The Cal State University Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved an ambitious plan for the construction of a state-of-the-art soccer facility at Cal State L.A. that will become the headquarters and training home for the fledgling Los Angeles Football Club, which will join MLS next season.
LAFC will spend $30 million to renovate Cal State L.A.’s stadium field and construct a training facility that will serve as home to the club’s MLS players, staff, coaches and youth development teams.
The facility will be designed by Gensler Sports, the same firm that handled the plans for Banc of California Stadium at Exposition Park, where the team will begin play next summer. The Cal State L.A. facility will have a natural-grass practice field identical to the one at Banc of California Stadium as well as locker rooms, sports medicine facilities and office space. The project is will be completely financed by LAFC.
Hunt Construction Group will serve as the construction management company on the two-story facility. Construction is expected to begin soon.
“Cal State L.A. is the perfect home for our team, and this plan affirms our commitment to building our future with the youth of Los Angeles,” Tom Penn, LAFC’s president and a co-owner of the club, said in a statement. “We look forward to developing world-class players and talent for decades to come at Cal State L.A.”
LAFC has been using Cal State L.A. as a training base for its youth teams since early last year. The new facility will just cement that relationship, said John Thorrington, the team’s general manager and executive vice president of soccer operations.
“This training facility is unparalleled and uniquely Los Angeles,” he said. “The building itself incorporates innovative indoor-outdoor spaces and is unlike anything I’ve seen the world over. 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.”
Along with building its practice facility at Cal State L.A., LAFC has pledged an additional $1.5 million contribution to the university, which comes on the heels of a $100,000 gift it made to the school’s athletic department last fall.
“This project will create a great deal of excitement on our campus and will connect Cal State L.A. to partners who share a commitment to our students,” university President William A. Covino said. “The benefits of this partnership to Cal State L.A. and the region we serve will surely multiply over time.”