Avaya Stadium is quickly becoming a premier sports venue in the United States, as it continues to attract world-class events. The state-of-the-art stadium may be less than two years old, but it is proving to be more than just a home of Major League Soccer.
Just a couple months after its inaugural match between the Earthquakes and Chicago Fire, Avaya Stadium opened its doors to the nation’s best female soccer players. On Mothers Day last year, the United States Women’s National Team kicked off its Send-Off Series with a 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in front of a sell-out crowd, setting the tone for their eventual World Cup victory. The Men’s National Team would follow in their footsteps, training at Avaya Stadium earlier this year for Copa America Centenario.
English superstar Wayne Rooney and Premier League powerhouse Manchester United stormed Avaya Stadium next, facing off against the Earthquakes in an International Champions Cup friendly match on July 21, 2015. Midfielder Fatai Alashe became the first Earthquakes player to score against the English Premier League side in club history, but the home squad ultimately fell to United 3-1. The Quakes then hosted Club America in the tournament one week later.
Apart from housing MLS and national teams, the Earthquakes’ stadium also saw several Liga MX soccer clubs compete on its field in 2015, featuring matches between Club Leon and Atlas FC, Chivas Guadalajara and Atlas FC as well as Monarcas Morelia and Xolos Tijuana. After the success of those three games, the Mexican league returned to Avaya for a match between Pumas UNAM and Club Santos Laguna this July.
Rugby was next to knock on Avaya’s door, setting up the stadium as a host for the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup last summer. The tournament featured Pacific Rim rugby teams competing with North American teams, including USA, Canada, Samoa, Fiji and Japan. Avaya Stadium showcased two PNC matches: Canada vs. Japan and the USA Men’s Eagles vs. Samoa. Rugby returned to the Quakes headquarters earlier this season when they housed a bout between the United States and Italy in June. That won’t be the last rugby match to feature at Avaya, as the stadium will also co-host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Last August, Avaya Stadium welcomed another lesser-known sport into the venue, as the four best pro Ultimate teams came together on the Quakes field to compete in the fourth annual American Ultimate Disc League Championships. Fans crammed the seats to watch the local San Jose Spiders defeat the Madison Radicals to capture the championship, despite entering the final four with the lowest seed.
Building on the popularity of these past events, Avaya Stadium is likely to play host to more non-MLS matches in the future. Only time will tell which sport will invade its field next.