The San Jose Earthquakes will make their return to Levi’s Stadium on May 24 after previously taking part in the first ever official event at the stadium last August. In that match the Earthquakes defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in front of over 48,000 fans. Their upcoming matchup, in which they will battle the expansion franchise Orlando City SC, will be the latest installment of the multi-year partnership between the Earthquakes and San Francisco 49ers, on behalf of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. The partnership, which was initially agreed upon in October 2013, will bring one Earthquakes matchup annually to Levi’s Stadium.
The Earthquakes now play their home games at the recently-opened Avaya Stadium, making their trip to Levi’s Stadium a special event fans have circled on their calendars. As such, tickets for the Earthquakes game at Levi’s Stadium are in high demand. On the secondary market the average price for last August’s Levi’s Stadium match against the Sounders was over $100, the only Earthquakes match to do so in 2014. The other soccer match in Levi’s Stadium’s short history was an exhibition between Mexico and Chile in September of 2014, which had an average price of $120 and a get-in price of $60.
While the Quakes first game at Levi’s this year will be just the third soccer event to be held at the stadium, the Bay Area has long and rich soccer history. Most recently, the United States Men’s National Team used Candlestick Park as sort of a training ground leading up to the 2014 World Cup. They played one of their three exhibition matches leading up to Brazil in Candlestick Park, getting a strong send-off from the Bay Area crowd. In that game last May 27 the USMNT battled Azerbaijan, almost a year ago to the day of the upcoming San Jose-Orlando City encounter. The U.S. team also played in San Francisco, albeit at AT&T Park, when they hosted Japan’s national soccer team back in 2006.
In addition to Candlestick, the legendary Stanford Stadium has hosted dozens of important soccer matches, including the 1984 Olympics and 1994 World Cup, when the U.S. was the tournament’s host. In that tournament the USMNT played Brazil on July 4 in the Round of 16 in front of more than 84,000 fans, losing 1-0. The most recent high-profile national game came in 1999 – also coincidentally on the Fourth of July – for the Women’s World Cup semifinal matchup between the U.S. and Brazil, a 2-0 victory for the Americans. The Earthquakes have played some instant classic matches at Stanford Stadium in recent years as part of their fierce rivalry with the LA Galaxy in the California Clásico.
As one of the league’s original franchises, the Earthquakes have as much history as any team in the league. They’ve won two MLS Cups, and have qualified for the playoffs eight times in their 18-year history. This year, they made the biggest off-the-field statement in their history by opening the soccer-specific Avaya Stadium in San Jose. Built at a cost of $100 million, it’s the first cloud-enabled venue in Major League Soccer and so far the Quakes are 1-1 at their new home. The May 24 game against the Orlando City SC has potential to draw as many fans as the 48,765 that the Levi’s Stadium opening did, and promises to be a highly anticipated event for the Earthquakes and their fans, all of whom are hoping that they remain perfect in their Levi’s Stadium matches.