21 May 2008

San Jose approves soccer stadium plan

Last night the San Jose City Council approved the first part of the Earthquakes' stadium development plan. The stadium/hotel/office/retail project will be built on the old FMC property west of Mineta San Jose International Airport, along Coleman Avenue. Financing the stadium is still tied to the second part of the project, a residential development at the iStar property in San Jose. There's an interesting admission by one SJ official:
Paul Krutko, the city's economic development director, said the hotel, retail and office project would go through regardless of whether a stadium gets built.
I'm off to the businessperson's special.


Tony D. said...

If Chelsea of England and Manchester U decide to have an international friendly in the Bay Area, what facility would they use: new 18k seat MLS stadium for Quakes, Stanford Stadium, the Coliseum, Spartan Stadium, or AT&T Park? My bet would be any of the above EXCEPT the smaller MLS stadium. I ask this because MLS/Earthquakes backers always argue that a new SSS would host an abundance of international friendly's when MLS is out of season, thus making it an economic equivalent of a major league ballpark (with at least 81 home games per year). I would think however that if the Quakes new stadium wanted to host quality, international matches, it would need a much larger capacity than 18k; I think at least 30k would work for top-notch teams from Europe and Latin America. Not criticizing Lew Wolff's SJ soccer plan, just the capacity of the proposed facility.

FC said...

How about the 34K seat Cisco Field?

Jeffrey said...

What if it is not Man U and Chelsea? What if it is Mexico v. the Quakes? Is there any kind of precedent?

It does sound like a dubious claim. I'd imagine international friendlies draw way more that 18k.

Marine Layer said...

The "international friendlies" argument was used to drum up support for the stadium's economic impact. In reality the stadium is most likely to get lower profile events such as women's national team matches. There are already plenty of good large soccer venues in the area. Stanford is excellent. When the A's leave the Coliseum and if the Raiders transform it into a revamped football stadium the Coli will also be premier.

Confusing things a bit - on the BigSoccer Quakes board there's a thread about whether or not the minimum stadium size for MLS is actually 20,000. Whatever the case I'm sure they're building some expansion capacity into the plan.

Tony D. said...

Oops, forgot about Cisco Field (add it to the list). Jeffrey, I did mention top notch teams from Latin America (Mexico) as well as Europe. My thinking is that these high calibre foreign clubs would want to play in front of large crowds, not a sold out 18k seat stadium (I could be wrong though). What if the US one day hosts a World Cup? Would matches be held at our many MLS stadiums?

Marine Layer said...

Tony - We did host a World Cup in '94, remember? The raucous crowds at Stanford? The Brazilian side staying in Los Gatos and ripping the town up? I had a friend who worked as an on-field translator. Nice gig if you can get it.

The US is not at a loss for WC-sized venues, especially now as opposed to '94. The only issue at this point is the use of artificial turf in some parts of the country. Regardless the US is not going to see another WC for a long long time.

Tony D. said...

Forgot about 94 to. I remember watching the news and reading the headlines about Los Gatos back then. Anyhow, like you stated, I guess we won't see a World Cup around these parts for a long time. One last soccer item from me. If I were in charge (which I'm obviously not), I'd merge MLS with the Mexican League, change the name of the league (North American Premier League?)build larger capacity SSS's, and have a "sky's the limit" payroll (no salary cap!).

bbison said...

Marine Layer said...
"The US is not at a loss for WC-sized venues, especially now as opposed to '94."

No doubt about that--the US could easily stage a WC and use *none* of the same venues as 1994.

Even though the US is interested in hosting 2018, it seems too soon. Plenty of other candidates: