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The new Target Center math

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The Star Tribune's Eric Roper reports that the bill for rebuilding Target Center has been formally slashed by a third. From the original $150 million plan, the project has been cut first to $135 million and now to $100 million, according to Roper. The number was slumping as low as $95 million in preliminary plans offered during the height of the Vikings stadium battle last spring.

Roper includes a comment from the Timberwolves Ted Johnson, saying the city, arena manager AEG and the Wolves were "sharpening their pencils" on the project. That's usually code for "value engineering," which is usually code for "doing less."

But there's another not-so-subtle turn in the plan. "The renovation cost is expected to be split about evenly between the city and private tenants, such as the Timberwolves," Roper says.

That's a BIG change. The original roll out had the city offering a 2-for-1 match the private investment in the project: $100 million in public money and $50 million, primarily from the Timberwolves and arena manager AEG. As recently as May that number fell to a 70/30 split or even a 60/40 split with the private parties involved in the deal, according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

But it looks more and more like the Timberwolves and Lynx will be going dutch with the city on their renovation plans.