By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A winning season for the Twins is a plus for downtown Minneapolis.

Business owners say Twins wins spark the purchasing power of fans, but an op-ed by sports team owners about their safety concerns has business owners speaking out.

“Its basically saying, ‘Hey, guys and gals, we need some help here and we’ve been saying it for years,” Tim Mahoney, co-owner of the Loon Cafe said.

Mahoney says this should be a top five year for business thanks to the Twins’ success, but it’s not because the violence in downtown is keeping people away.

“This is the economic engine that runs the state — this area in Hennepin County — and to jeopardize it in any manner whatsoever is not right,” Mahoney said.

The images of how violent downtown can be is causing many who do visit for a game to leave early. Mahoney and others believe more police is the answer.

“They are right; we do need a significant presence of police officers downtown for both minor and major events,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said. “We do need to increase the number of police officers that we have on the force right now.”

Frey says when big events come to town, Minneapolis keeps fans safe by upping the number of officers on patrol, as well as getting help from other jurisdictions — a play he hopes to repeat for the Twins’ playoff run.

“We’re going to make sure the people coming to town are safe, feel safe and have a great experience,” Frey said.

Frey says support is needed for Police Chief Medaria Arradondo’s vision for more officers and partnerships with others to prevent crime.

Business owners says something needs to be done soon. Not only are they concerned about customers safety, they are also concerned about their staff.

Reg Chapman