MLS- San Jose Earthquakes

Earthquakes get final approval for soccer-specific stadium


photo by Michael Pimentel/ISIphotos.com


It may have taken longer than they would have liked, but the San Jose Earthquakes will finally be getting a soccer-specific stadium to call their own.

At a public hearing inside a packed San Jose City Hall's council chamber late on Wednesday night, the San Jose Planning Commission voted 6-0 to deny an appeal against the construction of a soccer-specific stadium. The appeal was filed late last month by neighbors of the area who cited noise and light pollution as part of the reason they wanted to postpone the project's construction.

The unanimous decision, which came after three hours of testimony and resulted in loud cheers from the 300-plus Earthquakes fans in attendance, was the final approval the club needed in order to build the $60 million, 18,000-seat stadium.

"Tonight's decision to uphold the Planned Development Permit that we received in December is a milestone not just for the San Jose Earthquakes but all Bay Area soccer fans," said Earthquakes president Dave Kaval in a statement. "Our club and its stakeholders have worked hard through this process and we feel that we have a great plan for our new stadium."

Earthquakes fans packed the chamber and some had to wait outside as community members and stakeholders spoke in favor of and against the appeal. The majority of the those who spoke were for the idea of having the stadium built.

Some of the more notable representatives to speak on the Earthquakes' behalf were club owner Lew Wolff and MLS president Mark Abbott.

In the end, the commission voted against the appeal in part because of the Earthquakes' willingness to accomodate to some of the neighbors' fears. The club had agreed to not hold any concerts at the stadium, which is to be built next to Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The next step for Earthquakes officials is to determine when they can break ground on the proposed stadium. Construction would have possibly already begun, but the appeal delayed the process.

"Looking ahead, our club will now begin the work of finalizing the stadium design and financing plan," said Kaval. "The goal is to put shovels in the ground this year."

The stadium, which some expect to be completed in time for the 2013 season, will be the 14th soccer-specific one in MLS. It has already generated over $3.5 million in revenue with the sales of 10 of the 12 unique field-level luxury suites it will have, according to the club.


What do you think of San Jose getting the green light for their soccer-specific stadium? Expecting the stadium to be ready in time for the 2013 season? it Which team are you hoping is next to get a SSS?

Share your thoughts below.

  • bryan

    yeah, portland’s looks great. as a DC fan, i have a love/hate relationship with RFK. the pitch is really nice at least. and we don’t have to share it.


  • bryan

    i agree, it does seem weird the stadium doesn’t just go all the way around. was there a reason for this?

    congrats either way!


  • Where

    Dude I’m from California. It was 5am and I was just dropping a Duece when I read this. I was talking about the airport being renovated, not the stadium. Btw is the state in the union, we set the bar for all of the other states. Don’t hate.


  • DCLee

    +1 There are plenty of stadiums in Europe and in the states that are nice and get the job done. We all can’t get the 250 mil stadium unfortunately but this one looks like it will be very nice and having a home of your own will make the fan experience special!! Happy for the Quakes! Congrats!!!


  • Edwin in LA

    Pretty sure Portland’s Jeld-Wen Field is not a Soccer-SPECIFIC Stadium…

    But to clarify that point even further and touching up on what abc probably meant, The “Someday:” category refers to teams that either need an upgrade to a more modern and profitable stadium with proper amenities as well as luxury suites and maybe bigger capacity but more important better design for the game of Soccer and the most important one A BETTER LOCATION….FC Dallas might have a completely different story if they ever move out of Frisco….which might not happen for 10 years?

    Colorado is also a bit far from the actual city of Denver, CO and it should be completely enclosed with a 2ndary level of suites to create more noise and bigger crowds capability of 22K+ of course they have to get to that demand which is why abc was saying someday, right now Rapids are around 16-17K I see them getting to 20-22K in about 5 or 6 years maybe sooner and then maybe even expand Disck’s Sporting Goods Park by enclosing the one goal end with that weird combo of grass, stairs and some sort of porch looking thing with a tunnel for players, surely they can fit an extra 3-5K there…


  • Edwin in LA

    You obviously have no idea how this sports franchise/stadium revenue system works…

    When you have your own stadium 1st you’re not paying rent to anyone, 2nd you control ALL aspects of revenue. Tickets sales, Parking, Food&Beverage Concession Stands, merchandise sold in the stadium etc etc.

    They do have a bit of a downside in that they can’t hold concerts there, but that in turn is only a downside to generating revenue by maximizing the # of events you host each year, but for the actual soccer team is super great news as we know there won’t be a constant wear&tear of the grass turf in hot summers or what not when they have concerts in between home games, see KC last year after having a ton of back2back home games PLUS concerts the grass wouldn’t hold up and thus it looked pretty bad on tv

    Plus naming rights come into question, there’s a good chance they can get a miniscule amount compared to NBA, NFL, NHL & MLB stadium naming deals, but at 60 million a 10-20 million deal pays for about 16.7-33% of the cost of the stadium?


  • Edwin in LA

    They’re pretty much done, is just that it took for ever and once they had gotten everything in order the neighbors came crying and delayed it further for 3-4 months.

    I think the only reason why the design wasn’t said to be done is because originally they taked about a 15,000 seat stadium with easy expansion to 18,500 not it looks like they are starting at 18,000-18,500 to begin with.

    They have all year to get this done, I think as long as they break ground some time in November they should be fine to start the 2013 season. Plus it’s a simple stadium so I don’t think it will take them all that long to build it


  • MB

    Has anyone proposed tearing RFK down and building a new SSS right there? The only other thing they do there all year round is the Military Bowl….


  • theone

    Why would you leave The Link. It’s the best loacation for it. Freeways, the trolley, close to downton Seattle.


  • WeatherManNX01

    Yes. People seem to have an affinity for an aging concrete hulk that does pretty much nothing outside of soccer to the point they won’t tear it down. Even when United finds a new home, it’ll just sit there.

    It happens all over – people attach a greater value to stadiums than they deserve. Unless there is something architecturally significant, there’s really no reason not to tear them down. If they’re old and empty, bring it on. There are photos and memories to keep the places alive.

    Really. You don’t see people doing that for abandoned factories or hotels or shopping malls. Those are “eyesores”. But stadiums? Apparently they have a life all their own.


  • Rudi

    I thought the same thing. Also, what about advertising panels? If they’re put up, aren’t they in the way of the suites?


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