Lakers to build new practice facility to help lure free agents
The Lakers are planning to build a more modern training facility that they hope will also attract future free agents, The Times has learned.
The Lakers will stay in El Segundo because they like the area and its proximity to LAX, but will no longer share a building with the L.A. Kings and a skating rink often open for public use.
The Lakers have been at the place currently known as the Toyota Sports Center since 2000. It was was built for about $24 million by Anschutz Entertainment Group.
Instead of being a tenant, the Lakers would own the new facility, paying for its construction but likely securing annual income via naming rights. Their new location will be within a quarter of a mile of the Toyota Center.
“We have had initial conversations with a developer and the city of El Segundo but we have nothing further to add at this time,” Lakers spokesman John Black said Tuesday.
There is only one basketball court at the Lakers’ current facility, and the team long ago outgrew its office space there. Several Lakers departments, including marketing, ticketing, corporate sponsorships and community relations, are located in a different building a block away.
The newer Clippers’ training facility is only five miles away in Playa Vista and represents everything the Lakers want -- two basketball courts, plenty of executive offices and state-of-the-art video and weight rooms in 42,500 square feet.
The Clippers opened their $60-million facility in 2008 after years of practicing at an El Segundo health club and L.A. Southwest College.
It is unclear if the Lakers’ training center would be completed by the time they plan to target big-name free agents Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge in July 2015 and Kevin Durant in July 2016.
The Lakers keep a very low profile at Toyota Sports Center, with no signage announcing their existence on their side of the building. The Kings, on the other hand, have a large sign proclaiming it to be their home.
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