The City of Minneapolis is going for the sports stadium trifecta with plans to renovate Target Center already underway. In March, the city council approved of the plans by a 10-3 margin, and included a guaranteed maximum price of $102.8 million for the $129.8 million project that will reshape the home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx. Construction was originally slated to begin in May but officially began earlier this month.
There will be three phases to the project, with the arena to remain open for business throughout the first two phases. This marks the first major change to the arena in its 26-year history.
Phase one will include improved acoustics, improving the arena’s 68 suites, and the jewel of phase one: a new, giant, video scoreboard that is being touted as the largest in the Upper Midwest.
It won’t overtake the soon-to-open Golden 1 Center—the new home the Sacramento Kings—as the largest scoreboard in the NBA, but will still have a massive 4,300 square feet of display space. The scoreboard will have a 15-display center-hung configuration and is being built and installed by Daktronics. The scoreboard will be installed this summer during the WNBA Olympic break.
In addition to the large scoreboard, eight vomitory signs, two tunnel signs, and four corner scoreboards are being added as well as multiple new digital displays on the exterior of the arena.
Phase two will focus mainly on the exterior of the building, including a new five-story glass wall located along Sixth Street, which is intended to better connect the arena to the surrounding Warehouse District. Also on tap are improved loading docks and three additional truck bays.
Phase three is slated to take place sometime in 2017 and will close the arena. Improvements during this phase include a new lobby, locker rooms, dressing rooms, public restrooms, concourse improvements, and additional club spaces.
Work on the entire project is expected to be completed in time for the 2017-2018 NBA season. By that time, downtown Minneapolis will feature three state-of-the-art venues, as the revamped Target Center is next-door to Target Field—home of MLB’s Twins—and the Vikings will be moving into U.S. Bank Stadium this fall.
Images courtesy of Minnesota Timberwolves, via Targetcenterrenovations.com
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