A New-Look Target Center: Renovation Plan in Place

A New-Look Target Center: Renovation Plan in Place

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Fans interested in finding out more about the City of Minneapolis' renovation proposal should visit www.targetcenterrenovation.org for more information.

On Tuesday afternoon, a significant press conference took place inside the Target Center with a plan for a newly renovated home for over 200 events per year and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx professional basketball teams. The location of the announcement was in the exact place for the proposed project -- a new-look Target Center.

As the media gathered in the main lobby, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback and City Council President Barbara Johnson joined Wolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor, General Manager of Target Center Steve Mattson, and downtown Minneapolis business representatives announced a proposed renovation that will be delivered to the State Legislature.

"The city does own the Target Center, so that really does need to be our first concern," Johnson explained. "This building must be preserved and enhanced to extend its life and make it more competitive. This will reduce the reliance of the building on Minneapolis tax payers."

The 21-year old building demands an overhaul to effectively house some of the top events in the country along with generating revenue for the state of Minnesota. While new facilities have been built across the country and directly across the street from Target Center, the proposal involves a figure substantially less than the cost of Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium, or at least $480 million for a brand new entertainment center. At $155 million, the renovated project would offer Minnesotans a "sensible solution" to drastically improve the exterior and interior design of Target Center.

"The goal of our opportunity here is to do something that is important to do, which is to have Minnesota values as we look forward to what we do with major facilities, Ryback stated. "It is important to say that Minnesota is a state that is filled with practical people making tough decisions. We are also a great state and a state that builds great facilities and a practical and exciting vision for this building that has a great history is exactly what we need to do."

Fans will reap huge benefits ranging from wider concourse spaces and glass walls, a new restaurant overlooking Target Field and Target Plaza, new club seating areas, and an in-arena public bar. The outside of the arena will transform from a concrete structure to a glass entrance that seamlessly integrates Target Center into Target Plaza. Patrons will stroll up to the new lobby that will move to the corner of 1st Ave. and 6th.

"Our mission statement with AEG here is to remain a premiere facility capable of hosting these types of events. To accomplish that and for all of the stakeholders in addition to the city here we need this renovation. At this age we are a bit unique in this industry. At 20-plus there's really only three other buildings that are our age in the NBA," Mattson said.

For over a decade, there have been ongoing private discussions to renovate the building. However, the City of Minneapolis, AEG, the eight Target Center tenants, and the Minneapolis business representatives believe now is the time to prolong the lifeblood of Target Center and upgrade a viable state asset that produces more than $100 million for the local economy.

"We strongly support the proposal to renovate Target Center at this point in time," Taylor reiterated at the press conference. "Although Wolves games only account for 25 percent of the events in the building, we obviously have an opinion on this matter because it has a huge impact on our fans and their experience at games. Everyone understands that these are tough economic times, but this proposal is a smart, sensible and frugal approach to keeping Target Center competitive for the next 20 years."

New retail opportunities, a new efficient loading dock for concerts and shows, renovated locker rooms and dressing rooms are just some of the additional plans for a renovated Target Center.

Behind a solid backing from the City of Minneapolis, the plan is now public and the hope is to voice the importance of modernizing Target Center before it erodes and a more expensive proposal reaches the State Legislature's doorstep in a few years. For more information, please visit www.targetcenterrenovation.org.
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