Yesterday, I took my Communication and Sport class to Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes where we were taken on a tour of the stadium courtesy of our excellent ticket rep, Melissa. The students loved it. Many of them were really impressed with the stadium design, and how there truly is not a bad seat in the house. They were also surprised to hear how affordable tickets are.
In the course, we had talked a little about the financial and developmental effects that stadium-building has on communities.We saw it in action, as there was a new development under construction (the Coleman Highline) to complement the stadium construction right next door. It’s clear that the presence of a sports team has pushed this particular area west of the airport to grow a bit.
It doesn’t always work that way, though. Although I love stadium design, I’m generally skeptical of stadium-building as a form of civic development, as it doesn’t always help generate local economic growth. Throw in the public subsidies for stadiums that often come in the form of higher taxes, and I don’t know that the civic pride from a new stadium is always worth the cost to the local community. It’s not the fault of the cities; sometimes they are held hostage by the leagues/teams and either have to pay up or watch a beloved team leave the area.
But that’s not the case with Avaya Stadium. It’s a privately-financed, beautifully-designed neighborhood soccer field with 18,000 seats. The Earthquakes did it right. Here are some pictures from last season.
Avaya Stadium is gorgeous. It’s built so well for watching soccer, and they really focused on the game experience. It helps that it’s small and steep and intimate. And my son’s favorite thing about the stadium is that you get to watch planes land at San Jose airport the whole time. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s my favorite thing, too!
I’m not just being a homer here: you should really try to get out to a match atAvaya. It’s great for families, and wherever you are in the South Bay, it’s less than 15 minutes from home. Can’t beat that.