It seems almost surreal but the regular season begins this week on Saturday when the Quakes take on the New England Revolution at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m. It has been an exciting off season that has included a bevy of new signings like Colombian playmaker Tressor Moreno and Honduran defender Victor Bernardez, re-signings like Spurs loanee Simon Dawkins and fan favorite Steven Lenhart, as well as solid progress on the stadium with our victory at the PD Permit appeal meeting in February.
One other thing we have been cooking this offseason is a refurbishment of Buck Shaw Stadium. Last year, we created Buck Shaw 2.0 with the Epicenter, George Best Gate, gourmet food trucks, and new concessions options. This year we are proud to announce Buck Shaw 3.0 with a host of additional improvements for fans to make the best of our temporary home. Buck Shaw 3.0 has enough cool features to warrant a Kaval Top-10 List. Here we go:
10) Ten Gourmet Food Trucks
That’s correct. Ten whole food trucks with everything from Vietnamese to sliders to Philly cheesesteaks to Loco Moco… I would venture to guess that our menu this year might have the largest selection of any pro sports venue in the country. We have more than doubled the food trucks and have added some of the most popular trucks in the Bay Area. We are thrilled to welcome Chairman Bau Bun which is one of the most popular trucks at Off the Grid in San Francisco. We also have Twisted Chill (now serving cupcakes, too) and El Tonayense back. As a special guest for our match against New England, we have Sam's Chowder House with their famous lobster rolls and clam chowder. Yummy!
9) Safety Netting
In order to improve the safety at the stadium, we worked together with Santa Clara University to add netting behind the North and South ends. This will prevent balls from striking fans during warm ups when numerous shots are taken on goal. While the South End netting near the scoreboard will be permanently raised, the netting on the North End near section 108 and 109 will only be up during pre-game and will be lowered during the match. This is similar to how they raise and lower the netting behind a field goal in American football.
8) New Gameday Magazine: Quakes Matchday
We decided to produce a Quakes-only gameday magazine with all local content about the club instead of the league-provided Free Kick. This will provide more timely and better information for fans.
7) New Gameday Show in the Epicenter
The Epicenter has been enhanced with a new gameday show hosted by Quakes Ambassador and TV Analyst, Kelly Gray and Comcast and 95.7 The Game sensation Dan Dibley. Look for analysis on the upcoming match, updates on the Academy, and other great features throughout the season.
6) Netsuite VIP Catering
The Netsuite VIP tent is now being catered by Cosmopolitan Catering, winner of the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Company of the Year award for their outstanding service.
5) Earthquakes Hall of Fame
We expanded the Quakes Hall of Fame by creating larger than life pictures of current Hall of Famers John Doyle, Ronald Cerritos and Troy Dayak on the back of the new grandstands. We also added really cool tributes to our two championships.
4) Standings in the Epicenter
We have created a new MLS standings board that will be prominently featured in the Epicenter along with all the popular items from last year, including inflatables, sign making stations, face painting, an Adidas store, food trucks and other partner activation tents. Plus, we got a ton more tables for folks to sit down and sample all the gourmet food trucks and listen to the pre game show.
3) New West Grandstands
This offseason we completed renovations to the West Side grandstands, which were originally installed when the stadium was renovated in 2008. We replaced the wood surfaces and seats with aluminum and traded out all of the old blue fold up seats with new stronger and more ergonomically designed chair back seats. We also reconfigured the ADA seating and height of the railings to provide better sightlines for everyone in the section. Finally, a new mesh wrap encloses the stands and provides a better and more permanent look to the section. We are happy with these additions, as they will greatly improve the fan experience.
2) Cup Holders
All on-field seats get cup holders. There will be fewer spilled beers in 2012!
1) New Quakes History Timeline
In honor of our storied history, we have created a Quakes timeline on the top of the East Side. It includes the NASL era, Western Soccer Alliance, Blackhawks, Clash, Earthquakes championship era, the return and Wondo's Budweiser Golden Boot. We have profiled our great former and current players, including George Best, Johnny Moore, Troy Dayak, John Doyle, Ronald Cerritos, Landon Donovan and Wondolowski. The timeline will be a great way to celebrate our past and relive many of the great moments in club history while we enjoy watching the current Quakes make history on the pitch this season.
We look forward to hosting a capacity crowd at Buck Shaw this weekend. We have a six-match sellout streak and we have less than 1,000 seats left for the opener. I am confident that Quakes Country can represent and pack the stadium. I know that our players will feed on the energy of the capacity crowd and get us our first opening day win since 2004. Now that would be something to celebrate!
San Jose Earthquakes