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Avaya Stadium Details
Avaya Stadium is the long-awaited home of the San Jose Earthquakes. The stadium opened in 2015, finally ending the club’s long struggle for a permanent home. The Earthquakes were one of Major League Soccer’s founding members, but the original team moved to Houston after the 2005 season because they could not reach a deal to build a soccer-specific stadium in San Jose. From 1996 to 2005, the team played at Spartan Stadium on San Jose State University’s campus. The Earthquakes were resurrected in 2008 and played most of their home games until 2015 at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University.
The stadium has a capacity of 18,000 for soccer. The seats are laid out in a horseshoe configuration, with the open end facing San Jose Mineta International Airport. At the horseshoe’s opening is Avaya’s famous massive, double-sided LED scoreboard. The seating areas are designed to be as steep as possible—in fact, Avaya Stadium has the steepest-raked seating in MLS—to create an intimate feel and ensure that even the fans in the top rows would have the best possible view of the pitch.
The Earthquakes and the Chicago Fire played the first regular season Earthquakes game at Avaya Stadium. The Earthquakes won 2-1 in front of a sellout crowd. Avaya Stadium hosted the 2016 MLS All-Star game, which was a friendly match between the MLS All-Stars and Arsenal FC of the English Premier League. Forward Chris Wondolowski and goalkeeper David Bingham represented the Earthquakes for the MLS team. Arsenal won the game 2-1.
The US Men’s National team has also played at Avaya Stadium. In 2017, the US defeated Honduras 6-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualification game. The US Women’s National Team has also played a pair of friendly games in the stadium. The stadium also branches out to other sports: in 2018, Avaya will be a host site for the Rugby World Cup Sevens Tournament.
Where is the best place to sit at Avaya Stadium?
Avaya Stadium is not split into multiple levels, so any general admission ticket will be on the 100 level. Sections are numbered from 101-134, and the sections generally have 29 rows (the higher row numbers are further from the pitch). The stadium is designed to give everyone a good view, but pay attention to the row number when buying tickets if you want to sit close to the pitch.
No matter what seat you have a ticket for, you should watch at least some of the game from the bar underneath the scoreboard. There’s no barrier between the bar and the field, and the location puts you right behind one of the goalkeepers. You can sit at the bar—the largest outdoor bar in North America--or stand at railing on the small terrace in the area.
The Earthquakes’ Supporters Sections (117-118) are located behind the goal opposite the outdoor bar. If you get a seat in one of those sections, you definitely won’t be doing much sitting. The Supporters Section stands for the whole game sets the tone by leading the arena in cheers and songs. It’s not for everyone, but if you want to stand and scream and get lost in the moment, the Supporters Sections is a fun place to be.
Tips and Tricks
Avaya Stadium is located next to the Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport and is accessible through public transportation. Take the Caltrain (line 10) to Santa Clara station and then board the VTA #10 Free Airport Flyer to get to the stadium. If you’d rather take a cab service, Uber has its own designated pickup and drop-off location across the street. If you’re driving, parking is available in a number of lots next to the stadium, and tailgating is permitted in all lots except the VIP lot. No outside food or drink is allowed in the stadium.
The Scoreboard Bar is the stadium’s main food and drink attraction. It’s served by over 30 bartenders and has 45 beers on tap. There are concessions throughout the stadium, but the most intriguing option behind the bar in an area called the 7UP Epicenter, where you can find a dozen or more local food trucks.