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Feb. 26, 2002
Contact: Thomas Knox
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Training Center Groundbreaking Signals Beginning of New Era
for Amateur and Professional Sports in Southern California
Investment Creates New Facilities for Soccer, Tennis & Other Sports
on the Campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills
Carson, CA - Groundbreaking ceremonies for the $120-million "National Training Center" sports complex to be built on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) took place this morning on the 85-acre site in Carson, California. Plans unveiled include the creation of a 27,000-seat soccer stadium that will be the new home of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Los Angeles Galaxy and a 13,000-seat tennis stadium, both scheduled to open in Summer 2003. The creation of this unique sports complex is a result of a partnership between Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Included within the development will be the Pete Sampras Tennis Academy and facilities and office space which will serve as the new permanent training home of the U. S. Soccer Federation. Also announced were plans to renovate many of CSUDH's existing recreational and athletic facilities, including the relocation of the velodrome, 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 with gold plated shovels to turn the soil and signal the beginning of a "new era" for amateur and professional sports in southern California were AEG and Staples Center President Timothy J. Leiweke, California State University, Dominguez Hills President James E. Lyons, Sr., Carson Mayor Daryl W. Sweeney, California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed, U. S. Soccer Federation President Robert Contiguglia, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, members of the Carson City Council and community representatives.
The dignitaries were joined by tennis superstar Pete Sampras and, Alexi Lalas of the Los Angeles Galaxy who arrived at the site aboard a full-size construction bulldozer for the festivities. The Galaxy will play their home games in the stadium beginning in the 2003 season.
"This has been a work in progress for many years. Although most people never believed it would happen, with the vision of Dr. Lyons and our partners at the University, we will create, through a public-private partnership, world-class facilities for Cal-State Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, California and the United States," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President AEG.
"I firmly believe today that everyone still underestimates the importance of this facility to amateur and professional athletes in our country. There is no doubt in my mind that these facilities will create Olympic athletes and host world-class events. It will change amateur and professional sports not just in southern California but also in the United States for years to come," Leiweke added.
CSUDH President James E. Lyons, Sr. stated, "The National Training Center at California State University, Dominguez Hills, will put the University on the map in a big way. It will attract the attention of people throughout the nation, and the world to our University; not simply because of the soccer facility or the tennis facility, but due to the fact that a premier training facility in the United States is on our campus. It will also attract new students, and bring a group of private sector friends to our campus that we have not been in touch with."
"AEG's investment in Carson is a critical component in both the economic development of the community and more importantly the development of our children," said Carson Mayor Daryl Sweeney. "This facility will bring jobs for our residents, prominence for our City and be a catalyst for further local business growth."
Speaking on behalf of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer was the team's Vice President/General Manager Doug Hamilton who commented, "This is an important day for professional soccer, youth soccer and the sport in general in southern California. Having this terrific place in which to train and play our games, while also giving the fans and the community a great resource, will help to both enhance the profile of the sport and provide a meaningful legacy. In addition to seeing exciting and entertaining professional soccer played at its finest by the Galaxy, fans will watch it in a world-class 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."
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, the commencement of 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."
"I would like to thank Phil Anschutz, AEG, the University's Board of Trustees and the community of Carson for their vision in creating what will be a phenomenal showcase for our League, the Galaxy, our sport and, importantly, our fans," added Garber.
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.
"I have always felt that the West Coast needed a facility that could not only help to develop and train players for the professional tour but could be a training home for touring pros during off-weeks," said Pete Sampras. "More importantly, our academy will provide instruction for players of all abilities and will be a tremendous resource for the youth in southern California who want to learn our great game. With so many up and coming players in the region, we believe that they will never again have to leave the area to train and we can continue to develop the next stars at home. This will be our legacy," Sampras added.
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 by June 2003.