The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) has unveiled a proposal to locate its soccer operations headquarters and training facility on the east side of Los Angeles, at the campus of Cal State LA. Plans for the new facilities were approved by the California State University Board of Trustees.
“Cal State LA is the perfect home for our team, and this plan affirms our commitment to building our future with the youth of Los Angeles,” says LAFC club president and owner Tom Penn. “We look forward to developing world-class players and talent for decades to come at Cal State LA, which has a history of elevating the communities it serves.”
The plans call for LAFC to invest US$30m to renovate Cal State LA’s stadium field and construct a state-of-the-art training facility that will serve as home to the club’s MLS players, staff, coaches and youth development team LAFC Academy. LAFC will also support Cal State LA students through internships and collaborations with university educational programs.
“This project will create a great deal of excitement on our campus and will connect Cal State LA to partners who share a commitment to our students,” says Cal State LA president William A Covino. “The benefits of this partnership to Cal State LA and the region we serve will surely multiply over time.”
The new training site and practice facility, designed by Gensler Sports, will feature a natural grass practice field exactly mirroring that of Banc of California Stadium, locker rooms, sports medicine facilities, office space for LAFC coaches and staff and will be completely financed by LAFC. The two-story training facility will incorporate the campus’s industrial and modernist design style. Hunt Construction Group will serve as the construction management company on the project.
“This training facility is unparalleled and uniquely Los Angeles,” says LAFC general manager and EVP of soccer operations John Thorrington. “The building itself incorporates innovative indoor-outdoor spaces and is unlike anything I’ve seen the world over. Any player will love to train at this world-class facility. The central location is ideal for our Academy programming, and our ownership’s investment enables us to align our soccer operation from LAFC’s MLS team to our Academy.”
“Cal State LA has long sought to improve vacant space at the northern portion of its campus,” says Cal State LA EVP Jose Gomez. The LAFC partnership will also create new academic and career opportunities for kinesiology, nursing, and business students, among others. LAFC is also helping Cal State LA develop a new sports management program.
“From the beginning, our ownership has been intentional about uniting the world’s city through the world’s game, and this partnership provides yet another deep and lasting connection in the heart of our great city,” adds Thorrington. “We are proud to be making this investment to benefit both the students of Cal State LA and the future of LAFC.”
“LAFC is our educational partner, not just a professional soccer team,” Gomez says. “They’ve shown a commitment to the heart of the city, and Cal State LA’s students will benefit.”
Along with building its practice facility at Cal State LA, LAFC has pledged an additional US$1.5m to the university, which comes on the heels of a US$100,000 contribution it made to the Cal State LA athletic department last autumn.
May 31, 2017