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Timberwolves playoff run may help revive foot traffic in downtown Minneapolis

Timberwolves hosting the first round of playoffs
Timberwolves hosting the first round of playoffs 01:47

MINNEAPOLIS — Excitement is brewing in downtown Minneapolis as the Timberwolves kick off their playoff run against the Phoenix Suns this weekend, with tipoff scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Target Center.

For those who couldn't get tickets, all is not lost. There are a number of spots in the Twin Cities that will have fans feeling like they're at the real deal, including Falling Knife Brewing Co.

"We created a bar that we wanted to hang out at and part of that was being a Timberwolves bar," founder Dan Herman said, though the dream had a rocky start. "We opened in October of 2019, so it wasn't great for the first couple years for us to be able to build this community."

But through dedicated watch parties and a partnership with a Timberwolves podcaster, they can now bask in the chance to host a huge playoff watch party complete with three projectors and several TVs.

"For playoff games, we actually bring out a big giant TV trailer that we throw out on the patio," Herman said. "It's actually my birthday weekend, so we're getting crazy for the Wolves, for the playoffs. Hopefully we get a win for my birthday."

Tom's Watch Bar, located just a block away from Target Center, is trying to create an arena-like atmosphere, with DJs playing music and prize giveaways launched into the crowd. It was a hub for college basketball fans visiting for the men's and women's Big Ten Tournaments. Now having the Wolves keep their season going deep into the spring keeps that downtown momentum going.

"It's good for business, it's good for Minneapolis business," Amanda Neitzke said. "I think it's great for people to see downtown thriving again."

The atmosphere is slated to be "electric," and the Wolves are ready for the fans to pack target center.

"When you've got community and people coming together for one exciting thing, it definitely raises energy level — camaraderie, spirit — not only in the building during the moments that we play, but out in the community," said Mike Grahl with the Timberwolves.

Outside of the Timberwolves' first playoff match, the Twins host the Tigers at 1:10 p.m. Saturday at Target Field, adding to a busy stretch for Minneapolis's North Loop neighborhood.

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