US SoccerUS Soccer

The Home Depot to Build and Entitle National Training Center in Southern California

CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, July 9, 2002) - The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, and AEG announced a 10-year partnership surrounding the multi-sport National Training Center (NTC) being constructed on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). The Home Depot will support the construction of the National Training Center and become the facility's title sponsor.

The Home Depot National Training Center is a unique 85-acre "sports campus" set to open in June 2003.  The state-of-the-art, multi-sport complex will feature a 27,000-seat soccer stadium that will be the new home of the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and international friendlies, and a 13,000-seat tennis stadium.

The ten-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement, which is the largest-ever for both a multi-facility training center and a sports venue not dedicated to a singular professional team, also calls for The Home Depot to be the preferred provider of construction materials for the entire project.

"This partnership with AEG extends The Home Depot's support of amateur athletics and the Olympic Games and allows us to help build a world-class facility in one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S.," said Robert L. Nardelli, Chairman, President & CEO of The Home Depot. "It also aligns our brand with soccer in the United States, the world's most popular sport. We're pleased to partner with AEG, a visionary in the facility business and one of the leading sports and entertainment companies in the world."

Home Depot is the world's leading employer of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, currently employing 150 athletes through the USOC's Olympic Job Opportunities Program (OJOP).  The company provides full-time compensation and valuable work experience in exchange for flexible, part-time schedules. Home Depot recently announced its goal to employ a total of 204 athletes by the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.  Since 1992, 300 athletes have worked for Home Depot and tallied 84 medals.

"The Home Depot's commitment to athletics and the communities where they do business make them the ideal partner for AEG and The Home Depot National Training Center," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President AEG.  "Bob Nardelli and his organization clearly share our vision for creating a world-class facility and together we will work to develop the nation's most complete training facility for amateur and professional athletes."

"The Home Depot National Training Center represents the largest private investment into amateur athletics ever made. There is no doubt in my mind that these facilities will develop Olympic athletes, host world-class events and positively change amateur and professional sports not just in southern California but also in the United States for years to come," added Leiweke.

Included within the $130 million development will be facilities and office space which will serve as the new permanent training home of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Construction, which began on February 26, 2002, will also include the renovation of many of CSUDH's existing recreational and athletic facilities including the relocation and upgrade of the velodrome to Olympic standard, inline roller hockey rink, baseball and softball fields, the construction and/or renovation of 36 tennis courts and the rebuilding of the University's track & field facilities to meet NCAA standards.

On-hand for the media briefing was California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante who commented, "I commend the efforts and leadership of those at AEG and California State University, Dominguez Hills in forming this unique, public-private partnership.  This important investment will benefit the university, generate revenue for the local economy, create new jobs and serve as the training hub for some of the best athletes in our nation," added Bustamante, a member of the CSU Board of Trustees.

As the new home of the U.S. Soccer Federation, the organization will base their 11 national teams, their Under-14 Developmental Program, Coaching Licensing Schools and Referee Training courses at The Home Depot National Training Center.  Included within this group are the Men's and Women's World Cup squads who have captured the attention and interest of America in such a dramatic way.  In addition to the natural grass stadium, the teams will have full use of the facility's five training fields, a practice area and a central building to house office space, locker rooms, a weight training room, physical therapy training rooms and player lounges.  The complex will also include a residential component, which will allow teams to stay at the facility.

"This is a landmark moment for U.S. Soccer," said U.S. Soccer Federation President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia.  "The importance of having a world-class facility that will provide a championship environment for the continued development of our players at every National Team level is immeasurable.  A facility like this benefits every part of the U.S. Soccer family, and enables us to cast our nets wider and extend our goals in making sure every player, coach and referee has the opportunity to develop to their full potential."

Further emphasizing the importance of the new facilities for the United States soccer community was MLS Commissioner Don Garber who stated, "Much like the construction of Crew Stadium in Columbus, this project in Carson is another defining moment in the history of Major League Soccer and the sport itself.  These state-of-the-art soccer facilities will not only be the permanent home to the Los Angeles Galaxy and our U.S. National Teams, but will serve as a spiritual home to American soccer fans everywhere."

Also commenting on the development that includes an Olympic standard velodrome was CEO of USA Cycling Gerard Bisceglia who said, "This complex and the programs that will be run here are going to help us develop new champions and allow us to win more Olympic medals in track cycling.  Without this type of support from The Home Depot and AEG, we couldn't afford world class training facilities of this caliber."

Located within the development will be the Pete Sampras Tennis Academy. Founded as a partnership between Sampras and AEG, the Pete Sampras Tennis Academy will provide tennis programs and instruction for players of all abilities and serve as a full time training center for touring pros and players preparing to join the professional tour.  A full time staff including current and former professional players will direct a complete schedule of programs with an emphasis on interacting with the youth of the community.

Los Angeles based Rossetti and Associates have been chosen to design both the tennis and soccer facilities.  The Los Angeles offices of PCL Construction services will lead the construction, which will be completed in time for a June 2003 grand opening.

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2001 sales of $53.6 billion. The company employs more than 296,000 associates and has 1,420 stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico, seven Canadian provinces, and Mexico. The company for the second year in a row was named sixth Most Admired Company in America by Fortune magazine, which has also ranked it as America's Most Admired Specialty Retailer for nine consecutive years.  Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world.  AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as Staples Center, the London Arena, The Forum (as exclusive booking agent for sports and entertainment programming), HealthSouth Training Center and the Kodak Theater (as operator); sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), the Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Redding Royals (ECHL), Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, New York/New Jersey MetroStars and D.C. United (MLS) and six hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) owned by Philip Anschutz; AEG Marketing, a sponsorship, sales, naming rights and consulting company; Spring Communications, devoted to creation and marketing of live events for pay-per-view and other electronic media; AEG Creative, a full-service marketing and advertising agency; Creative Battery, producers of live entertainment for a variety of media and venues; Concerts West and Golden Voice, live entertainment promotion and touring companies.

AEG is currently overseeing the development of L.A. Live, a proposed 4 million square foot development featuring a 7,000-seat state-of-the-art live theatre, a 1,200-room convention "headquarters" hotel along with entertainment, restaurant, residential and office space all adjacent to Staples Center.  In addition, AEG is spearheading the creation of The Home Depot National Training Center, a $120 million national training academy that will include major facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, volleyball, basketball and other sports in southern California.

The company was recently selected to fully develop the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create new arenas within the Millennium Dome and on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin.