Why El Segundo Is So Popular
The Lakers are building a new facility the team will move into after they move out of the one they have been sharing with the Kings.
LA Lakers chief operating officer Tim Harris said the team is excited about its new home.
"Being able to stay in the city is a win-win all the way around," Harris said.
The original plan was for the Lakers to have a training center within Staples Center, according to Harris. But the team gravitated toward El Segundo instead since a lot of their players live in the South Bay. One player in particular.
"We quickly realized Shaquille is not going to want to drive downtown at 10 a.m. on a regular basis," Harris said. "So we figured at some point we were going to need a new training center because we were going to get pushback from Shaquille in driving downtown, so the move to El Segundo was really born from Shaquille not wanting to fight the 10 Freeway."
The Lakers have a partnership with UCLA Health in El Segundo, too.
All of this comes in the midst of El Segundo celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, El Segundo Mayor Suzanne Fuentes said at the recent Bisnow Future of El Segundo event.
"It's important we build a space where our players feel like it is home," LA Kings president Luc Robitaille said.
He said many of his team's players also live nearby.
El Segundo's proximity to LAX has become a draw when pitching prospective players. For the players, who travel a great deal, an added benefit is they are five minutes from home when they land at LAX.
Harris said training facilities for players have become more like a home away from home.
"What you find is, the more time they can spend together, the better they're going to be as a team," Harris said. "What we've created for them is a second home, so when they come to the new training center, it will literally be a place where they can spend the entire day."