Sports park party!
A day for play!
The debut of the new Sports Park in Irvine draws more than 10,000 for a community celebration of the Orange County Great Park’s next act
Kedric Francis |August 13, 2017
Under a warm summer sun shining brightly on vast fields of green, a new era in youth sports in Southern California began with the opening celebration of the Orange County Great Park Sports Park in Irvine.
The enthusiastic gathering on Saturday August 5 enjoyed a myriad of activities across the 53-acre first phase of the Sports Park. Kids played soccer and lacrosse on six pristine grass fields. Coaches gave eager tennis players tips on their serves and strokes at 25 new tennis courts.
Professional beach volleyball players were seen “digging” the five sand courts, while nearby families played on swings, slides and a zip line at a colorful new playground. Over an afternoon and evening, an estimated 10,000 visitors wandered the expansive grounds, sampled the offerings from a dozen food trucks, and watched athletes enjoy the new venues.
The day’s activities were centered around the exceptional new Championship Soccer Stadium, where Irvine City Council members along with public servants, world-class athletes, including soccer star Landon Donovan, and FivePoint Holdings CEO Emile Haddad gathered at the center of the field to officially inaugurate the new first phase of the Sports Park, funded and built by FivePoint’s partnership (Heritage Fields, LLC). It will be owned and operated by the City of Irvine.
The first soccer ball was ceremoniously kicked off, followed by a match between high school soccer all-stars. Later that evening, the stadium saw its first concert as The Blues Brothers, featuring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, took the stage. Kids, couples, parents, and grandparents danced into the night as the Orange County Great Park took one of many coming leaps forward toward the greatness long promised.