So your team made it to the Women’s Final Four? Congrats!
Now how do you get there?
Here we’ll try and find some of the best last-minute hotel deals in Minneapolis this weekend, as well as a few things to do while the games aren’t happening in the area.
Where to stay last minute cheap
There are for sure some deals to get to the Twin Cities this weekend available, which makes since it’s expected to be cloudy with high temperatures around 50 degrees. It’s not exactly Spring Break weather, but if you’re just going for the basketball it’s a great spot. And all the deals below are from Friday, April 1 to Monday, April 4th.
There’s a 4-star hotel near the Mall of America (about 20 minutes south of the Target Center) for just $81 per night available on Priceline. It’s one of their Express Deals so you won’t know what property it is until you book, but if it’s a 4-star, how bad can it be?
Another great Priceline deal is the Millennium Minneapolis, which is just $110 per night and under a mile walk to the Target Center. These both seem like winners.
But what if, like your trusty author, you want some Marriott Bonvoy or World of Hyatt points? There’s a few good options there as well, including this Moxy Minneapolis Uptown that’s just $129 per evening. It’s 2.3 miles from the arena, and will get you three Bonvoy nights as well as those sweet rewards points which are the gold standard of hacky sportswriters across America.
World of Hyatt has some options as well, but they’re either $223 a night or more close to the arena, or are out by the I-494 perimeter that surrounds the area. This is probably a Marriott spot.
How to get there last minute cheap
This is always a great spot to burn frequent flyer miles if you have them. As an example, a round trip flight for a Stanford fan from San Francisco to Minneapolis would run about $518 at minimum. But getting some value from Delta Skymiles at 47,000 used would be good, or even better if you can leave on March 30th for just 38,000 miles. You always want to get at least a penny per mile used with most flight programs, and this would fit that bill.
For South Carolina, UConn, and Stanford fans, the flights are running about $500 or more for some last-minute travel here. That’s not terrible considering the timing, but good luck finding a way there for Louisville fans under $800. Those folks might consider making the drive to Cincinnati’s airport (which is actually in Northern Kentucky) and finding something on Delta for about $578 round trip.
How to get tickets
If you’re a donor, alumni, or student of one of the four schools playing, make sure to check with your school first. Each school receives an allotment and can divvy them up however they choose. And for this event it’s possible you’ll be able to slide in at face value and sit with your fellow fans.
If that’s not an option, Women’s Final Four tickets are one of the better values in sports. The get-in price is about $140 for all three games at StubHub right now, and lower bowl seats are running about $400 behind the baskets.
Having attended this event twice previously, we’d suggest waiting until as close to tip-off as possible. Prices for this event do tend to drop as it gets closer, so if you’re ok with the costs above realize that’s about the most you’ll pay to attend. Anything you save from here is a bonus.
Things to do in Minneapolis
We called our friend Douglas Farmer, Notre Dame writer for NBC Sports and a Minneapolis resident, for some of the best things to do around town. Here’s his suggestions:
Plenty of people will tout the Juicy Lucy (Matt’s or 5-8 Club), but here’s the dirty little secret: If burgers were better with cheese on the inside, it would be more common.
Best dives near Target Center: MacKenzie Pub. Tell them I sent ya, or if wanting to relive a touch of your college days, Cuzzy’s.
Breweries: There are four breweries within a mile walk total in Northeast Minneapolis, and are a great way to spend an afternoon. Bauhaus - 612 - Able - Indeed. If Animales Barbeque Co. is cooking at either Bauhaus or Able, don’t think twice.
Hit the parks and lakes: The Twin Cities annually finish 1-2 in best parks rankings in the country. The lakes are a big part of it.
Walk around Lake of the Isles and/or Bde Maka Ska Park, right next to each other, to enjoy that and see the skyline without having to get too far from the city.