Target Center Renovation Design Group Recommends Architect to the Minneapolis City Council

David Sherman & Jordan Johnson/NBAE/Getty Images

Today the Target Center Renovation Design Group announced it recommends Architectural Alliance and Sink Combs Dethlefs as the architecture and engineering team to update and improve the sports and entertainment venue. The recommendation will now go before the Minneapolis City Council for final approval.

“We had many of the top arena design and engineering talent in the country take an interest in the project and we are extremely excited to begin working with Architectural Alliance and Sink Combs Dethlefs,” said Jeff Johnson, the executive director of the Minneapolis Convention Center.  “The architect firm will be the principal driver in providing the refresh of the Target Center. They will lead the creative process and bring everyone’s ideas together to meet the needs of all stakeholders.”

Architectural Alliance is a well-respected firm in the Twin Cities. They have worked on many projects in the region, including the Minneapolis Central Library. Sink Combs Dethlefs is known throughout the country for their expertise in designing entertainment venues. Recently, the firm completed the renovation work at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, which will offer many insights that are relevant to the Target Center project.

“Both firms in this team have impeccable credentials,” said Rob Moor, Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. “Architectural Alliance has collaborated with other design firms on some of our area's most iconic buildings and Sink Combs Dethlefs is one of the premier entertainment venue designers in the country.”

Architectural Alliance

Target Center is a City-owned community asset that has been heavily used for 23 years. It is the 22nd busiest building in the nation and 51st busiest in the world. It hosts about 200 events annually, and about a million visitors pass through its doors every year. Due to the building’s age and the construction of more modern facilities, Target Center is currently not competitive in attracting events. The renovation seeks to restore that competitiveness at a fraction of the cost of building a new facility.

A large portion of the investment in renovations will go toward enhancing the visitor experience for all events, including basketball games, concerts and family shows. This includes improving the flow of entering and exiting the building as well as moving around inside Target Center. Additionally, visitors at all price levels will benefit from new amenities, including a new scoreboard, new seats and additional gathering spaces throughout the arena.

“We were impressed with their focus on designing with the event patron experience in mind. Architectural Alliance and Sink Combs Dethlefs came equipped with sensible and practical solutions to make Target Center a fan-friendly entertainment venue,” said Moor.

Less visible, but equally important, improvements will be made to Target Center’s infrastructure. After 23 years, the building does not meet the demands of a modern entertainment facility. The loading dock and marshalling space will receive essential upgrades.

Sink Combs Dethlefs

“This group demonstrated a solid understanding of how to address Target Center’s operational challenges and offered creative solutions that will make the arena more competitive in securing all types of events,” said Target Center Vice President/General Manager Steve Mattson.

“Their proposal was extremely competitive and demonstrated a keen sense of our goals and amount of money available. They presented exciting ideas that reflected the reality of the project’s budget,” said Council President Barbara Johnson, who also was on the design team selection committee.  “They also proposed a design team that meets our MWBE goals and that’s committed to having subcontractors and a work force aimed at exceeding those goals. This is very important us.”

The first stop along the city process is the Community Development Committee on May 13. After that, the Ways & Means Committee will hear the recommendation on May 19. On May 23, the full City Council is expected to approve the architect.

“We look forward to moving through the city process and getting the architect officially on board. From the beginning, all parties had a voice at the table and we expect the City Council confirmation to be a smooth process,” Jeff Johnson said.