MINNEAPOLIS — Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore have dreams; dreams of new digs for the teams they just bought. At least Star Tribune sports columnist La Velle E. Neal thinks so.
In a tale of two cities, over two decades, eight — count 'em, eight — have been built: The X, Ridder Arena, The Bank, Target Field, Siebert Field, CHS Field, The Other Bank (US Bank) and Allianz. So, what's next?
"They are gonna ask for a new stadium eventually," Neal said.
"They" are these guys, partially on their way to full owners of the Lynx and Timberwolves: Lore and A-Rod.
And how does LaVelle come to this hunch? He points to Lore.
"When he is asked about how he is going to use his tech skills to apply to Target Center, he said the best way is to 'build a new arena,'" Neal said.
Don't believe him? Let's verify!
"Yeah, I mean, I think there is a great opportunity to eventually build a new arena," Lore said in a press conference Monday.
"As soon as he said that, the bells and whistles going off in my head [said], 'Yeah, this is coming down the pike; he is going to want a stadium from scratch and there is gonna be an ask,'" Neal said.
New owners are to new places to play like boxelder bugs are to the sunny side of your house right now. They go together.
"I think it's inevitable," Neal said. "I just don't know if the push is a year, two years or three."
And there is a bit of a reason. Target Center opened up 30 years ago, but just got a $145 million remodel four years ago.
Neal puts it like this: "I have a Chevy. You know, I could vacuum the floor, clean the windows and replace the cigar burns, [but] at the end of the day, it's still a Chevy."
But it's a Chevy with a lease — one that doesn't end for 13 more years.
"If they try to break the lease, it's a $50 million penalty, which at time of lease likely sounded like a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things, they can take a loan for $50 million for damage of breaking lease," Neal said.
So, this columnist says to look for that ask. And in his words, "Better start hiring the architects."
Neal also talked about how the Wolves will play into this. The team has only made the playoffs once since 2004, so it's hard to ask for a new house when you aren't doing great in the old one.
But on the flip side of that, are the Lynx.
They are four-time champs, and they and the Wolves are a package deal when it comes to a place to play.