, so you can access it from any skyway, from any building, from any street,” vice president of the host committee Andrea Mokros said. “The entry points that are denoted on the map are just kind of the starting points.”

The map also makes it look like 12th Street to 6th Street that cross Nicollet Mall will also be closed – that is also not true.

“Only 8th Street is closed, and that’s because our concert stage will actually be constructed on 8th Street and Nicollet,” Mokros said. “Our crowd viewing area for those concerts will be right at the center of 8th and Nicollet.”

The only other full-day Nicollet Mall street closing will happen the day before the Super Bowl.

“It’s 11th Street, Saturday only, right in front of WCCO studios — and that is for Levi Lavallee’s snowmobile jump over Nicollet Mall,” Mokros said.

(credit: City of Minneapolis)

The two main streets right by the Convention Center, Second Avenue and Grant Street, will also be closed Thursday through Feb. 8, so that another major attraction — the “Super Bowl Experience” event — can be installed and later dismantled.

For the latest information on Super Bowl related closures in Minneapolis, click here.

Esme Murphy