Whither the Timberwolves?

The big sticking point in the Vikings stadium debate at the Capitol, at one point this spring, was whether or not the lowly Timberwolves were going to get a piece of the action.

The deal for $150 million of city money for the NFL venue was predicated on clearing the way for (at least initially) a $150 million redo of the city-owned Target Center, the little-loved arena the Timberwolves have been prowling for 20 years.

Twin Cities Business Journal is out with an excellent Britt Robson piece on the revival of the struggling franchise. The story includes this nugget:

In the end, the bill allows Minneapolis to use $60 million to $70 million of its entertainment tax revenue for economic development, which includes Target Center. The public investment will have a significant private-sector match from the team and AEG, which manages Target Center, according to Johnson; negotiations on the terms and amount of the contribution are due to conclude in mid-fall.

That's not the $100 million share the city was initially thinking of, but that'll still pimp your average Midwestern arena quite nicely, we'd bet. The story also notes that Wolves' owner Glen Taylor's succession plan seems to be on about the same schedule:

As of early August, Taylor said he had received “seven serious inquiries.” While a majority of them were ultimately rejected because they wouldn’t guarantee that the Timberwolves would stay in Minnesota, Taylor told Twin Cities Business he was confident that he could publicly announce a succession plan involving a new partner sometime before the opening game of the 2012-13 season on November 2.

Will the Wolves be discounted by the price of the arena redo? Is a local buyer in the running? Tune in in October for more of the saga.

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