Feb 1, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT
What’s the lifespan of an NBA arena, before it becomes a dinosaur?
Apparently, about two decades.
The Timberwolves play in the 21-year-old Target Center in Minneapolis and Tuesday owner Glen Taylor and community leaders started to lay out a $155 million plan to modernize the building. What they want to do is find a public/private partnership to enhance public money and revenue bonds in place, everyone told the Star Tribune.
“If we could have our wish list, we do what a lot of other communities have done, and that would be have a new facility,” Taylor said. “But I served in the Legislature. I know the difficulties that the government is facing, so we have never asked for a new facility. What we want is to bring this up to date for our fans. … We want our fans to have the same experience that they would have at Target Field, the Xcel Center or the new football field at the University of Minnesota [TCF Bank Stadium].”
A $1 billion bonding plan announced by Gov. Mark Dayton Monday includes $8 million to match city money (Minneapolis mayor R.T.) Rybak said will be used for basic upkeep at Target Center. The city already has $50 million in tax increment financing funds over the next 10 years aimed at keeping the facility functional.
“Now we have to come up with a public-private venture to bring it up to another level,” Rybak said.
The amenities being discussed are changes to seating and sight lines (making it easier to draw concerts to the venue), more and better food vendors, more bathrooms, and a beautification of a building that from the outside looks like a lot of cement. Part of the plan is to change the corner of the building where the main entrance is to create a more inviting space and lobby area.
Only three other NBA teams have older buildings, and the Kings are desperately trying to get out of theirs while Madison Square Garden is undergoing a massive renovation.