Category Archives: Parade Stadium

Parade Parkway Reconstruction Open House


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will seek public comment on a refined reconstruction plan and schedule for Parade Parkway and adjacent parking lots at an open house March 13. The open house will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kenwood Community Center, 2101 W Franklin Ave.

Parade Parkway is a short segment of street from Dunwoody Boulevard to Kenwood Parkway. Both the parkway and adjacent parking lots that serve the Parade Ice Garden are in need of reconstruction. The project is included in the MPRB 2011 Capital budget.

A public open house to review plan options for the project was held August 22. While there were varying comments received, the community consensus was to shift the street roughly 60 feet to the east allowing parking for the Ice Garden to be consolidated and made safer. Based on that input, the Park Board added parking lot reconstruction funding in its 2012 budget to allow the consensus option to be built. It is this option that will be presented at the March 13 open house for further comment.

To receive updates on this project, visit the MPRB website, and click on the red envelope.

Park Board Approves Contract for Parade Park Music Festival

The following item by Nick Halter was published in a recent issue of the Southwest Journal:


First Avenue will hold an outdoor music festival at Parade Park on the weekend of July 21-22.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on Dec. 7 approved a five-year contract with the music venue so that it can hold a two-day festival.

Under the proposed contract, the Park Board will get $2 from every ticket sold in 2012 plus 15 percent of gross beverage and food sales. First Avenue will progressively have to pay more to the Park Board for admissions each year, and by 2016 the Park Board will get $3.25 per head.

Dayna Frank, First Avenue’s executive vice president, said in late November that the club hasn’t decided if the festival will be Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday.

Parade Park is just west of downtown, north of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and south of the Dunwoody College of Technology.

First Avenue Eyeing Parade Park for Music Festival

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the October 17, 2011 issue of the Southwest Journal:


First Avenue nightclub is planning a large music festival on the Parade Park grounds next summer.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board gave First Avenue preliminary approval at its Oct. 5 meeting, but the nightclub and the Park Board still need to work out a contract.

First Avenue submitted to the Park Board a framework for what the festival would look like. Organizers say they would plan to get one major touring act and two major local acts to perform, as well as numerous smaller local artists who would get the opportunity to play in front of big crowds.

The festival would likely last two days with acts playing from the afternoon until 9:30 p.m., First Avenue General Manager Nathan Kranz told the Park Board. First Avenue would also bring in local restaurants to be food and beer vendors.

“We look forward to showing off Parade Park as a true gem in the best location in Minneapolis,” organizers wrote in their proposal.

The Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association has already penned a letter of support for the concert.

Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb, who represents the area around Parade Park, said the festival is an exciting proposal, but she expects that once more neighbors find out about it, they’ll want to give more input to make sure the concert operates smoothly.

Park Board staff plans to have a contract drafted in time for the board to vote on it at its Nov. 16 meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Don Siggelkow said this would be the first time a music festival was hosted on Park Board property.

“We think it will be a great event that will produce significant income for the Park Board,” he said.

First Avenue identified seven potential weekends for the concert, with possibilities in June, July, August and September.

Parade Road Vote


The following item is a letter from 4th Park District Commissioner Anita Tabb written and circulated after the surprising events of the August 3, 2011 Park Board meeting. I would echo her comments and urge anyone writing to Commissioners Fine, Olson and Young (who do not live anywhere near Parade Stadium) to also direct their comments to Board President John Erwin [email protected] and Supt. Jayne Miller [email protected] with a copy to Commissioner Tabb.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch


From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Parade Road Vote
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 10:28:24 -0500

To all those interested in the Parade Road Reconstruction Project:

While I was excited to see that the Parade Road reconstruction project was approved as a capital project on this year’s Park Board agenda, I am dismayed and disgusted to report that a community meeting will include the option to move the road through the existing parking lot between the baseball field and the soccer/football field (where the gates are generally closed at the north end) – an alignment that conjures memories of a large and secretive project fought off by the neighborhood several years ago. (See attached conceptual design). This ill-conceived “choice” will further delay the project and eliminate any possibility of road reconstruction this fall. This alternative has been off the table for many years now because it just doesn’t make sense – for the neighborhood or for the Park Board. I have several fundamental concerns about it including:

1. This alternative negatively affects many of our neighbors who reside in the condominiums on Kenwood Parkway (301 and 311 Kenwood Parkway) as well as our neighbors, The Blake School and the Walker Museum.

2. A realignment of the road will take additional time to design while the current design is complete.

3. Parade Road cannot be eliminated because there is no entrance into the ice arena parking lot from Kenwood Parkway, nor is there another entrance into the lot that services the soccer/football field. Since there is no plan to eliminate use of either facility, the road to those parking lots, which include some of the poorest condition roadway of the entire stretch, will need to be repaved causing a duplicate north/south route in the area –- government inefficiency at its finest.

4. New curb cuts, requiring approval by the city, may need to be a part of the discussion and will add significant time to the project –- a project which should have been completed years ago.

5. This alternative alignment will provide an easy way through the neighborhood for non-residents to avoid portions of Hennepin and may increase traffic dramatically between the Walker Museum and the Sculpture Garden, a highly pedestrian area currently.

6. The alternative is a straightaway which provides an opportunity for non-residents to move at high speeds through the area between the baseball field and the soccer/football field and introduce safety issues for the area. (And I would be remiss if I did not mention that our own teens would be delighted for an opportunity to speed in any location.)


This situation has come about as a direct result of votes by the following three commissioners:

Bob Fine [email protected]

Jon Olson [email protected]

Annie Young
[email protected]

I would encourage you to let all of your friends and neighbors know about this situation. Please feel free to forward this email. And it is imperative that you make your voice heard NOW! Take a few minutes to let these commissioners know that you would like to keep Parade Road where it is and have it paved promptly. Your message can be as long or as short as you wish –- but send an email!

You may also speak at the August 17 meeting during “Open Time”, a time-certain opportunity to make your views known to the Park Board in person. Open Time is always at 5:30 pm and speakers are allowed up to 3 minutes to present their views. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of many emails and a large turnout during “open time”. I have seen votes change often when public pressure is applied and the August 17th meeting is when the Park Board will be voting on this item.

Finally, feel free to contact me, via email or by phone (home or cell – not the Park Board number), if you would like further clarification on this issue. I have been working on this issue for a long time and would be glad to discuss it with you.

Anita Tabb

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
District IV Commissioner
612-230-6443 (Park Board) extension 4
612-377-6926 (home)




5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. Committee meetings to follow. The meetings will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers need to sign up before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.

This meeting is the last meeting that David Fisher will be attending as Superintendent. His four month stint as interim superintendent ends on October 31. We are grateful that he accepted the invitation to come to Minneapolis to fill this position.

This meeting is a meeting with many significant agenda items. The most important item on the agenda is the vote to approve the employment agreement with Jayne Miller, who–at the last meeting–was selected by a unanimous vote to be the new MPRB Superintendent.

Some highlights of the meetings that will be voted on :

The I-35 Bridge Memorial.
The concession agreement with Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet.
The reconvening of the CAC for the Wirth Beach Project III.
The non-appointed CACs for two playgrounds at Lake Harriet.

There will be a presentation of the Superintendent’s 2011 Recommended Budget. This is a report item and will not be voted on at this time.

The following is the link to the complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting of Wednesday, October 20:

MPRB meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at

The regular meetings are rebroadcast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at

The Park Board’s website is

Arlene Fried, Co-founder of Park Watch

Comments on Parade Study Session at the MPRB Committee of the Whole

From the Downtown Journal

A ton of dreams
By Michael Metzger
September 19th, 2007

If you want some fun, read the report on the big doings at the Parade Stadium by Judd Rietkerk, Director of Planning and Project Management for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Here’s the very opening of the report, under the heading “Facts and Fiction”:
“As staff listens to the air waves, blogs, My Face, issues list, e-mails and rumor mills, there are some recurring themes related to the Parade project that need to be addressed.”

Don’t you love the way the in-tune Rietkerk mixes up My Space and Facebook, creating “My Face”?

He then outlines the first of these themes troubling folks around town: “There is a secret plan to implement The Parade project without the Board’s approval and neighborhood review.

Calmly, Rietkerk proceeds to reassure those worried about the existence of a clandestine plan:

“There is no secret plan! There is no secret plan!”

Apparently, there’s no secret plan regarding the Parade Stadium. There is, however, a public plan to ram major changes at the stadium down the public’s gullet without any input from the taxpayers footing the enormous bills. There’s a difference here, and Reitkerk is correct to point it out.

His report continues by addressing another issue worrisome to members of the public: “There should have been a CAC process.”

A “CAC” is a Citizens Advisory Committee; residents giving politicians their input.

“The Board has many examples of park renovations that did not include a CAC process.
Prime examples are the Twins’ field rehabilitation projects that have renovated fields all over
the system. Pearl, Stewart, Van Cleve, Shingle Creek, Harrison and King Field are examples
of field renovations that did not have a CAC process. The Timberwolves’ basket ball courts
at East Phillips, North Commons, Riverside Park are more examples. The $400,000
Kenwood Tennis Court reconstruction did not have a CAC.”

Excellent point again from Rietkerk. Here’s some news, folks: The public isn’t going to be informed of every little thing the Park Board does. Superintendent Jon Gurban already told Lowry Hill how his changes to the stadium are going to affect their neighborhood. Did he stutter when explaining how his dream is going to unfold? No. He also didn’t stutter when he made it clear that you can expect more of the same on future projects when he said, “I got a ton of dreams.”

Drop ’em on us whenever you’re ready, sir.


You can read more of the Rietkerk report here. So far, no parades are planned to honor the release of the missive.


Submitted by Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch

On Sunday, September 16, 2007, the Minneapolis Park Board will be closing its parkways and roadways to all motorized traffic for its Minneapolis Bike Tour. The Bike Tour is a Park Board sponsored event, but proceeds from the Bike Tour will not go to the Park Board. Instead, proceeds will go to the Foundation for Minneapolis Parks, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. And, in reviewing the brochure distributed by the Park Board and the Foundation which is promoting Superintendent Gurban’s pet project–the Parade Revival–Park Watch discovered the following statement:

“The Foundation for Minneapolis Parks has embraced the vision of the new Parade facility and is facilitating the fund-raising effort.”

So it would appear that the Park Board is sponsoring an event to raise funds for a charitable organization that is supporting the $50,000,000 Parade sports complex for which Superintendent Gurban has already spent at least $140,000 in taxpayers’ monies for initial planning costs.

So how can this be? How can a government body use its tax dollars to raise money for a charitable organization? No wonder we continue to be perplexed by Superintendent Gurban’s non-conforming management style.

Puzzled by the Parade Stadium

This article is from the August 20, 2007 issue of the Downtown Journal

By Mary O’Regan
Park Board commissioners, neighbors of project have questions about future plans for the site

Several Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) commissioners are just as confused as residents about the status of Parade Stadium, an artificial turf field west of the Sculpture Garden.

They have several questions about the project: What is the long-term plan for the area? Who gets to have a say in the matter? How much will it cost?

“Generally, the process is, it goes to the planning committee, and there’s an actual formal presentation by staff, and that hasn’t happened yet,” said Commissioner Tracy Nordstrom whose district includes the stadium. “We haven’t actually had a full discussion with the full board about Parade Stadium as a priority ever.”

According to Judd Rietkerk, director of planning for the MPRB, staff is merely trying to repair the area after Cirque de Soleil left two years ago, which wouldn’t warrant a big discussion. But it’s potential future projects that have commissioners worried.

The superintendent’s dream

Several months ago, Park Board Superintendent Jon Gurban presented commissioners with his ideas for a master plan at Parade. The drawing included a large sports training facility, a multi-story events center, grandstand seating and a giant parking lot.

“All we have is those kind of colorful drawings and some hand-scratched out design stuff that just kind of tabulate stuff,” Reitkerk said. “There is no real in-depth as far as construction documents or measuring or anything like that. It’s all basically kind of allocations, concepts.”

In 2005, Cirque de Soleil had begun some demolition of the land, which would help to prepare it for artificial turf, but after they left, it was up to the MPRB to finish the job.

Work began this spring on a major makeover for the field, including $1 million worth of new turf and lights, according to Park Board documents.

The construction violated city zoning code and, on April 25, city officials issued a stop work order on the project, but construction continued anyway.

Next, the MPRB plans to install a $29,211 irrigation system to nurture the natural grass, which commissioners OK’d at a recent meeting. Other, more expensive plans are going ahead without board approval.

Historically, the board is required to approve new capital projects over $100,000, which doesn’t include maintenance projects. The problem is that the MPRB ordinances don’t have a clear definition between capital projects and maintenance projects. As far as Parade is concerned, staff considers the current construction maintenance. But at what point does maintenance turn into a new capital project?

At an Aug. 1 study session, commissioners were informed that a brick entry plaza and road will be built on the east side of the field to replace the current winding road on the west end. The additions will cost $308,000 and help set a framework for future development.

“We didn’t ask them to approve the road,” Rietkerk said, deeming it maintenance work. “We just assumed that the road would be an integral part of the whole project.”

Public involvement

According to a MPRB staff report, funding for Parade is coming from three sources: a $200,000 National Football League grant; $50,000 from Cirque de Soleil; and $1,709,000 of MPRB capital improvement money from 2005 and 2006.

The entire budget totals $1,959,000 and so far, they’ve used $1,620,173, including the new road, plaza and public works charges. Last January, the board approved $568,500 worth of additions to the field should funding become available, including grandstands, stadium seating and a $48,000 scoreboard.

Similar to requirements for Park Board approval, capital projects over $100,000 should be brought before a non-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). Some commissioners and residents are upset that this hasn’t happened.

“I believe that there should have been a CAC,” Commissioner-at-large Annie Young said in a recent interview. People should have been told about the money that we received for the project, she explains, what our immediate plans for artificial turf and lighting were and that “in the meantime we have some dreams.”

Gurban insists that, CAC or no CAC, the project been transparent since the beginning.

“This isn’t a case that anyone is trying to hide or circumvent approvals or anything,” he said. “In fact you could argue just the opposite, that we’ve been very public with our dream.”

Last December, Gurban presented his ideas to residents of Lowry Hill at their neighborhood board meeting. Anita Tabb, who lives on Groveland Terrace, attended the meeting and agrees that he did make an effort to inform residents. “Our perspective isn’t that they haven’t made presentations,” she said. “It’s that they haven’t asked for citizens’ approval.”

On July 26, a group of nearby residents, including Tabb, petitioned the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board to complete an Environmental Assessment Worksheet to determine the potential impacts on the surroundings. According to Gurban, a consultant is responding to the request.

Keeping commissioners informed

Some commissioners might ultimately support Gurban’s plan for Parade Stadium, but first they want to see more details and be included in the process.

“Show me what the dream is and let me give you directions,” said Young. “What is the matter with sharing your ideas?”

At the end of the brief Aug. 1 study session, the commissioners agreed to hold a longer, more extensive session about the project before their Aug. 15 board meeting. On Aug. 9, Gurban sent out a memo letting commissioners know that the study session wasn’t going to happen, because he hadn’t received any written questions in advance.

“He was not explicit [about] sending the questions,” Young said.

“I’m as miffed as anybody in the whole thing,” Nordstrom said. “The perception is that there’s something very sneaky and underhanded going on. And that’s the last thing I want the public to think because it’s an important parcel.”

The future of the stadium remains uncertain. “We’re in discussions now with OK, what do we do next?” says Gurban, citing an additional playing field or a new scoreboard as possibilities. Parade Stadium is one of many projects on his plate, he says, adding, “I got a ton of dreams.”


By Bill Kell

On July 26, a group of concerned neighbors petitioned the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB), a state government agency, that an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) be conducted to review the Parade Park Project’s impact. The EQB has referred the petition to the MPRB for action.

Petition organizers are creating what they are calling the Parade Park Network, concerned residents who want to stay informed about developments and, when appropriate, come together to act.
(People who want to be included can write [email protected] with their name, address, phone, and email.) For questions, Anita Tabb, 612-277-6926, is the primary contact.