Cleveland Cavaliers unveil renderings for state-of-the-art riverfront training center

Tue, Mar 26, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Cleveland Cavaliers unveil renderings for state-of-the-art riverfront training center

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cavaliers are stepping up their off-court game.

The NBA franchise unveiled renderings on Tuesday for a new world-class practice and high-tech training facility for the Cavs and public use in downtown that will further develop unused land on the Cuyahoga River and perhaps help lure free agents to Cleveland.

Pending approval from the city's planning commission, the team is hoping to break ground on the 210,000-square-foot Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center later this year and open by 2027.

The complex is being privately funded by Cavs chairman Dan Gilbert in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. Gilbert initially envisioned using the acreage along the river for the second phase of a casino project that never came to fruition.

Now, it's being repurposed for the Cavs, who have been training in Independence, Ohio, since 2007.

While that facility remains fully functional and adequate, it's no longer practical as the team has expanded its staff and grown with the addition of the G League Cleveland Charge.

It's not feasible to expand that location due to geographic and logistical limitations, and the Cavs would prefer to be near Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The new facility is four times larger than the current one.

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"This project is the first step in creating a more vibrant and growth-oriented neighborhood, transforming the look and feel of downtown," said Gilbert, who plans a $3.5 billion re-development of the river front that has gone unused for decades.

Cleveland's downtown has undergone major growth in recent years, and several of the team's current players either live there or just minutes away. The Cavs are hoping the new facility could be a hub for players and that its many features could even entice some to sign with Cleveland - not among the top destination spots for millionaire athletes.

One of the coolest details at the facility is an immersive "shot lab" simulator that with the flip of a switch would allow players to replicate playing in other NBA arenas.

But it's not just for the pros as the Cavs, working with the architecture firm Populous, are designing a space in which all levels of athletes can develop their skills along with utilizing training, treatment, nutrition and recovery programs.

During the initial planning phases, Cavs officials have toured the facilities of other franchises to borrow ideas and get a sense of what has worked.

Last summer, while awaiting the arrival of top pick Victor Wembanyama, the San Antonio Spurs opened a $500 million training complex.

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