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Avaya Stadium: What You’re Missing

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The San Jose Earthquakes opened the 2015 season in their new Avaya Stadium off of Coleman Avenue near San Jose Mineta Airport a few weeks ago. Avaya is now the newest stadium in the Bay Area, opening almost a year after the 49ers opened Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. If you are wavering on the fence to go see a game at Avaya, or know nothing about it, please allow me to shed some light on the new facility.

Avaya Stadium was built perfectly for soccer games. I imagine any other events that will take place there would be equally as perfect, but so far it has only been soccer. The design is something unique to most sports in that the club level and luxury boxes are on the field level, with row one of the stands being directly above about 15 feet off the ground. This gives row one a bird’s eye view of the game but still directly on top of the action. There is also only one deck of seating in the stands, so even if you are in the last row, you are not too far away from the game/field. The Earthquakes also designed the stands to be the steepest in MLS along with a canopy that covers most of the stands. Imagine that, 49ers fans; shade. The canopy also projects the sound from the stands making it extremely loud on the playing field. The blue seats are the exact same seats the 49ers used in Levi’s Stadium, ordered at the same time from the same company in three shades of blue and a few in red. These red ones pay homage to the Quakes past during the NASL days and are used to spell out “Go EQ” in binary code.

Every stadium needs to be known for something and Avaya is no exception. With its horseshoe shaped design, the open part of the horseshoe boasts the Largest Outdoor Bar In North America. Everyone in the know calls it Lobina and it even has its own twitter handle. Lobina has over 45 beers on tap as well as a full service bar. From there, you can still watch the game but need to be mindful of misplaced shots at the net due to its close proximity to the field. In fact, you can walk around the entire stadium to the concessions areas, team store, and bathrooms and not lose sight of the field. With the stands situated off of the ground, you won’t miss any of the game or get stuck watching on TVs since the sightlines to the field go right through.

Another excuse to make your way down to Avaya Stadium is that you can take your whole family and not break the bank. This is how they sold 11,000 12,000+ season tickets in their 18,000 stadium. The Quakes care about their fans and aren’t trying to price gouge them into submission; no seat license bollocks either. On top of that, every Quakes home game is on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. You can also bear witness to the Ultras Tifo, which changes every game and is displayed right before kickoff.

Of course last but certainly not in the least, the San Jose Earthquakes have a very exciting team to watch. If you remember from last year’s World Cup in Brazil, American almost-hero (and Danville native) Chris Wondolowski just missed the go-ahead goal against Belgium to put USA into the quarterfinals. Wondo has been one of the leading goal scorers in MLS since 2010 and shows no signs of slowing down as he currently leads the Quakes with three goals in their first four games. The team also boasts Swiss native Innocent Emeghara who scored his first goal while the Quakes were down a man in Seattle at CenturyLink Field (slight redemption, 49ers fans?). He sliced up the defense like a hot knife through butter and that goal ended up being the Goal of the Week in MLS!

There’s a brand new stadium in the Bay Area and you need to go see it sooner than later. For those people who live in the San Jose area, there really is no excuse since it is so close. For those coming from the rest of the Bay Area, here is a list of different ways to get to Avaya Stadium. And yes, you can even tailgate. Hopefully I will see you at some games this season, maybe meet you at Lobina to talk about the Tifo, Innocent and Wondo.

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