New San Jose Earthquakes stadium opening pushed back to second half of 2014 season

The new San Jose Earthquakes stadium is coming – just not quite as soon as they’d originally hoped.

Due to what the team termed “unforeseen conditions at the stadium site,” the opening date of the new stadium has been pushed back to the second half of the 2014 season. That means the Quakes will play eight games in 2014 at Buck Shaw Stadium, one game – presumably on or around July 4 – at Stanford Stadium and nine games at the new stadium.

“Due to the extraordinary conditions at the stadium site the opening date has been pushed back,” Earthquakes president Dave Kaval said in a press release. “Our ownership group and organization is committed to building a world-class venue for our fans and to creating the true epicenter of soccer in the Bay Area. We feel that a second-half opening ensures that we accomplish that goal, while giving our team a strong home schedule for the best situation competitively.

During the demolition phase, the construction team uncovered obstacles ranging from concrete vaults to used munitions from the FMC factory to steel beams and hundreds of concrete pilings. The vaults presented perhaps the most significant problem, specifically related to drainage issues.

“We have encountered incredibly difficult unforeseen conditions at the stadium site,” said Devcon Construction Vice President Peter Copriviza. “With foundations over 10 feet deep, drilled piers, unexpected underground chambers, complicated with a relatively high water table, we have been presented with a series of challenges during both the demolition and grading process.”

Nonetheless, the Quakes are still confident that 2014 will see their new 18,000-seat stadium unveiled.

“We would like to commend our construction partners for all their efforts despite facing numerous complex conditions at the site,” said Kaval. “They have navigated through some difficult situations and kept us on track for a 2014 opening.”