Minneapolis – On the 25th anniversary of Target Center’s grand opening, representatives from the City of Minneapolis, Timberwolves and Lynx, and AEG Facilities celebrated the arena’s rich history, delivered an update on the renovation schedule and announced an extension with Target for the naming rights of the building.
Millions of visitors have entered Target Center during the past few decades. They have celebrated Wolves and Lynx victories, listened to legendary artists like Garth Brooks and U2 and witnessed memorable moments in various state high school tournaments. Target Center has been a source of entertainment for all generations, and with the renovation it will continue to be for another 20 years.
“Target Center has been a key driver to a vibrant downtown Minneapolis. It was built in a blighted part of downtown, but in the past 25 years it has helped create one of the most lively entertainment districts in the entire country,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. “A renovation of this city-owned building is a sensible way to keep it viable for years to come.”
Some highlights of the renovation include additional gathering spaces, clubs, a focus on traffic flow, improved guest amenities and preservation of recent investments. In addition to a redone exterior, the main entrance to the building will shift to the corner of 1st Ave and 6th St. and feature a five-story glass atrium.
The exact construction dates are not yet known, but a timeline of the $129 million renovation project has been released.
Phase 1 Summer 2016: Suite Level, Scoreboard, Acoustic Improvements
Phase 2 Fall 2016-Spring 2017: Exterior Work Begin, Loading Dock, Marshalling Yard
Phase 3 Summer 2017: New Lobby Built, Locker Rooms, Dressing Rooms, Public Restrooms, Concourse Improvements, Additional Club Spaces, Food and Beverage Improvements
“The project schedule allows us to bring on some of the major fan improvements, such as a new scoreboard, before the start of the 2016-17 Timberwolves season,” said Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Rob Moor. “We are working hard to minimize the impact during construction on our fans, and we believe it is important that our fans benefit as soon as possible from the renovation.”
Target Center will remain open for the first two phases of construction and then will close down during the summer of 2017 to allow major construction to finish. The location of where the Minnesota Lynx will play during the shut down has not yet been determined.
Part of the exciting future of the building is an extension of the naming rights deal with Target Corporation. At 25 years, Target Center is the longest running naming rights deal in American professional sports. As part of the new deal, Target Center is receiving a new logo.
“We are so excited to continue our partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, the City of Minneapolis and AEG,” said Target CMO Jeff Jones. “As a company, Target couldn’t be more proud to make an investment like this to help our hometown thrive.”
“It is very unique for an arena to celebrate 25 years. Typically at this age, it is more common to rebuild,” said Target Center General Manager Steve Mattson. “By renovating instead of replacing, we are preserving the history and the legacy of all of the different acts, shows and teams that have played here and the life-long memories that have been created at Target Center.”
Design work will continue on the building for another few months. The project is expected to go before the Minneapolis City Council this spring for final approval. Construction will begin shortly after that, with a final complete slated for fall of 2017.