Los Angeles Football Club officially opened their training facility at Cal State LA on Wednesday. The $30 million facility, which includes offices, training facilities, hydrotheraphy tubs and a lush field that matches the team’s grass at Banc of California Stadium, will be their permanent training home after playing at UCLA while construction was being completed.
In addition to the first team, LAFC’s academy will also be housed at the facility. The academy has been training at Cal State LA since its establishment in 2016.
“Building this Performance Facility is not only an important step in the development of our players and coaches, but it is a true symbol of our commitment to the City of Los Angeles,” said LAFC president and owner Tom Penn in a team statement. “Our vision of engaging the LA community is perfectly aligned with Cal State LA, and we look forward to deepening our relationship here. We want to extend a huge thank you to Gensler, AECOM Hunt and Legends for their hard work and commitment into making this dream a reality.”
The project was designed by Gensler, which also designed Banc of California Stadium, which will host LAFC’s first home game on April 29.
As part of the agreement to have the facility on Cal State LA’s campus, LAFC donated $100,000 to the university’s athletic department and will be working with the school to develop a new master’s degree program in sport operations and athlete representation. On top of that, kinesiology students will work with the LAFC first team and academy teams as part of their practicum hours requirement.
“Cal State LA and LAFC are excited to build together in the heart of Los Angeles. The LAFC Soccer Training Facility at Cal State LA represents our mutual commitment to creating opportunities in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jose A. Gomez. “Cal State LA and LAFC share, and will score, many goals together.”
Among the positives of the project is the fact that LAFC managed to build both a stadium and a training facility in Los Angeles city limits, something I think many did not think would be possible when they set out. For as much as the debates over being “More LA” between LAFC and the LA Galaxy can be tiresome, seeing as plenty of people live outside of the city and identify as Angelinos nonetheless, actually claiming to be the team of the city and putting stadium and facilities there is a good sign that LAFC is truly serious about the city itself.
As for reactions to the new digs, it appears LAFC were pretty impressed with what they saw.
From MLSsoccer.com’s Alex Dwyer at Wednesday’s media day for the new training facility:
“We have no excuse not to play good,” Carlos Vela joked. “Because sometimes when you aren’t, you can [come to] your training facility and say, ‘Oh, the pitch is not good, I don’t like the dressing room.’ Now it’s like, if you don’t play good…”
Vela’s teammate, veteran defender Steven Beitashour, filled in the blank.
“We’ve got no excuses.”
Added LAFC head coach Bob Bradley:
“Whenever an organization does things the right way, from the top facilities, the stadium, the surface that you play on every day, again it connects with how you play football,” Bradley told reporters.
“We are so fortunate now to be able to come here every day,” Bradley said of the $30-million, 30,000-square-foot facility. “Where the field is perfect, where inside the building players can interact.”
You can get a quick virtual tour of the space right here:
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