As Vice Chair of the Orange County Great Park, it is my pleasure to invite you to join me on Sunday, September 16, 2018, for free, family-friendly fun as we officially open our new 1200-seat Great Park Championship Baseball Stadium, and our new additional baseball and softball fields at the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex.
This event begins at 10:00 a.m., with an official opening ceremony at 1:00 p.m.
Enjoy exhibition games from local baseball and softball teams, and visit the new baseball stadium, softball stadium, and 10 surrounding ball fields.
Food trucks will be there for visitors to buy lunch, and city leaders will gather to throw out the first pitch in the Baseball Stadium.
At the Championship Stadium, four, two-inning baseball games will be played by the eight local high school teams. Portola and University will play the first game at 10:00 a.m. followed by Beckman vs. Irvine, Tustin vs. Northwood and Woodbridge vs. Foothill.
The members of these teams will join city officials on the field for the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:00 p.m.
Parking is free!
The new Great Park Championship Baseball Stadium includes four batting cages, a meeting room and press box. On the field level, there are dressing rooms on both sides where the dugouts are, coaches offices, umpire rooms and training facilities. There is also an outfield berm area, which can hold 1,000 more fans sitting on the grass.
The Orange County Great Park is the largest public park project now underway. Several hundred acres of parkland are under development, and beginning summer 2018 and through year’s end, several more facilities and fields will be turned over to the City for community public use. These are the 1-mile long Great Park bike and pedestrian trails; seven baseball fields that include our new 1,000-seat baseball stadium; five softball fields that include a 500-seat stadium; six artificial turf soccer/lacrosse fields; four basketball courts; a Children’s Playground; and an 18-acre Flex Field in which up to four playing fields can be added for tournament use. In total, the above equals 130 acres.
Already open for one year within the 194-acre Sports Complex are a Soccer Stadium with seating for 5,000, six other soccer/lacrosse fields, 25 tennis courts, five sand volleyball courts, and a Children’s Play Area.
These all complement the long-opened features of the 1,300-acre Great Park, which include five soccer/lacrosse fields, two art galleries, the Great Park Balloon, and the Children’s Carousel.
In addition, the Anaheim Ducks Great Park Ice Complex – the largest in the state with four sheets of ice and one of the largest in the country at 270,000 square feet – will open by the end of 2018 at the Great Park. Ice time will include public skating, youth hockey games and tournaments, and figure skating.
Next on our Great Park agenda should be creating the real jewel of the Great Park: The Cultural Terrace, with botanical gardens and museums!
I have also joined with Irvine City Councilmember Cristina Shea in calling for the construction of a veteran’s cemetery within the Great Park. This proposal is now going through an expedited evaluation process by our City staff.
For far too many years, the Great Park was a symbol of gross mismanagement and government gone very wrong, with allegations of corruption and massive waste, and with little to nothing to show for the expenditure of hundreds of millions of public dollars except a balloon, a carousel, and great expanses of dirt, dust, and debris.
However, since I have joined the Irvine City Council — and been appointed Vice Chair of the Orange County Great Park by my colleagues — we have succeeded in making a tremendous, positive turn-around in the Great Park’s development. Exciting progress has been made!
As the Orange County Register recently wrote, “If you haven’t visited the Orange County Great Park – where you see that big orange balloon from Interstate 5 – in the past few years, you may be surprised by the amount of construction going on and how quickly things are getting built there.”
We are now fulfilling the promise of a truly Great Park — Join us on Sunday, September 16 to celebrate!
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