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Timberwolves transforming downtown Minneapolis, launching watch party ahead of Western Conference finals

Wolves excitement sweeps over downtown Minneapolis
Wolves excitement sweeps over downtown Minneapolis 01:47

MINNEAPOLIS — Before game one of the Western Conference finals could even tip off, the Minnesota Timberwolves had already made an impact off the court.

In front of a crowd of about 25 people outside of the Target Center, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey joined the city's Public Works department in hanging a brand-new Timberwolves themed street sign for First Avenue.


"The whole team is coming together in such an amazing way right now. I think you've got to be an idiot not to support it," Frey told reporters afterward.

Frey says he's got a bet with the mayor of Dallas on the outcome of the series, but he's also betting on the city's comeback, hoping the Timberwolves could be a catalyst.

"There is a whole lot of people that have wanted to feel pride in Minneapolis — that love this city," he said. "And they're just so excited to see it come back."

Ahead of Friday's second game, the Timberwolves announced they'll host a free watch party — transforming a surface lot adjacent to the stadium into a watching area complete with music, live broadcast of the game, food and more.

"This is a big moment for our city and we take that responsibility as a real responsibility and an opportunity. This is now a global stage," said Timberwolves COO Ryan Tanke. "The idea of bringing so many people back downtown Minneapolis, the eyeballs that this is going to bring to the state of Minnesota — it's a huge opportunity for all of us."

The watch party will open at 4 p.m. Friday and can hold a crowd of 4,000 people. It's free, but the team is requesting anyone coming to register online

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