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City Council Approves Deal to Keep OC Soccer Club in Irvine

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The Orange County Soccer Club — whose winning season earned them the second seed in the Western Conference for the United Soccer League (USL) Championship playoffs — scored an off-field victory when the Irvine City Council approved an agreement to keep the club in Irvine through 2033.
 
The club has been in Irvine 10 years, and has played its home games at the Great Park Championship Stadium, which the club and fans call “The Champ,” since 2017 under a deal that has seen the club pay use fees totaling approximately $260,000. The stadium has about 5,500 seats.
 
During that time, the OC Soccer Club won the USL Championship in 2021 and has drawn thousands of fans to each of their home games here, selling out the last five games of this year’s regular season.
 
In September 2022, the City Council extended that deal for a year and directed City staff to take another look at the use of the stadium by professional sports teams. The result of that is the new agreement with OC Soccer Club that will enable the club to sell advertising and sponsorships in the stadium, with the City receiving 20% of that revenue and the club retaining 80%.
 
All advertising and sponsorships in the stadium must be approved by the City Council.

The agreement has a five-year term with an optional five-year extension.
 
“The last 12 months have been an uncertain time for our fans,” said OCSC President of Business Operations Dan Rutstein. “Our fans wake up today knowing we will be playing at this beautiful stadium until 2033, when we will be able to have a 20-year celebration.”
 
“I am proud of the partnership between the City of Irvine and the Orange County Soccer Club,” said Mayor Farrah Khan. “This agreement not only cements OCSC’s place in our community, but also showcases Irvine’s commitment to fostering a vibrant sports culture.”

Roger Bloom

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