SBD/June 13, 2012/Facilities

MLS Earthquakes Sell All Luxury Boxes At Planned Stadium; Add Club Seats, Patio Suites

The Earthquakes hope to break ground on the new facility this year
The MLS Earthquakes have sold all 12 luxury suites at their planned $60M, 18,000-seat stadium, and the team indicated that it has "added club seats and patio suites to the facility," according to Eli Segall of the SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The club area, which will hold 576 seats, is "expected to be more than 17,000-square-feet in size." The team noted that an "unspecified 'limited number' of patio suites" also are available for purchase. Those suites would be at least 680 square feet. The team "did not announce prices for either the club seats or the patio suites," though it did announce PSLs will not be needed. The Earthquakes hope to break ground on the facility "this year" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/12). In San Jose, Elliott Almond reports the idea for club seating "came after team officials visited other MLS stadiums this year." Earthquakes President David Kaval said that the stadium design "has improved since it was first proposed" by club Owner Lew Wolff. Kaval: "The original idea was that it was more utilitarian. And we are a long, long ways from that. This additional investment has gone into making it better and better" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 6/12).

ROCK N' ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION: In a special to the SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL, Fred Dreier reports the Earthquakes' decision to "forego hosting rock concerts at its proposed stadium could cost the club" more than $1M annually. The team last September "withdrew its permit to host outdoor concerts at the proposed venue, hoping to appease government officials and local residents concerned about noise pollution." Kaval said that the move was a "'calculated business decision,' but admitted the team will take a hit." Kaval: "This is real money, we're not talking about 20 grand. We felt we had to push the thing through even if it means losing revenue." Industry sources said that concerts at soccer stadiums could gross between $800,000-2.2M, with the club earning $200,000-500,000 per show. While MLS clubs "share a percentage of game revenue with the league, concert revenue goes directly to the team." He said that the team is "instead discussing smaller events, such as World Cup and away-game viewing parties, lacrosse and rugby matches, international and collegiate soccer games and community celebrations." These events can earn "anywhere between a few hundred dollars and low six figures, depending on the cost structuring, number of people, promotional costs and other considerations" (SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/8 issue).
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