The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Thursday that the team will host the Seattle Sounders in the inaugural event at the new Levi's Stadium, the future home of the NFL's San Francsico 49ers, on Aug. 2, 2014.
The match will be staged in partnership with the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, the entity in charge of the still-under-construction facility, which will hold 68,500 spectators and has room to expand to a capacity of 75,000 for special events. Levi's Stadium is projected to cost nearly $1 billion in all and will be one of the greenest and most technologically advanced venues in sports history.
“We are proud to open Levi’s Stadium against Sounders FC,” said Earthquakes president Dave Kaval in a statement. “Santa Clara and the 49ers are great partners and they are constructing a world-class venue that all the Bay Area can be proud of.
“We have seen great crowds around MLS over the past five years, especially in Seattle, but we are confident that this match will once again demonstrate that the Bay Area has the most passionate soccer fans in the country.”
With a natural-grass playing surface large enough for FIFA-specified field dimensions, Levi's Stadium is being built with soccer in mind and is seen as a leading candidate as a host venue should the United States stage a successful bid for a future World Cup tournament.
It will provide the Quakes with a sneak preview of the type of modern amenities they can expect at their own stadium project. The club's new permanent home is currently under construction near the San Jose Airport, some five miles south of Levi's Stadium, and is scheduled to be ready in time for the 2015 MLS season.
San Jose have played high-profile matches at Stanford Stadium over the past three seasons, with attendances at all those games topping 40,000.
The Earthquakes most recently defeated the LA Galaxy 3-2 on June 29 in front of 50,028 fans at Stanford Stadium, and the club record for largest home crowd is a whopping 73,123 who came to see the Quakes host D.C. United at the old Stanford Stadium on July 4, 1999.