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Target Center
Aerial View
Copyright 2007 by Urban Photos

  Venue Resources  
Address 600 First Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone (612) 673-1300
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Timberwolves Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Minneapolis

  The Facility  
Opened October 13, 1990
Ownership
(Management)
City of Minneapolis
(Midwest Entertainment Group)
Cost of Construction $104 million
Arena Financing City tax bonds; private debt.
Naming Rights Target paid $18.75 million for 15-year naming rights in 1990.
Arena Architects KMR Architects
  Other Facts  
Tenants Minnesota Timberwolves
(NBA) (1990-Present)
Minnesota Lynx
(WNBA) (1999-Present)
Former Tenants Minnesota Fighting Pike
(AFL) (1996)
Population Base 2,870,000
On Site Parking None
Nearest Airport Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP)
Retired Numbers #2 Malik Sealy

  Seating  
Capacity 20,500
Average Ticket $40.60
(2005-2006)
$39.37
(2007-2008)
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $238.39
(2005-2006)
$231.38
(2007-2008)
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 68 Suites
Club Seats None
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1992-93 754,593 97% -1.9%
1993-94 733,419 94% -2.8%
1994-95 603,518 77% -17.7%
1995-96 585,669 75% -3%
1996-97 697,727 90% 19.1%
1997-98 738,572 95% 5.9%
1998-99 427,974 90% -42.1%
1999-00 690,012 89% 61.2%
2000-01 717,371 92.1% 6.7%

2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
731,673 643,684 723,161 704,438

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
648,167 655,947 593,537 594,743

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
619,170 624,960 577,197 669,956

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
597,157

1998-1999 - Attendance for 25 games due to NBA lockout.
2011-2012 - Attendance for 33 games due to NBA lockout.

Sources: Mediaventures

Target Center

In April, 1989, ground was broken in the Warehouse District of Downtown Minneapolis as Minneapolis made way for Target Center; home of the Minnesota Timberwolves, not to mention a hang out for circus elephants, Bert and Ernie, Elton John and the Eagles.

"The primary purpose of this arena is for the entertainment of the people of Minnesota," is the quote engraved in the ticket lobby wall by Target Center's original owners Harvey Ratner & Marv Wolfensen.

In the building's construction stage Wolfensen and Ratner sought help from corporate sponsors and no expense was spared.The first movable ice floor in America was actualized at the expense of $3 million and 68 luxury suites were built between the upper and lower concourse.

In a mere 27 months, construction of the 20,000 seat arena was completed and the doors were opened to the public on October 13, 1990.

In 1994, Harv and Marv sold the Target Center to the city of Minneapolis and the building's management was taken over by Ogden Entertainment Services.

Target Center offers nearby parking, one of the largest ticket lobbies in the country, extra-wide concourses, abundant restroom accommodations, accessible concession stands, theater-style cushioned seats that are two to three inches wider than average, and a superb sound and light system.

Backstage at Target Center, three trucks can unload simultaneously indoors, with an additional three docks devoted to operational needs.

With approximately 190+ events per year, Target Center has continued its success. Just last December Amusement Business announced that Target Center was the fifth highest grossing concert venue in 1995 for arenas with a capacity of 15,001 or more.

Target Center

Fast Facts
* First major arena in the U.S. designated "No Smoking"
* 831,533 square feet situated on one-and-a-half square blocks
* Movable arena floor with ice-making capabilities * 20,000 theater-style cusioned seats
* Over 100 wheelchair seat locations on two levels
* Ten dressing rooms of various sizes
* Over 11,000 parking spaces within three blocks
* Eighteen escalators and nine elevators
* Abundant restroom accommodations, averaging one for every 45 customers, with 60% designated for women
* Complete pre-wired triax, video, audio and MATV lines throughout the arena
* Full-service marketing department, including advertising, promotions, public relations and group sales
* Complete box office and ticketing services on-site
* 11,000 square foot ticket lobby featuring one of the largest neon sculptures in the U.S.
* Fifteen ticket windows in the main lobby (more than Madison Square Garden)
* TDD line to the box office for the hearing impaired
* Complete teleproduction studio on site
* Twenty concession stands on two concourse levels, offering a wide variety of dining choices
* On-site professional catering
* Food services provided by Ogden Entertainment Inc.

Target Center

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Target Center Ranking by USRT
Architecture 5
Concessions 5
Scoreboard 3
Ushers 8
Fan Support 9
Location 8
Banners/History 4
Entertainment 6
Concourses/Fan Comfort 6
Bonus: George Mikan Statue 1
Bonus: Pedestrian Overpass 2
Total Score 57
Deceber 21, 2001 - Having driven by the outside of this venue on our first two visits, we did not see too much to get jacked up about - a typical early 90s grey box arena downtown, and our thoughts going in were, "rip the ticket, enjoy some suds, see the game and check it off". So weren't we surprised that the City of Minneapolis and the Timberwolves served up an experience which really exceeded our expectations!

Opened in 1990, the Target Center is the home of the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA Minnesota Lynx. This facility serves as the second home for the T-Wolves, who began play at the Metrodome, obviously in some sort of curtained off seating configuration. At one point the NHL Minnesota Wild considered making this their home as well, before opting to go to their own venue a few miles away in downtown St. Paul.

Getting to the Venue
The Target Center is located in the west end of downtown Minneapolis, and is one of the anchors of a bustling and vibrant downtown core. Easy expressway access can be had off of I-94 and I-394. Parking can get to be a bit of a problem, though there are several parking garages behind the Center, all interconnected via a system of enclosed overhead walkways which take you into the building. Numerous surface lots are within easy walking distance - $7 to $10 is the norm, but keep in mind, we are also talking other downtown attractions - theatres, offices and restaurants to compete for the spaces. So our advice is get down early or park a few blocks away and then navigate the overhead walkway system to get you into the building.

Outside the Venue
We are talking here about a clean, bright and bustling downtown - immediately to the north is the city's Warehouse District, an area of turn of the century buildings now being refurbished and already home to offices, living units, art galleries and antique shops. The main downtown core lies to the east, and just a block away is a vibrant theatre district with lit marquees and adjoining businesses catering to the entertainment crowd. Go two more blocks and you will find Nicollet Mall, a quasi-pedestrian mall stretching north and south for blocks, with office and retail centers as far the eye can see, all connected by an elaborate second floor enclosed walkway system so one never has to go outside when Minnesota's cold weather descends upon this town. Looking for a place to eat before or after the game? The choice of taverns, eateries, brew pubs, steakhouses and night clubs is virtually unlimited. Upscale and midscale hotels are also in abundance and you can feel the pulse of this exciting city just by walking around. And that's not all as a huge retail/entertainment/hotel tower simply known as "Block E"  is under construction just across the from the Target Center and will have pedestrian bridges linking this fabulous facility right into the arena itself.

The Target center itself is erected from curb to curb with no public plazas or open space, and, for that matter, scant pedestrian space. The building is octagon shaped, colored grey granite with several "Target Center" billboard marquees. At night the crown of the building is attractively floodlit, and the building is accented with vertical red and blue neon strips. There are two entrances to the building - the main entrance and lobby in the front, and in the back is a secondary entrance which is accessed from the walkway system.

Concourses
A small but really gorgeous lobby greets you as you walk in. The walls and ceiling are darkened, and decorated in an attractive neon sculpture which blinks and changes colors and is very pleasing to the eye. All the posts in the lobby are emblazoned with star shaped plaques highlighting the names and dates of the stars who performed here. From the lobby you enter the arena to the right, and take two escalators which then whisk you to the main concourse.

This is a two concourse facility, with primary access up and down via a double escalator tower. The concourses themselves are very wide and incredibly easy to navigate. Keep in mind that this building opened around the same time as the NBA venues in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, and before a lot of attention was given to mundane matters such as square footage in common areas. Yet here it all works well, and the concourses themselves, while initially grey and austere, are painted with bright red accents and further decorated with colorful directional signage, continuous ad panels and concession marquees, all backlit and hanging diagonally, and also colorful flags.

The Seating Bowl
Target Center
We are talking a two deck seating bowl here with wine red seats, and the upper and lower levels are separated with a level of suites, served by its own concourse and hospitality areas for purchasing food and drink. Fans enter the seating areas not by walking through narrow  aisled alcoves but wide entryways that directly abut the concourses.  The seating bowl is centered by a four sided scoreboard featuring diamondvision video boards which were not all that great for viewing and which have certainly been supplanted by better technologies. Backlit ad panels are arranged nicely along the balcony around the ends, and along each sideline balcony are synchronized changeable ad panels. Interspersed are dot matrix boards scrolling out of town scores and game information.

By the way, the Target Center also houses a membership health club, which is served by its own private entrance and is not a part of the arena itself.

Concessions
While nothing really stood out here other than the usual ballpark dreck, we do have to say at least that the menu was pretty diverse and offered lots of choices. Two of the beer stands featured the local brews - of course Leinie's Red is our favorite in this part of the world. No main team store here, but plenty of satellite merchandise kiosks interspersed throughout the arena corridors.

Banners/Retired Numbers
Three banners of note hang here - the first retired number of the Timberwolves is that of #2, Malik Sealy, who died last year in a tragic car accident. The second banner lists the seven Hall of Famers who were members of the Minneapolis Lakers, this city's first NBA team and its only link to basketball glory thus far. The third proclaims the team's attendance record set in the 1989-90 season in the Metrodome. More on all this later.

No division, conference or championship titles banners for the Timberwolves - this franchise has yet to win any playoff series. Could this be the year?

Slam Dunks/Assists/Fouls

Slam Dunk - the Timberwolves "Four Pack" promotion. Easily the best we have seen. Keep in mind, this team does very well at the gate - the entire lower bowl is sold out to season ticket holders, yet props to the Timberwolves for not resting on their laurels, but promoting ticket sales to keep the house full.

The T-Wolves 4 pack is good for Tuesday night games - for $65, you get 4 tickets, four sodas, four slices of pizza, four tamales, four coupons good for a Dairy Queen cone, a program and a $10 certificate redeemable at a local food chain. Are you kidding!!?? How can you NOT take advantage of a bargain like this? We've seen these 4 pack promotions elsewhere, but this one ranks as the best value of all.

Slam Dunk - To the Minnesota Timberwolves for hanging a banner to honor the icons of the Minneapolis Lakers. Yes, NBA basketball was played here before the T-Wolves hit town, and the Lakers owned the NBA for much of the 50s (5 NBA titles in 6 years). Younger generations attending basketball games will always have the reminder that their city has a proud NBA heritage. Which brings us to...

Foul - a technical and an ejection - to the adjoining ridiculous banner promoting the Timberwolves as the NBA attendance champions when they played in the large and hollow Metrodome. Didn't some radio station buy up an ocean of tickets to the last game to make this all happen? Here again, a team hasn't had much history on the court, so let's invent something silly and hang it in the rafters. Well, Wild Fans are "#1", and Florida Panther Fans have "The Best Point Total for an Expansion Team" and the Lightning have the "Best Attendance at a Playoff Game". We thought we saw it all, but now the Ultimate Sports Road Trip adds this banner to the list.

Assist - to the nice folks at the Guest Services office of the Minnesota Timberwolves. We went in for some basic information, and walked out with a cool souvenir, maps of downtown and all the info we needed.

Slam Dunk - Coming soon to the Target Center is a statue to be unveiled of legendary NBA icon and Minneapolis Laker George Mikan.

On this night, the Ultimate Sports Road Trip extended its home team winning streak to 10 games, as the Timberwolves almost blew a huge lead early on, but some clutch free throw shooting and a huge basket by Wally Szczerbiak in the last minute gave the needed cushion for the win. Our Karma continues!

Summary
As we stated, our expectations were low, so weren't we pleasantly surprised to find a clean, bright and spacious arena, in an exciting and alive downtown setting, with plenty of things to do in the area, and a great crowd on hand to support the home team. The Target Center is already an "old venue", even though it was built only 12 years ago, so the newer amenities - brewhouses, bars, club seats, interactive games, won't be found here. Yet put it all together and it all works well here - one of the better NBA experiences and a good place to visit. Our best suggestion is to give yourself enough time to experience this terrific jewel of a city and all it has to offer. Three stars for the T'wolves, and high three at that!!

MINNEAPOLIS EXPECTS LESS MONEY FOR TARGET CENTER
October 29, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - A drop in tax collections is expected to delay plans to pay off debt on the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The city had projected that it could reap as much as $26 million annually by reconstituting its recently expired development districts. The 2008 Legislature authorized restarting those districts so that most of the taxes from them could be used for Target Center debt or neighborhoods.

But the city's development finance chief, Jeff Streder, told a City Council committee that the yield now is projected at $22 million annually. Mayor R.T. Rybak has urged that half of the tax base from the expiring districts go on the general tax rolls and that neighborhoods and Target Center split the rest.

The City Council was told that, under the latest projection, the mayor's proposal would yield $4 million to $6 million annually for the arena debt and neighborhoods. His proposal was earlier expected to provide up to $6.5 million annually for each.

The lower projection is significant for two reasons. First, neighborhood associations have been counting on the new influx of money to replace funds that they received under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which gets its last dose of money late this year. Some neighborhood activists have been suspicious of the new Neighborhood and Community Relations Department created by the council and Rybak.

Second, the council also has stated its intent to use some of the money to pay off the Target Center's debt, which the city used to buy the arena in 1995. The remaining $83 million in principal and interest is being paid at about $6 million annually. City leaders say that devoting the fresh pot of money to that debt will free up more money to maintain and improve the 19-year-old building.

TARGET CENTER PLANNING UPGRADES
April 8, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - Minneapolis officials are hoping to get state funding for upgrades to the 20,000-seat Target Center arena. The Minnesota legislature has declined to allocate$6.5 million in bond proceeds for lighting and public address upgrades, a central security and fire alarm system, and accessibility improvements, among other things.

In December, the city completed a Target Center capital improvement plan that envisions nearly $50 million worth of projects over the next 20 years to keep the building at a baseline level of quality.

"The needs are still real," said Chris Larson, director of facilities with the Minneapolis Convention Center. "It's a matter of where the funding will come from."

The upgrades are intended to keep the venue current for the next 20 years.

The city has identified sources of money for projects in the 20-year plan - including tax increment revenue, entertainment tax from Target Center events and parking revenue - but the plan does not include the projects that were candidates for state money.

Larson noted that the arena faces increasing competition from theaters and newer facilities such as the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

And then there's the new kid on the block - Target Field. Patrick Born, the city's finance director, said it's important for Target Field and Target Center to "work together and be good neighbors to each other," and that both facilities are important to the success of downtown Minneapolis.

The city has made previous requests to the Legislature for Target Center upgrades, he added, and has been "pretty consistently rebuffed."

"We think the building is an asset of the state and that taxpayers around the state benefit from Target Center and use Target Center," Born said, "and therefore the taxpayers of Minneapolis should not be the only folks who support Target Center."

The city has spent $14 million since 2003 on seating, scoreboard and roof improvements, among other building upgrades, according to city documents.

Last fall, the city unveiled the arena's new 2.5-acre green roof. The city used $5.3 million from the Target Center Capital Account to replace 30 roofs that were near the end of their 20-year life spans.

TIMBERWOLVES CLEARED FOR ARENA SIGNAGE
April 8, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - A Hennepin County judge says the Minnesota Timberwolves have the right to build signs on the north side of the Target Center and sell advertising for the space. The location faces Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins and will be visible from inside the ballpark.

Last November, the Timberwolves sued Target Center operator AEG Management MN, seeking rights to sell advertising space on that wall after AEG denied the team's request to do so.

In an effort to bolster their argument, the Timberwolves noted that Target Center's naming rights are up for renewal in 2011. The team controls the naming rights and is locked into the arena through 2025.

Moor testified: "If the team cannot represent to prospective arena name sponsors that it can ensure placement of the sponsor's advertisements on a new sign facing Target Field, the value of the naming rights will be diluted."

The city owns the building but wasn't involved in the lawsuit. The Timberwolves' owners said the operating agreements gave them advertising rights. AEG contended that it has the right to new advertising opportunities.

The court order said the Timberwolves have the authority to erect an exterior sign - with AEG's consent, which cannot "be unreasonably withheld." AEG's withholding of consent is unreasonable, the court found.

MINNEAPOLIS MAY RECONFIGURE TARGET CENTER DEBT
June 3, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - Minneapolis and Hennepin County are working on a plan that could reconfigure the remaining debt on the Target Center arena and help fund neighborhood programs.

The deal would require a tax incremental financing district, but the two sides still disagree on how the money would be divided. The county is pushing for a cap of $180.1 million on the amount that could be spent on the two programs.

The city got permission from the legislature in 2008 to form a new tax-increment financing district to divert the increased property taxes from 4,362 properties. Those taxes will finance the arena and neighborhood program, rather than go to the city's general tax base. The county has long been dissatisfied with such districts diverting property taxes that otherwise could go to county programs and lower taxes for other payers.

That's not happening in this case because the special legislation requires that the county not lose property taxes from the tax diversion. But the new district still requires the county to sign off, and some commissioners feel that with the city diverting taxes from some properties for more than 30 years, enough is enough.

The city projects it will divert $163.8 million during the district's 10-year life. But because the city has the authority for the next five years to divert more taxes by adding parcels, the county wants a limit. It conditioned its approval on a clause that the amount diverted can grow no more than 10 percent to $180.1 million, waivable by the County Board.

The city doesn't like that. So it added a clause that says the agreement can go ahead with the condition, but it disputes that the county has the right to add a limit, and it reserves the right to challenge any such move in the future.

The city projects that the tax diversion will yield $53.7 million each for the arena and neighborhoods, with $54.9 million going to the county. The remainder pays administrative costs.

$150 MILLION UPGRADE OF TARGET CENTER PROPOSED
February 3, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - A group of civic leaders are proposing a $150 million upgrade of the Target Center in Minneapolis, but are still working on a plan to finance the project, the Star Tribune reported.

The plans would open up the city-owned building more to the street and nearby facilities such as Target Field. It would expand concourses and renovate locker rooms. New fan services such as another restaurant, a new bar, a food court, new club seats and a VIP entrance would be added, the newspaper said.

Backers say they'll make a pitch for state assistance, arguing that the state benefits from arena taxes. But the city, the Timberwolves and facility manager AEG also are potential contributors, John Stiles, spokesman for Mayor R.T. Rybak, told the Star Tribune.

One source that Rybak ruled out is an additional contribution from city property taxes. The city already collects about $5 million annually in property taxes to pay off the arena's debt.

The arena itself generates another $1.1 million in property taxes. Those are combined with a city-collected entertainment tax and parking collections to finance about $5 million annually in basic arena renovations.

Rybak said the $150 million plan would be atop that current $50 million, 10-year renovation of building systems.

There was no start date given for the proposal. Boosters told the newspaper that Target Center is the fourth-oldest arena in the NBA, and teams that came into the league in the same era as the Timberwolves have much newer arenas.

The city already asked the state for $8 million in basic arena improvements. Gov. Mark Dayton recommended that in his bonding bill.

Backers of the renovation didn't specify how the state should contribute, but they did refer repeatedly to some $120 million in taxes they said the arena has generated for the state. They also said that 70 percent of people attending arena events come from outside Minneapolis.

They contend that facilities such as Xcel Energy Center and Target Field have raised fans' expectations.

Timberwolves officials told the Star Tribune the building has among the most cramped footprints in the NBA, and the renovation would add space. The lobby would get new televisions, a better scoreboard and message boards. Toilets and concession stands would be renovated on the main concourse. There would be a new restaurant overlooking Target Field and more seating options.

ST. PAUL PLAN FOR STADIUM INCLUDES MOVING TIMBERWOLVES
May 26, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

St. Paul, Minn. - St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has a new plan to fund a stadium for the Vikings, but it requires that the NBA Timberwolves and WNBA Lynx move to St. Paul, the Star Tribune reported.

Coleman proposes a statewide 2-cent tax on alcoholic drinks that he says would raise $48 million a year. He told the newspaper a Vikings plan to move to Ramsey County doesn't make sense; his plan would not move the team, but send the Timberwolves and the Lynx to St. Paul to share the Xcel Energy Center with the Wild. Target Center in downtown Minneapolis would become a practice facility.

Coleman also would use the per-drink tax at bars and restaurants to build a St. Paul Saints ballpark in Lowertown and upgrade recreation facilities throughout the state.

Coleman called his plan a "regional approach" and said it "gives us a point on the horizon to sail to."

Some leaders involved in the stadium debate expressed intrigue with the global approach and fee. But others, including the Timberwolves and the Vikings, called some of it too late and unacceptable.

"We're going to Arden Hills," Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley told the Star Tribune.

Timberwolves Vice President Ted Johnson told the Star Tribune, "We are very happy with our home in Minneapolis. We continue to believe that the best path forward is the sensible solution of renovating Target Center." In a statement, the Wild welcomed potential new tenants, saying the Xcel could easily be renovated for the Timberwolves and the Lynx and that the move makes sense for the market.

Gov. Mark Dayton's point person on stadium issues, Ted Mondale, told the newspaper , "It's a big idea and it's interesting. We obviously have a number of sports facilities in deep trouble."

The Star Tribune said in Coleman's view, pro sports teams are statewide assets and the cost should be shared accordingly. He came out for the first time against a proposed half-cent sales tax increase in Ramsey County to help cover the cost of a $1 billion Vikings stadium at a former munitions site in Arden Hills. Coleman said the site came with unknown reclamation costs and didn't make sense, given transit investments elsewhere.

Coleman said he was trying to end competition between the Xcel and Target Center for tax subsidies and concerts.

"My primary concern is there not be additional taxpayer investment [in Target Center] because it just exacerbates the competition," he said.

His proposal would forgive a $32.5 million state loan to St. Paul for the Xcel construction while paying for $75 million in renovations. The drink tax also could buy Minneapolis out of the remaining $75 million debt on Target Center and save a proposed $150 million in renovations on the city-owned building.

Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson said that as much as the city wants the Vikings to stay, she called it "ridiculous" to give up Target Center.

"It provides us with events many, many times a year, many more than the Vikings playing at the Metrodome," she told the newspaper. "We're a big enough metro to support two" arenas."

To entice residents and legislators from greater Minnesota, Coleman proposed spending a portion of the proceeds on recreation fields throughout the state. He would also impose a quarter-cent sales-tax in St. Paul to back bond sales and use the proceeds for libraries and parks.

September 22, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

The Minnesota Timberwolves, Target Corporation and AEG Facilities agreed to a three-year contract extension in a naming rights partnership with Target Center, the downtown Minneapolis arena that has been home to the NBA franchise since 1990. The agreement continues the partnership between the three entities through 2014. The St. Paul Pioneer Press said terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

MINNEAPOLIS STILL INTENT ON TARGET CENTER RENOVATIONS
December 15, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - City of Minneapolis leaders are still touting a $150 million renovation of the city-owned Target Center arena downtown, Finance and Commerce reported. While city officials would like to do this in conjunction with a new football stadium downtown, they say they will pursue the project even if the stadium lands elsewhere.

"If the football stadium went to Arden Hills, we would still essentially have the same financing plan for Target Center," Chuck Lutz, deputy director for the city's Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department told the newspaper.

Mayor R.T. Rybak testified before the Minneapolis City Council's Committee of the Whole meeting discussing football stadium proposals and financing options. Several council members had strong criticism of the mayor's proposed plan to redirect taxes currently paying for the Minneapolis Convention Center to help finance a stadium.

While talk of the Target Center upgrade has often taken a back seat amid discussions about a new football stadium, the city would still like to pursue the plan it outlined at the outset of the year to overhaul the 19,000-seat arena. The plan calls for the city to kick in $100 million, with another $50 million coming from the Minnesota Timberwolves organization and Los Angeles-based AEG, which manages the arena. The city has estimated the cost would be about a third of the expense of a new arena.

Rybak also discussed Target Center and noted that ultimately he would like to get the city out of the business of owning the arena.

According to city spokesman Matt Lindstrom, the city's outstanding debt on Target Center stands at $56.1 million and is scheduled to be paid off in 2025.

Rybak said he has been making the case at the Legislature for 10 years about the need for Target Center renovations and "making not a single inch of progress" at the Capitol. But now he is seeing a window of opportunity if the project can be connected to a new football stadium.

TARGET CENTER UPGRADE FUNDING STILL POSSIBLE
March 8, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Minneapolis, Minn. - A bill for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium might include language related to Minneapolis fixing up the Target Center after all, a key lawmaker told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

That would be a reversal of the plan outlined earlier in which officials said renovations to the downtown Minneapolis arena would be addressed separately from the bill for the new football stadium. Instead, it would be handled in a companion bill.

"We're still evaluating," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, who leads stadium efforts in the House. Officials also said more time is needed to craft the legislation.

How to handle a $135 million Target Center renovation could play a significant role in the stadium debate. Including it in the legislation has been opposed by some lawmakers who don't want to see the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul put at a competitive disadvantage.

But taking the Target Center out of the bill raised concerns that the renovation would have a harder time passing were it voted on separately. And finding a way to include the work is seen as critical to securing Minneapolis City Council votes for the stadium plan.

"There is no scenario" in which the city would approve a stadium project without the Target Center plan as well, said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Lanning said that if the issues are put in separate bills, they will be introduced simultaneously. He also said he and Sen. Julie Rosen, who has been leading the stadium push in the Senate, will introduce their stadium bills at the same time.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen said he would prefer Target Center not be split off from the stadium bill. But he added that he would be open to supporting the package, depending on the details. He also would like to have some indication of the sentiment of the Minneapolis City Council but would not require an official vote ahead of time.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Hubert H. Humphrey
Metrodome

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

1989-1990
Target
Center

Target Center

1990-Present


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