CLU to dedicate new $8.9 million stadium
Pre-game ceremony set for Oct. 29
California Lutheran University will dedicate William Rolland Stadium and Gallery of Fine Art at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.
A short ceremony will be held in the new $8.9 million stadium before the 1 p.m. football game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Highlighted by a 70-foot clock tower, the two-story stadium has about 2,000 fixed seats and can accommodate additional portable bleachers for visitor seating. It has a top-quality permanent artificial turf field and outdoor sports lighting. Built to current National Collegiate Athletic Association standards, the facility also includes home team locker rooms, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and a press box.
The stadium will accommodate football, soccer and intramural athletic games and practices as well as commencement ceremonies.
Inside the 6,000-square-foot facility, the art gallery will initially house pieces of donor William Rolland's extensive and eclectic collection of bronze statuary, paintings and high-performance racecars.
William Rolland Stadium replaces Mount Clef Stadium, which CLU had used since 1963. The former stadium was built not only for the college’s then-fledgling football team, but also as a summer training ground for the Dallas Cowboys.
CLU had long outgrown the original stadium, which has a grass field, no lighting, an unusable concession stand and limited parking. The Kingsmen clinched spots in the NCAA Division III football championship tournament for the last two years in a row, but lost their bid to host playoff games to universities with bigger and better facilities.
The stadium is located on the north side of Olsen Road between Campus Drive and Mountclef Boulevard on the Thousand Oaks campus. Other state-of-the-art sports facilities that have opened in this area in recent years include the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, Samuelson Aquatics Center, George "Sparky" Anderson Field and Ullman Stadium, Hutton Field and the Poulson Tennis Center.
Rolland, a real estate developer and founding resident of Westlake Village, donated $5.45 million for the project. It is the largest single gift in the history of the university. Rolland, who played football in the Army, rose from humble beginnings to achieve great success. A former firefighter, he received a Medal of Valor from the Los Angeles Fire Department and established the William Rolland Firefighters Foundation and William Rolland Firefighter Educational Institute in Hollywood.
Admission to the ceremony and game is free.