Pistons Hope New Practice Facility Is Seen As Community Hub, Team HQ
The Pistons' new Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center will be 185,000 square feet, making it the "largest practice facility and team headquarters in the NBA" when it opens in October, according to Rod Beard of the DETROIT NEWS. The facility will "house all of the Pistons' front office and operations staff." It will also be home to a 5,000-square-foot Plum Market and a 15,000-square-foot Blink Fitness health club -- both open to the public -- to "offer a unique blend as a community hub" and team HQ. Pistons Vice Chair Arn Tellem said, "We wanted to give them the feel that they're moving into a luxury resort, where they can relax and have fun and get mentally ready to prepare for the games." Beard noted the facility "won't be completed in time to host the Pistons' training camp, which could be held offsite like last fall when it was at Michigan's basketball facility in Ann Arbor." Conceiving the Pistons' new facility "took years in the making and included multiple visits to other teams’ practice facilities around the league, including the Lakers, Bulls and 76ers, to glean ideas for their own space." One potential use of the performance center is as a "community basketball facility that will be able to hold high school basketball tournaments, with seating up to 1,500 or more for other events" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/3). Tellem said of the team's investment in a new practice facility, "When we talk about retaining our players and attracting players, it starts with ownership." Tellem hopes the facility "encourages players who currently spend much of the off-season training" in the L.A. area to "stay in Detroit for a good chunk of the summer" (MLIVE.com, 8/2).
SEEING GREEN: In Detroit, Vince Ellis noted with the Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center "slated for an early-October finish date," the Pistons will "conduct training camp on the Michigan State campus in East Lansing." Meanwhile, Tellem reiterated the goal of the new venue was to "create a facility that will be a community hub for the New Center area" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/3).