This is what the Raptors' training facility will look like
The Toronto Raptors' planned $30 million, 68,000 sq. ft. Exhibition Place training facility moved a step closer to reality earlier this week. The city's executive committee voted to give the centre, which will be funded by Maple Sports and Entertainment, the green light. All that stands in the way now is the approval of city council next week.
The basketball centre would be built on a parcel of land at the west end of the Exhibition Place grounds, next to the Medieval Times arena, which is currently a baseball diamond.
Inside there will be two basketball courts and a range of other facilities. As part of the agreement with the city, the Raptors will make the majority of daytime and evening court time available to the public, though Rob Ford criticized the possible $160 an hour rate.
Toronto parks staff say there is a shortage of premium basketball courts close to downtown.
As part of the proposed deal, MLSE will rent the Exhibition Place land from the city. Over the 20-year term, the owners of the Raptors will pay approximately $4.4 million--roughly $205,000 a year. In addition, the team will pay about $400,000 a year in property taxes.
The team hopes to have the training centre open in time for the Toronto NBA all-star game in 2016.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Image: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment