Block E in downtown Minneapolis is undergoing a massive renovation. It now houses the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, and soon the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx will move into their new practice facilities there.
The new facility is more than twice as big as any of the other facilities out there. The building's interior is unrecognizable, except for a single 100-person movie theater being kept for team use from the multiplex once inside what was Block E.
The massive 107,000 square-foot training facility is the largest in the NBA. To compare, the current training center used today in the bottom of the Target Center is just 13,000 square feet.
"We spent a lot of time trying to make this visual connection between our arena and how it's going to be renovated and our new complex here," Ted Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer of the Timberwolves, said.
Johnson showed off their massive office space overlooking the corner of the Target Center that will soon be the arena's main entrance.
"We anticipate using this quite a bit before games and after games entertaining clients in conjunction with the game across the street," Johnson said.
A pair of courts made of maple is getting their final sanding, right in the middle of the team's two-story complex in what is now known as Mayo Clinic Square.
"It gets easier once you learn the courts are in the middle and everything else goes around it," Johnson said.
Almost everything else, on both floors, looks into the courts through glass. The coaches offices, the owners' viewing room, even the weight room -- which, like everything else, is much bigger.
"Thirty-six foot high ceilings compared to the eight-foot ceilings our athletes currently use as a weight room," Johnson said. "Pretty dramatic, pretty stark difference."
The Wolves are hoping to be able to use the facility by June 1, 2015.