SBD/November 1, 2013/Facilities

MLS Earthquakes To Play First Levi's Stadium Game As 49ers Prepare For NFL Season

Staff can expect 40,000-50,000 fans for the stadium-opening MLS Earthquakes game
The MLS Earthquakes "will play the first-ever game at the new Levi's Stadium next year" when they host the Sounders on Aug. 2, and the decision to open the stadium before the '14 NFL exhibition season "suits 49ers officials just fine," according to Elliot Almond of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. 49ers COO Paraag Marathe said, "With the stadium opening at the end of July, we want to get right after that." The soccer game "gives the 49ers a chance to have a dry run before the NFL season kicks off." Marathe "likes the idea that stadium crew might deal with a crowd of 40,000 or 50,000 instead of almost 70,000 for the debut event." The Earthquakes want to make a Levi's Stadium game "a regular event although their new 18,000-seat stadium in San Jose is scheduled to open" in '15. But they also "know the Sounders game next year will be special" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/1). Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said that "if all goes well," the team's partnership with the 49ers "could continue with more soccer at Levi's Stadium." In San Jose, Lauren Kepler reported Kaval floated the idea of int'l exhibition games "against European soccer clubs or a showdown with the Mexican national team." Marathe earlier this year said that the 49ers are "looking to book a full slate of special events at the venue, from European soccer matches to cricket and swimming championships with high-end portable pools." Kaval said that he "expects the Levi's Stadium game to help increase visibility of the Earthquakes brand as the team ramps up its ticket sale efforts for their new stadium" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/31).
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