The Earthquakes Have Their Beautiful New Stadium – It’s So Very Special and It, Too, Can’t Be Beat!
I had the great pleasure of meeting and talking with Dave Kaval, President, of the San Jose Earthquakes. “Enthusiastic!” That’s the word. If allowed just one word to describe Dave, it would be “so very Enthusiastic” (OK, three words).
Also words like Brilliant … and Ambassador … These would fit, too. He’s a young Stanford MBA wizard, who also earned a degree in International Relations as an undergrad. In addition to being President of the Earthquakes, he also teaches two days a week at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is the best imaginable Ambassador for the Earthquakes, for Soccer, for Sports and now … for this beautiful new Stadium. The tour was incredible. It featured everything but the soon-to-be fun and wonderful excitement of the crowd. They are building it. That will come.
Dave is literally wearing two hats … one as the President of the San Jose Earthquakes Team and Organization and the other as the new stadium Project Manager. He talked to me as if these were his new-born twins. He couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, proud or inspiring. Circle your calendar now: March, 2015 – That’s the 2015 Season Home Opener and Welcome to what will be one of the most beautiful stadiums in all the country and the world.
Funny, how it’s been decades and, then, suddenly there are these new jewel sports attractions – beautiful, all of them: AT&T Ball Park, Stanford Stadium, Cal’s Memorial Stadium (remodeled), the 49ers Levi’s Stadium and now the Earthquakes Stadium. Lew Wolff, owner of the Oakland A’s, is also the owner of the Earthquakes. Lew for many years, along with his son, Keith, have designed and built many beautiful hotels and office buildings. Keith, is also overseeing the stadium building together with Dave. As Dave said, they are working very well together. “It is all state-of-the-art and truly amazing seeing how beautiful it is and how it’s coming together. Everything is going to be so awesome. Everyone is so very proud of what’s coming to fruition and very excited about what soon will be.”
The tour was the best. Here, come with me … It is located at the Coleman Exit just off Highway 880, across the street from the Norman Mineta Airport. Everyone driving by cannot miss it. The 11 million visitors who come through the airport each year cannot miss it. The Stadium is beautifully situated in all her glory, 18,000 seats, as an open-ended horse-shoe stadium, with a sensational view of the hills. It has a similar look to the historical European soccer stadiums. The seats go up in such a way that every seat is a great seat, as if you are right on top of the field, right on top of the action. There is a lovely roof … and the lights? … they are tucked under the roof (like an eyebrow) – so the lights are safe, protecting the airport tower, airport traffic and car traffic. This intimate closeness will be so comfortable and so enjoyable … and will be a definite home field advantage.
Such splendor … and the beautiful grass of the stadium? If you guessed it, you deserve a prize. It’s the same special beautiful grass that will grace the 49ers Levi’s Stadium. It’s quite a site. And, speaking of green grass, there is also a plan for a large “Village Green” for special events and community coming together. It’ll be quite the neighborhood and community ambiance. In addition, there will also be multiple soccer fields for the community youth to play and enjoy their soccer.
But wait, there’s more. A lot more. There will be 1.5 million square feet planned for retail, restaurants and entertainment … to make it a neighborhood feel. This is also so centrally located. Transit will be very convenient, being just off Highway 880, with a Caltrain right there (the Santa Clara stop is very near and will have a walk-way tunnel built to the stadium), plus there is scheduled to be a BART stop, in addition to plenty of parking. Convenient and fun.
I would also like to add, too. For years, the Earthquakes have enjoyed a great relationship with Stanford University. They have hosted “BIG” games at Stanford Stadium (for 50,000 people) from time-to-time … “We will want and are planning to maintain this special relationship with community … where more people can enjoy big-time soccer … and in such a great historical setting as Stanford, as well.
Also – be sure to mark your calendars, too, for August 2nd – This will be the San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC … This will be the first-ever event that will officially open the 49ers Levis Stadium!
In looking forward to the San Jose Earthquake’s new stadium, this truly unique new Silicon Valley landmark, you could capture all the excitement in Dave’s voice as we walked: “Everything is on a very high level … such beautiful stone, glass and wood … such an architectural delight. The structure itself, you will see, will be a very classy look, a contemporary look … with a lot of glass. It will be a beautiful artistic look. It’s already very exciting.
What’s more: “We also enjoyed ‘The World’s Largest Ground Breaking’; that of more than 6,000 people who dug for more than two minutes each. It was great. And ‘there’, that’s the large scoreboard I was telling you about. It’s huge, yes, and below it – that’s ‘The Largest Exterior Bar in North America’. That’s right – It’s 407 linear square feet. The Dallas Cowboys have the longest t scoreboard; but, we have the longest bar! And, then, there are also three grass terraces next to the bar where people can enjoy sitting and watching from there – not missing a beat.”
Dave was thinking out loud, enjoying this tour (with such pride), every bit as much as I was: “Who would have thought, back in 1994, when we hosted the World Cup here at Stanford that we would have MLS Soccer here now … and this beautiful stadium! It’s pretty amazing …
“It’s so great seeing all this come together. All the work that’s gone into it for our community. And, look, there in each corner is a party terrace. Here, there will also be a grassy terrace for where the kids can go and play … and they can still watch the game on the video board, catching the action, not missing anything. It’s designed for all to have such an enjoyable experience, just being there with everyone, wherever they are sitting, or walking about to. It’ll be such fun for everyone.”
This was the sound of an excited expectant ‘father’ … from an idea to this dream, a dream for many come true, the birth of something special, for all community to come together and enjoy, a coming to fruition, that’s soon to become a reality.
“We’re excited,” Dave concluded. Soccer has never been more exciting. The league is expanding … the stadium is beautifully coming together … and now this great news … our Wondo (Chris Wondolowski) made the US World Cup Team. We are so very happy for him and so very proud of him. It’s such a great American story.”
As I left, I was on such a high. The feeling was one of: Stay tuned. For, every time you drive by, fly by, or take the train by … you will be reminded, you will marvel at this accomplishment, this beautiful site. You can almost hear all this fun already that soon will take place here. There is such a great enthusiasm happening here … and that will be here for many years and generations of enjoyment and excitement to come.