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2016 Minnesota State Fair - Impact on University Traffic and Parking

The Minnesota State Fair begins Thursday, August 25 and runs through Monday, September 5. During this time, traffic will increase and parking may be tight. Consider alternate commuting options (carpool, bus, bike or walk).

If you need to drive to campus, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the suggested parking alternatives in your area. BE SURE TO CARRY YOUR U CARD. You will need it to receive the lower University rate offered Monday through Friday until 9 a.m. at Lot S101 on the St. Paul campus (on weekends and Labor Day, all parkers must pay the event rate all day).

Parking & Transportation Services and the University of Minnesota Police Department thank you for your patience and cooperation during the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. Our goal is to allow faculty, students, staff and visitors open access to campus while still providing a safe environment for the University community.

If you have questions or concerns regarding parking, please contact Parking & Transportation Services.
Phone: 612-626-PARK

If you have problems or concerns about University access traffic control for the State Fair, please call 612-624-COPS (2677).

If you have any problems during the State Fair dates, please contact the Minnesota State Fair Dispatch center at 651-288-4500 or email

If you have an immediate emergency, please dial 911.


Thank you,
Ross Allanson, Director
Parking & Transportation Services

St. Paul Campus

State Fair Gates

REMINDER! If you are walking to the fair from your campus office, the only way to access the fair on foot is at the Buford and Randall Avenue entrance. The Commonwealth/Dan Patch gate will be CLOSED for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

The State Fair requires bike lane restrictions along Como Avenue. Bikes are not allowed on the transitway between Como and Commonwealth Avenue during the State Fair.

For access and general information about the Minnesota State Fair, please visit

Contract Parking

Public Parking
Several parking alternatives have been arranged for faculty, staff and students.

Lot S101 (Commonwealth and Cleveland Avenues)
In effect weekdays, Thursday, Aug. 25 - Friday, Sept. 2:
- $4.00 daily parking with a University ID before 9 a.m. Mon-Fri
- $10.00 event rate parking for everyone after 9 a.m.
- Weekends/Labor Day rate is $10.00

- Contract space will remain available at all times

Lot S104 (Buford & Randall Avenues)
In effect weekdays, weekends, & Labor Day, Thursday, August 25 - Friday, September 2:
- $10.00 event parking for public parking
NOTE: The only access into the fairgrounds is through the Buford and Randall Avenue entrance.

Gortner Avenue Ramp (Gortner and Fitch Avenues)
In effect weekdays, weekends, & Labor Day, Thursday, August 25 - Monday, Sept. 5:
- $10.00 event parking all day
- Contract space will remain available
at all times

Lot SC153 (Commonwealth Avenue)
After 4:30 pm weekdays, August 25 - September 2 and all day on weekends and Labor Day
- $10.00 event parking for the general public
- Contract space will remain available
at all times

Minneapolis Campus

Going to the Fair? Public Parking - (see map)
Beginning Thursday, August 25 at 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Tuesday, September 6 (NOT on September 1 due to Gopher football), some campus parking lots will be reserved for State Fair patrons only, including Maroon Lot, Lot 37, Ski-U-Mah Lot, Minnesota Lot and part of Victory Lot. Evening and weekend state fair parking will also be available in the 4th Street Ramp, Gateway Lot, Gold Lot and Lot C58.

Going to the U? Public Parking
Here are some daytime parking alternatives for the U community (but not September 1):

Victory Lot
$2.50 daily carpool parking before 9 a.m.
(State Fair uses the lot all day)

Oak Street Ramp (Ontario and Delaware Streets)
$6.00 off-peak parking before 7 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
$3.00 per hour between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($12 maximum)

4th Street Ramp (4th Street and 18th Avenue)
$6.00 off-peak parking before 7 a.m.
$3.00 per hour between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. ($12 maximum)
Note: after 4 p.m., weekends, & Labor Day
, all public space is for State Fair use

East River Road Garage (385 East River Road)
$6.00 off-peak parking before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
$3.00 per hour before 5 p.m. ($12 maximum)

Lot C66 Contract Parking
Hangtag reciprocal parking in Lot C66 at Como and 29th Avenues will NOT be available August 25 - September 5. Lot C-66 contract patrons will be re-located.

GO GOPHERS! On Thursday, Sept. 1, the U of M Gophers will play in TCF Bank Stadium. All University parking facilities will be in event mode for most of the day (NO free State Fair shuttle from East Bank to the St. Paul fairgrounds or parking for State Fair attendees on the East Bank campus on this day --other metro Park and Ride locations will be available for fair-goers).

Shuttle Buses

State Fair (see map)
From August 25 through September 5 (but NOT on Thursday, Sept. 1), many 45-foot motorcoaches, provided by Lorenz and other companies, will shuttle riders from various parking locations on the East Bank to the State Fair. The buses will run continuously from 8 a.m. to midnight. Find complete information on State Fair buses online.

Campus Shuttles
The Campus Connector shuttle will continue to transport riders from East and West Bank to the St. Paul, leaving the Transitway at Energy Park Drive and following Cleveland Avenue to the St. Paul campus (see map of route and stops).

As a reminder - the bus stop at the transitway and Commonwealth and the stop at Buford and Gortner are BOTH CLOSED for the fair.

The schedule is as follows:

Normal Service

Thursday, August 25 - Friday August 26
7 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes

Saturday, August 27-Sunday, August 28
no service

Monday, August 29 - Tuesday, August 30
7 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes

Expanded Service, due to Welcome Week

Wednesday, August 31
7 a.m. - 9 p.m., every 15 minutes

Thursday, September 1
7 a.m. - 1 a.m., every 15 minutes

Friday, September 2:
7 - 9 a.m., every 15 minutes
9 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 5 minutes
6 p.m.- 1 a.m., every 15 minutes

Saturday, September 3:
8 a.m. - 9 p.m., every 15 minutes
9 - 10 p.m., every 20 minutes

Sunday, September 4:
9:30 a.m. - noon, every 20 minutes
nooon - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes
6 p.m. - midnight, every 20 minutes

Labor Day Monday, September 5
9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., every 20 minutes

The University Avenue Circulator will run Wednesday, August 31 - Monday, September 5 from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. every 15 minutes.

The Stadium Superblock Circulator will runWednesday, August 31 through Friday, September 2 from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every 15 minutes. It will not run Saturday, September 3 through Monday, September 5.


"MILK RUN" Information

The MN State Fair will hold the annual "Milk Run," sponsored by the Gopher Dairy Club, on Sunday, August 28 at 7:45 a.m. Short traffic delays may occur as the race winds through the St. Paul campus. If you have any questions, please check the State Fair Website.