Minneapolis City Council approves deal to renovate Target Center
NOV 12, 2013 10:20a ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Before too long, Timberwolves fans should have a pretty good idea of what the face-lifted Target Center will look like in 2016.
The Minneapolis City Council approved Monday the term sheet deal between the team, Anschutz Entertainment Group and the City of Minneapolis to renovate the 23-year-old arena. Now that the city is officially on board, the parties can convene a design team and begin drawing up plans for the project.
It took months of back-and-forth for the sides to agree to a 50-50 split between public and private funding for the improvements -- $43 million from the Timberwolves and Lynx, $5.5 million from AEG and $48.5 million from the city. But final council approval was a matter of course, as council president Barb Johnson predicted when the renovations were announced last month.
“I appreciate the City Council approving our project," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. "They have been great partners and I look forward to continuing our strong relationship. Now we can look to the future to provide the next generation of Timberwolves and Lynx fans a first-class experience.”
The city also agreed to set aside a $50 million capital expenditure fund for future, less sweeping updates to keep the building looking new.
Design work is scheduled to be completed this winter, with construction commencing once the Timberwolves' season is over. The new-and-improved Target Center, according to officials, will feature more clubs and gathering spaces, increased traffic flow and a spunky new outer façade.
According to a third-party financial analysis, the Target Center generates about $100 million per year in economic activity.
Basketball events make up only 33 percent of its activity, so the renovations include enhancements for concerts and other forms of entertainment, too.
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