The Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team will build a new $20 million, 35,000 square-foot state-of-the-art training facility on two acres in the eastern portion of Playa Vista Phase I.
The Clipper training facility will be built at the intersection of Centinela Avenue and the new Bluff Creek Drive, between Jefferson and Sepulveda Boulevards.
Andy Roeser, Clippers executive vice president, said the project will be funded by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The new practice facility for the National Basketball Association (NBA) team will include two regulation NBA basketball courts, team offices, a 2,600 square-foot training and strength and conditioning area, full locker room and shower facilities, digital video production facility and a player’s lounge.
Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff said the land was sold to the Clippers organization for under $4.9 million.
The new facility will be constructed in the Playa Vista Phase I area known as the “Campus” of Playa Vista.
“This is great for Los Angeles, Playa Vista and the Clippers,” said Soboroff, an avid Clippers fan.
“This is quality and excellence all the way around.”
The Clippers facility will be the first new building in the Campus area, he said.
DreamWorks SKG had considered building a film and television studio at the site, but those plans fell through in 1999.
The Clippers basketball team, which practiced last season at the Spectrum Club in El Segundo, will now have a more convenient location for many players to practice, Soboroff said.
Two Clippers players, Corey Maggette and Chris Wilcox, already live at Playa Vista, and seven other players currently live within ten minutes of the site, Soboroff said.
“People like to live close to where they work,” Soboroff said.
Roeser agreed with Soboroff that the Clippers new training center at Playa Vista will be a more pleasant commute for many athletes.
“We’re excited and we think it will have a significant, positive impact on our players,” Roeser said.
“A lot of players live in the area and it will be convenient for them to get to and from the facility.”
The state-of-the-art facility will also help provide an “extra edge” in preparing the Clippers for the high level of competition in the NBA, Roeser added.
Roeser admitted the Clippers looked at several sites for a new practice facility, including the Home Depot Center in Carson.
But Roeser concluded that Playa Vista was the best choice.
The plans for the Clippers to move to Playa Vista have been in the works for about a year, Roeser said. Soboroff said he proposed the idea of using the Playa Vista site to Clippers officials because he knew the team was interested in finding a Westside location for the practice center.
“I thought it would be a good location for them and it worked out for us,” Soboroff said.
Playa Vista is an ideal site for the Clippers because the location has close proximity to the San Diego Freeway (I-405), Roeser said.
The Playa Vista training site will be 17 miles from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the team plays home games.
“Playa Vista is the perfect site,” he said. “The site was already zoned for 35,000 square feet, which enables us to proceed very quickly with the project.”
While location is a definite perk of the new training center, Roeser said having an exclusive facility for the Clippers is just as significant.
The team has been working out at other practice sites for many years, including the Spectrum Club and Los Angeles Southwest College.
Roeser said the Spectrum Club has “worked out well” and the Clippers will continue to use the club while the new center is being built, but the team is eager to have its own training center.
Grading work on the parcel has already begun for the facility.
Construction of the Clippers training center is expected to begin in the fall and the facility is expected to open September 1st, 2006, Roeser said.