Busy weekend for Minneapolis: Wolves, Lion King, and Twins

Between playoff basketball and spring baseball, concerts, and Broadway shows, downtown Minneapolis is set to be busy this weekend.

The Timberwolves will host the Phoenix Suns in game one of the first round of the playoffs on Saturday afternoon, while the Twins host Detroit at Target Field all weekend. In addition, on Friday, Broadway’s hit show The Lion King opens at the Orpheum Theater and country music star Kane Brown takes over the Target Center.

"We love having as many people as possible come for the whole downtown experience," said President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council Adam Duininck. 

Minneapolis has had a tough and slow recovery following the pandemic, with a recent University of Toronto study showing downtown Minneapolis has had one of the worst post-pandemic recoveries in the nation.

"It's great to have the events, but I’d still like to see people come back and work," said the manager of Gluek’s Restaurant and Bar Dave Holcomb.

Holcomb said they cut lunch service long ago as a result of a drop in business.

"We’re an event-driven business," said Holcomb. "The sports fans are showing up. They’re great. I think it’s the lack of people working downtown that’s starving downtown right now."

But Duininck says big events are a great way to get people comfortable coming downtown again, as the Downtown Council continues to encourage companies to bring their employees back to the office.

"It both creates energy and activity," said Duininck. "It gets people talking about all the things that are happening."

He says this weekend is only the beginning of what will be a busy summer.