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Great Park Opens South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex on September 21; Hosts Great Summer Games II

• Community invited to participate in Great Summer Games II and enjoy the debut of the Great Park’s 30-acre expansion
• Participation in Great Summer Games II is free, but registration is required

Great Park Opens South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex on September 21; Hosts Great Summer Games II

IRVINE – The Orange County Great Park invites Southern California families to enjoy the opening of the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex, a 30-acre expansion of the Great Park’s public space, and participate in Great Summer Games II on Saturday, September 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Great Summer Games II will provide a fun-filled day of athletic competitive games, sports clinics, and a variety of fitness activities for the whole family to enjoy.

The free public event will be the first opportunity for the public to experience the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at one of the new soccer fields on the South Lawn.

Great Summer Games II
Athletic competitions at Great Summer Games II will include a 50-meter sprint, 100-meter sprint, 50-meter hurdles, long jump, vertical jump, soccer accuracy kick, basketball shooting challenge, and a SNAG golf longest drive contest for kids ages 7-12.

Soccer Clinics
The French Soccer Institute will also provide two free soccer clinics with professional soccer coaches as part of the Great Summer Games II festivities. The first clinic begins at 10:30 a.m. and the second clinic begins at 12:30 p.m.

Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path Fitness Activities
Several other free fitness activities will involve the new Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path, a mile-long health and fitness path that circles the North and South Lawn at the Great Park. Fitness experts from PayanX will provide fun, energetic hour-long cross training exercise classes (10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.) on the Thrive Path designed to get people of all ages moving. Stroller Strides, a stroller-based total body workout class designed for moms of all fitness levels, will also offer a custom 45 minute session at 10:15 a.m.

Registration for Great Summer Games II and Soccer Clinics
Space is limited and pre-registration for the Great Park Summer Games II and soccer clinics is encouraged to ensure space. Registration will close at noon on Thursday, September 19. On event day, athlete check-in starts at 9 a.m. Registration is online at:

For a full schedule of activities, please click here. Admission and parking are free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from gourmet food trucks on site.

About the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex
Under construction since last summer, the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex adds 30 acres of public space to the Great Park. Nearly 230 acres of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro are now activated, including the 105-acre Great Park Farm.

Debuting to the public on September 21 will be the following new features at the Great Park:

  • New Sports Facilities:  The South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex expands the Great Park’s sports facilities and includes lighted four tournament-quality soccer fields, two of which are synthetic grass. Other features include four full-size basketball courts, a new 2,528 square-foot restroom and operations facility building dubbed Visitors Support Center #1, as well as the planting of more than 300 trees.
  • Visitors Center Pavilion: Located near the Great Park Balloon, the 4,762-square-foot Visitors Center Pavilion is the first newly constructed permanent structure to open on the former MCAS El Toro. It provides visitors with a welcoming first stop on visits for rides on the Great Park Balloon and Carousel. It features a large lobby, restroom facilities, retail area, and office space. Approximately 35 tons of structural steel were used in the construction of the Visitors Center Pavilion as well as 1,000 tons of El Toro Stone, which are pieces of the demolished concrete runways from the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. El Toro Stone was also used to create a gabion wall on the south side of the facility.
  • Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path: The mile-long Kaiser Permanente Thrive Path takes visitors on a scenic journey around the North and South Lawns. It features four interpretive signs with Kaiser Permanente health and fitness information and 10 markers to help joggers and walkers measure the distance of their run or walk.
  • Reflecting Ponds and Viewing Pier: A pair of reflecting ponds and a 2,200 square-foot wooden viewing pier near the Marine Way entrance now welcomes visitors to the Great Park. The reflecting ponds connect to the Walkable Historical Timeline and link the South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex with the Great Park Balloon. The reflecting ponds and additional storm water retention ponds are the first water features at the Great Park.
  • Walkable Historical Timeline: The Walkable Historical Timeline has been completely re-imagined with a new aesthetic look and has been expanded from 750 feet to 2,604 feet. It includes 162 significant historical events and serves as a natural connection between the Great Park Balloon and the reflecting ponds and viewing pier. Walkable Historical Timeline Handbooks will be available for free in the Visitors Center Pavilion while supplies last. The 52-page, bound Handbooks were created by the two University of California, Irvine Professors Emeriti of History who developed the historical details highlighted on the Timeline, Keith L. Nelson and Spencer C. Olin.
  • Giant Chess Boards and Outdoor Ping Pong tables: Two giant chess boards are located in a picnic area between the soccer fields and four outdoor ping pong tables ring the east side of the South Lawn. Giant chess pieces and ping pong paddles will be available for check out at the Visitors Support Center #1. Ping pong balls will be available for purchase.
  • Storm Water Collection System: The South Lawn features a state-of-the-art storm water management system designed to supplement the South Lawn’s irrigation needs. The system captures, filters, and stores storm water in four new retention ponds on the South Lawn. It has the capacity for 5 million gallons of storm water storage. Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated from the site to create the storm water retention ponds.

The Orange County Great Park is located at Sand Canyon and Marine Way, and can easily be reached by the 5 or 405 freeways. For more information, visit, please visit www.ocgp.org or call 866-829-3829.

About the Orange County Great Park
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park’s array of recreational and educational opportunities and participate in shared experiences, including panoramic views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air.  Other Great Park features include the Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Historical Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, North Lawn recreation area and Historic Hangar 244.  In addition to sports clinics, gardening workshops, weekly Farmers Market and other community events, the Great Park hosts an annual series of special events that provide unique experiences for the entire family, including the Great Park Pumpkin Harvest and the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival. With its approximate 1,300-acre master plan, the Great Park is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. For more information, please visit www.ocgp.org.