Victory & Reseda proudly supports the Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League and the Twin Cities Bears – one of 153 teams competing in the 2012 Gay Softball World Series. Welcome to the Twin Cities, softballers! All photos by Randy Stern
When you have 153 teams from across North America, totaling about several thousand participants, how do you do transport them between venues?
No fear, the organizers of the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series have it covered.
This year, the largest annual LGBT sports tournament returns to the Twin Cities. In 1996, things were both the same and different – even on a slightly smaller scale. Now, a coordinated effort to create a perfect hub between the host hotel, downtown Minneapolis and the competition venues allow for mixed use of automobiles and public transport. While some of the teams will stay in downtown Minneapolis, others will be positioned right along Metro Transit's Hiawatha light rail line on 34th Avenue in Bloomington.
Although I have an introductory piece published in Lavender magazine, I figured I would give my Victory & Reseda overview of your visit to the Twin Cities – you hot, sexy…ehem…participants of the Gay Softball World Series.
Welcome to the Twin Cities, folks!
As a public service, let me speak to those of you visiting our fair community to the Series. You probably are aware how friendly we are in Minnesota. You will also find how compact and convenient this metropolitan area is.
And, we do not have a gayborhood – we live all over the place! The bars are spread out in downtown Minneapolis, with a few in St. Paul. We operate restaurants, businesses and services in almost every corner of the metropolitan area. And, we do not believe in "dating within our area code." Heck, we can get most places within a half hour – unheard of in most major metropolitan areas.
If you happen to be on one of the teams – you probably did your homework and booked your vehicles early. Do not be alarmed if some family reunion group or other huge nuclear family has a hissy fit because they could not get the van, SUV or crossover you reserved to transport your team to the ball fields.
However, if you did not plan ahead – rental car rates can get expensive here, as they have lately. There may some alternatives to consider, if they have not been snagged already. One of the local participating teams, the Twin Cities Bears (who happen to be good friends of mine) was looking for an RV a week ago. No joke – a big Winnebago type to roll in for the Series. I wonder if they did…
There are also other transportation companies to consider, such as chartered bus services. I know they offer minibus or van-cutout buses for hire. Then again, they are used quite frequently here for everything from wedding parties to conventions and such. Whether they have been snagged up for the week remains to be seen.
And, if you think you could go by public transport to the fields themselves – think again. It is not that transit is few and far between in those parts of Eagan and Inver Grove Heights – unless you are commuting towards either downtown. There is one bus that gets you to the Lexington Diffley venue and within a mile of Northview Park – Minnesota Valley Transit Authority’s line 446. They operate hourly out of the 46th Street LRT Station during the week. It is one alternative, I suppose.
Most of the events away from the fields are in downtown Minneapolis. You can certainly get around on the light rail – except when there is a Twins game going on. Unless you are going to Out in The Stands, you are good with standing room only heading back and forth to Target Field. Any other evening, expect packed trains heading downtown before 7:00PM when the Twins are playing that evening. Do not say that I warned you…
Once you are downtown, there are plenty of ways to get around between the events and the bars. Metro Transit buses, along with taxis, pedicabs, and Nice Ride bicycles make downtown an easy chore for you to criss-cross. Walking also does wonders for the soul, either on street level or up in the Skyway system above ground. All I can say is "stay safe."
In all, I hope your stay for the 2012 Gay Softball World Series is a great one next week. I look forward to seeing you at the Crowne Plaza – the host hotel – during the first day of registration. You might not see me afterwards – unless you want to grab dinner with me. Hey, what is an out gay automotive writer to do when you sexy studs are in town…I meant, nice gentlemen…blargh!
Welcome to the Twin Cities, softballers! Enjoy your stay. Oh, and go easy on my boys, the TC Bears…they are good fellas that V&R just happen to support. Proud of my buds for making it into the Series…good luck, guys!
And, to my normal readers – I will be back to THIS soon enough!