City leaders, Olympians, and youth soccer players came together to unveil the first phase of a major renovation to the city’s largest soccer facility, the 26-acre Ferraro Fields soccer complex at Griffith Park.
The first four fields unveiled Saturday were dedicated exclusively to youth soccer and feature long-lasting synthetic turf that will save millions of gallons of water annually. An estimated 171,000 youths will use the soccer fields year-round–an increase from just 7,500 before the project was completed. The second and final phase of the restoration effort will feature an additional three adult regulation-size fields.
Fourth District City Councilman David Ryu, former U.S. national soccer team star and Hall of Famer Cobi Jones, LA84 President and International Olympic Committee Member Anita DeFrantz, and Olympian and President of Southern California Olympians and Paralympians Tamara Christopherson were among those who gathered at Ferraro Fields today to officially unveil the $10.5 million first phase of the restoration.
The effort is a private-public partnership spearheaded by the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, the LA84 Foundation and the City Department of Recreation and Parks. Kelli Tennant, an Emmy-award winning reporter and host for TWC’s SportsNet and SportsNetLA, also participated as the event’s MC.
“The lasting impact of the 1984 Olympic Games shines in the Ferraro Fields project,” said DeFrantz, whose organization was endowed with surplus funds from the 1984 Games that are used to support local youth sports programs. “This project is the result of a great public-private partnership between the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation and generous donors who continue to allow us to make projects like Ferraro Fields a reality.”
“The renovated fields at Ferraro Fields soccer complex in Griffith Park will be an incredible asset to the community,” said Judith Kieffer, executive director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that raises funds for the city’s 440 parks. “We are so pleased these beautiful fields will be well-used by hundreds of thousands of players each year, including many youths.”
The project’s donors include the Ahmanson Foundation, Grow Annenberg Foundation, Bath Family Trust, Cal South Soccer Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Wasserman Foundation, Weingart Foundation, LA City Council District 4 Quimby Funds, LA City Recreation and Parks Department, LA84 Foundation, and the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
The next steps in the renovation call for updated lighting, a fitness trail, play area, pathways and improved parking.
—City News Service
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