With the NBA season less than three weeks away, the final touches are being put on the $130 million Target Center renovation project. The arena, which opened in 1990, will be modernized and number of new amenities will greet fans at the home opener on October 20th.
One of those new amenities is a new team store located in the skyway. The remodeled store opened on Friday morning coinciding with the soft launch of the new Nike x NBA apparel. This is an especially big deal for the Timberwolves who have an entirely new logo and collection of jerseys this season. The new shop is spacious and well-lit. The store itself won’t blow you away, but the year-over-year upgrade here is huge. The new space offers lots of room for countless new classes of product, rows of hats, plus entire sections dedicated to Women and plus sizes.
I talked to Sean Ryan the Vice President of AEG merchandise about the store’s opening. Judging by the sweat beads on his brow, it was clear Sean and his team were under the gun to get the doors open on time, which they did much to the enjoyment of the 30 or so people waiting in line Friday morning. The new store is 50 percent bigger than the cramped, closet of a space Wolves fans are used to. There are over 75 new items including merchandise from Nike, Under Armour, Majestic and New Era. Previously the store was entirely Adidas product.
As of today, they have Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns Swingman Icon (blue) jerseys in stock, with much more arriving in the coming weeks and months. The white “Association” jerseys will be coming soon, green “Northern Lights/Statement” jerseys available in November, and one more, yet to be unveiled jersey released in December.
The WNBA merchandise contract is still with Adidas until the end of the season, and we can expect to see new Lynx gear coming in November. Finally, Sean informed me that there are other great retail updates awaiting fans inside Target Center. Walk-in retail stores are being constructed on both the 100 and 200 level of the area and will replace the “belly-up” merch counters of the past.
As the sawdust settles and the paint dries around Target Center, excitement builds for the 2017-2018 Timberwolves season. The opening of the team store is just another reminder: Wolves basketball is back.