Minneapolis City Council approves deal to renovate Target Center

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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