Quakes introduce suites at SJ stadium

When the San Jose Earthquakes announced their plans for a stadium near SJC, observers noted the capacity (15,000), shape (horseshoe), and the seeming lack of luxury suites. Now the team has remedied that last flaw, unveiling a package of luxury suites to be located on both the field level and the rim of the stadium.

The stadium’s original design had a very short first deck and a large second deck, which made it easy for the Quakes to add suites if the economy was friendly enough to do so. In going this route, some other premium seating will be displaced, but the 12 field suites alone should boost the team’s bottom line significantly.

View from behind a suite at field level

What may be more interesting is how the suites are being pitched to potential buyers. The suites have NanaWall-esque moving glass walls instead of a typical door-and-fixed window setup. It’s expected that a number of high school and college events will be held there, which is a smart move given the lack of modern facilities in the South Bay. Concerts are not in the sales brochure, which indicates how sensitive the Quakes are about noise and the venue’s potential as competition for HP Pavilion. Field level suites are $350,000 for a 5-year contract.

Suite seating arrangement. Note non-suite seats to the right.

You might remember how the Fremont ballpark concept would’ve had a level of suites only 10-15 rows from the field. It looks like that amenity will go to the soccer stadium instead, with the ballpark getting the traditional level of suites cantilevered over the lower deck.

Just as the ballpark may grow in capacity as a late game tweak, changes such as the addition of luxury suites can be made for the Quakes’ stadium. We can look forward to more such changes as these projects move from paper to concrete.

39 thoughts on “Quakes introduce suites at SJ stadium

  1. Another change Kaval announced recently a bit more informally was that capacity is now going to be 18,000 seated with standing room to get the capacity over 20,000. They’ve been much more bullish on the stadium in recent months as it’s come down to when they need to finalize everything (they’re having a final hearing on the issuance of the use permit in 2 weeks with the building permit to be filed for shortly after the use permit is granted). Also they’ve stated they expect groundbreaking before opening day 2012.

  2. Can’t wait until this puppy is built. Love the ‘Quakes, and soccer, every bit as much as the Athletics 😉

    I like the intimate, European, horseshoe style, with seating really close to the pitch. Should be really noisy and have a great atmosphere.

    Next up, Cisco field!

  3. You’d be correct. They actually photoshopped Quakes head coach Frank Yallop in there. he’s the guy standing wearing the blue jacket.

  4. “Closer to the action than the players!” – potential sales pitch. (Thank you. Feel free to send me my 10% commission)

  5. I like it! Doesn’t appear to have that “cheap” look anymore. Cantilivered roof (no beams!) and suites…sweet!

  6. By the way, Dan or whomever: has anyone ever brought up the idea of changing the name of the SJ Earthquakes? Just my opinion, but I’ve always viewed the Earthquakes as being a generic name. How about something more European-ish like “Quakes FC of San Jose.” Just a thought.

  7. I kinda like San Jose Quakes, great way to cut down on the syllables

  8. No. The team has been the San Jose Earthquakes for nearly 40 years and that’s what they’ll remain. The most recent trend in MLS has actually been to utilize cities original soccer names. They tried to give Seattle a new name when they moved up to MLS a few years ago and the fans revolted leading them to holding a vote where their long time NASL/USL name of Seattle Sounders won by write in over any of the official choices. Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps have since both followed suit with the New York Cosmos likely to be the fifth team to do so if they get into the league as the 20th team.

  9. “Earthquakes” is more generic than “FC,” huh?

  10. Did they not announce a bit ago that the open end was only “temporary” in that in the years following the stadium’s opening, they would add the final piece?

  11. @NT,
    IMHO, yes. Emphasis on “opinion.”

  12. The difference is, Sounders, Timbers, and Whitecaps are all interesting names. Earthquakes sounds like the name of an AYSO team.

    I’ve always dreamed that, due to the common ownership between the A’s and Quakes that they rename the soccer team “San Jose Athletic”, in the mold of Athletic Bilbao or Charlton Athletic… they would also preferably adopt a green and gold color scheme. In Spanish, they would be Atletico de San Jose, like Atletico de Madrid…

    Wolff, make it happen!

  13. I like the fact the suites are purchased for year-round use and may be customized by the buyer. Should be a big selling point.

    I hope they succeed with this, and putting the suites on the ground level, definitely adds to the excitement – much like the A’s premium seats behind home plate.

  14. I am very curious mostly about what the price increase will be at the new stadium. As an STH, I love the package that you get with the Quakes. The flexible ticketing plan is pretty awesome, and I am aware that prices will go up.
    ML, with a kind of buzz about the new stadium, being the newest in SJ for many years, one would imagine that naming rights should be a lot easier now that more things about the stadium are tangible. Is that a correct assumption?

  15. @fc – Territorial rights only govern where you can build your stadium. Nothing else is affected.

  16. Al, they won’t go for it. There’d be a fan revolt. The Quakes fans fought hard with the last ownership group to get them to change the short lived Clash name back to the traditional Earthquakes and then fought a smaller battle with Wolff to make sure the team name was kept when they reactivated the team in 2007 (Wolff had originally wanted to go with a new name). The fans want the current name so they’ll keep it.

  17. @ fc – maybe they are preparing for the inevitable “share territory” designation?! 😉

  18. I like the name “San Jose Earthquakes”. It’s kina lyrical. The same can be said for “San Jose Athletics”…it sounds better than “San Jose A’s”.

  19. re: The Giants Dugout store in Walnut Creek – too bad theres not a slingshot & BB gun store on the same block.

  20. No but there is a Giants themed restaurant on that block I think. Walnut Creek is becoming defacto A’s territory. Hell most of the Bay Area is after 2010 including Oakland and SJ. That’s the only reason part of me wonders why the A’s are even bothering with either city. They’ve already lost the war in the Bay Area.

  21. @Dan- a bit dramatic don’t you think- hardcore fans never change and the casual fan follows the winner- to say the A’s have lost both city’s is quite a stretch

  22. GoA’s, I agree to an extent, difference is after so many years of winning and having the only real ballpark in the Bay Area the Giants have sadly converted many of their formerly casual fans into hardcores. And at the same time they’ve been expanding their casual fan base as well. I’m not saying the A’s can’t retard some of it and take back some of the casuals, but I don’t think they can ever regain the near equal footing they were on with the Giants circa 1988 or so. The Giants have spent the last 15 years entrenching themselves permanently atop this market between their KNBR empire, general media blitz, Pac Bell Park, the WS win and even the Bonds years. It would take decades of the A’s being a top contender in a new ballpark, with a real media blitz and their own true KNBR equivalent to even get close. And that presupposes the Giants suck during the same time frame and back off their own media blitz (because we know Pac Bell and KNBR aren’t going anywhere).

  23. Oh and some hardcore fans have changed in recent years too. I’ve seen it happen to my own inlaws. They were diehard A’s in the 80’s and early 90’s and now they couldn’t even tell you one A’s starter or the name of the stadium this year. If it’s not Giants they no longer care.

  24. Dan: Your in-laws are bandwagoners.

  25. Not really no. It’s not like they switched during the Bonds era suddenly. Or that they were A’s fans only because of the Bash Bros. They were A’s fans during the thin years in the late 70’s and early 80s all the way through the mid 90’s when they started switching slowly. Being die hard does not make you immune to eventually giving up on one team and moving to another. How else do you explain the Oakland only’s crowd claims they’ll dump the team?

  26. Like it or not, the Giants are putting a stranglehold on the Bay and tightening their grip every year. The A’s front office and marketing department have A TON of work to do. God, I really hate the Giants…

  27. Who doesn’t hate the Giants. Well… except for those mentally deranged people called Giants fans.

  28. IMHO, the A’s will always be the second team of the Bay Area. But you know what? That’s OK! The Mets, White Sox, and Angels do quite well playing second fiddle in their markets; same will happen with the A’s in San Jose.

  29. Went to Disneyland a couple years ago – saw about 30 people wearing Dodgers caps for every one person with an Angels cap, even though the Angels play a few hundred yards away. Yes, the A’s can do alright as a second team but they need a new ballpark and a winning team.

  30. Tony +1. Anyone who thinks SJ will be the answer to all of the A’s problems is seriously kidding themselves. The Giants’ front office is sharp, and should the A’s be granted access to SJ, you know the Giants will not simply give up the south bay. They will market themselves big time in the south bay, while at the same time try to pick up as many angry east bay fans as possible.
    I’ve said it before, if MLB allows the A’s to move to SJ, the A’s would be smart to retain a top notch marketing firm to not only help with the transition, but to also help improve their beaten down image.

  31. The Giants have already picked East Bay fans. Any A’s fan who switches allegiance to the Giants just because the A’s move a whole 35 miles away was probably not much of an A’s fan to begin with. If the A’s were so very important to the East Bay, they wouldn’t be ranked last in attendance.

  32. Funny that you say that pjk. I read a facebook post just last night by “Mr. 510” that said only fair weather fans would support the team if they moved to SJ. Why is it that some people can’t accept the fact that die hard fans like the team for different reasons? For some that means equal support regardless of where the team ends up. For others, their civic pride won’t allow them to follow the team to San Jose. PLEASE STOP QUESTIONING OTHER PEOPLE’S FANDOME!!

  33. BTW I’m dying to get a “Season Ticket Holder” sign/scarf like the guy in the picture. Love that the images are so authentic. Not one person is sitting with another. Presumably this allows them to use their smart phones in peace.

  34. @pjk, I hear what you’re saying, but I think that’s the wrong attitude to take, at least as far as the A’s are concerned. They need to attract fans regardless of where they live. Just because you move to the south bay doesn’t mean you give up on the casual in the east bay. That’s falling in to the trap I talked about in my previous post, thinking the south bay was the answer to all your problems.
    Any fan that switches from the A’s to the Giants because of the move is probably a casual fan, one that can be won back with some effort both on and off the field.

  35. “Love that the images are so authentic. Not one person is sitting with another.”

    Well, it’s called “Man Jose” for a reason, right?

    That reminds me of a scoreboard thing that the Indians did when they played at good ol’ Cleveland Stadium, where they’d show a guy slamming both seats next to him up and down to “make some noise”. Of course, this assumes that each person had an empty seat on each side of him, which would mean that no more than 1/3 of the seats could be full (which they usually weren’t).

  36. Mr. 510? The fat kid with the hockey mask that sits in the bleachers?

  37. Yeah the kid with the 510 jersey

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