|For a quarter century, Loyola Marymount University's Sullivan Field has served as an official training site for some of the world's greatest soccer teams, not to mention a frequent practice site for various Major League Soccer teams when visiting Los Angeles to face the LA Galaxy.
In addition to hosting the best in the world, Sullivan was a true "advantage" for the both soccer programs.
For the men under Head Coach Paul Krumpe, Sullivan has been a tough place for opponents. In 2002, the Lions set the record for home wins, going 7-1-2 (.875) on their home pitch. They have matched that win total on three additional occasions, including 2004 (7-2-0), 2008 (7-2-3) and, most recently in 2013 (7-1-1). In 2010, LMU went 6-2-0 on Sullivan Field, helping guide their way to the program's first West Coast Conference title. In 2013, they dropped just one contest at home (for the second time in program history), going 7-1-1 as they clinched their first outright WCC Championship.
Sullivan Field has provided a healthy home advantage for the women's soccer program since its inception in 1993. The Lions have had 15 winnings seasons at home, including a program-best 10-1-0 (.909) mark in 2007. From 2007-10, the Lions dropped just five games at Sullivan Field, going a combined 30-5-4 over that stretch.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the world's largest single-sport event, was played over a 31-day span between June 17 and July 17 in nine different venues throughout the United States. Sweden, Italy and Argentina were among the teams that prepared for competition at LMU prior to their final matches.
Four years later, LMU once again welcomed soccer teams from many different nations. The field was used as a practice site for the World Cup exhibition Gold Cup Tournament.
The Lions' home field served as the training facility for the 1999 Women's World Cup held in June and July. LMU was host to Italy and Nigeria as the two teams prepared for the international competition. Prior to the opening of the Home Depot Center (now the StubHub Center) in 2003, the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer had been training on Sullivan Field during their offseason. The facility was also the practice site of the South Korean National Team.
Prior to the start of the 2006 season, FC Barcelona used LMU's Sullivan Field for training as they prepared to face CD Guadalajara as part of their 2006 United States Tour.
Thanks to the relationship with the Rose Bowl, Sullivan Field, received a new playing surface for the start of the 2003 season.
The new playing surface was installed at the end of July. The process began in the first part of July when the old playing surface was sprayed and killed. A giant asphalt grinder was brought in to rototill the surface down to eight-inches.
After the grass was stripped and removed, the playing surface was leveled out using laser guides for a more even playing area. The sod was then installed from 42-inch wide big rolls that took two days to install the 28,800 square feet of sod.
The grass is Greg Norman 1 (GN-1) and was developed by the Greg Norman Turf Company (GNTC) for use in golf courses, athletic fields and home lawns. GNTC owns the exclusive rights for GN-1 hybrid Bermuda grass, which has been its main product.
GN-1 is recognized as a premier golf and athletic field grass used throughout the warm season areas of the United States. A partial list of the facilities that use GN-1 include: Ravens Stadium in Baltimore, Md., Turner Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.; The Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.; TPC at Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga.; The Bridges at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Miss.; The Forest Country Club, in Ft. Myers, Fla; Royal Poinciana in Naples, Fla.; and Money Hill Plantation in Covington, La.
It also was the turf of choice for Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami and XXXV in Tampa, the 1999 World Series and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games at Stadium Australia. The Rose Bowl has also installed GN-1 for its playing surface.