May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Orange Unified District holds virtual grand opening for new Fred Kelly Stadium

A look at the new Fred Kelly Stadium, home to four district football teams. (Photos courtesy Orange Unified School District)

Officials with the Orange Unified School District are planning a virtual grand opening tonight (Thursday, Oct. 22) at 7:30 p.m. for the new Fred Kelly Stadium, which serves as the home stadium for the El Modena, Orange, Canyon and Villa Park football teams.

The stadium is located at El Modena High School in Orange and will also be used for track and field events.

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down high school sports since last March, the ceremony is being held virtually and will be shown on the Orange Unified School District’s Facebook page and You Tube channel, officials said.

The four district football programs played at alternative sites last year while the stadium was being modernized.

The totally renovated stadium includes new stands, a new field and surrounding track, a state of the art scoreboard and logos of the four district athletic programs on the field. There is also an Orange Unified logo in the center of the field.

The new stadium will allow the football teams to return to their long-time home. Orange played its home games last year at Segerstrom High School..

“We are extremely grateful for the investment that the Orange Unified School District and the School Board have made on behalf of our student-athletes,” said Alicia Seevers, athletic director at Orange High.

“The state of the art facility offers amenities we have not had at our home stadium before (home/away locker rooms being a huge addition) and upgrades to all the other features. After a year on the road, our championship football team is excited to play football at home again. We look forward to defending our league title and making another run in the CIF playoffs at Fred Kelly Stadium.”

Because of the pandemic, it’s not known when fans will actually be able to visit the new stadium.

Orange is scheduled to play its first home game on Friday, Jan. 15 against Yorba Linda under the new CIF plan. Local and state health officials would have to give final approval for the games to take place.

CIF officials came up with a plan to start some fall sports in December and for football to begin in January 2021.

Irvine is scheduled to meet Canyon in the new stadium on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com