An item on the most recent Minneapolis public safety committee agenda, later approved by the full City Council last Friday, caught our eye.
It reads, "Bomb Security Services for Minnesota Timberwolves Games" and allocates $44,640 in city funds -- a total to be reimbursed by the team -- for that purpose.
That got us wondering -- is there a specific threat this measure is a response to? Or maybe it's more of a general security precaution?
Brad Ruiter, Timberwolves VP of Communications, tells us it's definitely the latter.
"It's league-required and was implemented about halfway through last season," Ruiter tells us. "It's an NBA-required security measure -- we have to do it."
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder says the MPD already has similar agreements in place with the Vikings and Twins, though this is the first time they've agreed to provide the service for a full season to the Timberwolves.
"It's just a standard agreement that we have with all the major sports teams in town," Elder tells us. "It's just a bomb sweeping, detecting service before each of the home games and homestands."
First-term council member and chair of the public safety committee Blong Yang tells us that in addition to the aforementioned teams, the City Council has also signed off for bomb sweeps at Gophers football games.
With regard to how much the MPD charges teams for those services, Yang says the MPD accounts for "labor and the time they're gong to spend there. The police department has a formula for that."
At the aforementioned public safety meeting, an official representing the city attorney's office said the bomb security team will involve a K9 bomb detector, along with one or two staff people working the Target Center during this season's games.