Kaval's Kickoff: Capping a great week

Club President Dave Kaval recounts a big week in Quakes Country

I was so happy this weekend to see one of the 1996 MLS originals, Ramiro Corrales, score two free kick goals in our dominating 4-0 win over Chivas USA at a sold out Buck Shaw Stadium. The match was a culmination of a great week that started with the groundbreaking announcement and ended with our captain scoring two goals and the passing out of Victor Bernardez win pins.

I ran intro Rams and Rafa Baca tailgating after the match with their friends and I was excited to see the genuine passion on everyone’s faces about Ramiro's two stellar free kicks. The second one was especially sweet as a heady decision to take a quick kick caught the Goats sleeping and netted the fourth goal of the match.  

It’s impossible to overstate the impact Ramiro has had in developing Rafa Baca into a major contributor. The two of them are always hanging out and Ramiro really took him under his wing as Rafa found his place on the team. Having such great veterans like Ramiro is another reason the club has gelled so well this season and is leading the League with 53 points.

Another big announcement last week were the ticket prices for the new stadium. In all the hoopla of the Guinness World Record groundbreaking event (click to RSVP) and the back-to-back high-scoring wins, many fans may have lost sight of the fact that we released the pricing for the new stadium and that it is very reasonable. We spent a great deal of time evaluating the best way to price the stadium to maintain the ability for families and fans to afford season tickets as well as meet the needs of the stadium's private financing.

First and foremost, we decided against requiring any personal seat licenses (PSLs). PSLs have become a popular way to extract dollars out of team fan bases in order to complete new buildings. PSLs combined with an alarming trend across sports of skyrocketing ticket prices have created stadia and arenas that are filled only with corporate season ticket holders. These environments lack the authentic feel of a real fan base and often are characterized by scores of empty seats from no shows. You can watch any New York Yankees game and see all the empty seats behind home plate for a good example of this.

As someone who grew up attending Cleveland Browns games in the blue collar Dawg Pound at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, I felt that it was imperative to retain the vibrant and authentic atmosphere of a Quakes match by not overpricing the tickets. We accomplished this by creating multiple seating options that would appeal to a broad base of existing and new customers. While we have corporate focused seats in the Patio Club and Midfield Club, we also have a $15 Supporters’ Section ticket and $45 tickets in the premier midfield. These affordable prices will enable the Quakes to be the most accessible professional sports team in the Bay Area.  

The priority for the new stadium season tickets also rewards our most loyal fans by giving first crack at the seats to existing season ticket holders. One thing I want to stress is that demand has been very high so please make sure to contact your fan relations specialist and place your 2013 deposit to maintain your priority for the new stadium. Existing season ticket holders will have their appointments in November. New season ticket holders for 2013 will get their appointments scheduled for January. For those who are just interested in the new stadium, their time slots will start in July 2013. This priority queue is a huge benefit to our existing fans that have been with us through thick and thin. We wanted to reward that loyalty and make sure they got the best locations in the new stadium.

Finally, I wanted to make folks aware of a cool article in Wired Magazine that featured the Quakes and our efforts to leverage the new adidas MiCoach system to help evaluate existing and potential soccer players. The article has some interesting perspective on the new types of data available to teams with the adidas partnership and its possible impact on the Beautiful Game.  I would love to hear thoughts on whether this type of big data analysis could work for soccer in the way it does for baseball. As always, you can email me at president@sjearthquakes.com or via twitter @QuakesPrez.

I hope to see everyone out at Buck Shaw Thursday at 7:30 p.m. as we host an international friendly against San Luis FC from Mexico.

GO QUAKES!

Dave Kaval
President
San Jose Earthquakes