Lakers building new practice facility
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers' rebuilding efforts includes plans for actual construction.
The Lakers entered into an agreement to purchase a five-acre lot of land just minutes from its current practice facility in El Segundo, Calif., in order to build a brand new training center, the team announced Tuesday.
There was no ground-breaking time frame or expected completion date for the facility released however, as the purchase is "subject to various conditions, including the approval by the City of El Segundo of the proposed use of the property by the Lakers," according to the team.
The new building would also be home to the Lakers' D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, as well as the business operations offices for both teams.
The Lakers currently practice at the Toyota Sports Center, a site they have used since 2000. The Lakers will own their new practice facility, whereas they are tenants at Toyota Sports Center, which is owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). AEG also owns Staples Center as well as approximately 30 percent of the Lakers franchise.
"Our present facility, that's been our home for 14 years, has served us well," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. "I think 14 years ago our facility was state of the art and we've made improvements over the years and now it looks like we have an opportunity to improve and design a free-standing facility that will once again be state of the art and a place that we can call home for many years to come." Outside of the benefit of having a more spacious, independent practice facility, the Lakers' primary motivation for the move would be to build a place that will provide an asset when it comes to attracting free agents, according to a team source.
The Toyota Sports Center is also the practice home for the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. It only includes one full-sized basketball court. The standard in the NBA as new practice facilities have been opened up across the league has become two full-sized courts, much like the Los Angeles Clippers' $60 million practice facility which opened in 2008.