It’s the big question that has hounded the San Jose Earthquakes ever since they captured the 2012 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
With the best record in MLS during the regular season, the Earthquakes would host the MLS Cup final on Dec. 1 if they emerge as Western Conference champions during the current MLS playoffs. But would it be held at their home field of Buck Shaw Stadium with a capacity of 10,744?
MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Saturday indicated that Buck Shaw would not be an option.
“We think if San Jose was able to make it into the final, more than 10,000 people would want to come to that game,” Garber told a media gathering at RFK Stadium on Saturday night before the 1-1 first-leg tie between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls. “So we’d want to find another site. We just don’t know where that is yet.
“We have made the decision that we would like to move the game out of the stadium that they play in in Santa Clara today,” Garber continued. “We have not yet resolved where that game is going to be played.”
The commissioner indicated that one of the alternatives is Stanford Stadium, where the Earthquakes hosted the LA Galaxy back on June 30 in front of 50,391. But it all depends on whether Stanford’s college football team hosts the Pac-12 Championship match on Dec. 1.
“I don’t want to wish bad things on Stanford. I’m sure lots of Stanford fans want to see them hosting the Pac-12 Championship,” Garber said. “We’re still tracking to see what happens there.”
Stanford’s football team currently has a 5-1 conference record with only two universities ahead of them in the Pac-12 North standings: No. 11-ranked Oregon State (5-1 in Pac-12) and No. 4-ranked Oregon (6-0 in Pac-12). Stanford faces both teams over the next two weekends.
And so by the end of Saturday, Nov. 17 (Stanford vs. Oregon), the picture should be plenty clear. That is, if the Earthquakes, who play the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, are still alive in the playoffs.