$5,000,000 Donation from the Annenberg Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation announced the donation of $5,000,000 to the UCLA Athletic Department that will fund the reconstruction of the North Athletic Field. The field will welcome UCLA Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Club Sports programs as it is named Wallis Annenberg Stadium in honor of the donation to the university.
Soccer News: The UCLA Athletic Department announced an extraordinary commitment of $5,000,000 from the Annenberg Foundation that acts as the lead gift toward the planned transformation of the North Athletic Field into the new home of UCLA Men’s and Women’s Soccer as well as UCLA’s Club Sports programs. In honor of the Annenberg Foundation’s generosity, UCLA will proudly name the new campus venue Wallis Annenberg Stadium.
Under the direction of UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, propelled by the Annenberg Foundation’s generous lead gift, UCLA is embarking on the One Goal Campaign to raise private funds for the planned state-of-the-art stadium. Located where the North Athletic Field currently resides, plans for Wallis Annenberg Stadium, to be built in phases, include: capacity to seat 3,000; a spectator amenity building to house restrooms and concessions; a day-of-game locker room building that includes two team locker rooms and two auxiliary locker rooms; a shared team meeting room and equipment storage; stadium lighting; a scoreboard system; and several elements showcasing the storied history of UCLA Soccer.
Construction of Wallis Annenberg Stadium, to be completed in phases as money is raised, is currently projected to begin in fall of 2016.
“Not only is soccer the most popular sport around the globe, with nearly four percent of the world’s population actively participating, but its legacy and storied history here at UCLA has been well-documented through the years,” said Guerrero. “For the Annenberg Foundation to take this type of initiative and make this level of commitment, while remarkable, is not surprising given how deeply it has philanthropically touched all aspects of the greater Los Angeles community. Because of the generosity of the Annenberg Foundation, and more specifically Wallis Annenberg, UCLA soccer and the men and women who comprise it, will now play on a stage that will undoubtedly be second to none.”
The overall project, with an estimated cost of up to $10 million, will be funded entirely by private donations. A feasibility study analyzed the site conditions, and with the Annenberg Foundation’s commitment now secured, the University has elected to move the project forward with a request for proposal to select an architect. The selected firm will work directly with Guerrero, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, UCLA Recreation, and the University to develop the layout and renderings of the proposed facility.
“It’s been said that adversity causes some people to break, and others to break records. 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,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “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. And I look forward to sharing in the excitement and the glory when the new stadium is built.”
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. The Foundation and its Board of Directors are also directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission of advancing a better tomorrow through visionary leadership today. The Foundation encourages the development of effective ways to communicate by sharing ideas and knowledge. Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg, since assuming chairmanship of the Foundation in 2009, has overseen the distribution of more than $386 million to more than 1,640 organizations.
“Without the generosity of the Annenberg Foundation and their vision for what a stadium means to soccer on the campus of UCLA, this project wouldn’t be happening,” said UCLA women’s soccer head coach Amanda Cromwell. “Wallis Annenberg deserves a lot of praise for seeing the passion behind the project and wanting to be a part of it. The completion of Wallis Annenberg Stadium will ensure that generations of future Bruins will be playing in a first-class, intimate venue that will be a perfect home for UCLA Soccer.”
“On behalf of UCLA Men’s Soccer and every alumnus who has represented our program, I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the Annenberg Family and Foundation,” said UCLA men’s soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo. “Their generous gift will forever change the landscape of soccer at UCLA. In the near future, we will be able to provide a game-day experience for families and the surrounding community that will be impactful and meaningful. For years the Annenberg Foundation has positively influenced each group they have touched, and for UCLA Soccer to receive this gift makes us incredibly blessed.”
The project and its corresponding campaign to raise private funds is part of the $4.2 billion campus-wide UCLA Centennial Campaign that was announced in 2014. The UCLA Athletic Department aims to surpass its $260 million goal by 2019, to date having already received commitments in excess of $180,000,000. Wallis Annenberg Stadium directly addresses the Department’s primary Centennial Campaign objective: to create a financially sustainable future to build upon UCLA’s standing as the premier intercollegiate athletics program in the nation.
Source/Photo Credit: UCLA Athletics