Great Park Sports Park progress on display
The press briefing included a video presentation, comments from FivePoint CEO Emile Haddad and a tour of the various sports park venues.
“Two years ago, we made a commitment to the city of Irvine to enhance the lives of residents here and throughout Orange County by developing unrivaled sports, recreational and other amenities,” said Emile Haddad, Chairman and CEO, FivePoint. “I’m proud to share that we are on schedule in delivering the first phase of this major, multi-sport complex. We elected to invest almost $60 million more than the Irvine City Council required when they chose us as their Great Park partner in November 2013 because we want to enrich this community for generations to come with the highest quality facilities.”
In addition to 24 hard-surface tennis courts, the Tennis Center will feature a Championship Court with permanent seating for 120. Seven natural-turf soccer fields will provide plenty of room for training and games and the 2,500-seat Championship Soccer Stadium, with another 2,500-person capacity grass berm, is anticipated to bring major regional and national tournaments to Irvine. The stadium will feature a press box, concession space and a hospitality center. All venues will be lighted for night play.
Plans also call for seven baseball fields, four batting cages and a Championship Stadium that will seat 1,000 spectators. A softball complex is also planned and will include five fields, four batting cages and a Championship Stadium with seating for 500. These venues, as well as "flex" fields for Lacrosse, Rugby and Cricket, and four basketball courts are expected to be completed in the spring of 2018.
“I’m encouraged to see the city of Irvine and FivePoint making sports activities more readily available to Orange County youth," said Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer. "The addition of the Great Park Sports Complex will improve our community as well as give a boost to the local economy by helping to develop and foster youth and amateur sports activities in this region.” Spitzer added: "You can smell progress. You can see progress today, and you can hear progress."
The economic impact of the Great Park Sports Park on the city of Irvine is expected to be significant. Irvine Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tallia Hart estimated that the city will reap $27 million in additional tax revenue over the next 20 years.
City of Irvine Planning Commission Chair Anthony Kuo said, “We’re not only keeping this tradition alive with the FivePoint-developed Great Park Sports Complex, we’re also building an economic engine for our future. It’s reasonable to estimate that the complex will be a major boost to our local economy when fully operational. This is another way we’re creating a sustainable community for generations to come.”
Orange County youth sports advocate Guy Lemmon said: "On behalf of thousands of supporters, we thank FivePoint and the city of Irvine for building this sports park."