BROOKLYN — The Nets play their home games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn during the season, but the team still holds practices in New Jersey. That won’t be the case much longer. Next season the team will open a new $50-million state-of-the-art practice facility in Sunset Park.
It’s just one subway stop away from the arena. PIX11 got a look at some of the progress and all of the views.
Scheduled to open in February, the Hospital for Special Surgery Training Center will serve as the new practice home for the Brooklyn Nets. The 70,000 square foot facility is located in the heart of Industry City and includes panoramic views of New York Harbor.
“I think it’s going to be fantastic,” said Irina Pavlova, President Onexim Sports and Entertainment, the company started by Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov. “I’m really excited to have been here from the start and to have been a part of the selection process and finding this place.”
In today’s NBA top notch facilities can be a big draw for free agents, which is why the team spared no expense when it came to creating the facility.
Nets Director of Operations Tony Brasile says the key is to make the players feel at home throughout the facility, especially in the locker room.
“The goal in here was a calming, natural, wellness zone,” said Brasile. “We’re using a lot of wood tones, so it’s very inviting it’s very relaxing. So when the guys just finished working out, or they’re in the weight room or on the court, they can come in here and relax.”
To create the practice court crews are raising the ceiling to 34 feet. Outlining the new design in steel and preparing for 16 foot glass windows to take advantage of the view.
Once it’s finished the team will have everything they need to get ready for games.
“You’re going to have all the amenities on the court. You’re going to have TV’s, dry erase walls, everything that the coaching staff needs to draw up plays,” said Brasile.
Once it’s complete the Nets will move basketball operations out of East Rutherford to the new facility, bringing more than 40 full-time jobs to Brooklyn.
But Pavlova says the facility will be a lot more than a place for the team to practice.
In addition to serving as the training facility for the Nets, the HSS Training Center will also host youth basketball clinics, community events, and job fairs.
“We’re not just investing in the team with this facility, we’re also investing in this neighborhood,” said Pavlova. “We’re very excited to be a partner with Industry City and catch it at a stage in its development where we can really make a difference.”
The Nets had hoped the facility would be finished in time for the start of next season, but construction is taking a little longer than expected. So the team will start the season practicing in New Jersey, before they officially move to the new facility sometime in February.