SBD/October 29, 2013/NBA Season Preview

Minneapolis, T'Wolves Agree On Tentative Deal For $100M In Target Center Upgrades

Target Center renovations were initially pegged at $150M
Minneapolis and T'Wolves officials yesterday announced a deal to "roughly split the cost" of a $100M Target Center renovation, nearly three years "after the plan was first outlined," according to a front-page piece by Eric Roper of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The renovation will "redesign the exterior of the 23-year-old building, create additional gathering spaces, improve pedestrian traffic flow, upgrade amenities, increase the seating capacity, add additional VIP clubs and fix loading dock problems." It is "expected to make the building more competitive for concerts, as well as a better home for the sports teams." The agreement, which "must be approved by the City ­Council, would commit" $48.5M in city sales taxes to the renovation, plus another $43M from the T'Wolves. Venue operator AEG "would kick in" another $5.5M. The deal keeps the T'Wolves, WNBA Lynx and AEG at the arena until '32. If approved by the council, construction "could begin in spring or summer" of '14 and continue for 18-24 months. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said that it will "occur in phases and allow for continued use of the building for most, if not all, of that time." The cost of the renovation was "initially pegged" at $150M, but that cost "was scaled down during negotiations." Rybak: "The bottom line is had this deal not been done, we still would have been putting money into this building ongoing. But it would have deteriorated much more rapidly.” The City Council will "hold a hearing on the agreement this Thursday, with a full vote expected on Nov. 12" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/29). In St. Paul, Belden & Brothers note the city's financial contribution "will come from local sales and hospitality taxes freed up under the 2012 state legislation that allowed construction" of the new Vikings stadium. Improvements also "are ahead for St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center, which sometimes competes for shows with Target Center." The Wild manage Xcel Energy Center, and a team spokesperson said that improvements "could begin next summer" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/29).
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