The Hennepin County (Minn.) Board today is expected to approve “a sweeping plan to add a park, jumbo display screen, retail stores and a public plaza” to the $79.3M rail hub being built near Target Field, according to a front-page piece by Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Twins President Dave St. Peter yesterday said that the new hub, to be called Target Field Station, will be "Minnesota’s version of New York City’s Grand Central Station when it opens next year." The Twins and United Properties will pay $3.7M to Hennepin County, including $1.75M in cash, $240,000 to "defray the cost of building 250 parking spaces for future office space, $750,000 for a jumbo display screen overlooking the 65,000-square-foot public plaza," and $1M in unspecified enhancements and features. The plaza during Twins home dates "will be tightly connected" to the games. The plaza and amphitheater "could be the site of movie nights, music and festivals," and the jumbo screen "could broadcast games for not just the Twins, but other Minnesota teams." The Twins are "expected to develop 2,400 square feet of retail space near the hub." St. Peter said that the businesses "will be chosen to serve both rail riders and to meet the desires of the neighborhood" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/12).
In Denver, Ryan Parker reported Pepsi Center is "installing walk-through metal detectors for all games and concerts," to be in place before the Avalanche's first preseason game on Sept. 18. Pepsi Center will be "the first professional venue" in Colorado to install permanent detectors. It is "unclear what the exact process -- removal of pocket items and belts -- will be" (DENVER POST, 9/11).
OHIO PLAYERS: In Cincinnati, Sharon Coolidge wrote the full tax rebate "promised to Hamilton County voters when they approved building" Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park in '96 "may be gone forever." A stadium fund plan that runs through '19 and features "a reduced rebate going forward" was presented to Hamilton County commissioners on Monday. The reduced rebate "means the fund would be balanced through the next five years after four years of shortfalls" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/11).
GOING TO ROCKVILLE? In DC, Kelsey Koenen writes the plan for a new arena in Rockville, Md., "got a big boost" last week when developers D&A Sports disclosed that the AFL has "shown strong interest in locating a franchise in Montgomery County." D&A Sports co-Founder & Principal Tom Doyle said AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz "let us know the AFL is supportive." Doyle said D&A "would become the franchise owner for this area." He added the "target" budget would be around $50M (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/6 issue).