The location: The Soccer Field.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The high school soccer field.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 9 (of season one), "The Heights", in which Seth's dad (Sandy) convinces Ryan to try out for his school's soccer team. During the tryouts, Ryan discovers that his then-rival, Luke, is already a player on the team; in a moment of jealousy over Marissa, Ryan breaks the rules on the field and hurts Luke.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A soccer field at a park - not in Newport.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. You might think that the school soccer field would be located at the school location, but it isn't. Instead, this soccer field is located right next door to the Manhattan Beach Studio where The O.C. is filmed.

    The soccer field is in a public park, known as Marine Avenue Park, which is located at 1625 Marine Avenue, in Manhattan Beach - just south of the studio.

    The irony is that the giant sound stages of Manhattan Beach Studio are clearly visible above the field. Had The O.C. cameras simply faced north (and/or tilted a little higher), the "secret" would have been out.

    Here's an aerial map link.

    I shot the photo above while facing the southwest corner of Marine Avenue Park's soccer field,
    roughly matching the angle in The O.C. screenshot above.

    I shot the photo below while facing the north - and as you can see,
    the sound stages of Manhattan Beach Studio are visible, towering above the field.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. It wasn't easy. The aerial maps from Live Local allow me to take a close look at any soccer fields I find, and I knew what I was looking for: a field surrounded by a gray stone wall, lined with trees. First I checked Mount St. Mary's (the school), but that wasn't it. Then I checked a soccer field right next door to the studio, but it was in Manhattan Village Park - to the west of the studio. (I somehow overlooked the Marine Avenue Park to the south). That wasn't it either. So, I then started checking every soccer field in the South Bay, then in the L.A. area (colleges, parks, schools), before I finally found it back where I started, next to the studio.

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THE O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All other photos & text are Copyright  1999-2024-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.

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