MLS Earthquakes Get Green Light For New Soccer-Specific Stadium In San Jose
The MLS Earthquakes’ plans for a $60M, 18,000-seat stadium “cleared their last bureaucratic hurdle Wednesday night when the San Jose Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny an appeal by a local resident looking to have the team’s planned development permit rescinded due to noise and light concerns,” according to Geoff Lepper of MLSSOCCER.com. Earthquakes President David Kaval said, “We’re thrilled to move forward with the working drawings and get closer to a groundbreaking date this year.” The decision “caps a drawn-out permitting process that began 11 months ago.” Earthquakes Owner Lew Wolff said, “I think it’s a win for everybody, and we will make sure we’re good neighbors. ... It’s a milestone because we can move ahead on a project. That’s a rarity these days.” Kaval said that the club “would immediately move forward on finalizing the financing piece of the puzzle, which stalled as the permitting process dragged out.” He added that “drawing up plans will take three or four months … which means a 2013 opening -- long the team’s goal -- is still possible.” Kaval “left the door open for that date to be pushed back, however.” He said that the club has been “in serious discussions with ‘five or six companies’ regarding naming rights on the stadium, talks that should speed up now.” The planning commission “heard nearly two hours’ worth of testimony from public speakers, including MLS president Mark Abbott, who noted the fact that Wolff and his partners are footing the bill for the stadium in its entirety.” Abbott also noted that the Earthquakes “had agreed to forego staging concerts, a lucrative sideline at other soccer-specific stadiums built for MLS teams, in order to help mitigate noise concerns” (MLSSOCCER.com, 2/23).