Vancouver Grizzlies floor up for sale
A piece of Richmond hardwood history is up for sale in Riverport.
The new owner of the building that once housed the Vancouver Grizzlies practice facility is selling an original NBA-quality court floor—complete with the Grizzlies logo—for $13,000.
"The floor's in such good shape, we thought it'd be irresponsible just to turf it without giving it a chance," said Michael Marti.
As of yesterday morning, Marti's recent online ad, suggesting the floor is perfect for a Grizzlies fan or NBA collector, attracted over 100 inquiries from across North America, including many from news media. The purchaser is responsible for removing the floor.
The Grizzlies, a team that played regular season games at what is now Rogers Arena in Vancouver, arrived in 1995 and left in 2001, when the franchise relocated to Memphis, Tenn. The court was previously part of Gold's Gym—which recently ceased operation—and the last of three courts to survive. Its score clock and glass backboards are still intact.
"It has all the markings of looking like the original thing 11 years ago," said Marti.
Marti plans to convert much of the Triangle Road building into an indoor trampoline park called Extreme Air Park, scheduled to open in early January. In the future, the area housing the basketball court is slated to become another location for Planet Lazer—a business Marti has operated on Elmbridge Way for nearly 20 years.
"We were involved in that Justin Bieber thing a couple of years ago, and the response on that was massive. I'd almost liken this to the same thing," said Marti, referencing the pop star's 2010 visit to Planet Lazer, where an alleged altercation with another patron drew headlines around the world.
For two years the hardwood served as home court for Drive Basketball. Co-owner of the basketball academy, Pasha Bains, remembers when the facility was first built and the lineups outside when legendary players like Michael Jordan and Steve Nash practiced there.
"I still remember all the big-time recruits that came there for the draft workouts. When I was a kid I got to witness some of those," he said.
Bains said the court that remains—an exact replica of the Grizzlies' home court—was initially well-guarded from the public, but later became more accessible to local players.
"It's probably one of the last connections our city has to the Vancouver Grizzlies. It was definitely sad to see when that ad went up.