Even though the official groundbreaking has yet to occur, the San Jose Earthquakes announced today that they have sold out their entire allotment of luxury suites – 12 in all. In addition, the club announced that they are now selling club seats to the public. A total of 576 club seats will be made available, all at field level, just like the suites.
There always was room for premium facilities to be built, so it makes sense that they’d wait to introduce club seats until other premium options such as suites were sold out. The key thing I noticed when looking at the renderings is the lack of walls. In last year’s big Lew Wolff interview, he mentioned how expensive it is to fully build out a space with air conditioning. The sold-out luxury suites are the only premium option that is fully built out. The club here won’t be behind walls of any kind and doesn’t appear to be air conditioned, which should reduce operating costs a good amount. The amenities don’t look any less plush than at other venues, and patrons will have in-seat service.
Four separate club areas consisting of four three-row sections apiece will be spread throughout. Two will be located near midfield, two towards the ends. Priced by the row, tickets will range from $90 to $125 per seat in season ticket packages, 20% more for single game purchases.
The Quakes are also selling patio suites, which are like the luxury suites except with no walls (or A/C). This option effectively splits the difference between the club seats and the luxury suites.
I have a feeling that Lew and Keith Wolff are using Earthquakes Stadium as a testbed for future offerings at Cisco Field. If they can get the mix of hardcore Quakes fans, general soccer fans, and casual fans right, there are numerous lessons that are applicable to the construction and deployment of similar amenities at Cisco Field. For now, the stated capacity remains 18,000, though as we can see in this case, market conditions can change quickly.