Timberwolves CEO Rob Moor will play an influential role in overseeing the recently started renovation of Target Center, which will take 18 months and include $100 million in improvements. At a ceremonial demolition Wednesday to signify the start of the renovation, Moor chatted with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand:
Q Did you feel like you were last in line for a while in terms of sports facility upgrades with everything that has been built in and around Minneapolis in recent years?
A It’s a process, so you just have to understand that each team has to find its own solution. In our case, we had to work closely with the city and it just took awhile to work through the details.
Q When this renovation is finished, what are going to be the main highlights that people will be able to see?
A The signature item is going to be the entrance on Sixth [Street] and First [Avenue]. We’re suddenly going from concrete blocks to opening up with glass and being able to look into the building — with the energy of the building pouring out with every event. That’s going to light up the whole area. Inside, I think as soon as we are into the Olympic break for the Lynx we’re going to put a new scoreboard in. So that’s this summer, and that’s going to be an amazing scoreboard — state-of-the-art, beyond what anybody in this community has seen yet. And the suites will be open in October, which will be incredible.
Q I’ve heard you’re pretty close to a solution for where the Lynx will play temporarily in 2017 during the renovations. Is it between Xcel Energy Center and Mariucci Arena?
A That’s a pretty good guess.
Q Is there a preference either way?
A The filter for us is the fans. We’re working through what’s the easiest thing for them. It’s really tough for us to tell our fans, “You’re going to have to learn a new place to park, learn a new routine.” Our base has been so loyal. We’ve had the same season seat holders for the last 15 years. We’re going to ask them for one season to relearn all their habits. We want to make that as minimally difficult for fans as possible.
Q Target Center was referred to during this event as “ugly.” Do you have any soft spots for this building?
A For me, it’s the location that’s incredible. There are so few arenas that are right downtown in a beautiful downtown, right next to the ballpark and right next to a transit hub. If you were to design this from a city planning standpoint, you’d do it that way. It’s so nice to see that this has all evolved and that we have this incredible thing where we can pretend we’re geniuses like we planned it all.
Q Can you conceive of how much better the facilities in the Twin Cities are now vs. 25 years ago?
A I’m the immediate past chair of Meet Minneapolis, and our job is to attract all kinds of visitors to the city. I’m telling you, it’s getting really easy. This city smokes all the other competitors it has. I recently visited the new U.S. Bank Stadium and I was like, ‘There’s no question there should be a Super Bowl here.’ As soon as we’re done with the renovation, we’re going to go for an NBA All-Star Game. We’re going to go for a WNBA All-Star Game.