Minnesota

Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx home court Target Center officially reopens after $145 million renovation

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.”

minneapolis mayor betsy hodges

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges speaking at the podium during Target Center’s ribbon cutting ceremony in Minneapolis October 12 (photo courtesy of Target Center).

Renovating the arena, rather than tearing it down, saved the city $350 million and 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.

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The new look for Target Center’s Minnesota Timberwolves court after new branding and $145 million renovation (photo: Gino Terrell).

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.

These 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 initiative aimed to become the friendliest building in sports, a program created in collaboration with Disney. With arena renovations completed, the organization is eyeing their home opener October 20 against Utah Jazz.

“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.

Gino Terrell

Gino Terrell

Gino Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN number 1 newspaper), KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists (most notable: NABJ Student Journalist of the Year) and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul). He was once the sports editor for The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026