Bulls’ training facility to be called Advocate Center
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter June 4, 2014 10:34AM
The Bulls new training center on Wood Street will be called Advocate Center, the team announced Wednesday.
Updated: June 4, 2014 11:31AM
With as much input as Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has had in the setup of the new downtown training facility, naming it “The House That Thibs Built’’ wouldn’t exactly be a stretch.
Smart business? Definitely not.
That’s why the Bulls announced on Wednesday that they agreed on an expanded multi-year agreement with Advocate Health Care that included naming the new facility the Advocate Center.
“Advocate Health Care is an incredible partner of the Chicago Bulls,’’ team president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf said in a statement. “Advocate’s leadership team is strong, creative, and committed to quality, and they have built an organization that embodies the characteristics we look for in long-term sponsor relationships.
“Advocate shares the Bulls’ passions for athletics, health and wellness, and the communities in which we live and work. As we enter the third year of our partnership and this exciting new chapter, the Bulls look forward to finding more ways to come together with Advocate to make a difference in the City of Chicago.’’
The only business that Thibodeau and his players seemed to care about was the location of the new facility, set to open sometime in August for the start of the 2014-15 training camp.
“It’s going to be great,’’ center Joakim Noah said last season of the move downtown. “Just the vibe in downtown Chicago … being down there all the time will really help.’’
The Berto Center, located in Deerfield, has long been a bit of a hassle for players to make the commute to and from, especially on game days when they would have a morning shootaround at the current facility, and then have to make the drive downtown for game night.
The new facility, located across the street from the United Center on South Wood Street, between Monroe and Madison, will also be state-of-the-art, from film rooms to the latest technology demanded of NBA franchises.
That means two full-size basketball courts, updated locker rooms with therapeutic pools, video room, coaches’ offices, weight room and a designated media room. The second level will be made up of a green roof terrace, executive offices, conference rooms and a cardio room.
Thibodeau admittedly wanted a say in certain amenities, and an underlying key in all of this will be a new facility becoming yet another pitch-line in recruiting free agents.
As far as the branding of the Advocate Center, exterior signage will be located on the north, east and west sides of the building. Interior branding will be featured in the video room and basketball court area.
“The Chicago Bulls have been a great partner to Advocate over the last two years and we are looking forward to advancing our partnership,” Jim Skogsbergh, Advocate President & Chief Executive Officer,’ said in the statement. “We applaud the efforts of the Chicago Bulls Charities over the last 30 years and their focus on youth education, health and wellness and violence prevention and we look forward to working more closely together to improve our communities.’’
The Bulls will continue using the Berto Center, which opened in 1992, and plan to sell the facility after the summer.