Is It Arena Game Time Again In The Twin-Cities?

Minnesota Timberwolves' Malik Beasley, left, is defended by Toronto Raptors' Norman Powell during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

The Minnesota Timberwolves 33-year-old arena is nearing the end of its life span.

If and when Alex Rodriguez and his group officially buy and take over the National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves franchise, one of the first decisions that Timberwolves’ ownership must make is what to do with the team’s 33-year-old arena. In this day and age, a 33-year-old venue even with recent renovations is nearing the end of its lifespan. The Timberwolves’ building is the second oldest arena in the NBA. At some point, Minneapolis politicians will have to start playing the arena game and figure out how to proceed. Build a new facility, update the present facility or let the NBA business go elsewhere. The Twin-Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul market is used to playing the arena or stadium game and franchise owners threatening to move without a new facility. One owner left, Norman Green who took the NHL North Stars to Dallas in 1993. The rest of them got new facilities.

In 1953, after watching Milwaukee politicians build a stadium and lure Major League Baseball’s Boston Braves owner Lou Perini to town, Minneapolis and St. Paul politicians spent $8.5 million to build a stadium in Bloomington near Minneapolis and St. Paul. The place opened in 1956. MLB approved the transfer of the Washington franchise to Bloomington in 1960 and an NFL team started playing there in 1961. The building was outdated by the end of the 1960s. On the same property an arena that could accommodate a National Basketball Association and a National Hockey League team was erected. An NHL team started in 1967 in the arena. An American Basketball Association team flopped after two years. The arena was razed in 1994. Since 1955, the Twin-Cities market has had three baseball stadiums, a football facility, four arenas, a college football stadium and a soccer stadium built. It costs billions to construct facilities and none of the venues ever last.

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FILE – In this July 11, 2017, file photo, former baseball player Alex Rodriguez reports from the field during the MLB baseball All-Star Game in Miami. Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore have signed a letter of intent to buy the Timberwolves and keep the NBA franchise in Minnesota. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed the agreement. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)