New stadium ‘in limbo,’ not likely for Homecoming 2019 game debut

The new Saddleback football stadium is currently under construction where the old driving range was. (Zach Kearns/Lariat)

The football stadium could be completed in time for the fall homecoming game this year, said Daniel Claus, Saddleback College athletic director. But the rainy winter this season, makes this deadline unlikely.

“It’s in limbo right now,” he said. “We asked the contractor to complete but due to all the rain that happened it doesn’t look like their able to make that day.

Athletic administrators and staff on campus have had general discussions that’s for several years now. The previous Saddleback president, Tod Burnett, and the board of trustees said “the current stadium that we had at the time was an overflowing capacity, it was old and even the restrooms weren’t  in the stadium”.

“This new stadium will bring new revenues to the Saddleback campus and addition to the revenues,” he said. “It can benefit students and other programs outside the campus and not just Saddleback athletics.”

In addition to these events, he said they will also be including practice facilities for people coming internationally who are competing in the 2020 Los Angeles Olympics.

In addition to the new stadium being built, they will also be a new practice sport field where the old driving range use to be.

The new practice stadium is going to be moved to where the Saddleback driving range use to be. It will include two new practice football stadiums a soccer field, and a throws park for track and field.

“It will be a practice field to prepare for games and meets,” he said.  

Clauss said these new private event rooms will have team meeting rooms for both home and visiting and there will be locker rooms for the officials.

“It’s a place where they host meetings,” he said.  “ [It] overlooks the stadium with a nice view.” “It will also be used for potential rentals for outside communities who want to rent the press box while an event is happening in potential to additional revenues to the college.”

The new stadium will have 8,000 seats available, which will be significantly more than the old stadium.  It will contain artificial turf which prevents injuries, Clauss said.

An extra ninth lane will be added to the Track, which will be the same grade as the Olympics, and what makes it very unique is the throws areas like the discus and the javelin which most colleges don’t have,  which gives a better opportunity for people to rent the facility, he said.

In addition to high quality development, it can  be useful for summer camps, clinics, high school graduations such as Capistrano Valley and San Juan Hills High School ceremonies.

Clauss said he believes the stadium can benefit the college and the community, the excitement from revenues and sponsorships will bring the community together and a long with that it will enhance the Saddleback College athletic programs because they will be a lot more student athletes recruited due to the nice and new facilities that Saddleback provides.