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SJ Earthquakes AVAYA STADIUM : TOW Went There

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Aug 6, 2015

AVAYA STADIUM
Yesterday, we posted part 1 of our interview with San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval in which he talked about the recently opened, soccer specific AVAYA Stadium for the Quakes.

Personally, going up to San Jose to see the stadium and talking with Mr. Kaval was something that I was really looking forward to, and Dave and AVAYA Stadium did not disappoint.

We got a 20 to 25 minute tour of the grounds before sitting down and chatting it up and to say that we were impressed on both levels is an understatement.

We’ll post another “stadium talk” video with Mr. Kaval tomorrow. Check out part 1 here: Conversations In Soccer : Dave Kaval pt. 1 – TOW

Now, about the stadium, there are two things that you notice, right from the jump, the seats and the bar..

The seats: You don’t really ever think about seats unless you are uncomfortable in them. The one thing that gets you immediately about AVAYA Stadium is just how steep the rake is for the seats, but its not a bad thing. It’s actually a great thing.

The moment you step on the grounds, you feel like the seats are on top of you and I can only imagine playing on this surface and having the crowd going all in. I can only imagine what it’s like to be a supporter in those stands and feeling like you are basically on top of the field. It’s startling. But, its also pretty cool and if I’m being 100% honest, sitting in the seats did not feel like I thought it would. I was comfortable. Very comfortable.

Then, there is the bar.

Avaya Seats
The second thing you notice is the bar. It’s M-A-S-S-I-V-E. Like bigger than any bar I’ve seen, ever.

Truth be told, its the largest outdoor bar in North America and behind it is a two-acre FAN ZONE and it houses a double-sided video scoreboard. It’s a beautiful sight to see.

You don’t get a really good feel how big it is close-up, until you measure it in size against the size of the entire stadium. We had to go fisheye with it to get it all in the picture.

The bar itself is over 3,600 square feet, has a full service bar and over 45 beer taps, and is steps away from the fan zone and close enough to the field that you wont miss a moment of action.

Avaya Bar

Avaya Fisheye

Avaya Stadium officially opened in February of 2015 and has a capacity of approximately of 18,000.

It is sponsored by Avaya, headquartered in nearby Santa Clara.

The European-inspired building is the first cloud-enabled venue in Major League Soccer and is among the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world.

They have an app and that is something we definitely noticed immediately. The WIFI was off the hook. You can post until your heart is content in AVAYA.

Lowkey, that is one of my biggest pet-peeves in stadium / sporting life. Nothing worse than not being able to get my twitter and instagram on while out at an event somewhere. This building has some of the best sight lines in all of MLS so you want to put that on the gram. You’ll see in part 2 of our stadium talk interview tomorrow the proximity AVAYA is to the airport and seeing a plane fly by in the background is something that you definitely want to get on the Gram.

AVAYA STADIUM

  • 16 branded suites
  • 576 Club Seats
  • Open air stadium with natural grass
  • Sustainable energy via PetersenDean Solar and Roofing
  • “World of Beers” aka we need to come back during a gameday
  • A standing room supporters terrace
  • Two-acre fan zone
One of the really cool things that really stands out at AVAYA Stadium, are these red seats that are embedded right in the middle of the lower bowl.

The overall design for the multi-colored seat pattern was inspired by numerous stadium color patterns around the world. The blues represent the club’s current colors, while the red seats pay homage to the North American Soccer League Quakes, who played from 1974-84. What was particularly cool about these red seats here were that they were a part of a “Crack the Code” contest that the Earthquakes ran ahead of the season where the person who cracked the cde in the seats, would win two tickets to the 2018 World Cup Final, including round-trip airfare for two and a three-night hotel stay.

The code was cracked, it spells out “GO EG” in binary, and a lucky Quakes fan called Anders Young was the first guy to present the cracked code and show evidence of his work to the Quakes. (see kids, showing your work still matters as an adult!)

Avaya Behind Goal

The stadium is incredible.

I would suggest that any American soccer supporter, or ANY soccer supporter find a way to go to this stadium. It’s awesome. I’d almost be willing to say that even if you aren’t a soccer fan, the experience that you will have here in San Jose will be worth going to.

The in-stadium experience, just for that, is worth the trip alone.

All in all, AVAYA Stadium is one of the greatest structures for a sporting event that I’ve seen in a long time, and the fact that they pulled this off with a $100 million dollar, privately financed budget, is beyond me. Kudos to the Earthquakes, kudos to Mr. Kaval and kudos to the entire Earthquakes staff for putting together a great soccer specific stadium.

I can’t wait to get back up there to check out a game and experience all that San Jose has to offer.

Avaya Stadium

Avaya Stadium 2
We’ll post another “stadium talk” video with Mr. Kaval tomorrow. Check out part 1 here: Conversations In Soccer : Dave Kaval pt. 1 – TOW

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