San Jose Earthquakes Stadium Journey

The new MLS San Jose Earthquakes stadium opens in 2014

The new MLS San Jose Earthquakes stadium opens in 2014

For some teams, building a new stadium is straightforward process. For the Major League Soccer (MLS) San Jose Earthquakes, calling it saga may be putting it mildly.

It took the Quakes  15 years to clear a variety of hurdles including land acquisition issues and even a temporary hiatus imposed by the league itself, but in October 21, 2012 they broke ground on their new stadium adjacent to San Jose International Airport – finally.

The Earthquakes (formerly the San Jose Clash) called Spartan Stadium home from 1996 through 2005. A great little football stadium, Spartan Stadium is tiny for soccer standards and tired by today’s stadium standards. With low attendance plaguing the team, MLS put the team on unpaid leave.

MLB Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff purchased the team in 2008 with an exclusive option for an MLS team to play in San Jose in large part to the promises made to build a permanent, soccer-only facility. After the Earthquakes returned to the MLS again, this time playing at Buck Shaw Stadium, they found their site near the Airport. But things didn’t go as easily as the Quakes had hoped.

The team held a demolition ceremony at the stadium site on March 3, 2011 to kick off a twelve week demolition on the site in advance of construction. Eight months later, on December 14, 2011, the San Jose planning commission approved the permit for stadium construction, but local residents appealed to halt the stadium.  That’s right, more delays.  It wasn’t until February when the commission heard the appeal and voted unanimously to reject the appeal and finalize the approval of the construction permit. Now, Bay Area soccer fans could stop dreaming and focus on their new digs for 2014.

The team held yet another groundbreaking, but this time with the help of their fans.. The team and their fans set a Guinness World record for the largest participatory groundbreaking with over 6256 people digging madly and avenging years of frustration.

The Quakes launched a live web cam, although by the looks of things the action must be happening off camera.  Their New Stadium blog provides updates on the project progress, and it appears they’re focused on digging up the old foundation. The Quakes new stadium will finally give this team and their fans a sense of security.

Are those tumbleweeds?

Are those tumbleweeds?

About Fly Fish Rapport

Fly Fisherman. Dad. Non-fishing wife. Two objective kids. Time-constrained. Constructive liar. Writing, fly fishing-themed beers and sports ease my pain.


  1. MLS San Jose Earthquakes’ stadium delayed | Stadium Crawl - July 29, 2013

    […] wrote in June about the Earthquakes’ promising new stadium and the road traveled before breaking ground late last year. It’s another speed bump for the […]

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