When the 2017-18 NBA season rolls around, the Minnesota Timberwolves will see the finished results of a three-phase renovation to the Target Center.
Over the last few years, significant attention has been paid to the developments unfolding at the arena. Starting last spring, the renovation process has led to numerous changes. Phase one saw new suites and upgraded video displays as among the amenities added, while phase two was marked by the beginning of exterior improvements.
The Target Center’s progress has been closely tracked in the past, but the ongoing work at the arena is some of the most significant to date. During the current phase of the renovation, the Target Center is being upgraded in several areas. Essential behind-the-scenes amenities—such as the locker rooms—are being overhauled.
There will also be noticeable improvements for fans and event attendees. Work is taking place during this phase to improve the Target Center’s concourses, along with its restrooms. In addition, more club space will be added during phase three, and an additional $9-$12 million in private investment in the project that was revealed earlier this year, allowing for upgrades to seating and technology, along with a skywalk off of the back side of the venue.
In what will be one of the most striking changes from this round of additions, the Target Center is receiving a new lobby. As the result of this project, the main entrance on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street will be highlighted by glass windows that extend five stories. This will allow for more natural light into the arena, while giving Target Center attendees a view of the surrounding area.
Allowing for fans to have a view of the Target Center’s surroundings is not the only goal of the renovation. With this project, arena officials anticipate that people on the outside of the venue will now have a better look at what is unfolding inside. “One of the challenges that Target Center has had traditionally, it was built as a concrete box,” Ted Johnson, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx chief strategy and development officer and senior vice president told The Pioneer Press earlier this week. “You could have Garth Brooks here for a record-breaking run of 14 shows, Western Conference Finals for the Timberwolves, and no one on the outside would ever know it because you couldn’t see into the building.”
During the final period of its renovation, fans will have an opportunity to look at the work taking place inside the Target Center. It was recently announced that during the months of August and September, tours of the arena will be offered to the public. More information on times can be found here, but tours will take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, except for September 2.
To accommodate this phase of the renovation, the WNBA’s Lynx shifted their home games to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The ongoing work is expected to be completed in October, allowing for the Timberwolves’ schedule to unfold without interruption.
When that time comes, it will mark a new era for the Target Center, which will be one of the latest NBA arenas to receive a significant overhaul. The project at the Target Center is not the only major renovation taking place in the NBA this offseason, as the Utah Jazz are carrying out an extensive overhaul to Vivint Smart Home Arena and the Atlanta Hawks are beginning upgrades to Philips Arena.
Renderings courtesy Target Center Renovation
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