The Chicago Bulls held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s brand new practice facility today. The new Chicago Bulls facility is being built in the United Center’s Parking Lot J; east of the arena across from South Wood Street. Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Bulls President and COO Michael Reinsdorf were joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr.
Bulls representatives including Executive VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson, General Manager Gar Forman, Head Coach Tom Thibodeau, and Special Advisor to the President and COO Scottie Pippen, as well as local community leaders were also on hand for the event. The new venue, which will be funded completely by the Bulls, is scheduled for completion in time for the 2014-2015 season.
“Today’s ceremony marks the start of an exciting phase in the relocation of the Bulls practice facility to downtown Chicago,” said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “Our new practice facility is being designed and built in a way that will help us achieve the team’s number one goal – winning championships.
I want to thank Mayor Emanuel and local community leaders for their continued encouragement and support for this project. We are all eager to see this new facility realized and know it will play an important role in the ongoing redevelopment efforts in our West Side neighborhood.”
Here’s some links to photos from the ground-breaking ceremony
According to Forbes, the Bulls are worth $800 million as a franchise.
From Crain’s Danny Ecker:
Still to be determined, however, is whether Mr. Reinsdorf and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, who co-own the United Center, will build a $75 million to $85 million, 260,000-square-foot retail complex in the parking lot between the arena and the new practice building.
Plans for the complex reportedly include a number of restaurants, bars, a team store and event space.
The building will be 44 feet high at its tallest point; with a 162-space parking lot. Bulls players would rather live in Chicago than the suburbs, said Bulls President Michael Reinsdorf in DNA Info Chicago.
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Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and YardbarkerPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks