Planning & Future Development

Great Park spans approximately 1,300 acres, with more than 400 acres developed and over 300 acres in planning and design phases. Upon completion, it will join America’s inventory of national treasures and set a new standard for great metropolitan parks around the world.

Please see below for information on current and upcoming projects at the Great Park. For important historical documents that have guided the development of Great Park, visit the Key Documents page

Cultural Terrace

The Cultural Terrace will provide a robust center that houses a variety of cultural attractions to Great Park. These include restorative adaptions and the reuse of historic landmark buildings to create new attractions for visitors to Great Park by partnering with community museums and resources.  

Wild Rivers Water Park

Wild Rivers opened in July, 2022. For more information, please visit wildrivers.com.

View the Wild Rivers Fact Sheet here

Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum

The Irvine City Council entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation to establish a strategy for the reuse of the historic Hangar 296 from the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, fundraising, and public outreach, all with the goal of the re-establishment of the Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum. Learn more here.

Pretend City Children's Museum

The City is working closely with Pretend City Children's Museum on a proposed facility that would restore and reuse historic Hangar 296 from Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The restored hangar would be the new home for the beloved museum and children's center, providing extensive space for growth and creativity adjacent to other complimentary uses within the Cultural Terrace. 

California Fire Museum and Safety Learning Center (CFM-SLC)

California Fire Museum and Safety Learning CenterThe California Fire Museum and Safety Learning Center is proposed to compliment Pretend City and the Flying Leathernecks as a new cultural and historical attraction at the Cultural Terrace.  The museum and learning center would likely occupy one of the refurbished marine base era hangars with a variety of displays honoring the history of the fire service and providing interactive educational opportunities. 

Heart of the Park

The Heart of the Park is designed to incorporate the park elements of Great Park, which include nature aspects like gardens, forests, water and aviary elements, as well as playgrounds, walking paths, picnic areas, and structural art pieces. A  permanent amphitheater, a library, and farm hub will round out the elements of this sector. 

Amphitheater

The Framework Plan includes a permanent amphitheater in the Heart of the Park to replace the temporary Five Point Amphitheater.  The new facility is expected to include

amphitheater

 14,000 fixed seats with extensive lawn and recreation areas. The City is working closely with future operator, Live Nation, on the design of the venue which will host a wide variety of top-quality musical acts and a community stage reserved for smaller-scale, community, and local programming.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical GardensBotanical gardens have been a consistent presence in the planning of the Great Park, and have been included in varying locations and sizes since the original Master Plan. In 2021, the City Council voted to move forward with a Botanical Garden on the 125 acre ARDA site at the north end of the Great Park.  The botanical garden is a key component of the Framework Plan, with a proposed 30 acre first phase and room to grow.  The garden will be made up of a series of component gardens including a children’s interactive garden, California arroyo, and wedding / special event garden within the first phase. 

Veteran's Memorial

The Framework plan includes a 5 acre memorial garden as a tribute to those who served our country in America’s armed forces and as a link to the history of the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro.  The site will include passive areas set aside for quiet reflection and educational displays to remind future generations of the people that served here.

Library

Planned for a site adjacent to the Botanical Garden and the veteran’s memorial within the Heart of the Park, is a public library.  This will be the newest addition to the county library system within Irvine and will serve the Great Park Neighborhoods and larger northeast Irvine area.

Farm Hub

The Farm Hub is a link to the agricultural history of the Great Park and a vital educational food resource for the community.  Located on approximately 70 acres in the Heart of the Park, the Farm Hub will include row crops, farm-to-table dining options, and educational opportunities.  The Farm Hub also serves as a resource for local non-profits addressing food insecurity throughout Irvine and the region.

Sports Park​

The Sports Park sector of Great Park will feature the addition of an aquatics center in partnership with USA Water Polo, a gym, enhanced publice spaces, and food and beverage options. 

Visitors Center Plaza RehabilitationAquatics Facility

The Framework Plan includes an aquatic facility in the sports park sector intended to serve as community pool space as well as the home for the USA Olympic Water Polo team. The new facility is in the planning stage and will include two or three pools as well as associated locker rooms, and community spaces.

Field House

In an effort to provide much needed indoor sports courts, the Framework Plan was designed to include a field house or public gymnasium. This new athletic venue would include flexible sports courts that could be programmed for basketball, volleyball, badminton, or other indoor sporting activities as well as fitness equipment and community meeting space. 

Food and Beverage 

The City is developing options for restaurants within the sports park sector of Great Park that will serve park visitors as well as the surrounding community. The food and beverage offerings are anticipated to include casual options for a quick bite between games as well as more refined options for dining, a cup of coffee, and supporting retail and entertainment.

Enhancing the Park

Several improvements are planned throughout Great Park that will enhance the use of the land while providing viable options for residents and visitors to enjoy the space to its full potential. 

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

At Great Park Board direction, the city is pursuing opportunities to implement electric vehicle Charging stations throughout the Great Park. Plans are being evaluated in consultation with Southern California Edison The project is expected to move forward this year with electric vehicle charging capabilities available at Great Park in late 2022 or early 2023.

Shade Structures

In winter 2019, City Council expressed an interest in increasing shade within the Sports Complex. A capital improvement project to complete this work was created in the fiscal year 2019-20 budget. Design is underway, with a budget of $2.15 million. Complete concept design is expected by the end of 2020.

Parking & Roadway Lighting in Western Sector

The Western Sector Roadways project included road-edge streetlights, which are now energized along Corsair and Phantom. Following the January Great Park Board meeting, roadway lighting was energized and temporary solar- and fuel-powered lights were positioned in Parking Lot 2 (Festival Lot). The project is complete, though staff are evaluating sustainable alternative options to better illuminate the lot prior to construction of the Western Sector Improvements.

Sports Complex Concession Improvements

In response to user requests, concession upgrades are being planned at Great Park sports stadiums to serve hot, unpackaged food. Initial funding was approved in June 2019. All three stadium facilities and baseball support in the outfield are planned for improvements, as well as the soccer stadium. A design contractor has been selected, with the scope of work informed by O.C. Health. Conceptual design is underway. OC Health has outlined its requirements; the first phase is funded with a project budget of $1 million, and the second phase is unfunded with a project budget of $1 million for the fiscal year 2021-2023. Potential sponsorship opportunities are being pursued.

2026 FIFA World Cup Training Site Agreement

On Tuesday, April 26, Great Park Board approved and authorized the City Manager to execute an irrevocable Training Site Agreement, and any other implementing agreements to carry out the intent of this action with the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the United States Soccer Federation to use the Great Park Sports Complex as a Training Site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The Great Park Board also authorized the City Manager to negotiate and approve a mutually agreed upon “Training Site Rental Fee” for use of the Great Park Sports Complex as a Training Site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

History & Key Documents

Review key documents in chronological order here