As part of the new Vikings stadium deal passed in May 2012, Target Center is going to get a major facelift. Before the final agreement was reached last month, it took a long time to finalize the deal. The deal calls for improving several features at Target Center, including adding a restaurant overlooking Target Field, enhancing the concourses, and installing a better sound system for concerts. But what really needs fixing is an accessibility feature that is undeniably the worst in Twin Cities sports structures: the elevator.
The fact that the Target Center has a single elevator is bad enough, but where that elevator is located is inexcusable. The elevator, even worse than the two at the Metrodome, isn’t in plain sight. In order to get to the elevator, you must go through a complicated maze of halls, pass the kitchen, and end up in the bowels of the 23-year-old arena. It is difficult locating Target Center’s only elevator without asking for assistance. I have to admit trying to find the elevator at Target Center is entertaining, but this has to change.
When the Twins built Target Field, they decided to add way more elevators than they had at the Dome. The Twins also housed these elevators in clearly marked rooms throughout the stadium. From becoming a Minneapolis laughingstock, Target Center needs to add a couple more elevators around the arena which must be made a priority. This feature is a must to bring the Target Center up to ADA standards. Each added elevator should be situated in plain view to fans with disabilities on each level of the facility. Here’s a fascinating fact: while Target Center has just one elevator, the Agganis Arena at Boston University has four passenger elevators.
Renovation, which will keep the Timberwolves and Lynx at the Target Center at least through 2032, is supposed to start next spring or summer and is expected to be completed around the same time the new Vikings stadium opens in 2016. I hope when the Target Center renovations are finished, there will be greater improvements to accessibility. Quick Question: What accessibility features would you like to see improved at the Target Center?
Written by: Michael L.Sack