The UCLA athletic department has received an extraordinary commitment of $5 million from the Annenberg Foundation that will be the lead gift toward the planned transformation of the North Athletic Field into the new home of UCLA men’s and women’s soccer as well as UCLA’s club sports programs.

In honor of the Annenberg Foundation’s generosity, UCLA will proudly name the new campus venue Wallis Annenberg Stadium.

Under the direction of UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero, propelled by the Annenberg Foundation’s generous lead gift, UCLA is embarking on the One Goal Campaign to raise private funds for the planned state-of-the-art stadium. Plans for Wallis Annenberg Stadium, to be built in phases, include:

  • capacity to seat 3,000
  • spectator amenity building to house restrooms and concession stands
  • day-of-game locker room building that includes two team locker rooms and two auxiliary locker rooms
  • shared team meeting room and equipment storage
  • stadium lighting
  • scoreboard system several elements showcasing the history of UCLA soccer

Construction, which will be completed in phases as money is raised, is projected to begin in fall 2016. 

“Not only is soccer the most popular sport around the globe, with nearly 4 percent of the world’s population actively participating, but its legacy and storied history here at UCLA has been well documented through the years,” Guerrero said. “For the Annenberg Foundation to take this type of initiative and make this level of commitment, while remarkable, is not surprising given how deeply it has philanthropically touched all aspects of the greater Los Angeles community. Because of the generosity of the Annenberg Foundation, and more specifically Wallis Annenberg, UCLA soccer and the men and women who comprise it, will now play on a stage that will undoubtedly be second to none.”

The overall project, with an estimated cost of up to $10 million, will be funded entirely by private donations. A feasibility study analyzed the site conditions, and with the Annenberg Foundation’s commitment now secured, UCLA will move the project forward with a request for proposal to select an architect.

“It’s been said that adversity causes some people to break, and others to break records,” said Wallis Annenberg, chairman of the board, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “I’m delighted to play my part in creating a state-of-the-art new stadium for UCLA soccer, because nothing does more to build a sense of character, a culture of achievement and a strong fabric of community than an extraordinary sports program. With its rich history and its remarkable successes in recent years — on both the men’s and women’s teams — I can’t think of a worthier investment than UCLA soccer. And I look forward to sharing in the excitement and the glory when the new stadium is built.”

The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. The foundation and its board of directors are also directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission of advancing a better tomorrow through visionary leadership today. The foundation encourages the development of effective ways to communicate by sharing ideas and knowledge. Since assuming chairmanship of the foundation in 2009, Wallis Annenberg has overseen the distribution of more than $386 million to more than 1,640 organizations.

“Without the generosity of the Annenberg Foundation and their vision for what a stadium means to soccer on the campus of UCLA, this project wouldn’t be happening,” said Amanda Cromwell, head coach of UCLA women’s soccer. “Wallis Annenberg deserves a lot of praise for seeing the passion behind the project and wanting to be a part of it. The completion of Wallis Annenberg Stadium will ensure that generations of future Bruins will be playing in a first-class, intimate venue that will be a perfect home for UCLA soccer.”

Jorge Salcedo, head coach of UCLA men’s soccer, said, “On behalf of UCLA men’s soccer and every alumnus who has represented our program, I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the Annenberg family and foundation. Their generous gift will forever change the landscape of soccer at UCLA. In the near future, we will be able to provide a gameday experience for families and the surrounding community that will be impactful and meaningful. For years, the Annenberg Foundation has positively influenced each group they have touched, and for UCLA soccer to receive this gift makes us incredibly blessed.”

The gift is part of the $4.2 billion UCLA Centennial Campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.

As a part of the campus’s overall goal, the athletic department has its own fundraising target of $260 million by 2019. To date, UCLA Athletics has already received commitments in excess of $180 million. Wallis Annenberg Stadium directly addresses the department’s primary Centennial Campaign objective: to create a financially sustainable future to build upon UCLA’s standing as the premier intercollegiate athletics program in the nation.