Sanford Health's big sign on Target Center coming down soon

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2011 - 7:02 AM

The health system's ad on the side of Target Center came under harsh criticism.

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Sanford Health sign on the side of Target Center.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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The advertisement for Sanford Health that caused such a kerfuffle when it appeared last year on the side of Target Center will be history by month's end.

When Target Corp. renewed naming rights to the Timberwolves arena in September, the retailer also gained access to what has become a coveted piece of real estate for advertising -- the area Twins fans see from inside Target Field.

The large and illuminated ad for Sanford Health, a nonprofit health system based in the Dakotas, drew ire from civic leaders. City Council Member Lisa Goodman said she was "just disgusted by it." Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat said the 2,800-foot sign would "cheapen" the public art and spirit of Target Plaza.

Timberwolves President Chris Wright said the Sanford moniker will be down Oct. 31.

Now it's up to Target -- whose name and iconic bull's-eyes already cover the baseball stadium -- to decide what people sitting inside will see when they look out. Spokeswoman Jessica Carlson said the retailer is "continuing to evaluate that space."

Andrew Richburg, Sanford Health's executive vice president of marketing, said he can understand Target's interest.

"It's great real estate," he said. "We'll figure out another creative and unexpected way to connect with the Twin Cities."

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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