USA Water Polo has announced its commitment to contribute $12 million to the newly approved water polo aquatic center at the Great Park in Irvine. The Irvine City Council voted 4-1 in favor of the state-of-the-art aquatic center during its Great Park Board and City Council meeting held on Sept. 27, which will become home to USA Water Polo's national teams and national programming, including the National Junior Olympics, the largest water polo tournament in the world.
USA Water Polo's $12 million contribution will cover the cost of its exclusive use areas such as national team locker and weight rooms, as well as subsidizing world-class elements that will allow the facility to host training in preparation for the Olympic Games alongside national championships, professional development camps, and international competitions. The City of Irvine will own, maintain, and manage the center, with a majority of usage dedicated for civic programming, including swim lessons, Irvine Swim League, and aqua aerobics.
"We are delighted that the City of Irvine has approved the new aquatic center in collaboration with USA Water Polo, which we are confident will be a great asset to the City of Irvine and its residents," said Christopher Ramsey, CEO, USA Water Polo. "We are grateful for the City Council's consideration of this initiative and are ready to help get the center up and running in time for the LA28 Olympic Games."
USA Water Polo's residency represents $850 million to $1 billion in economic activity through 2055, adding an average of more than $30 million dollars a year to the Irvine economy. As an Irvine-based non-profit organization, USA Water Polo offers programs and expanded opportunities to all who are interested in playing water polo.
USA Water Polo Olympic teams will now have a permanent home in the City of Irvine. The women's national water polo team is one of the most medaled in the history of sport, winning gold medals at the last three Olympic Games and four consecutive world championships. The men's national water polo team is the only national team outside of Europe to win Olympic medals in the sport, and is coming off two consecutive silver medals at the FINA World League Super Finals.
"The USA Water Polo national teams are outstanding scholar athletes who represent our nation in elite competitions around the world. Now other national teams will come to Irvine to compete against them -- occupying local hotels, restaurants and contributing in other vital ways to the City's financial health and quality of life. Our athletes will also provide valuable leadership and technical training for Irvine's youth, helping all of us appreciate the commitment required to perform at a sustained world class level," added Ramsey.
USA Water Polo, Inc., is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing our United States Olympic program as well as 20 championship events annually, such as Junior Olympics and Masters National Championships. With more than 50,000 members, USAWP also is the sanctioning authority for more than 500 member clubs and more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport throughout the U.S., fostering grass-roots expansion while providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches, and officials. For more information, visit www.usawaterpolo.org.