U.S. Soccer and AEG Break Ground on National Training Center and Soccer-Specific Stadium in Los Angeles
CHICAGO (Tuesday, February 26, 2002) - U.S. Soccer and AEG broke ground today on a state-of-the-art U.S. Soccer National Training Center and a 27,000-seat soccer-specific stadium complex at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. In addition to housing U.S. Soccer’s National Teams, the facility will be the future home of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. The NTC is being targeted for an August 2003 opening, while the stadium complex will be in place for the 2003 MLS season.
“This is a landmark moment for U.S. Soccer,” said U.S. Soccer Federation President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. “The importance of having a facility that can provide a world-class environment for the continued development of our players is immeasurable. Creating this icon for the sport will benefit every part of the U.S. Soccer family from our National Teams to our Coaching and Referee Programs, enabling us to cast our nets wider in developing the sport in this country.”
In addition to the natural grass stadium, the National Training Center at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills will feature 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 NTC complex will also include a residential component, which will allow teams to stay at the facility.
“Since the launch of the RFP process more than 18 months ago, we have worked closely with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to help make this facility as exceptional as it can be,” said U.S. Soccer Secretary General Dan Flynn. “As part of our partnership with the Foundation, we are developing a number of projects to help raise funds for our contribution to the facility.”
As part of that program, the U.S. Soccer Federation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation have instituted a capital development program to help raise $10 million — $6 million for the Training Center and $4 million for the on-going operations. Just last week the Foundation hosted the “Celebration of a Decade of Soccer Banquet” in Washington, D.C. as a fundraising benefit for the National Training Center, recognizing the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team players who have represented the United States at the World Cup or Olympic Games from 1990 to 2000.
The development of the U.S. Soccer National Training Center and soccer stadium is part of a $120 million development of the entire Cal State University, Dominguez Hills’ existing recreational and athletic facilities, which will also include a tennis stadium, the establishment of the Pete Sampras Tennis Academy and upgrades of the campus Olympic velodrome, inline roller hockey rink, baseball and softball fields, and track and field facilities.
“Increasing the ability for our athletes to train and practice on a regular basis at first-class facility like this will play a key role in continuing to develop all of our players to prepare them for World Championship competition at every age level,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs.
With activity taking place on a year-round basis, the National Training Center will also help to further develop the coaching and refereeing infrastructure by increasing the ability to train coaches and referees throughout the country.
“Certainly a National Training Center for all of U.S. Soccer increases our ability to see more players on a regular basis, and expose those players to our National Teams’ programs,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena. “With this facility in place, our coaches will have both increased quantity and quality in evaluating and developing more players.”
U.S. Soccer currently operates 11 National Teams, an Under-14 Developmental Program, Coaching Licensing Schools and Referee Training courses, all of which will use the National Training Center.