Minneapolis Super Bowl Game – February 2018

  • Post last modified:September 29, 2019

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Minneapolis Super Bowl Game

Minneapolis Super Bowl Game
US Bank Stadium prepared for the Big Game

Minneapolis Super Bowl Game – Continuing my blog about experiences doing Rideshare driving during the Super Bowl

This is Part 3 of rideshare driving for the Minneapolis Super Bowl Game. Here is a link to Part 1 and another link to Part 2.

Leading up to the game

Three more days prior to the Minneapolis Super Bowl Game, the day itself and then Monday and likely Tuesday and all these out of towners will be headed for the airport. May get some business then as well.
When the game is over and the people have left, reminds me of Bob Dylan lyrics from “Desolation Row”.

“And the only sound that’s left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row”

Maybe not a close fit but kind of like after it’s all over, those on the Super Bowl committee and the thousands of workers just need to clean everything and take down all the temporary structures that were erected for game events.

Thursday and Friday prior to the Minneapolis Super Bowl Game

Thursday

There isn’t much to post about today. Had a Minneapolis Super Bowl Game related ride from downtown to Mystic Lake Casino. 27 miles. Then got one back to south Minneapolis from there.  Quit just after midnight. Either everybody was where they wanted to be and went home/hotel later or earlier.

Overall, Super Bowl ridesharing is not like anticipated. Wednesday and Thursday not even as good as a typical Saturday. Too many drivers. I’m still staying at my plan, but not optimistic about it being a windfall. I wasn’t counting on anything, so the experience has been good.

Friday

Disappointed. I’d get a ride and it would pull me into an area with no surge or boost and then have to drive back empty to action areas. I did meet a lot of nice people. Lot of them here for work on the Minneapolis Super Bowl Game related projects and not going to the game. Many flying home before the game. Might as well see it at home as watch on TV here.

Looking back on busy times during Minneapolis Super Bowl Game

Aftermath

Ok, Minneapolis Super Bowl Game over. Got behind on posting as I got busy and put in a few long days, then needed to catch up on sleep. Thursday was busy but not as much as expected. Friday was less busy than a typical Friday. Saturday was “insane”. Surging all over. Made nearly twice as much as I have done in any day before this one.

Thinking back – Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, got a ping from the Uber drop-off area to pick up passengers at the Rock Bottom, about 6 blocks away. The “pin” (pick up location) said Residence Inn. Wasn’t there but Rock Bottom, block and a half away. Took 55 minutes total to go the 6 blocks due to the traffic and the wrong pin location. I asked if they could walk to me but the husband had a bad leg and couldn’t do that. Then they went to the Mall of America (as if they could avoid walking there!). Typical Eagle fans! (As you know, the Eagle beat the Vikings two weeks before in the NFC Championship game. If that wasn’t bad enough, some Eagles fans threw beer on Viking fans, threatened them, and just generally created a “scary” environment.) 

Downtown Minneapolis Saturday PM

Downtown later in the day. Picked up 4 Eagles fans going from the south-east side of downtown to Sheraton at Ridgedale which is about 6 miles west of downtown. Sat in traffic without moving thru 3 light changes. Decided to look for a better route but everything blocked with traffic or barricades for Super Bowl. Finally decided to go down 35W to Highway 62 and the up MN 169. Instead of a 10-mile ride turned into about a 20-mile ride but got there faster. Made $55 on that one. The picked up two gentlemen from the same hotel going to River Center in St. Paul. That was a $57 ride.

Saturday Evening into Sunday Morning (and Monday AM)

Typical rides for the rest of the day. Dropped off last ride at 3:30 AM. Couldn’t sleep immediately and finally got to bed around 5:30 and slept until 1:30 PM on Super Bowl Sunday. (Didn’t like the outcome). Now I’m wide awake. Decided to go to Mystic Lake to catch a potential surge when the Gwen Stephani concert ended around 2 AM.

And the Monday Airport Runs begin!

No surge so took an airport run from Shakopee with 2 Eagles fans. When I got to the airport Mystic Lake was surging like crazy! Just ended up doing a lot of airport runs taking Super Bowl visitors there to fly home. That continued into Tuesday when I finished my Minneapolis Super Bowl Game experience. As I picked up Eagles fans, reminded me of the Elton John song “Philadelphia Freedom” as in the Eagles were freed from years of not winning a championship (since 1960).

Everyone is rushing and not just because of expensive stays

On Monday, got a ping to the airport Terminal 1 pick up area. Guy left a medical device in his room and wanted me to take him there and then back to the airport in time to catch his flight. He was staying at a 1 star (or more likely a .5 star) motel. Bad place but it’s all he could get and he paid $500 for it for two nights. He said if he got back to the airport by 5 AM, he’d make his flight. Told him to find the manager and get into his room for his stuff while I changed the destination and turned the car around. By the time I had that done, he was back in the car and we were off! Got him there at 4:50 and he gave me a $20 tip PLUS gave me $5 more tip in the app!

The Dark Side

Later that morning, pinged to “run-down” motel in Eagan. Two men (likely in their early 30’s/late 20’s) with a woman likely between 19 and 22 came out of two rooms. None of them had luggage. Went into motel office, Two men came out and got in the car. The woman stayed in the office at least until I left. She had bare legs very tall heels and very short skirt. With that and the conversation in the car, believe it was a prostitution operation. (On the trip to downtown St. Paul, one of the men said “What time did “your girl” leave?”). One of the men discovered en route that his passport was missing. Surprised they didn’t ask me to go back, so maybe that meant something as well. 

Reporting to authorities

Later reported it to the National Human Trafficking hotline and the Eagan police. Thought it was important to report. The motel may be used for prostitution as I had found there was also a drug-related arrest at the same motel within the last 6 months. That is the “dark side” of major events. According to information reported by Lyft, the Super Bowl is one of the largest Human Trafficking events in the US. Apparently, large sporting events bring out a high level of the dark side of humanity.

And the day continues

Worked until 1 PM on Monday. Then went back out about 4 AM on Tuesday as I hadn’t met my goal. Took about 5 rides (3 to the airport) and a pickup from the airport in the first three hours. In total did about 10-12 airport drops and 4 airport pickups.  As I left downtown on an airport pickup, reminded me of Bob Dylan lyrics from Desolation Row.  “… and the only sound that’s left after the ambulances go is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row”.  Ambulances being the hordes of people leaving (in a hurry, it was cold), Cinderella being the cleanup people left to clean up the displays and debris left by the crowd.  Desolation because of the deserted feeling on an early Monday morning.

Wrap up

Overall, an interesting experience for the Super Bowl. Got to meet fans of both teams, both before and after the game. During the early part of the week, took a lot of people who worked for Super Bowl advertisers and companies that did business with the NFL. A Super Bowl is really an epic event for the host city. Maybe more so for “us” than for southern cities that host more often. (Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Los Angeles)
..but, I’m glad we won’t have a Super Bowl here next year!

Speaking of 2019, here is a link to the next Super Bowl site.

Final thoughts

Looking over the last year plus, had some interesting experiences doing rideshare. As of August I’ve quit the work. Mostly Uber, and to some extent, Lyft seem to be cutting driver pay to find out what is the lowest amount of money that drivers will accept to keep driving. Since drivers are contractors, acquiring new drivers is very inexpensive and there seems to be an endless supply. Glad I did it and glad I quit when I did.

The Driveby Tourist

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