From the Star Tribune:
Minneapolis and Timberwolves officials announced a long-awaited deal Monday to split the cost of a $100 million renovation of downtown's city-owned Target Center.
The agreement, which must be approved by the City Council, would commit $48.5 million in city sales taxes to the renovation, plus another $43 million from the Timberwolves. Venue concert operator AEG would kick in another $5.5 million.
"It took a little while, but we got it done," Mayor R.T. Rybak said at a press conference in the lobby of the building.
The renovation will redesign the exterior of the building, create additional gathering spaces, improve pedestrian traffic flow, upgrade amenities, increase the seating capacity, add additional VIP clubs and fix loading dock problems. The deal also keeps the Timberwolves, Lynx and AEG at the arena until 2032.
So after a few years now of negotiations and debate, the team and the city have finally struck a deal they can agree on. The venue has been in need of a facelift for a while now, both aesthetically and functionally, especially with Target Field right outside its windows.
Short of tearing down the whole thing and building a Barclays Center analog , this was always by far the best option. A lot of businesses and vendors rely on Target Center and Target Field's visibility and event-hosting (estimates put the amount of economic activity that TC alone generates each year at over $100 million) and of course, the novelty of Center, Field and the giant Target Store/HQ being all in the same area is good for branding.
The plan promises to improve access and traffic flow, which is badly needed at the Skyway entrance in particular. Hopefully improved dining, like what you get at suite level at the Xcel Center, is on the list. I'd also like to see public Wifi access. I think sports teams in general (with the NFL needing to get their heads around this the most) don't yet understand how much of a benefit it is for us to be able to access mobile at these venues.
As mentioned above, the plan still needs to be voted on, so an actual timetable for all this isn't set yet. But we've been waiting for a long time for a deal to even be officially announced, so it's good to see progress happening.
--Also, for those who haven't yet, I highly recommend checking out SBN's tour of the Barclay's Center. That place is Fynnin' amazing.