The Minneapple just got a little sweeter.
Originally opened October 13, 1990, the home of NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and four-time WNBA Champions Lynx is back. Target Center undergone a $145 million makeover the past 18 months and was closed this past spring. The arena officially reopened Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Downtown Minneapolis is thriving, and the newly renovated Target Center adds to the momentum we’re building in the heart of our city,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said during the ceremony. “We did this the smart way. We didn’t tear down our arena like other cities have done.”
Renovating the arena saved the city $350 million and without tearing down the building it still looks as good as new. With new lighting fixtures about 2,500 LED’s have been installed which will save energy and brighten once dingy spaces in the arena such as the main concourse. This project also included a new flat screen-four-sided scoreboard, revamped restrooms, newer seats with the brands shade of blue and an upgraded sound system.
New additions inside the building include new premium spaces in Chairman’s Club, Lexus Courtside Club, TCL Theater Boxes and Club T.I. The entire premium level is now decked out with Treasure Island Resort & Casino Premium Level branding.
Outside the stadium people will see a three-story glass atrium looking into the building.
This renovations will provide “a first-class venue for world-class entertainment and a downtown jewel for years to come,” Hodges said.
The theme all summer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx has been creating a new look and era for Minnesota basketball starting with new logo designs. While Lynx have won four WNBA titles the past seven years, the Timberwolves have the longest active postseason drought in the NBA with their last appearance the 2004-05 season. That season Kevin Garnett won NBA MVP and led the team to its deepest run in franchise history reaching the Western Conference Finals.
This offseason Timberwolves have been busy building a contending team to start this new era. They traded to bring in Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague. They also acquired free agents Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford. Wednesday the team gave Andrew Wiggins a five-year contract extension.
With an improved roster and new arena, the goal for this organization has been to improve the fan experience via the “1” initiative. An initiate aimed to become the friendliest building in sports, a program created in collaboration with Disney. With the arena renovations completed, the organization is eyeing their home opener October 20 against the Utah Jazz in their upgraded arena.
“This gorgeous renovation has been years in the making; but in the end, we are all thrilled with the outcome and can’t wait to share it with our fans, sponsors and content providers,” Target Center Vice President-General Manager Steve Mattson said.
Target Center is the sixth busiest building in the United States and 17th busiest in the world.
By Gino Terrell