Moving out of Allen Park Already?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In 2002, the Detroit Lions moved from their former stadium, the Silverdome, located in Pontiac, MI (approximately 20 miles north of Detroit) to their new stadium (Ford Field) located in downtown Detroit. Complimenting the move back in to Detroits city limits, the Lions built their new headquarters in Allen Park, MI (adjacent to the city of Detroit- about a 5 minute drive from Ford Field). The headquarter building is about 460,000 square feet; housing the Lions day-to-day operations as well as a full indoor practice facility with ample gym and weight room space along with a lockerroom almost comfortable enough for the entire roster to live in. Oh yeah, I left out the additional 2.5 practice fields outdoors. The cost of this facility alone was more than $35 million. The reason why some may find this information interesting: Tom "The Killer" Kowalski of has just posted a story stating that Coach Schwartz believes in moving the players out of the area for camp! While Kowalski speculates that there remains only little doubt that camp would actual move from Allen Park next season; it just seems like a pretty unreasonable time to even make such a request. Considering the amount of money that was spent developing and maintaining the Allen Park facility, the current state of franchise (both fiscally and popularity wise), and the current state of the economy (not to mention the teams owner)-- this is a request that just doesn't make financial sense. Since this is Coach Schwartz's first season, the Lions fan-base is going to have to get used to how he works and how his coaching (as long as he's putting together a talented squad and winning games, I don't think that anyone is going to care where or when they practice). But in the NFL (a.k.a. the 'Not For Long' -or- "show me" league), most would want to see "on-field" success and see that the franchise is moving in the right direction before basically abandoning a $35 million facility (not even six seasons old) built specifically for practicing and training camps. The whole purpose of building this new facility was to have a state of the art facility, from which a talented and success team could be grown. Even though that hasn't been the case (yet!), Schwartz was brought in to change that, and that before he starts changing practice locations and spending dollars the franchise doesn't have, they may want to start with what they have.