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USA Water Polo Picks Irvine for its National Headquarters

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

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A proposed plan to build a world-class aquatics facility that would serve as the national headquarters for USA Water Polo at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine was presented to the Irvine City Council during the Aug. 28 council meeting. The site would also provide the opportunity for Irvine to serve as a venue for the 2028 Olympic Games and the preceding Olympic trials.

At present, Irvine hosts at more than five well-attended water polo events, generating $2 million annually in direct spending. The economic impact for Irvine hotels and businesses is approximately $160,000 annually in transient occupancy tax for the city of Irvine.

Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr told Irvine City Council during his testimony, that the proposed facilities and headquarters would generate roughly $12 million annually, based on conservative economic projections – substantially increasing the amount currently earned by Irvine hotels, restaurants, and retail services.

“The relocation of USA Water Polo headquarters from Huntington Beach to Irvine will expand the economic impact of this sport in our community as well as help to establish Irvine as a world-class sports destination,” Starr said.

The enhanced water polo presence in Irvine would significantly increase the number of USA Water Polo events that are staged in the city. Irvine would also have the ability to host more Master National and Junior Olympic events than are currently held in the city.

“The ability to host more local and national events, and international world tournaments than held in other cities, and the opportunity to host Olympic trials and Olympic Games events is a tremendous legacy opportunity for Irvine families,” Starr said.

The proposed aquatics facility is supported by USA Water Polo. The organization’s CEO, Chris Ramsey, testified before the Irvine City Council on behalf of the project.

“USA Water Polo will take on the responsibility of fully funding construction of the new National Training Center through private donations, which will include a stadium pool with seating for up to 2,500, as well as an adjacent training pool that can be divided into two courses, and public locker room facilities,” Ramsey said. “Our usage is only going to be about one third for our own programs, which means that two-thirds are available for the city to use. Well over 75 percent of the facility will be for public benefit.”

For more information, contact Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, Greater Irvine Chamber.

Category: Partner News, Economic Development, Community News, Destination Irvine

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