Sneak peek of the Saddleback College Sports Complex

Home side view of the football field. Katarina De Almeida/Lariat

Saddleback College Sports Complex was scheduled to open this fall, but due to COVID-19, this has been delayed indefinitely. The stadium is a few finishing touches away from being complete, as the construction crew is working on seating numbers and other minor fixtures. The campus is currently closed and the Saddleback President Elliot Stern shared his thoughts on the stadium.

“The Saddleback College Stadium is a premier sports complex that will rival that of any community college or four-year university,” Stern said in an email. “It is an impressive sight to behold with exceptional athletic and event spaces and state-of-the-art amenities for spectators. My one regret is that our athletes and students who attend games aren’t able to enjoy it now. We will make up for that when the college is able to re-open.”

The stadium includes many high-end amenities for the college staff and students that can be utilized as a tool for meetings, practices, games, and events.

A drone captures the home side of the Saddleback College Sports Complex. Courtesy of CPL Contracting

On the home side, the sports complex is stacked on three levels. The main story will include multiple training rooms for athletes equipped with an ice room, hydrotherapy room, locker room, referee rooms and team rooms.

The concourse is on the second level, which is an open concept design created for social events. This level allows for an overall view of the football practice field, soccer field and track fields.

A drone captures the view of track, soccer and football fields. Courtesy of CPL Contracting

The third level features designated control rooms for media, tv and radio, including retractable windows for full coverage during games. As a significant part of competitions and events, the scoreboard has a unique control room where statistics and information can be streamed live. Home and away coaches have access to private rooms on this level as well.

Overall, the sports complex has been “designed by the coaches for the students,” said John Rivell, the assistant director of facilities, rentals and grounds at Saddleback. The “attention to detail that the coaches input in the design,” he added, has created a state of the art stadium capable of hosting grand events of any size in the future.

The complex is built up to current Americans with Disabilities Act standards with accommodating seating and elevators. Additionally, there’s a designated picnic area for families to sit back and relax during events. The football field has been integrated with a wet down system that reduces the turf’s temperature by 10-12 degrees and uses cryogenic rubber, which helps it stay cool.

The picnic area above the track where families can sit and watch events. Katarina De Almeida/Lariat

The entire stadium is secured with fencing, which separates spectators from the athletes and coaches during games. Implemented throughout the stands is an advanced Wi-Fi system capable of a stronger streaming connection for the fans and staff.