Chivas USA welcomes GRIP

1,200 students joined Chivas USA last Sunday in the team’s home opener

GRIP opening day

Photo Credit: 
Chivas USA

Who knew something as safe as staying away from gangs could earn you tickets to a Chivas USA game?

Last Sunday, Chivas USA rewarded 1,200 Orange County students by inviting them to The Home Depot Center for the team’s 2012 season home opener against the Houston Dynamo.

Students from 40 different Orange Country elementary and middle schools, as well as their parents, were welcomed by Chivas USA CEO Lorenzo Cué, goalkeeper Patrick McLain, Stanton Police Chief Jeff Passalaqua, among other personalities, in a pre-game assembly. There, eight students received the news that they will receive special mentoring by four Chivas USA players and four team executives throughout the whole school year.

“The kids were very excited to be here with their families, teachers and police authorities, and they want to continue doing the right things so that they can come back to more games,” said the Director of Community Relations for Chivas USA Luis Rivera. “Most of these families are of low income and other than with the help of this program, they wouldn’t be able to come to a Chivas USA game.”

All students invited to a Chivas USA game earned their ticket into The Home Depot Center after having met the challenge of having no unexcused absences, criminal activity or arrests, including non-gang related clothing or writing.

Throughout the 2012 Chivas USA season, OC GRIP will occupy a section at the Home Depot Center that will be branded as, the GRIP ZONE. This section has a total of 323 season seats that students will have an opportunity to enjoy as an incentive of the program. 

Chivas USA announced on February 9th the partnership with Orange County’s Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (OC GRIP), which aims to prevent juveniles from being victims of, or participants of gang crimes by identifying at-risk youth and promoting school attendance and decreasing gang activity.

“Chivas USA is fully committed to this program and we hope that year-by-year the program continues growing,” said Rivera. “We hope that in the future, we can look at the community and see the difference that Chivas USA, along with GRIP, has made in the lives of these kids.”