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Target Center talks resume this week

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: January 8, 2013 - 3:43 PM

Talks are slated to resume this week between the Timberwolves and city officials over the joint funding of Target Center renovations, a deal that has taken longer than expected to ink.

Timberwolves Senior Vice President Ted Johnson said the two sides will meet later this week after being on hiatus since mid-December. It's been more than seven months since the Vikings stadium agreement paved the way for a $100 million renovation of the city-owned Target Center, but an agreement has proven elusive because of cost disputes between the city and the team.

Johnson said they had been making their planning predictions based on a deal being signed by the end of 2012. That date has passed, but “we’re not in danger yet.”

“We know that if we can get this done here in the next couple of weeks we’re still fine,” Johnson said. “But we need to understand at what point are we crossing that line and what’s the impact.”

A handout distributed at the last Target Center implementation committee -- which has now met twice -- projected that construction will begin by May.

The team is consulting planners to determine what additional delays might mean. Johnson said it could change the makeup of the deal, since the team is making its funding decisions based on capitalizing on certain new revenue streams (i.e. a new club) by the 2014-2015 NBA season.

Johnson said previously that the agreement was delayed because the city unexpectedly increased the private ratio of the public-private funding split. The cost of the project has also changed, from an initial $150 to something closer to $100 million today.

A deal may be around the corner, however. The city and the team had a "constructive exchange" when talks left off in December, Johnson said.

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