Stadium under construction in 2014
|Location||1123 Coleman Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110
|Owner||City of San Jose|
|Operator||Earthquakes Soccer, LLC|
|Broke ground||October 21, 2012|
|Construction cost||$100 million |
|Project manager||David Albert|
|Structural engineer||Magnusson Klemencic Associates|
|Services engineer||Flack + Kurtz|
|General contractor||Devcon Construction|
|San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
Avaya Stadium is the name of a soccer-specific stadium that is still under construction in San Jose, California, for Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes. The stadium is being built on what is currently called the Airport West site that is located to the west of San Jose International Airport.
Avaya Stadium is currently under construction on Coleman Ave. adjacent to the San Jose International Airport and is expected to have a capacity of approximately 18,000. The European-inspired building is the first cloud-enabled venue in Major League Soccer and will be among the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. The stadium features a canopy roof and the steepest-raked seating in Major League Soccer to provide the best possible fan experience. Additionally, the north end zone houses the largest outdoor bar in North America, a two-acre fan zone and a double-sided video scoreboard. The suites and club seats are located at field level, giving fans a premium experience unlike any other in professional sports. The stadium will be part of a mixed use residential, retail, R&D and hotel development.
The stadium is planned to be constructed privately with no public money provided by the city of San Jose. Additionally Lewis Wolff, owner of the San Jose Earthquakes, has offered to pay for the maintenance of the stadium for a fifty-five-year timespan. The team organization initially delayed the completion date to the middle of the 2014 MLS season, but later delayed it again to the 2015 season. The seat pattern includes three different shades of blue as well as a smattering of red seats to pay homage to the club’s NASL history. Additionally, the pattern contains a coded message related to the club.
History and details
The proposal for the new stadium for the Earthquakes was brought before the San Jose City Council in June 2007. The proposal called for the city of San Jose to rezone a parcel of industrial land in the city’s Edenvale district to residential uses. The parcel is owned by iStar Financial, but members of the Earthquakes ownership group own an option to purchase the land. Rezoning the parcel would increase the value of the property by approximately $80 million. The site’s industrial capacity would be transferred to surrounding properties allowing those sites to increase the density of the developments on their land, eliminating early generation single level developments. This would also preserve the industrial capacity for the city in the Edenvale area. The option on the land would then be sold and the proceeds would be used to construct the soccer-specific stadium on the Airport West site (formerly the site of an FMC Corp. facility) at no cost to the city. Additionally, Wolff and his partners will be funding and building the mixed use development adjacent to the stadium out of pocket.
On April 15, 2008, it was revealed that a deal to sell the Airport West site to the group headed by the Earthquakes ownership had been reached. The ownership group would pay $132 million for 66 acres (270,000 m2) of the Airport West site, land San Jose purchased for $81 million in 2005. The deal was approved after the May 21 vote by the San Jose city council. The purchase price was renegotiated between the city and ownership group in April 2009 to account for the lost value of the land due to the economic climate change since the original deal was struck. Additionally the Earthquakes and their partners have reduced the purchased land size from the full 75 acres (300,000 m2) of the Airport West site to a smaller 65-acre (260,000 m2) parcel further reducing their purchase price to $89 million.
Lewis Wolff’s ownership group’s purchase of the Airport West site from the city of San Jose also alleviated the city of $7.5 million in tax service the city was paying on the site annually. The Airport West site had previously been purchased by the city for a possible expansion to the San Jose International Airport infrastructure. However, as of November 2007, the airport had indicated that the land is no longer needed in any current or projected developments.
The city estimates that the total development of both the Airport West and iStar site would bring approximately $1.3 billion worth of capital investment to San Jose and would bring in millions of dollars in tax revenues. The development would also provide new research and development, retail, and hotel jobs to the city. The iStar site would be developed with a mix of residential and commercial uses, while the Airport West site would be developed by Wolff with two hotels, as well as residential, research, and retail developments.
In a San Jose Mercury News article in August 2009, Lew Wolff backed off from publicly claiming a definite 2012 opening date for the stadium until a naming rights sponsor could be found and signed.
The first official public renderings of the stadium were released to the public on September 19, 2009 by team owner Lewis Wolff. The rezoning of the property was approved March 16, 2010 to allow for the construction of the stadium.
In April 2010, the Earthquakes completed construction and opened the Nutrilite Training Facility, including a training field adjacent to land intended for the new stadium.
In November 2010, Earthquakes ownership requested the City of San Jose for another amendment to the purchase option for the stadium site. The amendment reduces non-refundable option payments to the City by $2 million to $5 million as well as extends the option period from 2013 to 2015. If Earthquakes ownership closes on the property earlier, a reduction of $4 million in non-refundable option payments will occur. In the event that the economic climate continues to preclude the implementation of the stadium, the option includes provisions for the City to consider allowing retail on the stadium site.
On January 20, 2011, the Earthquakes submitted an application to the city for a development permit.
Groundbreaking and construction
The San Jose Earthquakes held a demolition ceremony at the stadium site on March 3, 2011 to kick off a twelve week demolition on the site in advance of construction. On December 14, 2011, the planning commission approved the permit for stadium construction, which was subsequently appealed by residents nearby the site. On February 22, 2012, the commission heard the appeal and voted unanimously to reject the appeal and finalize the approval of the construction permit. The team organization stated they still have a goal to open the stadium in 2014.
The groundbreaking of the new stadium occurred on October 21, 2012, with 6,256 participants on hand digging into the ground, smashing the previous world record. An official Guinness World Records adjudicator was on site to verify the record.
Earthquakes President Dave Kaval stated in a February 2013 interview that stadium construction would begin by February 26, with the stadium on track for completion by early 2014. This however was later revised to a scheduled completion date of early 2015.
However while construction crews demolished and prepared the site for construction, they discovered three underground concrete bunkers and several hundred concrete pilings from the previous FMC factory. These unforeseen obstacles took an extra month to remove and caused the completion date for the stadium to be pushed back to around July 2014. However, a subsequent delay pushed the completion date to the 2015 MLS season. Despite the complications at the site, progress has been made on the project. Demolition, grading, and the site utilities were installed by the middle of September 2013. The next steps in the process is the pouring of the foundations for both the stadium and team building, followed by the steel erection.
The first steps taken in building the actual structure of the stadium were taken on September 27, 2013, when concrete pouring of the team building and locker rooms took play. This was quickly followed by the stadium foundations.
On November 5, 2013, the first steel beams for the stadium were laid. It then took 120 construction workers approximately 5 months to complete the steel frame of the stadium. On March 28, 2014, the final beam was hoisted in place.
On September 23, 2014, the first of 18,000 seats was installed in the stadium by a San Jose Earthquakes season ticket holder.
On October 23, 2014, ESPN reported that Avaya is the potential naming rights party for the stadium.  On November 19, 2014 it was confirmed that Avaya would be the sponsor for the Earthquakes new stadium officially called Avaya Stadium.
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- Nader, Nadine (November 30, 2010). "Early Council Packet". City of San Jose. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
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- "New Stadium Milestones". SJEarthquakes.
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- "Avaya Stadium? Tech giant rumored for San Jose Earthquakes naming rights". SJEarthquakes.
- New Stadium Web Page
- Construction cam
- Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Business Terms for the Purchase and Sale of the Airport West Property and for the Development of a Major League Soccer Stadium (April 14, 2008)
- Amendment of Business Terms for the Option and Purchase and Sale of the Airport West Property (April 14, 2009)
- AMENDMENT OF BUSINESS TERMS FOR THE OPTION, PURCHASE, AND SALE OF THE AIRPORT WEST PROPERTY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STADIUM (November 30, 2010)
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