Target Center – Minnesota Lynx
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29
Target Center 600 North 1st Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403
Minnesota Lynx website Target Center website
Year Opened: 1990 Capacity: 19,356
Pride and Passion in Minnesota
Target Center in downtown Minneapolis is home to the four-time champion Minnesota Lynx; a franchise that has registered an impressive 182-56 record since winning its first WNBA title in 2011. The team has become a model franchise and has the largest season ticket base in the league.
The Lynx returned to the Target Center for the 2018 season after playing one season across the river in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. The move to the temporary home was due to a $140 million renovations at Target Center that improved concourse and seating areas.
A two-story atrium was created with a multi-light chandelier in shape of a basketball net with a metal basketball sculpture hovering above. The arena also saw wood-style finishes, metal trim, and warmer lighting to the 28-year-old arena.
However, it is the fans that create much of the ambiance inside the arena during games and without them, the building would lose much of its soul. Watching a Lynx game at the Target Center is among the best places in the league to enjoy a WNBA game.
Food & Beverage 4
There was a complete overhaul in menu options that feature prominent local restaurant partners as well as chef-inspired and locally sourced food options. These include the city favorites along with traditional menu options for fans to select.
Parlour Burger grinds sirloin, ribeye, and brisket into their burgers, SotaRol that offer spicy tuna and crab/shrimp sushi burritos, and Fhima’s offer spicy chicken mac sandwiches and chicken tulips (a tender version of chicken wings with a signature seasoning).
Lord Fletcher’s offers walleye or pot roast sandwiches, City Girl Coffee has fan-favorite coffee drinks, and Freschetta offers Italian and meatball grinders. There are also brisket paninis, pulled pork loaded fries, chicken and waffles, and krispy krunchy chicken at other concession stands.
The beer selection includes Bud products along with local craft brews Surly, Lift Bridge, Fulton, and the ever-popular Grain Belt. Wine and cider are also available along with Coca-Cola products.
The Lynx fans are among the best in the WNBA and last season averaged over 10,000 fans a game–only second to Los Angeles. They have been spoiled with winning seasons and long playoff runs for the past seven seasons that includes four titles and two finals appearances. They have been the most consistent winner in the Twin Cities this decade.
The team employs a hype man that attracts close to 10,000 faithful standing in the lower bowl before the opening tip-off. The crowd cheers vehemently as the team makes its way to the court and won’t sit down until the Lynx score a basket.
Prowl is the official mascot of the team an is downright menacing than other mascots in the league. He also engages the crowd from the court or in the stands banging on a drum during the game.
The passionate crowd also gets treated to t-shirts tossed into the crowd during breaks, halftime shows, and the Lynx players even perform a dance after a home victory. Target Center serves as the perfect canvas for WNBA basketball and the biggest fanbase in the sport.
Downtown Minneapolis is a collection of funky streets, numerous skyways above the streets, and up and coming neighborhoods that all seem to converge at Target Center and the neighboring Target Field ballpark.
A popular place across the street before games is Kieran Irish Pub, the outside patio is a great place to grab a drink if you arrive a tad early before the game. The Depot Tavern is an old bus station turned into a place for cocktails and beers, and Seven Steakhouse Sushi offers rooftop seating and views before or after the game.
The funky Hennepin Avenue has a collection of local establishments after the game for drinks and music, but the up and coming Warehouse District is just a few blocks away featuring casual seafood restaurant Smack Shack and craft breweries Fulton Brewing Taproom and Inbound BrewCo.
The Mill City Museum is a wonderful way to spend a few hours learning about the city’s milling industry along the river, Foshay Museum and Observation Deck offers stunning views of the city, and perhaps there is a chance to take a tour of the home of the Minnesota Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium. A few miles outside of town and accessible by car is Paisley Park Studios, the iconic former home Prince.
The Lynx fanbase is a group of supporters that any basketball team would want to have at home. The crowd is here to watch the game and cheer their club on to victory. The fan support is evident with average numbers around 10,000 a game, high TV numbers in the market, and the largest season ticket base in the WNBA. The crowd gathers up before the game at local spots near the arena with Lynx gear and once the game begins, they are glued to the action on the court.
The lower bowl is the only area that is open for seating for Lynx games and the main concourse wraps around the entire building that provides a perfect way to enjoy the game and make it easy to access seats, bathrooms, and concession stands. The recent renovations have made finding the bathrooms even easier with wooden finishes and bold black lettering.
The facility is easily accessible via mass transit, automobile, bicycle, or walking. A 24-hour pass on the light rail system is $4 and provides access to every sporting facility in the Twin Cities. Also, driving to the arena is simple for the downtown venue with various garages ranging from $8 to $20 in cost within walking distance.
Return on Investment 4
The cost of a ticket to a game begins at $18 and ends at $75, but there may be lower priced seats on secondary market websites. However, a $20 price point to watch basketball with some of the best fans in the league is well worth the price at the box office.
As mentioned earlier, the arena is accessible via mass transit for around $4 or by car where parking lots cost somewhere in the range of $8 and $20. Depending on where you’re staying in town, the intricate skyway hovers over the city streets and provides protection from the summer heat.
One point for the fans that really make the arena come alive during the summer months; they are the soul of the Target Center.
A second point for the high quality of food that includes gourmet hamburgers with brisket and ribeye, spicy tuna sushi burritos, steak paninis, and deep battered walleye sandwiches and nachos.
A third point for the team mascot Prowl who is among the better ones in the league and makes its presence felt throughout the game.
A fourth and final point is for how accessible the arena is via transportations of all sorts. You can get to see a game via the light rail, automobile, train, or a bike share program. All of these will not hurt your wallet and some of the options make a great way to enjoy heading to the game.
A WNBA game at Target Center offers gourmet food and passionate fans. If you happen to have some time in the Twin Cities during the summer months, a Minnesota Lynx game is an enjoyable night of sports revelry