A soccer-specific stadium in the Bay Area moved closer to becoming a reality with the last legal hurdle overcome.Don the hardhats and fire up the crane, there's a stadium to be built.
The San Jose Earthquakes secured a Planned Development Permit in December, but still had to overcome an appeal. Wednesday night the San Jose Planning Commission upheld approval with a 6-0 vote.
"We're thrilled to move forward with the working drawings and get closer to a groundbreaking date this year," 'Quakes president Dave Kaval said. "We obviously have to commission the working drawings and at the same time finalize the financing, which could not be finalized with the uncertainty around the permit. So, with this permit uncertainty gone, we're able to expedite those processes and communicate that to our fans and stakeholders as soon as possible.
"We're going full steam ahead."
A satisfactory venue has long plagued Major League Soccer in the Bay Area. The Earthquakes franchise was moved to Houston and renamed the Dynamo in 2005 largely because it was unable to secure a soccer-specific stadium in California.
Since restarting in 2008, San Jose has played in Buck Shaw Stadium, which has a capacity of 10,300.
"It's a very important step for the club," MLS president Mark Abbott said. "This ownership group's been working for four years on a stadium for the Earthquakes. There was a previous effort for over 10 years there's been an effort to get a stadium, and, now, this is the most important step in that process
"It's the goal of all of our clubs to have a stadium to call their own home. It's important for the club, it's important for the fans, it's important for the community and I'm just so pleased that we were able to achieve that this evening."