The new stadium for Mark Watson’s San Jose Earthquakes is taking shape, with a completion date scheduled for Nov. 2014. The projected opening date was pushed back twice due to complications, but now the pace seems to have accelerated, with steel girders eight to nine stories tall expected to be raised this month.
“When you drive by, there have already been fender-benders out there,” Quakes president David Kaval told MLSsoccer.com’s Geoff Lepper. “So I’m sure there’re going to be a lot more of those. We’re going to be helping the auto-body shops. You’re going to see it in a massive way.”
The stadium is set to be ready by the 2015 season, which means that San Jose will be playing one more full year at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.
“I feel that we have a really great team working on the stadium, and we’ve been able to, every day, make the necessary progress to be successful,” Kaval added “You can sit here and Monday-morning-quarterback the thing to death. Knowing what we know now, I wouldn’t have done anything differently because the reality is that we experienced so many significant delays for such a variety of reasons that that was just more than you would normally anticipate.
“It’s not a cookie-cutter design or construction project. When we went out to Schuff Steel in Stockton and saw the steel being fabricated, some of these guys went, ‘Well, we’ve just never built anything like this. This is amazing.’ It’s cool to see that excitement.
“Any ability to move in there early would be a competitive advantage for the club, and so that’s something that we’re looking to try to do. The sooner the better on that.”
In other news, the Earthquakes announced the creation of a Premier Development League affiliate, making San Jose the fourth MLS club to establish one. The Earthquakes’ PDL side, comprised of Under-23 players, will compete in 2013 against teams from the USA and Canada. Other notable MLS sides with direct PDL affiliates include the Chicago Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers. The Seattle Sounders (Sounders FC U-23), New England Revolution (Real Boston Rams) and Philadelphia Union (Reading United AC) have indirect PDL affiliations.