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La Mirada High’s Goodman Stadium officially opens after significant makeover

LM High and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District held a ribbon cutting ceremony last Thursday to usher in the new Goodman Stadium, complete with a better field turf surface, among other features.

May 28, 2024

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on X

When the La Mirada High football team lost to Downey High 44-14 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Nov. 2, 2018, it would be the beginning of the ‘out with the old and in with the new’ process for Goodman Stadium. Now, the football program can count the days before Aug. 30 when the Matadores will host Western High in the first official sporting event inside the renovated digs.

The school and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District had a ribbon cutting ceremony last Thursday to usher in the new Goodman Stadium, complete with a better field turf surface, among other features.

“We are beyond excited to finally be back on our own home field,” said La Mirada principal Ben Webster at the beginning of the ceremony. “I would like to recognize [Lisa] Reed, the former principal. I know how much work it is to manage a project while it’s happening. It is just as much work getting it off the ground.”

RIBBON CUTTING: from (l-r) La Mirada HS Principal Ben Webster; NLMUSD Board Member Karen Morrison; NLMUSD Facilities Planning & Construction Coordinator Bomee Yoon; NLMUSD Board Vice President Narcis Brasov; NLMUSD Board President Jose Rios; NLMUSD Board Member Chris Staples; NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. John Lopez; LHMS Mascot and NLMUSD Board Member Norma Amezcua.


Webster continued to thank the many people who helped make the transition of conducting sporting events from Goodman Stadium to other facilities, and back to La Mirada over the past few years, a success. The football and soccer teams have had to “host” games at Excelsior Stadium, John Glenn High and Norwalk High and the girls flag football team called Benton Middle School home last season. Lost in the mix, but not forgotten, were the personnel involved in transporting the athletes to and from La Mirada and the ones involved in making the games off campus feel as if they were at Goodman Stadium.

“Of all the people, there are two I think deserve the greatest amount of thanks,” said Webster. “First of all, [activities director] Michelle Lazalde, who has gone above and beyond to create a home field advantage even though we were miles away from our campus. Weekly events, homecomings, senior recognitions were all set up to make sure kids had a great La Mirada High School experience. And a special thanks to [athletic director] Christine Mead. Over the past several years, she has coordinated thousands of practices and events at multiple sites. She has worked around Covid, rainouts and endless changes to our schedule. Our athletic program would not be in such a good place without Christine’s leadership and intense desire to make La Mirada High School the best it can be every day.”

As part of the Measure G Bond that was passed on the Nov. 2014 ballot, $675 million was allocated to the district schools for improvements and renovations to classrooms and athletic facilities. The Goodman Stadium project began in July of 2022 and was to have been completed last August. This was the 10th completed project of Measure G with more projects in the works, including a new baseball stadium and softball fields on campus. Those are expected to be completed by the time the 2025 season begins.

“We’ve made it; we’ve reached the end of the rainbow, and here we are at this grand opening of our brand new state of the art Goodman Stadium,” said NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. John Lopez. “There’s been a buzz around the campus and community. This facility is going to be a game changer, both literally and figuratively.”

Goodman Stadium will have a capacity of over 8,000 with new lighting, a new press box, a new scoreboard, new team rooms, larger concession stands on both sides of the stadium with team rooms and a larger ticket booth.

“I’m super excited to be a part of this; I’m super excited to be on campus [for home games],” said Lucas Mealy, head coach of the football team. “It’s a beautiful venue and massive compared to what we’ve been in. We don’t have to travel. The kids have already been out here practicing for the first two weeks of spring ball. They love it; it’s an amazing surface. So, it’s just nice to be at home. The kids are being way more efficient with their time and hopefully, we can be back in front a big crowd now.”

Over the past five seasons, the football team has gone 23-25, but was 13-12 in “home games” at other sites, including 1-5 last season. Following the Western game, La Mirada will have Tesoro High (Sept. 6), Downey (Oct. 4), Bellflower High (Oct. 25) and Warren High (Nov. 1) come to Goodman Stadium.

“The kids are excited to be here,” said Mealy. “I think that’s the biggest thing. As far as the buzz goes, just being able to be here and practice on time, be efficient, get out of here and the kids home at a decent hour so they can be able to work on their studies. But as far as what the buzz is, we don’t pay attention to a whole lot of that because our focus is on what we do. Wherever we play, we’re going to play our hardest. But being on campus definitely makes it a lot nicer.”

According to the District-Wide Facilities Master Plan put together in 2014, the total projected cost for all the renovations and improvements at La Mirada High, not just Goodman Stadium, was $43.2 million with the stadium upgrade projected to cost approximately $5 million. Recently, the gymnasium and locker rooms were renovated. The first official event to be held at the new Goodman Stadium will be the school’s graduation on June 5.

“Collectively, everyone’s leadership and collaboration was essential for overcoming every obstacle that we faced to create this top notch stadium,” said Lopez. “This stadium will serve La Mirada for years to come.

“This stadium is more than a place for sports,” he later continued. “It’s a beacon for the entire community where we will cherish the memories that will be created. I’m certain we cannot wait to celebrate Matador victories. The future is incredibly bright for La Mirada and this stadium is the shining example of that in our community to provide a first-class experience to our students and community.”

“I want to thank the voters from both communities for passing that bond in 2014,” said NLMUSD Board President Jose Rios. “That’s the result of this field.”

The architectural firm was NAC Partners, the general contractor was Environmental Construction Inc., and the construction manager was Cumming Corporation.