Aug 29 2009
When the Minnesota Lynx offered us tickets to see a game, my first thought was, “yes!” But then my peanut-allergy-mom side kicked in, and I thought about the safety of going to a basketball game with a child who is allergic to peanuts. I recalled our trip to the Twins game, where our area in the nosebleed seats was free of peanuts, but as we exited the building, my husband carried my son because there were peanut shells everywhere. After that experience, I’ve been conscious of how careful we need to be in venues like this.
So before I accepted the offer of free tickets to the game, I called the Lynx office to see if peanuts are sold at the games. Yes, they sell peanuts, I was told, but for Timberwolves games they have a peanut-free section, and for Lynx games they can usually find a safe area.
I said yes to the tickets, but asked that some care be taken that we were in a peanut-safe area. The Lynx came through for us in a big way, placing us in a suite that had been specially cleaned and labeled “peanut-free zone.”
A suite? “Sweet!” said my six-year-old, fully intending the pun. And so it was that we got to live the suite life at a Minnesota Lynx game.
We arrived at Target Center just as the doors opened, and each of us received a free poster as we entered the arena. We made our way up the escalators and showed our tickets to be allowed access to the suite level, then found our home for the evening.
Our suite had a sofa, four chairs, a bar with a sink, and a rest room inside (perfect for our state of potty-training!), and outside the sliding glass door there were twelve stadium seats for us to sit in as we watched the game. The suite was stocked with plates, flatware, napkins, cups, and ice, as well as a coffee table, so my next stop was the concession stand. We got some stadium food (and I was relived to see they weren’t selling peanuts at the suite concession area) and munched while we watched the warm-ups.
We had arrived an hour early, but there was plenty to keep us entertained pre-game. A dance line and various antics by the team announcer and mascot were interwoven with the players’ warm-ups. Before we knew it, it was time for the national anthem and the beginning of the game.
I had forgotten how entertaining a game can be. The last time I went to a professional basketball game was the first year the Timberwolves played in the Target Center, in the early 90′s. It was fun to watch all of the things going on during the time-outs and other breaks–the dunk team, the dance contest where a guy from Minneota, Minnesota, rocked it out, the seat upgrades, and all the other shenanigans kept us entertained when there was a break in the game action. All of it was family-friendly and fun for both parents and kids.
Then, of course, there was the game itself. It was a fun game to watch, with the Lynx winning 100-95 and breaking two WNBA records–most points in the first half, and most three-pointers in a no-overtime game. The crowd cheering, the music and clapping, watching the shots go in–all of these were exciting and kept the kids involved in the game.
By the end of the night, my five-year-old was tuckered out and promptly went to sleep on the sofa, but the other three were still watching the game, excited to see of the Lynx would make it to 100. And they did! The night was a success all-around.
If You Go
While I’m sure not every peanut-safe request is met with a suite, I would be comfortable returning to Target Center after calling ahead to make arrangements for a peanut-free area. I was impressed with their awareness of this concern.
Most regular tickets for the games were $10 or $15, but on many nights they have a meal deal that includes a $10 ticket, a hot dog, chips, pop, and yogurt for $13. That’s not a bad price for a game and some food.
After doing some checking on the Lynx website, I found that a suite like ours runs $350 per game. This includes 22 tickets and two parking passes, bringing the price per ticket to just over $15 if you use all the seats. For a group of friends or large family outing, this could be a fun way to see a game, and it was less expensive than I expected.
Arriving to the game early was fun since there was a lot going on from the minute the doors opened until the game started.
Of course, few things are ever perfect, and there’s always something that can be improved. While we had a great time once we were at Target Center, navigating our way to and from the arena was a bit of a trick. We parked in the recommended B ramp. We had trouble finding signs in the skyway pointing us to the Target Center, so we ended up taking a long and frustrating route to find the arena. Likewise, when we went out of the arena, the signage to the B ramp wasn’t great. Even more difficult was finding our way onto 394; because of construction, the usual 394 exit from the ramp was closed. Some additional signage in the skyways, and in the construction detours, would be helpful for people who don’t visit the Target Center often or aren’t familiar with navigating downtown Minneapolis.
The Bottom Line
I had forgotten how much fun a pro basketball game is. A visit to the Lynx game is family-friendly fun at an affordable price.
Reader Special: $8 Seats
Would you like to see a Lynx game for just $8? The WNBA and Ticketmaster have teamed up to offer $8 tickets to a Lynx game. To learn more go to http://www.ticketmaster.com/Minnesota-Lynx-tickets/artist/805970 and enter code: WNBABLOG.
Disclosure: We received free tickets for the game and some gift bags from the Lynx organization. My assessment of the experience is honest and based on my personal experience.