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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

NBA Timberwolves Fight for a Wall

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - The Minnesota Timberwolves say the owner of its home arena, the Target Center, is denying it the right to advertise on the outside wall of its own home court. The wall will face the new Minnesota Twins Baseball Stadium, and the NBA team says AEG Management wants the lucrative ad space for itself.

The Timberwolves Partnership says it has rights to advertise on the wall under contracts with the Minneapolis Community Development Agency and previous arena operators. The only exceptions in the contract are two restaurant signs, the team says.

The NBA franchise says it agreed to play all its home games at the Target Center until 2025, and was given rights to the exterior wall to help keep the team "financially viable." The Timberwolves say the contract gives it the right to sell outdoor advertising, with the arena operator's consent, "which cannot be unreasonably withheld."

AEG Management, which now operates the Target Center under a contract with the City of Minneapolis, has unreasonably withheld its consent, the team says.

"The back of the Arena facing 2nd Avenue North is clearly visible without obstruction from a significant portion of the seating areas of Target Field, and is a unique and extraordinarily located piece of real estate for placing advertising signage which will be seen by fans in attendance at the stadium as well as by people watching television when cameras are focused in the general direction of right field," the team says.

AEG unfairly rejected the Timberwolves Partnership request, "without a commercially reasonable basis," and wants the space for its own benefit, the team says.

The Timberwolves seeks declaratory judgment and specific performance. Its lead counsel is William Pentelovich of with Edelman Borman & Brand.

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