The Geographical Considerations Of The NY & LA Shared NHL & NBA Practice Venues

Toyota Sports Center El Segundo, Madison Square Garden Training Center GreenburghThe two participants in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final have more in common than simply calling the US's two largest cities home. Interestingly, the teams from Gotham and Hollywood also hold the distinction of being the only NHL teams that share training facilities with NBA, and in New York's case, WNBA franchises. In both situations, crossover ownership has much to do with this circumstance. The Rangers, Knicks and Liberty are owned by The Madison Square Garden Company, while AEG lays claim to a majority stake in the Kings and 20 percent of the Lakers. In addition, Madison Square Garden Co. owns its namesake arena, as well as the Madison Square Garden Training Center, with AEG possessing both Staples Center and the Toyota Sports Center.

The 12-year-old Madison Square Garden Training Center, located in the Westchester County town of Greenburgh, within the village of Tarrytown, sits 27 miles straight north of the Garden. The 105,000-square-foot facility features a full array of hockey and basketball player/coaching staff amenities. Due to the New York teams' Westchester County practice digs, the majority of players and coaches of all three teams choose to live in one of Westchester's many upscale enclaves, when not electing to hang their hats within the borders of the borough of Manhattan.

Prior to relocating to Greenburgh, the Rangers trained in the nearby city of Rye, while the Knicks used to take care of business on the campus of Purchase College, also located in Westchester. The Liberty never truly had a practice home of its own.

As a result of their presence in Westchester, the above teams all travel out of the Westchester County Airport.

2,800 miles to the west, the Kings and Lakers call the 14-year-old Toyota Sports Center (TSC) home. Located in the LA County coastal city of El Segundo, the TSC sits two miles south of Los Angeles International Airport and 16 miles southwest of Staples Center. Like the New York venue, its LA counterpart comes well equipped with a full supply of hockey and hoops services.

Despite the obvious similarities of the two complexes, there are three areas in which the TSC is different than the MSG Training Complex. While the New York teams' administrative offices are housed immediately adjacent to the Madison Square Garden arena (in the Two Pennsylvania Plaza building), the Kings and Lakers headquarter within the walls of the TSC, with some additional offices sitting around the corner from the building.

Also, while Lakers' practices are closed to the public (just like the NY teams), the Kings' practices, as well as the practices held by visiting squads, are fully open to fans.

With this public theme in mind, the TSC's multiple rinks are also used for youth hockey leagues, as well as figure skating instruction. In fact, many Olympic skaters, including 2010 Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek, hone their skills at the 135,000 square-foot structure.

Due to the TSC's close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, and the beachfront cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey, many of the players and coaches choose to enjoy all that comes with seaside Southern California living and an easy commute to work.

Before heading to El Segundo, the Kings skated in the San Fernando Valley city of North Hills, while the Lakers spent the majority of their history at Playa del Rey's Loyola Marymount University, with a brief stop at Los Angeles Southwest College, located in South LA.

It should be noted that the LA version of this housemate scenario will come to an end, within the next couple years, after the Lakers recently announced plans to build a separate facility, one block from the current digs.

 

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