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WITH SALE FINALLY SEALED, T-WOLVES LOOK TO THE FUTURE
Published March 24, 1995
Minneapolis officials finalized the buyout of the Target Center Wednesday, also completing the T-Wolves sale to Glen Taylor for $88.5M. In keeping with Taylor's plans to make the franchise profitable, the team is reportedly looking into using "virtual billboards" to increase revenue. Virtual billboards allow for ads that are seen on TV, but which aren't displayed in the arena. Wolves President Rob Moor: "The revenues just quadrupled in terms of our corporate signage." Sam McCleery, Marketing VP for Princeton Electronic Billboards, says his virtual billboard product has passed tests and they are "close to contracting" with an National League team to use the system this year. The "new" Wolves organization is also looking at other ways to increase revenue, including acquiring an NHL team, developing the area around the Target Center, changing the team logo. One possibility for redevelopment includes "perhaps incorporating a Niketown or Sony superstore" and other attractions around the arena. Also, team officials speculated that in-arena attractions, sponsored by business interests, could draw more fans games. Moor: "Sports traditionally has been such a stick-in-the-mud industry" (Bruce Orwall, ST. PAUL PIONEER- PRESS, 3/23). LACE 'EM UP? As part of the buyout, Taylor has first chance at owning any NHL team that might move to the Twin Cities. Taylor is responsible for paying the building's property taxes, and another revenue-maker in the facility would lessen that burden. Taylor: "My first goal is to get [a team] here. I don't have to own it all." Target Center Exec Dir Dana Warg meets with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman today. Warg claims two MN-based groups are interested in the Jets (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 3/23).