Trump supporters already lining up in downtown Minneapolis ahead of campaign rally

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside Target Center in Minneapolis Thursday morning ahead of the president's planned campaign rally.

Supporters of President Donald Trump are already lining up in downtown Minneapolis for the president’s campaign rally Thursday night at Target Center. 

Security measures are already in place around Target Center, with barricades and fencing creating a buffer zone between the event and the thousands of protesters expected. 

Trump is scheduled to speak to about 20,000 supporters at Target Center at 7 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence, who is holding an event at Safety Signs in Lakeville earlier in the day, will join him at the rally.

This will be the president's first rally since Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry. It will also be his first public event in the Democratic stronghold of Minneapolis, where tempers are already flaring.    

Earlier this week, Trump traded jabs with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey over his calls for the Trump campaign to pay more than half-a-million dollars in security costs for the rally.

Meanwhile, the president is hoping to build support in Minnesota in order to win the state in next year's election. Trump fell about 45,000 votes short of beating Hillary Clinton statewide in 2016.

Minneapolis city officials have called a press conference for 8:30 a.m. Thursday where they will "reaffirm that Minneapolis stands united for all of our residents." 

STREET CLOSURES

If you are planning to head downtown, there are some significant street closures to watch out for around Target Center. Nice Ride bikes and electric scooters will also be removed from the area. 

Drivers should also expect delays and temporary closures as the president’s and vice president’s motorcades make their way around the metro. 

Beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday, five streets around the arena will be closed Thursday: 

  • First Avenue North from Sixth Street North to Eighth Street North.
  • Second Avenue North from Fifth Street North to 10th Street North.
  • Sixth Street North between First Avenue North and Second Avenue North.
  • Seventh Street North between Hennepin Avenue and 10th Street North; access to parking ramp will be provided.
  • Twins Way between Seventh Street North and 10th Street North.

In addition to city streets, entrances and exits for I-394 will also be impacted in the following ways:

  • Exit ramp to Sixth Street North will close 8 p.m. Wednesday.
  • HOV entrance ramp at Third Avenue North and Fifth Street North will close 8 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Access to Ramps A and B will close 9 a.m. Thursday. Ramps A and B may be accessed from local streets.

PROTESTS

The Anti-War Committee announced it will protest the president’s visit near Target Center Thursday evening, along with other groups. 

The protest is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of First Avenue. The committee said it is open to everyone. 

On their event Facebook page, nearly 20,000 people responded saying they are interested or will likely join the demonstration. 

Protesting and shouting had already started on the streets of Minneapolis Wednesday night, where a group of Trump supporters got into it with patrons of The Saloon after managers put up a giant Trump baby balloon outside their venue.