Folks are paying $4 to $65 to park downtown Minneapolis for 2 hours

After seeing one downtown Minneapolis ramp charging $65 for a parking spot on Friday night, I took to the streets to see what other parking ramps and lots are charging.

Fast facts:

  • The cheapest ramp I found was $8, and it was underground parking, meaning your car would stay warm. The most expensive ramp I found on January 27 was charging $50.
    • A couple friends mentioned to me they parked at the University of St. Thomas ramp for $5.50. It’s located at 11th Street and Harmon Place.
  • Municipal ramps were always cheaper.
    • On my Facebook page, Erin posted that she parked in one of the ABC ramps for $10. You should hop in the skyway to walk towards the IDS Center. Those ramps would be a great choice for those who need to take 394 or 94 westbound to get home! Learn more about the ABC ramps.
  • If you’re thrifty and don’t mind walking, take the skyway! I would highly recommend taking the Second Avenue skyway, which actually starts north of Washington Avenue. Street parking near 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street was ample and $2 an hour. There’s a 2 hour max, but if you have the Minneapolis parking meters app, you can extend your stay from your phone.
  • You don’t have to park downtown Minneapolis at all. Take the light rail. Or, if you’re going January 27, 28 or February 3, take Metro Transit’s Park and Ride coming in from five suburbs. Learn more here.

If you’re frugal but want to attempt parking downtown

The Minneapolis Central Library, at 4th Street and Hennepin Avenue, had underground event parking for $8. You’ll walk two blocks south to get to the northern fringe of Super Bowl LIVE. Remember you’ll need to walk back eight blocks back to your car if you want to see Super Bowl LIVE in its entirety. It’s a brisk 10-block walk to the Minneapolis Convention Center for the Super Bowl Experience.

Where to park if you’re okay forking over $20

There are a couple really good options if you’re willing to pay $20 for a spot.

Pay $20 for a spot at 12th Street and Marquette Avenue. It’s connected to the skyway and is less than two blocks from Super Bowl LIVE and the Super Bowl Experience.

The ramp at 12th and 2nd Avenue is across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center and just two blocks from the southern entrance of Super Bowl LIVE. It’s run by the city. To get driving directions there, type 1117 Marquette Avenue South in your favorite maps app.

Within the same city block, the ramp at 1111 Marquette Avenue South is also $20. Neither ramp is underground.

Parking in this lot between 9th and 10th Streets on Marquette is $20, but traffic starts to pile up outside.

A little further up Marquette, the ramp at 9th and Marquette is also $20, but traffic on Marquette was a bit stacked. It will put you at the middle of Super Bowl LIVE (you just have to walk west a block to Nicollet Mall).

The underground ramp at Gaviidae Common is charging $20. That’ll have you at the northern end of Super Bowl LIVE.

If you’re coming from the north or west, park in the underground ramp at Gaviidae Common. You can access it on 6th Street between Nicollet Mall and Marquette. That’s also $20.

Where you don’t want to park

The ramp at Fifty South Sixth is close to the action, but you’ll pay for it.

I would draw a perimeter with Hennepin Avenue on the west, 5th Street on the north, 10th Street on the south and 3rd Street on east. Anything in that zone is going to be expensive and hard to get to anyway. Remember that 8th Street is closed and lanes are closed on 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th Streets.

The RSM Plaza ramp near 8th and Marquette was at $35.

Want to park underneath the IDS Center? It’s $50, the most expensive ramp I found on January 27.

I saw on social media the ramp at Fifty South Sixth Street charged $65 for spots on the opening night of Super Bowl LIVE. on January 27, they were offering quite a discount: a single spot was $40.

Parking along Hennepin Avenue isn’t cheap. It’s actually more expensive. Lots between 7th and 4th Streets were charging $25 to $30.

Read my guide with multiple ways to get downtown Minneapolis, whether it’s by bus, rail or car.



When locals should go to ‘super’ events downtown Minneapolis (and how to get there)

Based on previous years, around one million visitors are expected to trek to Minneapolis and Saint Paul in the days leading up to the big game on Sunday, February 4. In perspective, the Minnesota State Fair had nearly two million visitors…over the course of 12 days.

So it’s going to be busy. I get it if you’re leaving town, but that’s not fun. You’ll miss all the excitement as all eyes turn to Minneapolis. So, if you want to check out the festivities, here’s my advice.

Don’t bother driving downtown Minneapolis. If you want to park downtown on February 4, parking spots near U.S. Bank Stadium are going for $100. I visited ramps in downtown Minneapolis on January 27 — they’re already charging $8 – 65 for a spot. Get my recommendations for where to park if you are dead set on driving downtown.

I was on KSTP-TV‘s Twin Cities Live with advice on the can’t-miss events and how to get there!


Super Bowl LIVE and Super Bowl Experience

Super Bowl Live
Super Bowl LIVE is a free 10-day festival along Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Click here to view this map in full. Photo credit: Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee
  • What is it?
    • The Super Bowl Experience is inside the Minneapolis Convention Center. It’s where you’ll find the Vince Lombardi Trophy, a big NFL pro shop and plenty of family-friendly activities. Tickets are $35 for adults.
  • When should I go? 
    • Super Bowl LIVE and the Super Bowl Experience will be best for Minnesotans to check out the first weekend, January 26 – 28.
      • If you attend the first weekend, you would miss those national broadcasts.
    • I’m predicting a great night to go would be Monday, January 29. Super Bowl LIVE is planning a celebration to Minnesota music icon, Prince. And the Super Bowl Experience should be quieter since it’s a school night.
  • How do I get there?
    • If you want to go on January 27, 28 or February 3, you can take Metro Transit’s suburban Park and Ride service for only $2.50 each way. They leave from spots in Maple Grove, Blaine, Maplewood, Minnetonka and Richfield.
      • You’ll want to bring EXACT CHANGE.
      • Service starts at 9:30 a.m. from each location. Buses leave every 30 minutes. The last bus will leave downtown Minneapolis at 10:00 p.m.
      • You’ll get dropped off at the Leamington Transit Center, which is located at 11th Street and 2nd Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. It’s a two-block walk to both Super Bowl LIVE and the Super Bowl Experience.
    • If you’re interested in Super Bowl LIVE only (the free event), you can take Metro Transit’s light rail. You’ll only have to walk a block to reach the action.
      • I would recommend parking around the University of Minnesota campus. There are plenty of ramps and lots along with street parking. You can hop on either the Green or Blue line to get downtown Minneapolis. You’ll want to head westbound from campus.
      • It’s $1.75 – 2.25 one way, depending on the time of day you go. Those last 2.5 hours. You can also buy passes that buy you more time.
    • I guess you could park downtown. I don’t think you’ll enjoy it. It’s not confirmed whether lots that typically charge $5 or $6 on evenings and weekends will still do so. My favorite ramp in downtown Minneapolis in the winter (when it’s not big game busy) is at the U.S. Bancorp Building. It’s underground and they typically only charge $5 for evening and weekend parking. The ramp next door, LaSalle Court, is good, too. But again, I don’t recommend parking downtown. You’ll either get stuck in traffic or will walk a ton.

How to Navigate Downtown Minneapolis (from someone who lives there)

So I feel it’s not well-known, but just about every east-west road in downtown Minneapolis leads to a major highway or Interstate. So, figure out where you want to head and plan your route before you hop in the car so you can save your sanity!

Nearly every east-west street in downtown Minneapolis leads to an interstate or state highway. Credit: KSTP-TV
  • 3rd Street (traffic goes east to west) — direct access to Interstate 94 westbound and Interstate 394 westbound
  • 4th Street (traffic goes west to east) — direct access to Interstate 35W northbound and the University of Minnesota (both west and east banks)
  • 5th Street (east to west) — non-direct access to Highway 55 westbound (signs are posted)
  • 6th Street (west to east) — direct access to Interstate 94 eastbound
  • 7th Street (east to west) — non-direct access to Highway 55 (turn left on Olson Memorial), direct access to Interstate 94 westbound and eastbound
  • 8th Street (west to east) — direct access to Highway 55 southbound
  • 10th Street (west to east) — direct access to Interstate 35W southbound
  • 11th Street (east to west) — non-direct access to Interstate 394 westbound and Interstate 94 westbound (turn left on Hawthorne)
  • 12th Street (west to east) — direct access to Interstate 35W southbound

9th Street ends at the Greyhound Terminal.

Washington Avenue is another option, but it’s not the only one! It connects with Interstate 35W northbound and southbound, along with Interstate 394 westbound in the North Loop. If you take Washington east over 35W, it’ll wind around and lead you to the University of Minnesota campus and to Interstate 94 eastbound.