Target Center

Experiential Design + Wayfinding

How do you make the 6th busiest building in the United States easy to navigate? That’s one of the challenges DI faced when partnering on the $145 million Target Center renovation during 2016 and 2017. Originally built in 1990, the Target Center arena was in need of a dramatic update to stay relevant and competitive in the sports and entertainment world, particularly as the home to the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx.

Located in the heart of downtown and connected to Minneapolis’ sprawling skyway system, Target Center hosts millions of people each year. Nearly every surface in the building was updated, including the addition of a glass facade connecting the vibrancy of downtown to the activities within the arena. The iconic basketball and net illuminated sculptural feature, visible from the exterior of the building’s primary entry, invites guests inside to explore.

Another challenge included creating a space which reflected a unified brand, representative of not only the Timberwolves and Lynx, but of AEG and the many events hosted at Target Center. Dedicated implementation of brand color, consistent wayfinding elements, and a concerted effort to maintain a “Target Center” aesthetic which was representative of each entity without being specific to any single one, emerged as the solution to DI’s design team.

The most striking feature of the building is the two-story ball and net element, which fans first experience from the exterior as they approach the main entry, and again once inside where they can stand below the illuminated ball over a glass floor, looking down through the net to the lobby below.

Storytelling features throughout the building invite guests to explore their favorite team or artist at a level beyond the game or show which brought them to the arena. Club spaces were designed to be reflective of regional icons and neighborhoods within the city, and large-format graphics remind visitors that they are within a space that is uniquely Minneapolis. Careful consideration was given to wayfinding to ensure efficient traffic-flow during busy game days and non-public areas, such as team locker rooms, were enhanced through custom portals, lighting, and graphics which keep the teams at the competitive forefront of expectations for NBA and WNBA environments.

We couldn’t be happier for all of our fans along with the millions of people who have shared a great experience or memorable moment here in this arena.

Timberwolves & Lynx CEO Ethan Casson

The renovation project was a joint venture between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, the City of Minneapolis, and AEG Facilities. The renovation was completed by Tegra Group, Mortenson Construction, Alliiance, and Perkins+Will, and Dimensional Innovations. Dimensional Innovations scope included signage and wayfinding solutions, enhancing the fan experience with wow moments, integrated technology, sponsorship activations, concessions branding, and additional interior branding.