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Sports complex in OC's Great Park to open early 2017, developers say

Phase 1 Orange County Great Park's 53-acre sports park is estimated to be completed by 2018.
Phase 1 Orange County Great Park's 53-acre sports park is estimated to be completed by 2018.
Damian Tsutsumida
Phase 1 Orange County Great Park's 53-acre sports park is estimated to be completed by 2018.
There will be 25 tennis courts when the sports park is completed at Orange County's Great Park.
Damian Tsutsumida
Phase 1 Orange County Great Park's 53-acre sports park is estimated to be completed by 2018.
One of the seven sod soccer fields at Orange County Great Park's sports park aimed for completion in fall 2016.
Damian Tsutsumida
Phase 1 Orange County Great Park's 53-acre sports park is estimated to be completed by 2018.
Construction site of the championship soccer stadium underway at Orange County Great Park's sports park.
Damian Tsutsumida


A sports park that could eventually be more than double the size of Disneyland is on track to open early next year in Orange County's Great Park, developers said Tuesday.

FivePoint Communities said the first phase of the park will span 53 acres and include a 5,000-seat soccer stadium, along with 25 tennis courts, seven soccer fields, five volleyball courts and a playground. Future development plans bring the total size of the sports park to 175 acres.

Artist rendering of the championship soccer field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
Artist rendering of the championship soccer field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
FivePoint

 

But the sports park is just one piece of FivePoint's 688-acre pie — which is just one half of the roughly 1,200 acres encompassed by the Great Park, which sits on a former military base.

It's been two years since the groundbreaking of the project, and FivePoint Communities' CEO, Emile Haddad, said the whole project will likely be finished by 2018, with a total price tag of more than $250 million.

When the championship soccer field is complete there will be permanent seating for 5,000 spectators.
When the championship soccer field is complete there will be permanent seating for 5,000 spectators.
Damian Tsutsumida

Tuesday's progress report was a way, Haddad said, to show the public positive things to look forward to in Great Park.

“The stigma that was associated with the Great Park was yesterday’s story, and today’s story is all about the exciting things that are happening," Haddad told KPCC.

That stigma is the decade-long effort to turn what used to be a U.S. military base into a space aimed to rival New York's Central Park. The effort drew criticism of mismanagement in 2014, after 12 years and $215 million were spent to develop just 230 acres of the roughly 1,200 acres

“For years there’s been a lot of concern that this was not moving as quickly as a lot of people thought it should, but this is a very significant infrastructure project," Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer told KPCC. "Today with the unveiling of the first phase of the sports complex, this was just a showcase of another success in a long line of successes in the development of the Great Park.” 

Artist rendering of the baseball field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
Artist rendering of the baseball field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
FivePoint

Plans for the remainder of the 175-acre sports park include a championship baseball and softball stadium, six other baseball fields, five other softball fields, six synthetic turf soccer fields, four basketball courts and 12 acres of turf flex fields for football, rugby or lacrosse.

Artist rendering of the baseball field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
Artist rendering of the baseball field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
FivePoint

Other plans for FivePoint's 688 acres include 75 acres of land for farming and agriculture, a golf course (that is still pending approval by the city) and 75 acres of landscaped recreational space for amenities like dog parks, Haddad told KPCC.

Artist rendering of the baseball field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
Artist rendering of the baseball field in progress at Orange County's Great Park.
FivePoint

“We invited people to see what actually has happened in two years because we committed at the time that we got the approval, that would finish the park in five years, whereas, in the past people thought it would take 30 years for the park to be built,” Haddad said.