MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More open spaces, premium seating and even a new restaurant looking out over Target Field are just some of the planned improvements for the aging Target Center.
Minneapolis city leaders along with Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor and the arena’s management company have agreed to a cost sharing deal for a multi-million dollar renovation.
The deal still needs approval from the Minneapolis City Council, which is expected in early November. If given the green light, design work can begin this winter with construction slated for next spring or early summer.
That’s when an estimated 850 construction workers will begin the major face-lift on the 23-year-old building.
With more than 200 events a year, attracting one million people, Target Center plays host for everything from the Timberwolves, to the Mormon Tabernacle choir. But after 23 years, it’s also one of the NBA’s oldest and is due for touches of new.
“And we said we wanted to breathe new life into Target Center,” Minneapolis Mayor, R.T. Rybak, said.
That new life will happen thanks to a $97 million renovation. The city will pay for half of the cost with Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor contributing another $43 million.
The remaining $5.5 million will be paid for by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the arena manager.
“You’ll be able to see improvements in the exterior of the facility, common areas, bathrooms and other seating areas,” Rybak said.
For starters, the box office will relocate to the corner of Sixth Street and First Avenue. That will help open up lobby areas to provide spectators an easier entry and exit from the building.
More clubs will be added to the arena as well as modern day premium seating. There will be larger loading docks built to give trucks and traveling shows better access to the stage floor. In addition, improvements will be made to the scoreboard, lighting and sound systems.
To better coordinate with the nearby Target Field, the exterior will get a facelift and a new restaurant will look out over the Twins baseball field.
Timberwolves and Lynx owner, Glen Taylor says it’s all designed to improve the fan experience.
“I know there’s a long list of things we want to get done, and somebody is going to put down the priorities. But I don’t think it will necessarily be me,” he said.
On Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council will review the plans and vote final passage on Nov. 12.
Once approved, design work can commence this winter with construction slated to begin in the spring of 2014. The two-year project is expected to generate employment for some 800 construction and trades workers.