31 March 2022
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Four teams. Thirty-thousand people. One big event.
Final Four weekend is here.
The Twin Cities hasn’t hosted an event of this caliber since before the pandemic, but downtown Minneapolis is about to have a major comeback weekend.
“It’s our first big event since the start of the pandemic,” said Kevin Kurtt, Meet Minneapolis communications manager. “It’s the first chance to see downtown really recover and see it really active.”
Downtown is preparing. The skyway is going to expand its hours this weekend. Restaurants like Barrio are doing the same. The restaurant is going to stay open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, and they’ll open on Sundays, something they haven’t done in a while.
The Minneapolis Police Department says you will notice more officers if you come downtown this weekend, mostly outside of the venues like the Target Center, and there will be some road closures near the venues to keep pedestrians safe.
“We’ll be sold out,” said Dan DeDecker, general manager of the Royal Sonesta Downtown Minneapolis.
The Royal Sonesta is home to the Louisville team this weekend. All 360 rooms are booked for five days straight.
“It’s been the busiest we’ve been since 2019, and it’s really been phenomenal to see the activity downtown,” DeDecker said.
“There’s more energy downtown right now, there’s a vibe on the street that I haven’t seen really since the Super Bowl is here, and it’s really fantastic,” said Gary Woessner, a downtown resident with a connection to one of the teams.
“I’m an alumni of the University of Connecticut,” Woessner said. “I don’t have my tickets yet, but I’m hoping to score some tickets.”
Tickets or not, there will be plenty to soak in this weekend on the streets of downtown Minneapolis. For more information on free events, click here.