Downtown Minneapolis prideful, Swiftly pivots to attract outsiders

A touchdown weekend started at U.S. Bank Stadium and spread throughout downtown Minneapolis. More than 500,000 people visited downtown over three days and this one big weekend could help shape the city’s future.

The city is ready to sleep now, but this was a weekend where you don’t want to shake it off, a weekend the city imagined in its wildest dreams.

And leaders are hoping maybe it means they actually are getting back together with people who forgot downtown could look this good.

"It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," a Taylor Swift fan told FOX 9 before heading into the concert Friday.

Almost 150,000 Swifties made the most of their opportunities, visiting U.S. Bank Stadium to see the pop superstar.

Their good vibes prompted a Taylor Swift tweet complimenting their generosity.

And businesses in downtown Minneapolis also appreciated their presence.

"I think it was a real both catharsis, but also joyful," said Steve Cramer, president, and CEO of the Downtown Minneapolis Council.

Rainbow flags swirled in the wind and dads gave out hugs and love as pride spilled out of Loring Park all weekend, only about 1 ½ miles from the stadium.

Mayor Jacob Frey joined the Pride Parade down Hennepin Avenue Sunday as yet another huge crowd gathered downtown.

Downtown Minneapolis Council CEO Steve Cramer calls it the biggest weekend since before 2020.

"We have a history of being able to do these big events well," Cramer said. "We just haven’t had one for a while. so the fact that this weekend went so well I think just augurs really well for the rest of this summer."

Cramer says downtown is hosting 1800 events between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

For this weekend, hotel room prices spiked and occupancy rates got up to around 90%.

TSA said 10,000 people flew out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport today.

And suburbanites had easy access to downtown on Southwest Transit.

Their Concert Series buses hit the road again for Beyonce next month and Cramer thinks this weekend should convince people it’s worth the trip to visit downtown.

"I think there’s a reality about restoring confidence and giving people a sense that ‘Yeah it’s ok to again enjoy all that downtown has to offer’," Cramer said.

Downtown gets to prove itself again next weekend with the Taste of MN.

But there’s one change by then: the city is giving up the name Swifteapolis.