The Irvine City Council dropped “Orange County” from the Great Park’s name to reflect the park’s ownership.
The council voted 4-1 to modify the park’s name during a July 27 meeting, with Councilmember Larry Agran dissenting.
“The City of Irvine is a top destination that is home to multiple attractions, including Great Park,” Mayor Farrah Khan said in an Aug. 13 statement. “We are proud of this state-of-the-art amenity, which draws internationally-known artists, national sports teams and competitions, and visitors from across the country. The modified name better represents the city where it resides, and how this amenity is owned and operated.”
The Great Park was formerly the site of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station from 1943 to 1999, until the park’s jurisdiction was transferred to the county. In 2003, the land was annexed to Irvine.
The 1,300-acre park is owned and operated by Irvine and does not require approval from the county or any other entity to change the name.
Khan said during a July 27 board meeting the impetus for the name change highlights Irvine’s growth from a “small town of decades ago” to a “major city.”
“We’re doing it because we do believe that our city deserves to be known not only nationally but throughout the world,” Khan said.
It will take an estimated 12 months to complete the renaming process. The costs to replace signage, uniforms, maps and other physical items with a new name are estimated to be $360,000, according to a city report.
Agran said the council is underestimating the cost estimate.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that hard costs of $360,000—you’ve got to be kidding. It would be double triple that at least just in hard costs,” Agran said.
“Soft costs in terms of consultants, many staff people who would be putting in many hours on all of this—we’re talking really about a multimillion-dollar project.”
Categories that will be renamed include regulatory and administrative documents, by-laws, municipal code, zoning ordinance, city uniforms, and website updates.
The Great Park Carousel recently opened on Aug. 12 after undergoing renovations. The decking, mirrors, and artwork were replaced and 12 animals were repainted.
“The carousel has been a staple of community fun at Great Park for more than a decade, and we’re proud to unveil this improved version for Irvine families to enjoy,” Khan said in an Aug. 9 statement.
The park will also add additional features, such as a water park, amphitheater, and other developments.