The Sid Hartman statue outside of Target Center, commemorated in October of 2010 in honor of Sid's 90th birthday that year and other seemingly impossible work-related milestones in both newspapers and radio, was temporarily removed earlier this month as crews began ramping up renovations on the home of the Wolves and Lynx.
If you're wondering where it went, you're not alone.
"I've been asked 1,000 times," Timberwolves President Chris Wright said in a phone conversation Monday morning. "In fact, you're the 1,001st."
So, um, to reiterate: Where is it?
"It's bubble-wrapped and is in a very secretive location with armed guards around it," Wright said, using a mixture of humor and fact.
He wouldn't divulge the exact location in order to keep snooping folks away from it while it's in storage.
"It's in a basement somewhere so we can protect the statue for as long as we need to," Wright said.
Until its temporary removal, the statue resided on the corner of Sixth Street and First Avenue. That spot will be a focal point of the renovated Target Center, with a new five-story glass atrium on that corner serving as a more engaging entry point into the facility. The Sid statue will move to a different location once renovations are completed in 2017.
"There's a whole group of us that funded the statue in the first place and got approvals for it," Wright said. "That same group has come back together and has been meeting about the removal and storage as well as where it would be placed going forward. … It will be in or around Target Center and Target Field. It will be in a high-profile place where the fans of multiple sports and events at Target Center and Target Field will see [the statue] in a prominent place. We're not ready to state that location just yet."
The statue has become a significant landmark in the nearly six years since it was installed. Hartman, now 96, still writes a sports column multiple times a week for the Star Tribune and makes regular radio appearances for WCCO. He has worked in radio in this market for more than 60 years and newspapers for more than 70 years.
"It honors the man, doesn't it?" Wright said. "Sid is an icon in this marketplace. He knows everybody in this marketplace and is very well-respected. It's important for all of us that the legacy of Sid lives on. He's had a major impact in so many ways on all sports."
The statue isn't the only major piece involved in the renovation, of course. With the Lynx on break for the Olympics during most of August, a new scoreboard was installed at Target Center. It will be up and running officially for the first time during the Lynx's first home game after the break, Sunday vs. the Seattle Storm. Wright added that suite level work continues and is slated to be completed by the start of the Wolves' season in October.