Mayor Rybak, Glen Taylor, Partners Unveil "Sensible Minnesota Solution" for Renovating Target Center
Proposal to renovate City-owned facility would take it into the next generation for one-third the cost of building a new facility
February 1, 2011 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson joined Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, the general manager of the Target Center and downtown Minneapolis business representatives today in unveiling a "sensible Minnesota solution" for vastly improving the competitiveness of the 21-year-old, multi-use, City of Minneapolis-owned Target Center and doubling the arena’s life for one-third of the cost of building a new facility.
Mayor Rybak said, "For 21 years, Target Center has been an economic engine and job creator for our entire state, hosting people from every county and returning 80% of the taxes it directly generates to the State. As Target Center has aged, however, its competitiveness has slipped.
"Now is the time to make a new public-private investment to move Target Center to the next generation and ensure its future competitiveness as a job creator. Today we’re proposing a sensible, practical and exciting Minnesota solution that will do just that — for far less than building a new arena."
Mayor Rybak continued, "Let’s not wait for Target Center to be too far gone, like we have with too many other facilities too many times across the country. We are a great state and a great region that deserves a facility of this caliber, so let’s do it differently in Minnesota, by investing in it now while it’s sensible to do so."
The renovation proposal unveiled today is on top of the $50 million that the City of Minneapolis has already committed over 10 years for basic maintenance and capital needs of Target Center. The $8 million for Target Center that Governor Dayton proposed in the bonding bill yesterday would also go to the same basic maintenance and capital needs. The proposal unveiled today, however, goes beyond those basic-maintenance needs to a renovation of the City-owned facility that will take it to the next generation.
"We strongly support the proposal to renovate Target Center at this point in time," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "Although Wolves games only account for 25% of the events in the building, we obviously have an opinion on the matter because it has a huge impact on our fans and their experience at games. Everyone understands that these are tough economic times, but this proposal is a smart, sensible and frugal approach to keeping Target Center competitive for the next 20 years."
"We’re grateful to Governor Dayton for recognizing in his bonding proposal that Target Center is an asset for the entire state that Minneapolis taxpayers subsidize," said City Council President Barbara Johnson. "A renovated, next-generation Target Center will not only continue to return significant economic benefits in jobs and taxes paid, it will help relieve the pressure on Minneapolis taxpayers."
"We are in full support of and will continue to be active in this project," stated Steve Mattson, general manager and vice president for Target Center/AEG. "In order to stay relevant and compete for major events, Target Center must undergo a major upgrade. To do so requires state funding beyond the current public and private resources available.
"Target Center is a viable arena in a fabulous downtown location," added Mattson. "Combined, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul market is extremely strong and has the ability to rival other major entertainment markets. Our goal is that a renovation of the arena will boost our market status as a major destination for premier entertainment."
"Target Center has a 20-year track record of strong, direct economic impact on downtown Minneapolis. Every business here understands that to reap the benefits provided by a world-class arena, we need to keep Target Center fresh, competitive, modern and state-of-the-art in all respects," said Sam Grabarski, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
Todd Klingel, president of the Minneaoplis Regional Chamber of Commerce, echoed that statement. "The State of Minnesota originally invested $7.3 million in Target Center and has received $125 million back in state tax receipts. Those taxes in turn support initiatives in every corner of Minnesota, making Target Center one of our state's significant economic engines. Now is the time to revitalize this proven statewide asset and keep that return on investment flowing for decades to come."
Quick facts about Target Center
• Target Center is owned by the City of Minneapolis, which contributes $12 million a year to maintaining, operating and paying the debt on the facility.
• Target Center is a statewide asset that generates over $100 million in new economic impact a year.
o It directly supports 200 full-time and 500 part-time jobs, and indirectly supports another 1,000 jobs.
• Target Center hosts around 1 million visitors a year at close to 200 events.
o 75% of those events are non-Timberwolves events.
• Target Center patrons come from all 87 Minnesota counties and nearly every Minnesota zip code.
o 23% of tickets are bought by people outside the 7-county metro area, 13% by people from outside Minnesota.
o 70% of tickets are bought made by people or organizations outside Minneapolis. (This number is conservative, since many large businesses or organizations based in Minneapolis buy large blocks of tickets that they distribute to people who live outside Minneapolis.)
• In 21 years, Target Center has generated $150 million in sales, income and liquor taxes — $120 of which were collected by the State of Minnesota.
• The State’s return on investment in Target Center over 21 years has been nearly 17:1 (on a $7.3 million investment).
Target Center is 4 th-oldest arena in country to host an NBA team.
o The other three arenas are only one year older than Target Center.
o The other teams that entered the NBA with the Timberwolves are now all playing in new arenas.
Quick facts about the renovation:
• $155 million total cost is 1/3 cost of new arena. (New peer facility in Orlando cost $480 million.)
• Renovation will add two more decades to functional life span of Target Center, doubling its life.
• Renovation will create 1,100 jobs during construction.
• 95% of construction dollars will be spent in Minnesota.
Renovation features include:
• Uses best practices of urban design to make the building more pedestrian friendly and integrated into its surroundings
• Develops architectural elements like the roof line to tie Target Center to the design of Target Field
• Replaces some concrete block with plate glass to create transparency and highlight the energy and excitement of the building
• Move the main lobby to the corner of 1st Ave. and 6th St. inside a new glass atrium
• Seamlessly integrate Target Center into Target Plaza with a new glass atrium lobby on the corner of 2nd Ave. and 6th St.
• New digital signage system that makes glass atriums into video displays
• Add a new restaurant that overlooks Target Plaza
• Create a new, open-design skyway level with new retail opportunities
• Develop new loading dock and marshalling area to make show load-in and load-out more efficient
• New storage areas for bulk items like seat risers
• Renovated locker rooms and dressing rooms
• Renovated concourses and concessions stands
• Renovated restrooms
• New food court on the back side of the building
• Creation of new, flexible seating options including loge box and banquet seating
• Create new club seats in the upper level
• Creation of a new public bar that overlooks the arena in the upper level
• Creation of 3 new clubs for patrons in the lower level
Expansion of Club Cambria and creation of a new club on the executive level
Published Feb. 1, 2011