OH HAPPY DAY!By: Chris | February 24th, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012. A new milestone in Earthquakes history.
The San Jose Planning Department voted 6-0 to deny an appeal to the proposed Earthquakes stadium near the Mineta San Jose International Airport. After almost 10 years of [hard] work, the Quakes are closer than ever to realizing a dream of having their own stadium.
Owner Lew Wolff, President David Kaval and over 300 fans showed up to San Jose’s City Hall Wednesday night as the Planning Department voted to uphold or deny an appeal against the Quakes’ new stadium. So many supporters showed up that over 50 were turned away and could not come inside, where there was standing room only, probably for the first time in the Planning Department’s history. In the original agenda for the meeting, the Quakes’ permit appeal was scheduled for 4th on the docket, but upon seeing the turnout the council moved to reorder the agenda items. It took almost 3 hours, but the appeal was finally overturned and the hall erupted in cheers, claps, and finally the Ultra’s Earthquakes Chant.
In the 2 days following the meeting, President Kaval has stated that the organization has been talking with 5 or 6 groups in regards to naming rights, as well as the construction company(s) responsible for building the stadium. He responded with the hope that groundbreaking could occur as early as May and weather and delays permitting, the stadium could potentially be open for the opening game in 2013.
Not to be sour grapes, but I think the opener for next season is a bit too optimistic. I foresee something similar to Sporting Kansas City in 2011 or Houston this year, somewhere up to 10 games on the road or with Buck Shaw being the home field until the stadium is good and ready to open. No need to rush things and then have something unfortunate happen to the stadium or the fans. Nonetheless there has been a lot of positive feedback from the League, other MLS teams, and local citizens and community groups. Hopefully this stadium brings in a greater soccer presence for the Quakes in the Bay Area and help make San Jose truly Soccer City, USA.