Here’s a question for you:
What do emojis, the U.S. military and the Women’s National Soccer Team have in common?
Answer: All three have been featured at halftime shows during the annual California Clasico at Stanford.
Since 2012, Stanford Stadium has been host to one epic #BeatLA matchup each year. The highly anticipated Clasicos at the Cardinal’s home have become known for their record turnouts, dramatic on-field moments, and memorable halftime shows.
As you would expect from a battle between two eternal rivals, the players pour their blood, sweat and tears every time they take the pitch to contest the Clasico, but there are others who sacrifice that and so much more for a bigger cause. In recognition of this—and as the matches are always played near the Fourth of July—the Quakes have honored the men and women that serve in our armed forces in all but two halftime shows in the series (more on this later).
In years past, the Quakes have brought on Patrick Roberge Productions, the creators of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, to put on several patriotic spectacles at halftime featuring skydivers, giant American flags and hundreds of members from all five branches of the U.S. military.
The 2014 edition of Clasico took place during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which also marked the 20th anniversary since the tournament was held in the United States. During the ’94 World Cup, Brazil and the U.S. faced each other in the Round of 16 at Stanford Stadium, and to commemorate the occasion, the halftime show at this very same site featured a tribute to that historical date that included Brazilian dancers and throwbacks to the Americans’ infamous jerseys.
The following year, it was the U.S. Women’s National Team’s turn as the Clasico match coincided with the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. At halftime, the Quakes honored members of the 1999 World Cup-winning team, who curiously enough, also faced Brazil at Stanford Stadium en route to their title.
Last year, the halftime show made history by featuring the first-ever card stunt at an Earthquakes game. As hundreds of military service members were honored on the pitch during the “Salute to the Troops,” fans on the east side of the stadium held up individual cards that combined to display a strong-arm emoji with the caption, “Thank You,” and which were then flipped to reveal a giant American flag waving across stands.
Between the skydivers, World War II veterans and first responders who will be in attendance, the halftime show at the upcoming Clasico promises to be just as memorable as years past. It also won’t be the only spectacle of the night. At the conclusion of the match, the night sky above Stanford Stadium will light up with the largest fireworks show in the Bay Area.
We’re beyond excited for July 1st and can’t wait for you to experience another chapter in what has become a can't-miss Bay Area soccer tradition. Over 40,000 tickets have already been sold to the match, so if you haven’t already grabbed yours, make sure to do so soon!