Target Center to get $97M facelift

5:36 AM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Target Center will receive a $97 million facelift to help the venue remain a player in the competitive world of sporting and concert events.

Officials from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Target Center and a handful of local politicos gathered downtown Monday to announce the renovation of the 23-year-old facility.

The renovation will include a redesign of the exterior; increased seating capacity for concerts and family shows; additional gathering and meeting spaces; improved pedestrian flow and easier access in and out of the building; additional clubs; improved amenities for all areas of the arena, including the upper and lower levels; and improved loading docks, among other features.

"This creative, pragmatic agreement ensures continued economic vitality in downtown Minneapolis, and breathes new life into a building with great memories and an even greater future," said Mayor Rybak.

The City of Minneapolis, which owns the building, calls Target Center the 22nd-busiest building in America, hosting an average of 200 events and 1 million visitors each year. It generates an estimated $100 million in economic impact and $10-15 million in state and local taxes annually.

The City is to use sales tax revenue for the renovation, removing the use of property taxes for the upkeep of the building, as is the case now. The City gained control of sales taxes within the City as part of the new Vikings stadium deal.

The agreement will also keep the NBA Timberwolves and current WNBA champions Lynx playing in the Target Center through 2032.

"The Timberwolves and Lynx have enjoyed a great partnership with the city throughout the years," said Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor. "I am proud of the work we did to reach this agreement and I am extremely pleased that we will be spending the next 20 years in Target Center.

"Why not a new facility? Yes, I would have liked a new facility, but I am a Minnesotan. I served in the Legislature. I know about taxes because I pay a lot of them and I thought what would be common sense? Let us take a building in a great location. We have great partners around us, many businesses around us already that help our area and take care of our fans." 

Design will begin later this year, with renovation to begin in 2014. The project is scheduled to be completed in 18-24 months, with Target Center remaining open during construction.

Architects of the agreement maintain the renovation will create 850 construction jobs.

The City of Minneapolis will pay $48.5 million, or 50 percent, of the $97-million renovation. The Timberwolves and Lynx will pay $43 million, or approximately 44 percent, with AEG contributing $5.5 million, or approximately 6 percent.

In addition, the City of Minneapolis will provide no less than $50 million for Target Center capital improvements in order to keep the facility competitive over the life of the agreement, which expires in 2032.

The deal is subject to City Council approval, which Council President Barbara Johnson told the group at the announcement would not be a problem. The Council Committee-as-a-whole meets on Thursday, with a final vote by the full Council on November 12th.

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