On Tuesday, fans in Minneapolis fans got their first look at the Timberwolves' Mayo Clinic Courts, the brand new training center which Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins will use for the first time next month. Like many of the newest training centers, it's downtown.
And in Indianapolis, the Pacers announced they, too, will build a training center, replacing the court they currently use inside the Bankers Life Center, which has a near identical layout to Barclays Center. While the practice site at Barclays is more an iconic space for everything from shoot arounds to band practices, the similar sized space at Bankers Life is all the Pacers have.
It's part of what one owner --who's yet to find a location for his team-- called an "arms race" in the NBA for the newest, biggest and best training center. Along with D-League connection, a new training center is seen as evidence a team is serious about building for the future.
The Nets are spending $45 million on their site. The Pacers plan to spend a little more, but their site, across the street from their arena, but it will be five stories and house all the team's offices, not just basketball operations. Several other teams are doing the same. The Raptors are well underway towards their new center, 10 minutes from the Air Canada Center. The 76ers are expected to break ground this winter on a big new $82 million team headquarters in Camden, NJ. The Lakers recently got approval for an $80 million team headquarters near LAX..
In the last year or so, the Timberwolves, Pelicans, Bulls and Blazers have all moved into new or renovated space. In fact, the Indianapolis Star reports that Since 1999, 20 of the 30 teams in the NBA have built or are planning new practice facilities. But the pace has been quickening in recent years.
Each of the facilities have unique amenities. The Nets will have their rooftop lounge with views of Manhattan and New York Bay. The Blazers have a barbershop, the Thunder an auto-detailing service, the Lakers will have a meditation room.
"It used to be enough to give a guy a uniform and a ball and a place to shower and he was fine," Daniel McQuiston, a professor of marketing in the College of Business at Butler University, told the Indy Star. "That’s just not the case anymore."
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