Irvine City Council's plans to discuss use of Championship Soccer Stadium moved off of agenda – OCRegister

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The Irvine City Council was scheduled to discuss two proposals at Tuesday’s meeting, one of which could have led to a partnership in which Galaxy II, the Los Angeles Galaxy’s developmental team, uses the Great Park Championship Stadium as its home field next season.
However, late Monday, the discussion was removed from the agenda.
One of the two proposals was a “transition to partnership with the LA Galaxy.” Under this model, the Galaxy would use the Stadium for its reserve team, currently Galaxy II, for next season’s MLS Next Pro league. According to the proposal, the club would pay 16-18 home games in the Stadium.
If that was agreed upon, then that would end the Memorandum of Understanding the city of Irvine has with Orange County Soccer Club, leaving it without a home. The current Memorandum of Understanding automatically renews in November for an additional two years.
Monday, the Galaxy also released a statement saying it was not  “interested in an exclusive arrangement for LA Galaxy II to play at the Orange County Great Park Championship Soccer Stadium.”
The statement added that the club would be willing to have “open conversations with the City of Irvine and other stakeholders on mutually-acceptable arrangements pertaining to the use of the Stadium moving forward.”
The 5,000-seat stadium opened in August 2017.
The other proposal would have been to “remain status quo” with 40 days of access for professional soccer teams and 80 days of access for community-based groups for the main stadium. Those 40 days are divided between Orange County Soccer Club (18 days) and Strikers FC and FC Golden State Force (22 days).
When news of the scheduled agenda item leaked Friday, Orange County Soccer Club released a statement from owner James Keston.
“Our club is built in Irvine, 100 percent Orange County proud and now under attack. We are stunned and extremely disappointed by yesterday’s news that the city could undo all the great work we have done in soccer and in the local community in Orange County.
“OCSC has called Championship Soccer Stadium home for the past five years. It is where fans have come together to watch our team represent their community, where we have won trophies, and where local players have realized their dreams as they have risen from the academy to the pros and on to some of the largest clubs in the world.”
At its Saturday’s home against the Colorado Switchbacks, OCSC requested fans email letters of support to local Irvine elected officials and to attend the City Council meeting. Fliers handed out also read that “our club, built in Irvine and 100 percent Orange County proud is under attack.”
Even though the agenda item has been pulled from the meeting, OCSC is still asking for its fans to attend to show their support for the club.
This is the last season the Galaxy’s developmental team will play in the USL, moving to MLS Next Pro next season. Several teams in the MLS have and are moving their reserve teams from the USL to the MLS Next Pro system, which launched its inaugural season in March, setting up a clash between MLS and USL in situations like this.
“The USL is disappointed by the news that the City of Irvine would even consider terminating Orange County SC’s tenancy at Championship Soccer Stadium in Great Park and provide exclusive use to the LA Galaxy’s developmental team,” USL president Jake Edwards said in a statement. “In response, we are working closely with OCSC to explore legal and contractual options.”
A third proposal will be up for discussion to convert the grass field inside the stadium to artificial turf, which would cost the city approximately $1.5 million.
OUR COUNTY. OUR HOME.
Press Release → https://t.co/R956CsL4wV
For More Info & Ways To Support → https://t.co/bhuG4wDdcF
— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) August 5, 2022

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