By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor
City of Minneapolis officials vow to continue backing the city-owned Target Center renovation, Finance & Commerce reports. Although the city would like to carry out the work in parallel with the construction of a new football stadium downtown, the officials assured the public they will continue to finance the project even if the stadium ends up somewhere else, like Arden Hills, said Chuck Lutz, director of the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department.
Mayor R.T. Rybak at a Minneapolis City Council Committee of the Whole meeting proposed to redirect taxes currently earmarked for the Minneapolis Convention Center to help finance a stadium. The proposal was strongly criticized by several council members.
Recently, plans for a new football stadium have cast a shadow on the Target Center upgrade, but the city wants to stick to its plan to renovate the 19,000-seat arena. The plan calls for $100 million in financing from the city and $50 million from Los Angeles-based AEG, which manages the arena and the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. According to calculations, estimated costs for the project represent a third of the expenses that a new arena would incur.
Rybak said he does not believe the city should own Target Center in the long run. The city’s outstanding debt on Target Center stands at $56.1 million, which is scheduled to be paid off by 2025, according to city spokesman Matt Lindstrom.