MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There are still a few months before the new Timberwolves training center is ready, but Tuesday WCCO got a look inside.
The team has been practicing at Lifetime Fitness, but the new facility is set to open in May, just in time for the Lynx season.
“It’s a very unusual complex,” Ted Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of the Timberwolves and Lynx, said. “Nothing else like it in all of professional sports.”
Part of that is simply location. Most NBA training centers are in different towns from their arenas, keeping them closed off from the public.
This facility is not only a walk away from the Target Center, it’s a catalyst to connect players to the community.
“When you walk into our lobby, you’ll be able to look through the courts, right into the weight room,” Johnson said. “Both teams will have access to the full complement of courts and facilities.”
Originally, they had hoped to open before the start of the Wolves season, but because the courts will be on the third story, they ran into a problem with floor vibrations.
“Because it hasn’t been done a lot before, it took a lot of research and exploration to determine the best course of action,” Johnson said. “It’s a very complex flooring system.”
As expected, everything is taller at the training center. The ceilings are 36 feet tall and the shower heads start at 8 feet, which works out well for the players.
“I think when they get over here, hopefully we’ll really see their eyes light up,” Johnson said.
The Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center is right next door, providing convenience for the players and doctors at Mayo. They will have access to some of the new training and recovery equipment.
The center is set to open in late May, in between the Timberwolves and Lynx seasons.
The Lynx will be the only WNBA team in the country to have their own practice facility.