Target Center's $140M Renovation Nearly Complete Ahead Of T'Wolves Home Opener
There are "thousands of reasons" to like the $140M Target Center renovation, which is "nearly complete" heading into the T'Wolves' home opener on Friday, according to Jace Frederick of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Extra windows were placed throughout the concourse, making Target Center "look bigger," even while "staying in its same smallish footprint in the heart of downtown Minneapolis." The atrium that "houses a new lobby and bar on the club level look out into the city, making the view out of -- and into -- the arena more pleasant." The new Lexus Club "delivers an all-inclusive experience," while a beer garden "overlooks the court." A second entrance "should ease walking congestion before and after games," as it has gates with the ability to handle 25-33% of the arena's new capacity (18,798). The T'Wolves' new locker room also is "spacious and clean, with a circular design that creates more open room." Even the visiting locker room, which the Lynx will use during the WNBA season, is "now bigger with better lockers." T'Wolves Chief Strategy Officer Ted Johnson said, "People are pleasantly surprised when they see how we've been able to open it up." T'Wolves F Shabazz Muhammad added, "This place has actually some life in it" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/17).
RIGHT ON TARGET: In Minneapolis, Rochelle Olson wrote the arena renovation was "needed for a 27-year-old facility that showed its age." Most of the changes are in the "concourses and hospitality areas." The venue "lost 400 seats, but wasn't reconfigured." Two of the "bigger changes: The additions of a skyway from Ramp A that creates a new entrance on the southwest corner of the building and a two-story atrium on the northeast side of the building that faces downtown, serving as a new glittery lobby." The centerpiece of the atrium is a "multi-light chandelier in the shape of a basketball net." Suspended above it and "visible from the upper level is a metal basketball sculpture." Olson noted wood-style finishes, metal trim and warmer lighting "fill the formerly bleak gray concourses" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/17). Also in Minneapolis, Michael Rand wrote, "It's Target Center, but it's not Target Center. That's good." The T'Wolves "put the money in the right places." The concourses are "wider and spruced up" and there are now "natural gathering spots where there used to be dead ends, wasted space or foreboding walls." It is as though everything the T'Wolves have done in the last decade-plus has been "shoved into an old storage closet and painted over with dark blue" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/17).