Quakes make it official: Avaya Stadium

The rumor of networking/telecom company Avaya signing on to be the naming rights sponsor for the San Jose Earthquakes’ stadium launched nearly a month ago. Today it’s official. Avaya will having naming rights at the stadium at a cost of $20 million over 10 years. That’s about average for MLS stadia these days, though it pales in comparison to the $220 million, 20 year deal at Levi’s Stadium.

The Avaya logo will be prominently displayed atop the scoreboard and roof.

The Avaya logo will be prominently displayed atop the scoreboard and roof.

A few more details emerged that showed how complex the deal was.

  • The cost of the stadium grew from $60 million to $100 million. Most of that can be attributed to adding features. Originally the stadium didn’t have suites, eschewing those for club-style seating down low. As interest in such an offering grew, suites of different types were added to the structure at field level. This is similar to what happened during development of SAP Center, which was also barebones until ownership injected more money to make it a better venue. The Quakes continue to say that excavation difficulties encountered in 2013 didn’t contribute to the cost hike, but I don’t believe it. That was a lot of time and effort used to get the site ready for construction.
  • Quakes President David Kaval said that 40 to 50 companies expressed interest in naming rights, though that had to be settled after the 49ers squared away their deals in Santa Clara. Even with Levi’s being the much bigger attraction, 40-50 is an impressive number that shows how strong corporate interest is in the Valley. The 49ers and Quakes are partnering on hosting large soccer games at Levi’s in the near term, so there is crossover potential between the two venues.
  • The new scoreboards are in place, coming right on the heels of the just-completed scoreboard for the A’s at Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium. In a couple months, work should commence on the Coliseum’s scoreboard project. The projects are getting progressively larger.
  • Public stadium tours are taking place, despite the stadium remaining a construction zone. Tours take place on Thursday afternoons and require reservations. Note: No capri pants or exposed feet!
  • According to a December Bizjournals article, about $10 million from the development of the iStar site in South San Jose will go into the stadium. That should help defray some of the upgrade costs.

The Quakes have been run on a shoestring budget for several years. Since the stadium had to be privately financed, it’s no surprise. Hopefully the stadium will boost revenues to the point where the team can get more marquee players, or at least playmakers in the midfield. Wondo’s not getting any younger.

View of scoreboard from fan lot area and Coleman Avenue

View of scoreboard from fan lot area and Coleman Avenue

Avaya Stadium still has some seats to install and some buttoning up to do. Regardless, there’s a lot to look forward to next spring. I’ll be sure to take in a few games at the new stadium. The Quakes finally have the home they have sought for so long. Maybe the A’s are next.

69 thoughts on “Quakes make it official: Avaya Stadium

  1. Looks like the Quakes have a winner of a stadium on their hands. Now hopefully that’ll translate into a winner on the field now that they’re bringing back Dom to coach the team (and he was arguably a big reason they were so good between 2001-2005).

  2. Despite the stadium being of limited operation and pinched between a noisy airport and a noisy railroad, neighbors about quarter mile away in Santa Clara fought this project anyway. But someone asked, if the stadium can’t go here where can it go? The point being, wherever they tried to put it, someone would put up a fight. Great to see this stadium finally progressing after the construction was delayed for a year.

    • That happens no matter where you try and build anything. There’s always someone opposed. In this case it was a single neighbor in that San Jose (not Santa Clara) Newhall neighborhood who gummed up the works for a little while. But in the end her concerns were seen as rightly unfounded and the stadium went forward.

      The A’s will face the same type of people at Diridon or the Coliseum site. Be it NIMBYs or the taxpayer groups… someone always opposes developments. I’m actually friends with a pair of homeowners who will more than likely be front and center in opposing Diridon if and when efforts to build there pick up.

      • The worst NIMBYs recently are the ones against Caltrain electrification. How can these people be against trains that are significantly quieter when idling at stations and while moving along the tracks? And add to that group the people against grade separations even though it would mean less horn blasting.

        Some people are just contrarian dicks no matter what.

      • Well with the Caltrain ones you run into several issues. There are NIMBYs against the overhead gantry wires as they are seen as unsightly. There are those that are against the grade separations due to them having to be constructed and disrupting the neighbors lives for the years it takes to build them. And then you have those that are opposed to the whole project in general as it is an extension of the contentious California HSR project which many people are staunchly opposed to (particularly conservatives of which you’ll find quite a few on the peninsula). And then there’s those that are opposed to public transit expansion in their areas in general. You saw those same people come out of the woodwork regarding the BART to SJ extension as well.

  3. Hopefully they make an announcement about a shirt sponsor in the offseason. I believe Kaval said (a few years back)the stadium and shirt sponsor would be connected – now it doesn’t look like it.

    It would also be really great if they signed a marquee Designated Player. The team needs to get better. If they’re bad and full of no-name players (like they were this year and Wondo doesn’t count), the novelty of a new stadium will wear off fast. Go Quakes!

    • Well with Dom running the show, and supposedly being given pseudo GM powers to assist Doyle (who thus far has proven to be the soccer anti-Beane) they’re going to be doing some major revamping. Other than Wondo I wouldn’t count on anyone coming back as a certainty at this point. Everyone is on the chopping block.

  4. No capris or crocs? Well I’m out.

    In fact, if those are banned, I’m much, much more likely to be in.

  5. It’s a nice stadium. I like the multiple colors of blue (team colors), in the seating arrangement. People have been saying for years, that the popularity of the sport was growing, it did not seem really like it, but wow it really has picking up in the United States, and although I’m not much of a fan; I’m trying to challenge myself to try to enjoy it more, not the easiest thing if you did not grow up playing and watching the sport.
    Go, San Jose Quakes.

  6. Hey, they can out a Mount Davis behind the new stadium ! The raiders can move to SC now.

    • What are they using for the facade? I’snt the stadium suppose to be complete in two months? I drive by every day and still looks like they have not started work on the exterior. You would think the facade work would have started by now. hopefully this is not false advertising and they leave it bare bones like Levi’s

  7. off topic but the newly elected oakland mayor schaaf will be on 957 at 4 pm today.

    • I doubt she’ll say anything of any substance. There’s probably not much she could definitively say even if she wanted to. I’m expecting more reiteration of wanting to keep both teams, not pitting them against each other, and not using public money (but inviting private money) to help construct stadiums.

      • I didn’t hear it directly, but I read the highlights trickling out. As expected, she didn’t say anything she hasn’t already said before and didn’t get any more specific. Someone correct me if you listened to it and I got something wrong.

  8. What’s the seating capacity of the new Quakes stadium? I know, I know, I could look it up, but I’m sure a few of you know it off the top of your heads.

  9. @ Chris
    Thanks, to both of you for the information, that’s a nice amount with room to grow; it’s pretty exciting I’m glad for San Jose. (Bay Area)

  10. @SMG : unless the new mayor gets herself heavily involved in the stadium process, no new stadium/park will ever get built in Oakland. If we continue to see the same creatures from JPA etc..running things, you can forget about it.

  11. The only thing of substance, which she has said before is the A’s should be a bigger priority than the raiders.

  12. Unless Lew Wolff gets involved in Oakland like he’s been involved in San Jose, no new ballpark will be built in Oakland. It seems that Wolff doesn’t mind losing money on a San Jose stadium, but Oakland is never “viable.”

    • @Elmano – This is the first opportunity for Oakland to show the A’s the kind of care and attention they spoiled the Raiders with since the football team returned. Respect and effort go both ways.

      • RM,
        I get what you’re telling Nav, but “first opportunity” for Oakland? Haven’t they had nearly 20 years to shower the A’s with care and attention? Sound bites and happy talk don’t count.
        BTW, nice SSS for the Quakes. In time, the A’s will get one in San Jose as well…

    • It’s all one big conspiracy to piss you off. Yeah… let’s go with that.

    • Elmano: Please provide a detailed, factual analysis of how Lew will lose money in San Jose. If you cannot, then you’re just a lot of hot air.

  13. The new Quakes stadium was 40 million over budget and Lew Wolff has stated that he would absorb the cost.

    Wolff also spent 30 million in attempt to build in Fremont.

    In Oakland, Wolff has spent very little money and has made no effort in getting anything done. Wolff’s efforts in Oakland have mostly consisted of denigrating various sites, falsely denigrating Oakland’s economy for the purpose of relocation, giving contributions to elected officials he views as friendly to his “plans,” and when it was time for a new lease, giving Oakland false hope that something can be worked out and saying a few nice things about the city to Henry Gardner in an email.

    I tend to believe what Wolff told the Mayor of San Jose over pancakes as the Oakland lease was being finalized that he believed that the ballpark would eventually be built in San Jose, much more than what he tells Oakland officials about his secret plans for building at the Coliseum site.

    I’m not sure what else Oakland can do to make Lew Wolff interested in building in Oakland. The thing that bothers me the most is watching Oakland being used and disrespected by this man as he waits to line up all his San Jose ducks in a row.

    If Wolff had any intention of building anything in Oakland we would have seen a plan by now. Wolff would be spending time in Oakland City Hall and with the Oakland business community drumming up support for a ballpark. Instead all we get is Lew Wolff stalling as he sits here waiting to be “kicked out of Oakland.” This is why kicking Howard Terminal aside was so important to Lew Wolff’s plans. Are these the actions of an ownership who wants to build anything in Oakland? Of course not.

  14. What is the question? What would you like to see Oakland do? Kick out the Raiders in hope that Wolff will actually present a plan?

    Why do you hold Wolff to differnt standards for working with San Jose and Fremont while not working with Oakland?

    What should Oakland do, Marine Layer?

    • The question was, “How is Lew Wolff losing money?” You tossed that allegation out so casually you completely forgot about it.”

      As for what Oakland should do, it’s simple. Stop campaigning against ownership. The election is over. New leadership is coming in, and she looks to be handling things a lot more professionally and responsibly than her predecessor. That’s a good sign. Those others who keep writing op-eds, whining like sore losers – give it a rest. Allow the grown-ups to work. You may actually get a great ballpark in Oakland.

  15. I did address the fact that Lew Wolff is absorbing an extra 40 million in costs to the new Quakes stadium.

    Marine Layer, as soon as we see an honest proposal and effort from Lew Wolff to build a new ballpark in Oakland, I’ll gladly put aside every point I made regarding factual behavior exhibited by Lew Wolff.

    You haven’t addressed any of the points regarding Lew Wolff’s passed machinations. It would be great to burry the hatchet but unfortunately Lew Wolff seems content to keep Oakland at arms length while he waits.

    Unless Wolff gets out and advocates for and pushes for a new ballpark in Oakland, I’ll have to assume nothing has changed. Where is Lew Wolff’s plan? We’ve seen a PR announcement regarding an architect for a “ballpark in Oakland” but no plan.

    Have you seen Lew Wolff’s plan for a new ballpark in Oakland?

    • @Elmano – Your inability to understand basic budgeting concepts led you to run your mouth again.

      No, I haven’t seen the plan. If you’re so amped up to see it, why don’t you bug the JPA board about it? They’ve seen it.

    • ML beat me to it. Wolff has a plan, it’s been provided to the public leadership of the JPA. That’s all we have for now. But he has a plan, it is available to those in the public sector that matter at the moment, not just statements that he’d like to say like a fellow sports team owner in Oakland *cough* Davis.

  16. As Oakland A’s fans shouldn’t we all be curious about Lew Wolff’s plan for a ballpark in Oakland? This is what this blog is all about.

    • I am always curious. Wolff tasked 360 a couple months ago. They have a schedule. They’re not going to push it up just to appease people who don’t trust them. Or me for that matter. Besides, no one can begin work on the public side until January at the earliest. I know this much – everyone should work to be as thorough as possible. If that means taking more time and dropping arbitrary deadlines, so be it. You rush, you get bad deals.

      Moreover, I get the sense that the people that want the plans now – Wolff detractors – only talk about that because it’s a talking point they can keep in the air. Again, it’s time to stop trying to score political points, time to stop campaigning. Real work is underway.

    • Elmano: It seems that MLB has had several years of “Lew Wolff is evil! Oakland is blameless” junk to tolerate and isn’t buying it. Time to work with existing ownership to get a new ballpark done in Oakland. Feel fortunate that MLB is still trying in Oakland despite all the neglect the A’s have received from their host city, neglect not experienced by any franchise in any other MLB city.

  17. Do you think Wolff will build if the Raiders stay?

    • If I hadthey’re likely gone from Oakland when the current to guess, I’d say no. Wolff’s Coliseum plan, while still not publicly available, is undoubtedly A’s centric since Wolff would be the one driving it, not any of the other parties who’ve waded into the doomed Coliseum City fiasco. And it would only become the new plan for the site when Coliseum City dies. Does that explicitly preclude the Raiders involvement, no, but circumstances would likely remove the Raiders by default since the odds of them hanging around Oakland when Coliseum City disintegrates aren’t good. Even more so if they’d end up playing second fiddle to Wolff and the A’s.

    • @Elmano – I think Davis and Wolff have an unspoken agreement in which whoever “wins” the Coliseum gets it to himself. They don’t want to interfere in each other’s plans.

      • So the answer is, the A’s leave if the Raiders stay? If the Raiders stay, Wolff leaves Oakland. Is that right?

        Also, if the Raiders go, Wolff may still leave Oakland. Is that also right?

        How sad that both these owners just want to play chess instead of getting a great project built.

        Where would Wollf go?

      • @Elmano – Davis alluded to the A’s escape clause in his statements today. Both owners are looking out for their teams first. Harebrained fantasy development schemes with third party ulterior motives are a distant second.

        Wolff will go wherever he’s allowed to go in the future.

  18. @ Elmano
    Davis says:
    “We’re trying everything to get Oakland stadium deal done.”
    Not defending Wolff, because I certainly would like to see his plan as well, but Davis makes statements like this one and he has not submitted one single shred of a plan, which we know of. There are some legitimate gripes you have with concerning Wolff (IMHO), but then you undermine whatever amount of legitimacy may be in your augment, by saying nothing about Davis. Then you say people are not holding Wolff accountable, when no one including yourself is holding Davis accountable.

    • Sorry, should have read.
      There are some legitimate gripes you have concerning Wolff (IMHO), but then you undermine whatever amount of legitimacy “you may have” in your augment, by saying nothing about Davis.

  19. Both Davis and Wolff need to work together to get this done. Right now both claim that they want a new facility but neither one wants to committ to Coliseum City.

    Without two teams signing on it’s going to be impossible to get Coliseum City completed. Wolff wants nothing to do with Coliseum City but made sure he placed himself squarely in the middle of everything.

    Davis keeps trying to use “leverage” but doesn’t give us specifics of what he wants. Davis has no where to go. He’s not going to San Antonio and LA doesn’t have a new stadium. Even with a new stadium in LA in four years, the Rams and Chargers may be the likely tenants. Would the NFL go with three teams in LA and one in the Bay Area? I doubt it.

    • The A’s want to do their own project and not be subtenants in “Coliseum City.” That project has been talked about for three years and can’t get off the ground. The A’s don’t need Davis, the Raiders, Colony Capital, blah blah blah. All they need is the property.

    • “Without two teams signing on it’s going to be impossible to get Coliseum City completed.” It’s not just the teams lack of signing on holding the project back. Even if they did sign on it won’t get off the ground. Which won’t matter as its dead in a little over a month. Then it’ll be up to the city to finally make Sophie’s choice. Go with the guy with no plan, no experience, and no real desire to stay (since he’s already got both feet out the door to San Antonio and LA). Or go with the guy who is a developer, has a plan he’s given to you, and has a record of making similar projects happen.

    • @Elmano – also during the recent discussions about the CC development and stadiums, a member of the JPA said “these people are not our friends” (referring to Wolff and Davis)

      Compare that to what San Antonio officials are doing – flying to Oakland to meet Davis and practically begging the Raiders to move there – perhaps you are blaming the wrong people.

    • Coliseum is a pipe dream. A fantasy that neither team will ever sign off on because they both know it’s foolish. They don’t have to work together. Hell, if they wanted, they could work against each other. But instead, they’re letting Oakland decide what they want and whichever team that is, the other seems to be willing to let them have it. There’s no scenario in which both teams stay. It’s just not feasible. Forget about the amount of land, there’s plenty. But there’s not enough money that can be gained from that land to offset the cost of two stadiums.

  20. @Elmano: LA likely wants the Chargers more than the Chargers want LA. San Diego likely has a better leasing deal at Qualcomm than they could achieve leasing at an LA facility anyhow. They had have had an opportunity for a move to Los Angeles for several years now and haven’t done so,. They are even now pulling a Giants move – arguing territorial rights and that teams moving to LA will reduce their fanbase – that is not an argument from a team planning to relocate.

    The Raiders and Rams are in discussions with Inglewood officials about an NFL stadium there – both teams appear to be more likely for a move there than the Bolts are.

    • And even those “more likely” teams are still working with other parties. The Rams have renewed talks with St. Louis who finally seem serious about keeping them. And the Raiders have continued to stay in contact with San Antonio who seem ready and willing to provide them the public funding they so desperately need to make anything work (nevermind they also have an NFL level stadium sitting there as an immediately available temp venue).

      Meanwhile the Chargers still haven’t really made any noise regarding a possible LA move and are continuing to work on their own stadium plans and ballot initiative in SD. LA remains what it has been for a long time… a bluff to get current cities off their asses. Only in Oakland’s case does it seem to not be working, but instead it got SA off their butts.

  21. OT I think San Antonio is a smoke screen, the Raiders will be the team that moves across the Pond in the next couple of seasons.

    The renderings for the new Quakes stadium will be great and I can’t wait to see games there when the stadium opens and I am in the area. It looks like if and when the A’s start building a new stadium (somewhere) we might see a drop off in talent. So I can understand why management made the trades they made last year.

    • There will NEVER be a team in London. End of story.

      • @ SMG
        I agree, London sure is a money maker I could see the NFL rotating teams and having 8-10 games a year, perhaps even 16 with every team playing at least one game there, before their scheduled by week, but how would a permanently based home team even work in that location?
        Teams get a week off after traveling such a long distance; wouldn’t a London based team have to take, up to a four game road trip to the states during the season?
        The logistics of the situation would seem to make it too difficult; as a matter of fact wouldn’t it affect a fare competitive balance with all the travel involved for a London based team?

  22. Wolff wants to build in Oakland but on his terms. Not on Mark Davis’, not on Oakland’s and for sure not on any 3rd party developers.

    In the original CC plan, the baseball stadium takes a big back seat to the football stadium. This makes zero sense to Wolff to join such a project and take a back seat to Mark Davis and a 3rd party developer.

    Wolff did a fantastic job with the Earthquakes stadium. He got it built privately and was willing to pay for some upgrades during construction cause when he is given control he has the acumen to get it done.

    I was at the Raiders game last night sitting 50 yard line under a overhang (thankfully) and was around a lot of richer/older Raiders fans.

    I asked them point blank would you pay a 20k-25k to sit 50 yard line for a SBL and a 250-300 per game ticket fee? This in a Oakland stadium…..they all said YES.

    When I asked them about Mark Davis and his unwillingness to raise the money they all said to me “its a good point you bring up”.

    We also noticed EVERY suite in Mt. Davis was full last night.

    Meaning there are people willing to pay for premium seating for the Raiders around Nor Cal.

    Meanwhile Wolff is stuck holding his dick in his hand stuck in mud when he could easily re-do the Coli site and build himself.

    On a side not the Coli was leaking bad last night, some areas were flooding and it has to be the last stadium in the US with troughs in the restrooms! SMH

    • Suites may be full, but they don’t sell for the kind of $$ the 49ers and other teams are bringing in, apparently.

      • @pjk- They don’t have to be at the 49ers prices to build in Oakland.

        They just need to be a fraction. I have proposed #s here before and it can be done.

      • Sid is correct, it can be done.
        Can it be done at the same rate of success, as with the 49er? No, but it does not have to be at the same rate as the 49ers to be successful. If we are only using the 49ers as a barometer of success to build new football stadiums, then I guess 80%-90% of NFL teams should not build new stadiums, when the time comes, because the 49ers are more successful than they are.

    • Wolff easily redo the Coli site and build himself? Sure he can!…if he wants to loose money out of his a$$ and possibly go bankrupt in the process. Then he’d really be stuck holding his you know what!

      Don’t expect Wolff to become charitable towards Oakland in this lifetime. San Jose alive and well…

  23. Lakeshore: Raiders premium seat prices – presumably suites – are cheapest in the league. About 25% of what the Patriots were getting, before Levi’s opened. Sure, lower the price of anything enough and it will sell. But the Raiders do not generate the kind of luxury seating revenues as other teams. And they can’t use the dilapidated stadium as an excuse because these suites were built in 1995 and have never drawn top dollar.

    • @ pjk

      The Raiders premium seating should be 25% of the Patriots, considering the condition and fan experience of the coliseum, not to mention the uncertainty around the Raiders future, as well as there historically poor preference on the field since 2002, it’s amazing it’s not less than 25% but I’m sure if the Raiders do build, a new stadium (in Oakland ), there will be a market well beyond that 25%

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