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‘Big renovations’ expected for Detroit Lions practice facility in next few years

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Ford Field went through renovations in 2017. Allen Park is next.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Training Camp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Detroit Lions went big in renovating Ford Field. The Fords put in $100 million of their own money to upgrade the sound system, improve the wifi for fans, build a humongous new video board and give the club level a makeover.

Now it appears the team will turn its attention to their practice facility in Allen Park. Team president Rod Wood told reporters on Monday that there are plans to make similar renovations—albeit on a smaller scale—to Detroit’s main offices and training facility.

There were plans to get some of these renovations done as soon as this year, but because the Lions hired head coach Matt Patricia back in February, Wood wants to give him time to “evaluate it from his perspective.”

“We had a number of things that we were going to start doing, big renovations at Allen Park this year,” Wood said. “We’re probably going to put that off at least a year to give him kind of a year to evaluate the building.”

Wood said the renovations will likely take place over several years.

“It’s still a very good facility, but just like Ford Field, it’s 15 years old, technologies change, training facilities have been enhanced and improved.”

Just how out of date is some of the Lions’ current technology? Rod Wood said that some parts of the facility were designed for the use of VHS tapes. “The lower half of every meeting room are all these empty shelves for VHS tapes, because when the building was built, you still had tapes. So we need to get the technology current.”

While some of the Lions facility is clearly out of date, this won’t be the first time Allen Park goes through a set of renovations. In fact, one of the first things general manager Bob Quinn oversaw when he was hired in 2016 was a complete remodeling of Detroit’s weight room. They also made some cosmetic changes inside the facility and added a dietitian to the staff that year. “We want the players to be comfortable,” Quinn said back in 2016. “We want them to be there, to enjoy coming to work, enjoy putting in extra work.”

It appears these new renovations will have a similar goal, according to Wood. “Everything we’re going to do there is going to be focused on making the team better and healthier.”