By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The sounds of dribbling basketballs, shouts of volleyball players setting a play and parents giving shooting can now be heard in the heart of downtown at the Quicken Loans Sports Zone.

Four outdoor basketball half-courts, and a sand volleyball court, were recently built along a street next to Cadillac Square and just off Campus Martius. Since the facility opened, hundreds of basket and volleyballers have taken to the courts.

“This is a great new addition,” said Bob Gregory, president of Detroit 300 Conservancy, which manages and operates Campus Martius and neighboring parks. “It is something where you can come downtown, whether you live in the city, the neighborhoods, the suburbs; whether you are young, old, family, kids; you can enjoy downtown and actually do something. Not just (listen to) music but actually get involved in physical activity.”

These courts were established through a initiative between Quicken Loans, Detroit 300 Conservancy and the Detroit Sports Zone to provide basketball and volleyball programming for downtown residents, downtown employees, Detroit residents and visitors.

This initiative further diversifies sports, music and other activities offered downtown for residents, downtown employees and visitors to Detroit.

Among the organized events offered at the Quicken Sports Zone according to organizers:

  • Roasting Plant 3-on-3 Tournaments
    • Compete with other ‘ballers’ every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, either from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Teams that win a minimum of five games throughout the summer and fall qualify for the championship 3-on-3 tournament during the last week of September. Register as an individual or team here.
  • Lunchtime Lightning
    • Bring your “inner-child” to this recess-style classic. Games will run weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The goal is for the second shooter to make a basket before the first shooter who is then eliminated. The last player standing wins. Show up at the Sports Zone or sign up here.
  • 3-Point Shootout
    • Show off your abilities in downtown Detroit basketball shootouts every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Individuals who win a minimum of five shootouts throughout the summer and fall qualify for the 3-Point Shootout championship during the last week of September. Register here.

Local youth organizations, schools and faith-based groups can also reserve the courts, or participate in the Detroit Sports Zone’s scheduled youth programming may visit the Quicken Sports Zone Website, or by calling (800) 450-7167, ext 1.

At least one basketball court will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for pick-up games. Basketballs and volleyballs are available for check-out at the games kiosk on the east end of Cadillac Square.

“We are well over a thousand people that have come out since (the opening day) with no advertising,” Lewis Colson, program director for the Detroit Sports Zone. “We have had almost a full house every night and every day.”


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