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TIMBERWOLVES AND TARGET CENTER: I'S DOTTED, T'S CROSSED
Published September 27, 1994
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission and the new ownership of the Timberwolves reached agreement on "everything that's important" for a Target Center lease, according to commission chair Henry Savelkoul. The deal "seems to guarantee that pro basketball will remain in the Twin Cities for the next 30 years." The commission votes on the deal tomorrow, which will likely trigger votes by the Minneapolis City Council and Metropolitan Council approving the $75M public purchase of the "debt-ridden" facility. Under the agreement, the first $5.8M in ticket-tax revenues will pay off bonds used to finance the purchase. The Wolves will pay no rent, but there will be a 10% tax and at least a $1 surcharge on each ticket sold to a Target Center event. About $11.25M -- $750,000 for 15 years -- will come from the state's general fund, as generated by a tax on health club memberships. Savelkoul is confident that the deal will prevent the imposition of a downtown liquor and hotel tax, which would become permanent if the arena's revenues don't cover the annual bond payments. New Wolves Owner Glen Taylor "has expressed a desire to bring an NHL team to the arena," and Savelkoul believes the deal can allow for that (Jay Wiener, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/24).