Playa Vista and Los Angeles Clippers officials gathered at the Playa Vista site of the future state-of-the-art training center for the Clippers Thursday, April 5th, to officially break ground for the 42,500-square-foot facility.

The new training facility, which will be built on two acres near the intersection of Centinela Avenue and Bluff Creek Drive in Playa Vista, is scheduled to open early next year, Clippers officials said.

The project is expected to cost about $50 million, according to some reports.

The two-story practice facility for the National Basketball Association (NBA) team will include two regulation NBA basketball courts and a 2,600-square-foot training and strength and conditioning area.

Other features of the facility include team offices, a full locker room with shower facilities, a digital video production facility, a media workroom and a playerís lounge.

The new training center will be constructed in the Playa Vista Phase I area known as ìThe Campus at Playa Vista.î

In breaking ground for the facility, Clippers officials, including owner Donald Sterling, executive vice president Andy Roeser, NBA legend and Clippers vice president of basketball operations Elgin Baylor and head coach Mike Dunleavy, joined with officials from Playa Vista, including president Steve Soboroff.

Sterling, who will fund the project, called the groundbreaking for the teamís future training center a ìhistorical moment.î

ìWeíre trying to build something that weíre so super-proud of and that weíre so happy to call a Clipper home,î Sterling said of the facility. ìWe want a facility that we can be proud of for years.î

When he announced the sale of the Playa Vista land in July 2005, Soboroff said it was sold to the Clippers organization for under $4.9 million.

DreamWorks SKG had considered building a film and television studio at the site, but those plans fell through in 1999.

Soboroff, an avid Clippers fan, said Playa Vista is ìreal excitedî about the addition of the new training facility to the community.

Clippers officials said the Playa Vista facility will offer a more pleasant commute for many of the athletes, with nearly two-thirds of the teamís current players living within ten minutes of the site.

The team has been working out at other practice sites for many years, including the Spectrum Club in El Segundo and Los Angeles Southwest College.

Roeser said Clippers officials expect their athletes to have the best environment to train and the state-of-the-art training center will help provide an advantage in preparing the Clippers for the high level of competition in the NBA.

Dallas-based Turner Construction Company will serve as the general contractor on the project. The company has completed projects for such other NBA programs as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks.

The Playa Vista training site is located 17 miles from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the Clippers play home games.