Detroit Pistons’ new center is community inclusive


Detroit Pistons new performance center Image: Detroit Pistons

The American professional basketball team based in Detroit, USA – National Basketball Association (NBA’s) Detroit Pistons – are the proud owners of a new futuristic training center that not only offers its players state-of-the-art facilities, but it also includes leasable space for community access.

Detroit headquartered architectural design and planning firm Rossetti has designed the Henry Ford Performance Center which sits two miles north of the team’s residence Little Caesar’s Arena and enjoys 185,000ft2 of multifunctional space.

The facility brings the Detroit Pistons basketball and business operations together into a new class of NBA training facilities and headquarters combined on an urban campus. The Performance Center adjoins the new William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine. A 125-foot enclosed glass walkway connects the building to give the team easy access to injury diagnosis and rehabilitative treatments.

The design process started with the players first by programing the basketball court in the heart of the building. As the largest volume on the site, the space features two and a half courts located side by side. Glass windows on all sides of the court ensure transparency in the dealings between the internal departments and the community. To enable the coaching staff to gauge the players’ standards when it comes to the game, nine basketball hoops have been outfitted with tracking technology. The design also includes tiered seating for spectators during times when the public is welcome into the facility.

Player amenities sits along the northern side of the building which sees enough daylight and this will enable them to make optimum use of the same. The 5,000 square feet weight room opens up to the courts and is equipped with avant-garde equipment, apart from double-height glass to allow flow of natural light. One can also catch a glimpse of Detroit’s iconic Fisher Building and stay connected to the city landscape. Close to it is a 7,000 square feet Training Suite featuring a cryo chamber, hot pool, cold pool, underwater treadmill, sensory deprivation tank, sauna, and recovery room.

Unlike some professional sports training facilities, the Pistons Performance Center has been designed to facilitate community access. At the ground level, 25,000ft2 of leasable space is available for local businesses so that they can provide requisite services to the community. The Performance Center will also stage youth basketball clinics and Pistons Academy basketball programs the whole year through. Two event spaces on the second floor, one indoor and one outdoor, will allow staging of private events, receptions and community networking activities.


  • Two NBA regulation-sized practice courts, beside each other;
  • Player locker room, lounge, barber room;
  • Full-service kitchen/dining facilities with chef’s table exclusively for players;
  • Spacious weight room facility with advanced equipment;
  • Film and study meeting rooms;
  • Advanced training room furnished with full hydro and cryogenic treatment systems;
  • Corporate front office space for business and basketball operations;
  • Employee lounge and kitchen area offering spectacular view of the Fisher Building;
  • Green space as well as courtyard space enabling outside access and sweeping view of the city;
  • Production studio and interview rooms;
  • Private and public parking space to be used both by Detroit Pistons and Henry Ford personnel; and
  • A dedicated sports medicine building connected to the Performance Center via a bridge.

The materials for the building exterior were selected to contextually relate to the surrounding neighborhood and its features and also relates to the Detroit skyline.

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