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Bulls To Relocate Practice Facilties Downtown

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 13, 2012 3:40PM

2011_11_26_bulls_logo.jpg The Chicago Bulls appear headed in the same direction as companies like Sara Lee and Motorola: downtown. After decades of operating out of suburban Deerfield, the Bulls intend to build a new practice facility downtown to replace the 20-year-old Berto Center in Deerfield. Prior to opening the Berto Center, the Bulls practiced at a nearby Multiplex health club.

With their base of operations in Deerfield, the players tended to live in the North Shore suburbs nearby. That meant 25 mile commutes to the United Center on game days. By moving to downtown facilities, players will already be downtown for pre-game shootarounds and training sessions, and presumably more players will live downtown to shorten their commute. Additionally, the move would consolidate the team's basketball operations and marketing teams in one location.

Plans center around a privately funded practice facility and restaurant/entertainment complex located just east of the United Center.

But the idea for moving was apparently planted during a discussion between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "The Mayor stressed that the Bulls brand is important to the city, nationally and internationally, and that the Bulls represent the spirit and competitive grit of Chicago," Reinsdorf said. "He thought centralizing our team assets inside the city limits would be a show of our ongoing commitment to Chicago."

Derrick Rose, who recently purchased a condo in the Trump Tower, must be ecstatic about this announcement. But with easier access to the city's nightlife and potential for trouble that sometimes follows pro athletes, do the Bulls have to worry about an increase of player incidents compared to when the players were safely ensconced in their suburban McMansions? Regardless, if you're in the market for a million dollar pad in the north suburbs, there's likely going to be a surge in inventory soon.