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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

Target Center – Minnesota Lynx


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Target Center 600 North 1st Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

Year Opened: 1990 Capacity: 19,356

 

The Top Cats In The Twin Cities

The Target Center has been the major indoor sports center for basketball since it opened in 1990. It is home to both the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA and the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. It has also hosted basketball tournaments at the college level as well as the state basketball championships at the high school level.


The Lynx are by far the most successful basketball program at the Target Center. Since beginning play in 1999, the team has won WNBA titles four times (2011,2013,2015, and 2017) and has won Western Division titles four times (2011,2012,2013, 2015). The team has made the WNBA playoffs for ten straight seasons. Coach Cheryl Reeves has been with the Lynx since 2010 and is a three-time WNBA Coach of the Year. She is a four-time coach of the WNBA Championship team. She has also served as the coach for the West Division of the WNBA’s All-Star team on three occasions.


Food & Beverage 3

The Lynx food and beverage options at the Target Center offer a diverse set of menu options. Fans can pull up the menus for each of these concession stands and order their choices on the Lynx app. It will then notify them when their items are ready, which keeps the lines at the stands short and minimizes the fan’s time away from the game. All concession stands operate on a cashless basis. Concession stands that operate at Lynx games include:


The Wicked Kitchen- This stand offers items based on a plant-based menu. Its’ menu includes vegan burgers, salads, gluten-free foods, and even gluten-free ice cream.


Fhima’s features Wagyu Sliders as well as Spicy Chicken Lollipops. Parlour features double burgers with Swiss American cheese on a brioche bun. Mini Donuts offers donuts either by the bucket full or the bag full.


Bibigo features sweet and spicy chicken, chicken wontons, and beef mandu. Soul Bowl features a Caribbean line of food bowls featuring different spices and ingredients. Stilly offers a line of premium distilled cocktails in a can. Flavors include Cranberry/Lime, Grapefruit, and Peach.


All stands offer Coca-Cola brand soft drinks and bottled water. The end zone area of the Target Center is devoted to the Budweiser Beer Garden, which sells both Bud and Bud Lite options, as well as some craft beers.


Prices of the concessions at the Target Center are the same as those charged at the individual stores outside of the arena.


The Warehouse District offers a wider variety of restaurants within easy walking distance of the arena. You might want to enjoy a pre- or post-game meal at one of these restaurants, and just enjoy a drink or snack inside the Target Center.


Atmosphere 5

Even though the Lynx utilizes only the lower level of the Target Center seating bowl, there is an electric level of energy in the building. The team is welcomed like the sport's royalty they are as they enter the court for warmups. The introduction of players before the game rivals any level of sports, for men or women. The lights are out, but the players are in the spotlight during this phase of the pregame show.


Once the game begins, each stop at the opponent’s end of the court receives a tremendous round of applause. Three-pointers by the home team receive a similar response from the crowds.


The Target Center has gone through numerous renovations in its thirty years of operation, with the latest occurring in 2016. This renovation included every area of the gameday experience. It totally replaced every seat in the venue, and updated all electronics packages in the venue, covering everything from the sound system to the videoboard. The building also went through an extensive renovation of its interior, working its way up from the street-level entrance lobby to the skybridges that connect the building to most of downtown Minneapolis.


Neighborhood 4

The Target Center is one of the landmark anchors in the Warehouse District just north of the downtown area. The district also includes Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins of the MLB. The Warehouse District is also a hub for galleries, shops, boutiques, restaurants, and nightlife in Minneapolis. Many of these stores took over the spaces formerly used by warehouses in the old days. Among the favorite spots in the district are the Loon Café, the Fulton Brewing Company, and Cowboy Jack’s Saloon. Lodging in the district is provided by the Hampton Inn and Suites Minneapolis Downtown, which is connected by skybridge to the Target Center.


Fans 5

It should come as no surprise considering the team’s history of success over the years that it has a very loyal, and loud fanbase. The Lynx's average attendance is 7,168 fans per game, putting them second in the WNBA attendance, trailing only the Seattle Storm.

Lynx Fanbase, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


The stands fill as quickly as the Target Center doors open, as fans do not even want to miss the warmups Be sure to look up at all the various championship banners the Lynx have earned at the Target Center over the years. It is a great way to get fired up before the game even starts.


Access 4

The Target Center access is unique in that most of the fans enter the building via a network of skywalks that connect the major building in downtown Minneapolis. The skyways are very important in the Twin Cities, as they protect the natives and visitors from the sub-zero temperatures that winter brings. Fans can enter the seating bowl at the Target Center 60 minutes prior to tipoff, but fans can access the building earlier than that via these skybridges. Fans can also enter through the lobby at street level earlier than one hour for seating bowl entry. Remember the temperatures during the WNBA season are warmer than the winter months, so walking outside may be easier depending on where you are coming from.


The Target Center has three parking garages labeled A, B, and C. It is important that you remember which letter your garage was, as all three are connected to the Center via separate skybridges. Parking is also available in the Mayo Clinic Square Parking deck located across the street from the Target Center. There are more than 12,000 parking spaces in the Target Center area.


The Metrorail light rail system brings you very close to the Target Center. Take the Blue Line train north towards Target Field. You will exit the train at the Warehouse District Rail Center. From the Rail Center head southwest for .10 of a mile to the Target Center and enter through the street-level lobby. A 24-hour fare on Metrorail costs $5 and is good for 24 hours after purchase.


Return on Investment 3

Seats in the Target Center come at three price points. Seats on the sides at midcourt go for $36. The remainder of the seats along the side of the court go for $31, and the corners at the end of the court are priced at $26. There is no seating behind the goals at Lynx games, as the space is taken up by the Budweiser Beer Garden at one end and the North End Bar at the opposite end.


If you are coming via Metrorail and have a 24-hour pass, the cost will be $5.


Parking at lots A, B, or C will cost you an average of $15.


Concessions are priced at the same price you would see in their neighborhood operations.


Extras 5

The Lynx play an active role in their community. They are very involved in the area of breast cancer. Each year the team sponsors a fund-raising walk at the Mall of America. They also salute the members of the military community with a Salute to a Homegrown Hero at each game. The team’s charitable foundation known as the Pack Gives Back supports more than 200 community organizations through both charitable donations and donating tickets to the communities they serve.


The roof of the Target Center is “green”. The 2.5-acre roof is covered with plants that are typically found on the prairies of Minnesota and that are hearty enough to withstand the state’s harsh winters. The plants extend the life expectancy of the roof by over five years and conserve water by lessening the amount of rainwater that runs off into the Mississippi River.


The Target Center is at the forefront of women’s sports. It hosted the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Finals in 2022 and will host the Big 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament in 2024.


The Target Center is the leading concert venue in the Twin Cities area. Thirty-five members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have given concerts at the venue.


Bullseye, the Target company’s mascot dog, is well represented at the Target Center. He has a statue in the street-level lobby as well as his likeness dominating the exterior of the building. There is also a live mascot Bullseye present at many games.


Final Thoughts

The Lynx are the top cats of the Twin Cities, as they have won multiple WNBA championships over the years. The Target Center provides a worthy home for the Lynx’s lair.

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