Wolves, Minneapolis Want $155M To Renovate Target Center

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves and the city of Minneapolis are teaming up on a proposal that seeks $155 million to renovate Target Center.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson were expected to unveil the plan later Tuesday, but its details were revealed on a website that was publicly accessible ahead of their news conference.

It calls for a complete remodel of the 21-year-old building. It would shift the main entrance to the corner of 6th Street and First Avenue, add two large glass atriums and another restaurant that overlooks Target Plaza. It would also completely remodel the inside to make the building more attractive to traveling concerts and shows.

There’s no specific plan to pay for it just yet. The website said the Timberwolves would help, but didn’t say how much.

New Gov. Mark Dayton set aside $8 million for improvements to Target Center in his bonding proposal, but that would only pay a small amount of the overall costs.

The Timberwolves are the latest sports franchise looking for public funds to help with their arena situation. The Twins and University of Minnesota football program already are playing in new facilities after long fights at the Capitol while the Vikings and St. Paul Saints are headed to St. Paul this session to lobby for new stadiums.

It figures to be an even tougher fight for the Wolves, whose struggles on the court over the last five to six seasons have eroded fan interest in the team.

But their plan differs from the Vikings in several aspects. They are looking only for a renovation and not a new building, which means far less public money that needs to be committed to the project.

The Wolves’ 41 home games per year also account for only about 25 percent of the events in the arena on a yearly basis, with the majority of events being concerts, shows and other events like the state high school basketball tournaments. The City of Minneapolis owns the building and AEG operates it, meaning the Wolves do not receive any revenues from events held at Target Center that are not team-related.

Finally, the Wolves have a local partner in the city that the Vikings have been searching for for years during their fight for a new football stadium.

This renovation of Target Center would make the NBA’s fourth-oldest building viable for another 20 years, officials said on the website. It would add more revenue-producing club suites and change the “upside-down” configuration of the arena.

When Target Center opened in 1990, it was the last arena built with more seats on the upper level than the lower level. That configuration has become a deterrent for concert promoters who can sell lower level tickets at a higher price.

The renovation also includes a remodel of the home and visitor locker rooms, which are among the smallest in the NBA.

Perhaps more important for the future of the building, the renovation will also refurbish the concession areas, add a food court and a club overlooking the arena in addition to soaring glass atriums at the main entrance and on the back side of Target Center that overlooks Target Field.

Of the 60 arenas that are home to NBA or NHL franchises across the country, Target Center is the sixth-oldest. NBA teams in Charlotte, Miami and Orlando, all of whom entered the league after the Timberwolves, are playing in their second buildings.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Pla c

    First start winning some games, than talk about renovating your field. Here it goes our tax money again. 21 year is not old for a building that size.

  • Jesse

    They just put a green roof on the thing. Would that be torn off?…..If so what a waste!

  • Skeezer


  • Jaquelyn Mack

    when we are finsihed with this lets put a new roof on my house. I will even contribute $5.00. It will create jobs. Barb JOhnson and the mayor need to have that blank checkbook ripped out of their greedy hands.

  • Rdn Tmsn

    What about the Vikes? How they not looking at using them funds for our much needed football stadium? Or is this signs that we are going to be without football team in the not too distant future?

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    Are these buildings being built with planned obsolescence built in? The Boston Garden lasted almost 70 years!

  • Bob

    They should leave , I don’t want to pay for it !

  • Tom

    let them pay for it them self. not the tax payer what kind of B.S. is this

  • Tom

    thats mark dayton B.S. let him pay for it there family has the money.

  • Sports Fan

    They SHOULD team up with the Vikes….and create a Basketball/Football stadium….THAT way….they cold have a few cops hanging out to arrest the thugs on BOTH teams! That would save us taxpayers money as they wouldn’t need to travel to a different stadium to make an arrest!
    Too bad the GREAT players on the Wolves (Love) and the Vikes (Paterson) are overshadowed by the thugs that kill the game. Let’s keep Hockey, Baseball, and the Gophers in MN, the rest can move to CA!

    • Oops...

      oops….Peterson…..NO IDEA how Paterson came out….

  • Dave K

    Just say NO! I can’t believe the state would throw away good money on Glen Taylor’s inpect operation.

  • Ridiculous

    What a joke.. the Timberwolves SUCK. You think renovating their stadium is going to help them with that?! NO This is so pathetic. Throw them out. At least put a roof on the dome first, where the money is actually needed.

  • Mike D

    you do realize that this isn’t just the Timberwolves stadium? There are concerts, high school events, graduations, the circus, etc etc etc.. All of these events bring people into downtown Minneapolis to keep the bar/restaurants and hotels thriving.. It’s an investment to keep downtown alive and face it people, sports and concerts is where it’s at to make money. Without arenas, any mid-level downtown city would be ghost towns on the weekend. Look at St Paul before the Xcel was built. GET A CLUE PEOPLE!!

    • Pla c

      What is wrong with what we have now? .Current building is serving very well for those events. Why update the outside look to make it for pretty on eyes which will cost $155 million of tax payers money?
      you can’t upgrade the building every 21 years. It is a wast of money. First fix the roads. It will serve better for the public.

  • red

    Why? Spend the money on the Vikings, at least they are entertaining and can win some games. The T-Wolves suck. Send them out of town

  • Ben

    Agreed, Timberwolves suck and The Vikings are the most profitable team in this state. Get the Vikes a new stadium and the state will make the money back, if they do it right.

  • Prince Dylan

    If they do these renovations the acoustics better be fixed. Watching concerts there absolutely sucks; the sound is terrible.

  • St Paul

    @Mike D…..That’s a good point…..BUT…let’s look at revenue….what “event” or “events” generate the most revenue? St Paul NEEDED the “X” MPLS has the Dome…AND Target Field, OH….AND The BANK!!!! St Paul SHOULD have gotten the baseball field….Minneapolis is a DUMP compared to Downtown St Paul….and the gang bangers and crime in Minneapolis? Bottom line….It’s been a mess for years….why spend MILLIONS on it!

    • Mike D

      @St Paul – I prefer St Paul too. Walking to any event at Target Center can be intimidating. I don’t worry as much going to a Twins game because of the 40K plus fans around, but going to a Wolves or concert can be scary. However it is what it is. I always wished the Wolves would move to the “X”, even if they are a terrible team, I will support all MN sports teams and will gladly support any tax increase.

  • Realist

    Mike D- The usual self serving and pompus stereotype is only more defined by your rant. Do you think the concerts, Circus, Graduations, School events won’t still use the 21 year old building?

    The West Bank of the Mississippi is a useless destination, except for the scum and digenerates that occupy that soil. Minnesota is not a 4 pro team state and especially the lack of success on with that program is amazing…success will have a direct result with growth.

    The wolves need a new home…in another State! They should leave and keep the building as is, it would be used 75% vs. the 25% the Wolves account for so with that said, the businesses that reside in downtown Crappy-apolis should still thrive.

    Hey, my house is over 21 years old, can I have some State $$$ to renovate it? I have some great idea’s that include a inground pool, jacuzzi that seats 12 and a waterfall. I could use new windows (only 9) and new siding with a roof. I would also like to expand my garage out the back 15’…cost $37.546…oh and I am willing to a lot fo the work myself.

    So Mike D, in closing…you can crap in one hand and wish in the other and guess which will get filled first?

  • richard

    There should be NO public money for these shylock billionaire owners. Pro sports is a business…right? The owners should pay themselves or form an investment group; or borrow the money from the bank and pay it back with interest like the rest of bussinesses do. The state is $6+Billion in the hole as it is….Has everyone gone mad?

  • Justin

    Why does everyone have to be so critical of these stadiums and renovations. When the day comes when you are sitting at home on your butt doing nothing watching reruns of your favorite show you’re going to wish you could be out supporting your teams. Yeah, Target Center may only be 21 years old, but as the article says and people should know, you have to make the venues attractable not only to you your own fans but others who may travel as visitors. You may think that you don’t want a tax hike because you will not attend the events. Well tell that to the people who pay taxes for other people’s kids who go to school. There’s nothing you can do about it. Think about all the cities who don’t have a chance to attend professional sporting events on a regular basis. You won’t realize it until their gone how big of a mistake it was not to chip in a few bucks. Quit being so prudy.

    • Jason

      Hey guess what, not being able to attend a pro sporting event is not the worse thing to ever happen in life. The reasons you mentioned on why they should get this just dosen’t hold much water. Many people everyday have REAL financial hardships to deal with.

  • Jason

    Why should this even be up for consideration. I mean why should the taxpayer (me) have to take food off my table for the rich owners, players, and politicians. What are these people thinking???? Sorry kids, mac and cheese tonight, but hey at least we can turn on the t wolves to watch them lose again.

  • Phil

    Don’t even bring up the “I spend my tax money to educate kids I don’t have” BS. Education leads to doctors, police officers, EMTs and other fields far more beneficial than anything a tax-funded sports stadium can offer. Besides, it’s not that people don’t want the stadiums, people just don’t want public money going to build them when the corporations that run within have more than enough to build them themselves.

  • MD

    The City of Arlington pitched in 300 MILLION to build the new Cowboys stadium.

    Trey Yelverton, a deputy city manager, said Arlington’s financial team has projected that the Super Bowl will generate $300,000 in additional taxes. That’s a welcome, one-time boost when the city is whittling away at a projected $5 million budget shortfall.

  • sl

    Are you kidding? Who cares about the T-Wolves. What about the Vikings? Everybody else has a new stadiujm/field and they are stuck in the OLD dome.
    I am in favor of FOOTBALL!

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