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The following article appeared in the California State Sports Guide. Download the full guide below.

When you’re organizing sports travel, you need planning with a capital P.  How fitting that one of the West Coast’s preferred destinations — the city of Irvine, California — was itself master-planned to be an ideal community.  Irvine might be a great place to live, but its year-round mild weather and spacious layout also make it a great place for visiting sports teams to play.

Home to no fewer than seven colleges and universities, Irvine also boasts more than a dozen top-notch sports venues. The town has played host to many tournaments, including the Champions Cup, the USA Swimming Nationals, and PGF Girls Softball. The Los Angeles Rams even hosted their training camp at the University of California Irvine’s facilities. Whether your team requires a venue with plenty of non-sport attractions for friends and family or pro-level facilities, you’re sure to find what you need in Irvine.

Notable Recent/Upcoming Events

  • USA Swimming Nationals at Woollett Aquatics (July 25-August 3, 2018)
  • PGF Girls Fast Pitch at Col. Bill Barber Park (July 21-August 4, 2018)
  • Adidas Gauntlet Basketball at Momentous (July 15-July 22, 2018)
  • Rams Training Camp at UCI (July 26-August 16, 2018)
  • Champions Cup at Heritage Park and Col. Bill Barber Park (July 5- July 15, 2018)

CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered

  • PR/Media Assistance
  • Signage
  • Site Visits
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Lodging Services
  • Welcome Bags/Gifts
  • Event Planning Assistance

Click on tab to see more information about a specific facility

Orange County Great Park

OC Great Park South Lawn

Not only is Irvine’s Orange County Great Park an amazing place for post-game relaxation, it’s home to several of the city’s sports venues. In the future, these will include a 170-acre golf course and a public ice complex containing four rinks with seating for up to 2,500. Currently, the Great Park features:

  •  A championship soccer stadium with full amenities and seating for 2,500.
  • Six lighted grass soccer fields, with space for up to 124 natural and synthetic fields. Some of these can also be used for lacrosse.
  • Several multipurpose fields.
  • 24 lighted tennis courts, plus a championship court that seats 132 spectators. The tennis center also offers a conference room, restrooms, and concessions.
  • Four sand volleyball courts and one lighted championship court with seating for 178.
  • Four basketball courts.
  • Ten baseball/softball fields with two championship stadiums.

Sports:  Soccer, Tennis, beach volleyball, baseball, softball

William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center

Woollett Aquatic Center

The Woollett Center is home to Concordia University’s swimming, diving, and water polo teams. It boasts two 50-meter pools and a 25-yard pool that’s just right for learning. Recently renovated, this facility has been used to showcase several major competitions, including the USA Swimming National Championships.

Sports: Swimming, water polo

Momentous Sports

Momentous Sports Center

This newcomer to the Irvine sports scene boasts a total of 64 courts: 22 indoor volleyball courts, 21 indoor basketball courts, and 21 futsal courts. All courts feature special low-impact wooden flooring. There’s an onsite restaurant complete with hi-def TVs, free Wi-Fi, and there’s a pro shop right across the street.

Sports: Indoor basketball, futsal, volleyball

Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park

Bill Barber Park

This multi-purpose park includes a stadium, three lighted softball fields, three lighted soccer overlay fields, six lighted tennis courts, and four batting cages. There are two play areas and one open play area for the little ones, while a pair of concession stands takes care of the snackies. Additional amenities include an amphitheater, barbeque grills, six group picnic shelters, and the all-important restrooms.

Sports: Softball, tennis, soccer

University of California, Irvine

As you might expect from a world-class university, these are some wide-ranging and world-class facilities:

  • Anteater Stadium is home to the university’s soccer and track and field teams, but this 2,500-seat stadium is multi-purpose and has also been used as a practice football venue.
  • Cicerone Field, which was part of a $2 million upgrade to the university’s Anteater Ballpark, is a Bermuda grass baseball field with seating for 2,500.
  • Bren Event Center is a 65,000-square-foot, three-arena venue that hosts basketball and volleyball teams. It also includes an outdoor terrace for post-game events, meeting rooms, and conference rooms.
  • Anteater Aquatics Complex is a $2.8 million facility featuring a 210′ x 75′ pool that can hold two water polo matches at the same time.
  • UC Irvine Tennis Stadium is comprised of eleven recently-resurfaced championship tennis courts, six of which have stadium lighting. Seating for 500 spectators is available.

Sports: Soccer, baseball, football, tennis, baseball

Heritage Park

Two baseball/softball fields and three soccer fields can be reserved at this 36-acre park; two multi-use buildings are also on hand for other sports. A multi-purpose room, craft room, lounge, and kitchen let non-players enjoy some indoor time. Outside, groups can have a barbeque or a picnic, play volleyball, basketball, or tennis, or swim in one of the three onsite pools. There are also several play areas for kids.

Sports: Soccer, tennis, basketball, racquetball, handball, baseball

Harvard Park

There’s plenty of room to spread out in this 26-acre Irvine park. Groups will enjoy playing soccer in one of the four lighted soccer fields or baseball (softball too) in one of the seven lighted ball fields. Batting cages are available for extra practice, and a multi-use building makes a great post-game gathering spot. Additional features include restrooms, a concession stand, drinking fountains, a bike trail, barbeque grills, picnic tables, and a skate park.

Sports: Soccer, baseball, softball

Things to do in Irvine

Few teams get into a town, play their game, and leave again without sampling some of their host city’s attractions. Nestled in the middle of Orange County, Irvine is well within reach of all of the OC’s legendary tourist activities, but there’s no need to leave the city if you’re looking for fun things to do after the game.

If your group loves the great outdoors, there’s much to enjoy within Irvine’s city limits. There are miles of hiking and biking trails and thousands of acres of parks and open spaces planned right into the city’s design. Hiking the Quail Hill Loop Trail is a great place to start; your smartphone can become your tour guide as you experience the natural beauty of Southern California. Biking around town — maybe by renting an electric bike from local retailer Pedego — is also a favorite activity.

If you want everything in one area, then the 1,300-acre Orange County Great Park is your must-see destination. It’s home to the Great Park Balloon — a tethered balloon ride — as well as a Sunday Farmer’s Market, a carousel, a performing arts complex, a walkable historical timeline, and much more.  And if your group includes kids, take them to Boomers for a fun afternoon of games, mini-golf, a water park, and go-karts.

Planner Perspective

For generations, Irvine has been a hotbed for developing soccer and young athletes. We are excited to work with the great City of Irvine, and utilize the state-of-the-art soccer facilities at the Orange County Great Park to host a truly unique youth soccer tournament to ‘Advance the Game’

LA Galaxy Cup: Dan Kennedy (Consultant, Programming)

How to Get to Irvine

By Car:  Irvine is located near two freeways, I-5 and I-405.  It’s an hour from Los Angeles, an hour and a half north of San Diego, and three hours south of Bakersfield.

By Air:  The Orange County John Wayne Airport is just a few miles outside of Irvine, and it accepts American, Delta, Frontier, Alaska, Southwest, WestJet, United, and JetSuiteX airlines.

Contact Information

Dave LuceyCompany Name: Destination Irvine

Sports Sales Manager: Dave Lucey

Title: Director of Sports Sales

Telephone: 949-502-4114