Sports Park History

The Opportunities Study is a comprehensive planning process that the City has undertaken to rezone nearly 838 acres of land previously zoned for business and industrial uses on five properties in the City. The City has moved forward with the addition of new residential housing, commercial development, neighborhood parks, and public facilities such as a community center, civic center, and a Lake Forest Sports Park that opened in November 2014.

Initial development of the park started with the acquisition of four separate parcels totaling 100 acres. A land swap with the County included developer property adjacent to Whiting Ranch being exchange for County parcel.
The state-of-the art Sports Park was designed by RJM Design Group with a Craftsman-style Recreation Center designed by Robert Coffee & Associates. The 86-acre Sports Park and Recreation Center is located on the corner of Rancho Parkway and Portola Parkway as shown in our Sports Park Exhibit (PDF)
Final Master Plan

The Final Master Plan (PDF) for the Sports Park was developed through a series of community workshops and design efforts beginning in 2008. A Consensus Plan, developed from input gathered at the workshops, was presented at the July 2009 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The initial Consensus Master Plan was reviewed and approved by the City Council on August 18, 2009 for the purpose of conducting further environmental analysis and site studies, and scoping land acquisition alternatives.

On April 19, 2011, the City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report for the Sports Park and Recreation Center and adopted Alternative 7 as the preferred project. The layout of the sports fields in the Consensus Master Plan was reconfigured in Alternative 7 to better fit within the site. Additionally, the reconfigured layout reduced potential retaining wall heights and project costs, and preserved riparian areas along and within Glass Creek.

The Final Master Plan reflects changes that were made in conjunction with the development of the grading plan, and input received at an August 2011 workshop requesting larger artificial sports turf fields to accommodate a wider variety of sport uses.

Construction Contract Award

In June 2013, the City Council awarded a $35.9 million contract to Park West Landscape to bring the 86-acre park to life. No tax dollars were used. The Lake Forest Sports Park is one of the largest sports parks in Orange County with 57 acres.