Major League Soccer announced Thursday that San Jose, California, will host the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. The 21st annual mid-summer showcase will feature several days of festivities culminating in a match between the league’s top players and a prestigious international club at Avaya Stadium, the new, state-of-the-art home of the San Jose Earthquakes.
The match, which will be played in the summer of 2016, will be broadcast live on the ESPN, Univision, TSN and RDS families of networks, as well as to more than 100 countries worldwide via MLS’ international broadcast partners.
“We are pleased to bring the AT&T MLS All-Star Game to San Jose and know that Avaya Stadium and the Earthquakes’ passionate supporters will provide a vibrant and electric setting for this marquee event,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a statement. “It will be 15 years since the last time San Jose hosted our All-Star Game, and the growth of the All-Star Game and festivities has mirrored the remarkable progress of the sport in North America. We look forward to celebrating our game with soccer fans throughout the Bay Area.”
The 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will mark the second time San Jose has welcomed the All-Stars, previously hosting in 2001 when the Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star squads played to a 6-6 draw at Spartan Stadium. In 2016, the event comes to the new Avaya Stadium, with Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear serving as coach of the All-Stars. The opponent for the 2016 All-Star Game will be announced at a later date.
One of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world, Avaya Stadium became Major League Soccer’s 15th soccer-specific stadium when it opened its doors in March 2015. It is an 18,000-seat stadium located just outside downtown San Jose, adjacent to the San Jose International Airport. The European-inspired building is the first cloud-enabled venue in MLS and offers fans access to a high-end Wi-Fi solution in addition to interactive digital displays around the concourse.
“The MLS All-Star game is one of the showcase events every year for Major League Soccer, and we are proud to bring the game to our beautiful new venue,” said Earthquakes president Dave Kaval in a statement. “Avaya Stadium is the perfect stadium to host this signature event, and we look forward to showing off our city to the soccer world in 2016. We continue to attract top events to Avaya Stadium, and hosting the MLS All-Star Game is another great achievement for the venue.”
The annual showcase will again feature several exciting days of events surrounding the match, such as community service initiatives, player appearances and concerts. Recent musical acts have included Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Flaming Lips and Cold War Kids. Additionally, the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game, featuring the best Homegrown Players from across the league, will return for the third consecutive year in 2016.
“We’re proud to bring the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game to San Jose’s beautiful, new soccer-specific stadium,” said Ken McNeely, AT&T's California state president, in a statement. “Over the years, Earthquakes fans have displayed a relentless passion for the game of soccer, and we can’t wait to bring this annual party to the Bay Area next summer.”
The 2016 All-Star Game will mark the 13th time an international club faces the MLS All-Stars, who have accrued a 7-3-1 record. In 2015, the AT&T MLS All-Stars will face English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur on July 29 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9 pm ET, FOX Sports 1, UniMás, UDN, TSN, RDS). Tottenham join the list of prestigious clubs to participate in the exhibition, including Manchester United (2010, 2011), Chelsea (2006, 2012), Roma (2013) and Chivas de Guadalajara (2003).
ALL-TIME MLS ALL-STAR GAMES
1996: East 3, West 2 (East. Rutherford, N.J.)
1997: East 5, West 4 (East. Rutherford, N.J.)
1998: MLS USA 6, MLS World 1 (Orlando, Fla.)
1999: West 6, East 4 (San Diego, Calif.)
2000: East 9, West 4 (Columbus, Ohio)
2001: East 6, West 6 (San Jose, Calif.)
2002: MLS 3, U.S. National Team 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2003: MLS 3, Chivas de Guadalajara 1 (Carson, Calif.)
2004: East 3, West 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2005: MLS 4, Fulham 1 (Columbus, Ohio)
2006: MLS 1, Chelsea 0 (Bridgeview, Ill.)
2007: MLS 2, Celtic 0 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2008: MLS 3, West Ham United 2 (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
2009: MLS 1, Everton 1 (Everton 4-3 pen) (Sandy, Utah)
2010: Manchester United 5, MLS 2 (Houston, Texas)
2011: Manchester United 4, MLS 0 (Harrison, N.J.)
2012: MLS 3, Chelsea 2 (Chester, Pa.)
2013: Roma 3, MLS 1 (Kansas City, Kan.)
2014: MLS 2 vs. Bayern Munich 1 (Portland, Ore.)
2015: MLS vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Denver, Colo.)
2016: MLS vs. TBA (San Jose, Calif.)