The Detroit Lions aren’t moving away from Allen Park anytime soon, but they are in the early stages of considering a move.
Team president Rod Wood told a small group of Lions reporters at the NFL owners meetings this week that he’s begun the search for another potential location for the team’s training facility, both to create more working space for the players and staff members and to potentially create a bigger environment for fans to attend training camp.
“We’re considering whether we’re going to continue to stay there and put more money into the facility or (if) we’d be better off looking at locations elsewhere in Metro Detroit,” Wood said. “We’d have more space for the team plus training camp for the fans. But right now, in the short run, we’re going to stay where we are, do the best we can to get as many fans in there, and have the experience as good as it can be.”
As of right now, the Lions training camp facility has a maximum fan capacity of around 2,500. Compare that with the Indianapolis Colts training camp ground in Grand Park—which the Lions visited last year in joint practices—which can hold tens of thousands of fans.
“I’d like to have 15,000 fans there,” Wood continued. “But given the constraints of where we are, that’s how we’re dealing with it right now.”
Whatever the Lions end up doing, Wood wants to make sure that the team is not taking an excursion far away from the team facility for training camp, as several other teams do. He wants his staff and players to be able to go home at night.
“I would rather have a bigger practice facility with more fan experience than stay where we are and go on the road for training camp,” Wood said.
Wood said his initial plan was to make a decision in 2023 whether the Lions were going to stay in Allen Park or move in the future, but that timetable has been pushed back. No decision has been made yet, but Wood intends to cross that bridge in the near future.
“It’s a near-term thing that we have to decide.”