LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- City leaders, Olympians, and youth soccer players came together today 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 today are dedicated exclusively to youth soccer and feature long-lasting synthetic turf that will save millions of gallons of water annually. An estimated 171,000 youth 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 Councilmember 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 LA84 Foundation President Anita 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 Los Angeles Parks Foundation (LAPF) is a not-for-profit organization that raises funds to enhance, expand, preserve and promote our 440 city parks for the people of Los Angeles. LAPF has raised funds with multiple partners and is the project manager with Recreation and Parks to renovate four youth soccer fields with state-of-the-art synthetic turf.
"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. "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 - all designed to expand capacity for LA residents to use the city's largest soccer facility year-round, and for extended hours.
Donors interested in supporting the second and final phase of the renovation of Ferraro Fields are encouraged to contact Bob Wagner at the LA84 Foundation (rwagner@LA84.org).
Drone footage of the renovated soccer fields available upon request.
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation was established to manage Southern California's share of the surplus from the successful 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The Foundation received an endowment of $93 million. Since it began operations in 1985, it has invested $225 million back into the communities that supported the Games, supporting more than 3 million youth in the eight Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Its headquarters is the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles where it houses the world's premier sports library and meeting facilities. The Foundation provides grants to youth sports organizations, manages programs, including a coaching education program, and convenes numerous forums for the exploration of the most pressing issues in sport. For more information, please visit www.la84.org.
About the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
The Department of Recreation and Parks maintains over 16,000 acres of parkland with over 430 neighborhood and regional parks, 184 recreation centers and facilities, 368 children's play areas, 321 tennis courts, 256 ball fields, 31 senior centers, 13 golf courses, nine dog parks, 21 skate parks, 61 swimming pools, 12 museums and an urban forest of one million trees and 92 miles of hiking trails. The Department also provides after school enrichment programs for children and teens including music, dance, and athletic programs. For more information about the Department of Recreation and Parks, please visit www.laparks.org.
About the Los Angeles Parks Foundation
Since its founding in 2008, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation has made more than $8 million in grants to city park projects. Among its accomplishments are building six walkable neighborhood parks, constructing the first All Access Ball Field in Los Angeles County, re-establishing a mounted patrol unit in Griffith Park, and adding a range of amenities, including benches and shade structures, at a variety of other sites. The foundation's website – www.laparksfoundation.org – encourages donations to benefit specific neighborhood parks and provides access to Adopt-A-Park and Donate-A-Bench programs.
SOURCE LA84 Foundation