Rawlinson Stadium groundbreaking: Lindsey Munday, Simone Jackson, Maureen Rawlinson, Carol Folt, Jennifer Cohen, Cheryl Robinson, Claudia Shevitz and Jane Alukonis.

Participating in the ceremonies, are (from left) lacrosse head coach Lindsey Munday, soccer player Simone Jackson, donor Maureen Rawlinson, President Carol Folt, athletic director Jennifer Cohen, donor Cheryl Robinson, lacrosse player Claudia Shevitz and women’s soccer coach Jane Alukonis. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)


USC breaks ground on Rawlinson Stadium

The new home of USC women’s soccer and lacrosse will open next year.

April 10, 2024 By Grayson Schmidt

Just two days after 18.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the NCAA women’s basketball national championship game — making it the most watched men’s or women’s professional or collegiate basketball game since 2019 — USC women’s sports made history of its own. On a bright Tuesday morning, on a lot just north of the University Park Campus, USC officially broke ground on Rawlinson Stadium, the new home of Trojan women’s soccer and lacrosse.

“There has never been a better time for women’s sports,” USC Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen said. “People are really seeing the value in women’s sports and they’re really understanding that if you give her the stage, they will watch. If you build it for her, they will come. If you give her the opportunity, she will shine.”

Rawlinson Stadium: rendering
Rawlinson Stadium will feature spectator viewing decks and social spaces, a state-of-the-art press box, concession stands and a capacity of 2,500 for game days. (Illustration/Courtesy of USC Athletics)

The new stadium will stand on the site of Soni McAlister Field — the previous venue for women’s soccer and lacrosse — at the corner of 30th Street and Hoover Street. The stadium will feature new facilities for each team and double the seating for fans. But perhaps most importantly, the stadium will be the first at USC dedicated solely to two exemplary women’s sports programs.

USC News email subscription box“This is a field made just for the Women of Troy … it’s not a hand-me-down,” USC President Carol Folt said. “We have a historic, wonderful women’s sports program, but I do think the world is starting to catch up with just how important this is, and our commitment to women’s sports has never, ever been stronger.”

The stadium is part of Folt’s “moonshot” for athletics, which prioritizes university excellence in sports with upgraded facilities, academic support, philanthropy and more that will cut across a variety of programs. Other moonshots are the Frontiers of Computing initiative, the transformation and expansion of USC Health Sciences, leadership in sustainability, and USC Competes, a focus on making the university the destination of choice for the best students, faculty and staff in all fields.

Rawlinson Stadium: A new home for top programs

Rawlinson Stadium: Engraved shovel
(USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The $38 million Rawlinson Stadium project will be completed by next year. Upon its completion, the facility will have 2,200 fixed seats with a total capacity of 2,500 for game days, as well as spectator viewing decks and social spaces. For the players, the stadium will have separate locker rooms for the soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as a team meeting area, sports medicine space, nutrition fueling bar, and a locker room and meeting space for coaches. The venue will also feature field lights and a natural grass playing surface.

“Our student-athletes are the best of the best; they have big goals and they have big dreams, and it’s our responsibility here at USC to give them the resources to reach their full potential,” Cohen said.

With her team coming off a conference championship last season and currently sitting at 10-3 this season, USC women’s lacrosse head coach Lindsay Munday said she’s witnessed the sport come a long way both at USC and in general. She describes seeing a brand-new stadium dedicated to women’s lacrosse as “nothing short of amazing.”

“In my 12 years as head coach, I’ve seen lacrosse’s incredible growth and development on the West Coast,” said Munday, who won Pac-12 Coach of the Year last year. “This stadium truly embodies this new era of lacrosse and the prominence, passion and skill that USC — and Southern California as a whole — has to offer.”

Munday was joined on stage during the event by USC women’s soccer head coach Jane Alukonis, who said she can’t wait to host Trojan fans, friends and families at a sold-out stadium for women’s sports.

“For my current and future players, having a home and state-of-the-art facility to play on is game-changing,” Alukonis said. “It reflects USC soccer’s bright future and the prominence of women’s soccer in general.”

Investing in women’s sports

Rawlinson Stadium is named after the family of prominent Los Angeles philanthropist Joseph Rawlinson. He was close friends with fellow L.A. philanthropist and homebuilder Fritz B. Burns, whose namesake charity organization — now run by members of the Rawlinson family — contributed $10 million to the project.

Rawlinson Stadium groundbreaking: Rex Rawlinson
Rex Rawlinson speaks during the ceremony. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The Fritz B. Burns Foundation has been a longtime benefactor of USC Athletics. Calling themselves and their associates “The Good Guys,” Rawlinson and Burns spent their lives giving back to the L.A. community. On Tuesday, Joseph’s son Rex Rawlinson — a 1970 graduate of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and president of the Fritz B. Burns Foundation — spoke about his parents’ commitment to helping others.

“One thing I want you to remember when you play in Rawlinson Stadium is to be a ‘good guy,’” Rawlinson said. “You get innumerable chances to be a good guy as USC Trojans, whether you play athletics or you’re a graduate or you work here — whatever your role at USC, the world’s looking at you.”

Benefiting the next generation women athletes

Tuesday’s crowd also heard from the student-athletes who will benefit directly from Rawlinson Stadium. Simone Jackson, a junior forward on the USC women’s soccer team, thanked the generations of Trojans who came before her, who set the groundwork for the program USC has today.

“I feel so blessed to be playing during a time when women’s sports are valued and invested in,” Jackson said. “My teammates and I feel so seen, and we are beyond grateful.”

Jackson went on to talk about the possibilities that exist for the new space, including rivalry games and sold-out crowds, and what facilities like Rawlinson Stadium will mean for the next generation of recruits looking to play at USC.

“As if USC’s excellence and the appeal of L.A. wasn’t enough — this is going to drive recruits insane, and as a Trojan legacy, it’s another indicator that USC is the place to be,” Jackson said. “The Women of Troy here are creating something worthwhile in athletics, and I appreciate your help in providing a place for us to reach our full potential.”