Orange County SC, the Irvine California-based USL franchise, is a club on the rise. Under new ownership, the club has been rebranded, signed a partnership deal with MLS club LAFC, and now, to cap it all off, they are moving into a brand new stadium.
Championship Soccer Stadium, a 5,000 capacity venue, was built for soccer at Irvine’s Great Park development. Great Park is a multi-use residential and park development on the former El Toro Marine base site. The stadium is a major upgrade for the club – they have played at multiple stadiums since their inception, including UC-Irvine’s Anteater Stadium.
The new venue features stadium-style seats and lawn seating, and also has a luxury box and two rooftop deck spaces for events. It is also part of a larger park area that features a vintage aircraft hangar and museum, a carousel, and a larger sports complex featuring six additional soccer fields (and up to eleven more in the future), tennis and volleyball courts.
James Keston, the club’s Owner and President, was quoted on the team’s website, “Orange County SC is creating a world-class professional organization here in Irvine and we’re thrilled to elevate our game experience for our fans and sponsors in this state-of-the-art stadium.”
Orange County SC has made news since Keston purchased the team in 2016. He rebranded the former Orange County Blues organization with new name, colors and logo based on fan input.
The club also signed a partnership agreement in December with its neighbor, the exciting new MLS franchise in the works, LAFC. The MLS side will be affiliated with OCSC – the USL club serving as a “minor league” outpost for the MLS club, with players able to move back and forth for development. LAFC will join MLS in 2018, but can loan players to OCSC this season to develop their roster prior to beginning play.
Orange County SC will start the season hosting the Tulsa Roughnecks at the new stadium on August 15, followed quickly be an even more exciting event – a game against new player/owner and international football legend Didier Drogba and his Phoenix Rising franchise on August 18.
Image courtesy City of Irvine.
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