Orange County stadium showdown averted for now

The battle over Championship Stadium is on hold.

An agenda item for the Irvine (Calif.) City Council's Tuesday meeting to discuss the future use of the stadium, part of the Great Park Sports Complex, was pulled on Monday.

The 5,000-seat stadium has been Orange County SC's home since it opened in 2017. A Memorandum of Understanding between the city of Irvine and the reigning USL Championship champion is set to automatically renew in November for an additional two years unless ended by one of the parties.

But the LA Galaxy has expressed interest in moving its second team -- LA Galaxy II -- from its home at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson to Championship Stadium in 2023 when LA Galaxy II transitions from the USL Championship, where it has played since 2014, to MLS Next Pro.

Orange County SC released a statement last week from its owner, James Keston, that the club was "now under attack" and "stunned and extremely disappointed ... that the city could undo all the great work we have done in soccer and in the local community in Orange County." USL president Jake Edwards said in a statement the league was working closely with OCSC "to explore legal and contractual options.”

According to the Sports Business Journal, two alternatives were proposed to the stadium's current use by OCSC and other pro teams:

1. The Galaxy would become the stadium's exclusive tenant for pro matches, take over its maintenance and reimburse the city of Irvine for any revenues lost by fewer games being played at the stadium;

2. The field at the stadium would be converted from grass to artificial turf and used exclusively by community-based groups.

On Monday afternoon, the LA Galaxy issued a statement that it isn't interested in an "exclusive arrangement" for LA Galaxy II to play at Championship Stadium and is willing to discuss with the city of Irvine and other stakeholders on "mutually acceptable arrangements" for the use of the stadium.
mls, usl
1 comment about "Orange County stadium showdown averted for now".
  1. R2 Dad, August 9, 2022 at 9:59 p.m.

    I'm surprised there aren't other options like converting Santa Anita (who watches horse racing anymore?), the Costa Mesa Speedway or Equestrian Center at the OC Fairgrounds. How about some of the land around the old airbase on Westminster in Seal Beach? Any of those private golf clubs going bust and want to sell?

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