Timberwolves & Lynx, AEG and Minneapolis Reach Target Center Renovation Deal
Minneapolis/St. Paul – The City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) announced today that the negotiation teams have agreed to the major terms of a $97 million deal to renovate the 23-year old city-owned Target Center. Minneapolis will contribute $48.5 million to the project, the Timberwolves and Lynx will pay $43 million and AEG will pay $5.5 million.
After months of talks, an agreement on a term sheet capturing the details of this public-private partnership has been reached. The deal will be presented to the Minneapolis City Council in the next few weeks.
“The new Target Center will be stunning. I am thrilled that Timberwolves and Lynx fans will soon have a first class experience when they come to our games,” said Glen Taylor, majority owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx professional basketball teams, which both use Target Center as their home. “This is a fair and sensible solution. Target Center has a perfect location and good bones, so we’re excited about building something truly special on that strong foundation.”
While design details will be finalized in the months to come, some elements of the renovation are already known. The renovation will improve the fan experience at all ticket level prices, with additional clubs and gathering spaces, as well as improved traffic flow. The exterior will also be updated to fit in better with Target Field and the surrounding neighborhood.
“We have some of the greatest fans in the world. It is time the quality of the building matched the quality of our fans,” said Taylor.
The renovation will also add features necessary to attract the best national entertainment acts to the upper Midwest, such as better premium seating, loading docks, lighting and sound equipment.
Because the Timberwolves and Lynx games make up about one-third of the events at the city-owned Target Center, the teams were originally slotted to pay 33 percent of the renovation. The new agreement has the them picking up nearly 50 percent of the cost.
“My vision is for Minnesotans to have first class professional basketball teams in a first class facility for decades to come, and so we stepped up our financial commitment,” said Taylor. “After looking at the numbers carefully, we are confident we can do everything we need to do with this budget.”
In addition to the renovation, Minneapolis has agreed to maintain a $50 million capital expenditure fund to ensure the city-owned facility remains fresh and competitive over its life.
“The Timberwolves are committing to the City over the long-term, and the City is committing to maintain Target Center over the long-term,” said Taylor. “We need Target Center to be competitive now and for another 20 years, and this agreement ensures that will happen.”
According to an analysis done by CSL, Target Center generates about $100 million per year in economic activity. The deal announced today will maintain that economic development asset for decades to come.
“The Timberwolves and Lynx have been great partners with the City. They are drivers in making Minneapolis one of the premiere entertainment destinations in the world,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “Target Center has been a huge economic development engine for Minneapolis. The renovation will not only refuel it to keep it roaring, but will also add some horse power.”
The renovation itself will put about 850 people to work on construction jobs. Maintaining Target Center’s viability will also keep about 900 jobs within the arena secure, and retain countless other jobs in area bars, restaurants, hotels and parking lots that serve Target Center visitors.