MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target Center is celebrating 25 years in downtown Minneapolis by giving the city a taste of what’s shortly to come.

As the venue marked the 25th anniversary of its grand opening, plans were unveiled detailing a planned $129 million renovation project that will include new gathering spaces, clubs, exteriors, and a five-story glass atrium to shift the main entrance over to the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street.

The plans also call for acoustic improvements to be made to the frequent concert venue, and also a new scoreboard is going in.

Also included in the face lift are new restrooms and improvements to the concourses and food and beverage areas.

“From the exterior comes off as pretty rough and tough and concrete. I think we’re going to open it up to the public to be able to see in and to see out,” Steve Mattson, general manager of Target Center, said.

The bones of the entertainment district building will stay the same.

“I think it’s a fabulous theme of sustainability to not take this place down because you’ve got good bones and a phenomenal location,” Mattson said.

The naming rights deal with the Target Corporation is being extended, and the arena is getting a new logo.

The renovations would move forward in three phases, beginning next summer.

“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,” Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Rob Moor said. “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.”

No exact construction start date has been set, but work should begin next spring.

The cost to renovate is estimated at $129 million. It cost $104 million to build Target Center in 1988. The cost for Xcel Energy Center as about $130 million, and the budget for U.S. Bank Stadium is about $1 billion.

“Very unique to be a 25-year-old NBA building. To be a 45-year-old building like we intend to be, we’ve got to do this right,” Mattson said.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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