Wallis Annenberg Stadium at UCLA had its grand opening Friday evening followed by the Bruins 1-0 victory over Long Beach State with Hailie Mace scoring with two seconds to play in the nonconference women’s soccer game.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero, men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo and women’s soccer coach Amanda Cromwell were among the participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The 2,145-seat stadium is located at the previously named North Athletic Field, where the Bruins men’s and women’s soccer teams played selected home games from 1967-99, after which home games were moved to Drake Stadium.
The new stadium was made possible thanks to a $5 million lead gift from the Annenberg Foundation, which supports the arts, community, education, global issues and development of nonprofit organizations.
The grand opening completes the first phase of the Wallis Annenberg Stadium project and includes grandstand seating and a press box on the west side, a Daktronics LED video board and Musco Sports lighting.
Future phases of the stadium project may include expanded stadium seating, a training room, player locker room, coaches’ locker rooms, meeting spaces, ticketing space and a new press box.
UCLA has estimated the overall cost of the entire project at up to $10 million.
“It’s been said that adversity causes some people to break, and others to break records,” Annenberg, the chairman of the board, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, said in 2016 when the foundation’s $5 million donation was announced.
“I’m delighted to play my part in creating a state-of-the-art new stadium for UCLA soccer, because nothing does more to build a sense of character, a culture of achievement and a strong fabric of community than an extraordinary sports program.
“With its rich history and its remarkable successes in recent years — on both the men’s and women’s teams — I can’t think of a worthier investment than UCLA soccer.”
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