San Jose Earthquakes Secure Stadium Support
By Community | February 24, 2012
Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise the San Jose Earthquakes has received a welcome boost in its attempt to develop a new 18,000-seat stadium. After securing a Planned Development Permit in December, the Earthquakes received the backing of the San Jose Planning Commission, who voted 6-0 to support their plans.
Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said: “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“Our club and its stakeholders have worked hard through this process and we feel that we have a great plan for our new stadium.
“Looking ahead, our club will now begin the work of finalising the stadium design and financing plan. The goal is to put shovels in the ground this year.”
Despite the benefits of sharing a venue with their NFL brothers, the development of soccer-specific stadiums is perceived as crucial in aiding the growth of soccer in the United States, specifically in the Bay Area. The failure to secure an appropriate venue in California consequently saw the Earthquakes relocate to Houston and renamed the Dynamo.
Since restarting in 2008, San Jose has taken to the pitch at the Back Shaw stadium, which holds 10,300 spectators. Plans for privately financed $60million new facility had been put in place since September 2009 and 10 of 12 available luxury suites have already been sold, accumulating in excess of US$3.5 million in revenue for the project.
MLS president Mark Abbott said: “I can tell you in 20 years (working for MLS)… this is the first time I’ve ever spoken before a group like this and not been asking for public money“It’s very unique to find, in this day and age – or any day and age, really – an ownership group like we have here in San Jose, willing to 100% privately finance the facility.”