Council Unanimously Approves
P
otential Sale of Airport West Site to Earthquakes'
I
nvestors

(May 20) In a unanimous vote, the San Jose City Council approved a memorandum of understanding which will pave the way for the sale of the Airport West property to a group of investors led by Lew Wolff and John Fisher, owners of the San Jose Earthquakes. A portion of the property is slated for a new stadium for the team.

The site, located at 1125 Coleman Avenue in San Jose, totals 74.8 acres. In addition to the 13.5 acre portion which will be designated for the stadium and its associated parking, the proposed development of the property includes 1.514 million square feet of office and research and development space, 300 hotel rooms, and up to 75,000 square feet of retail.

The city council's action allows the city to negotiate and execute an option agreement and a sale agreement for the property. Negotiations that have taken place over recent months have already formed a broad outline of both the option and sale agreements. Under the terms which were approved today, the parties have until June 30 to finalize the option and purchase agreements on the property.


Council to Vote on Proposed Stadium
L
and Deal on Tuesday, May 13
(May 6) One week from today, May 13, the San Jose City Council will vote on the proposed purchase of the FMC property by Lew Wolff and his partners. Details of the proposal are available here (PDF file).

Essentially, the council will be voting thumbs up or down on a deal that has been negotiated by San Jose's economic development department which would allow Wolff and his partners to begin development of the 70+ acre property, setting aside an additional 13.5 acres for the stadium and associated parking lots.

While this will not be the final step in the political process that will, we hope, lead to a new stadium, it is nonetheless a very important step. For that reason, we'd like to have as many Earthquakes fans as possible in the San Jose City Council chambers as possible. Next Tuesday's council meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. — we hope to see you there!

San Jose's City Hall is at 200 East Santa Clara Street. A map is available here. Free validated parking is available in the underground City Hall garage — enter off of S. 6th Street and bring your parking voucher to the council chambers — the validation machine is there. Parking is also available for a fee at the 4th Street Garage behind City Hall (enter heading south off of S. 4th St., a half block south of Santa Clara St.) and the Third Street Garage (enter heading north off 3rd St. a half block north of Santa Clara Street). (Note that both 3rd and 4th streets are one-way.)


SSV Launches Non-Profit Foundation to Benefit Soccer Community
(December 19) With the return of the San Jose Earthquakes to the field in 2008, SSV's board of directors has been looking for a way to the collaborative relationship that we have established with the new Earthquakes management to ensure the vitality, and availability to all, of the sport of soccer in the Bay Area on an ongoing basis. As a vehicle for this continued collaboration, SSV has formed the SSV Community Foundation (SSVCF), a 501c(3) non-profit sister corporation to SSV.

“We believe that SSVCF, as a fan-run group working in tandem with a major league sports team, is unprecedented,” says Don Gagliardi, SSVCF president. “We are thankful to the Earthquakes for joining us in this collaborative vision and to attorney and fellow soccer fan Paul Marotta of The Corporate Law Group in Burlingame for donating his time and expertise to process the legal paperwork to establish the foundation.”

With the legal structure in place, now the group is looking for ideas and support from the soccer community. "We Earthquakes fans can accomplish a lot through our own charitable foundation, and we can all do this together. Our foundation will only be as strong as the collective unity and spirit of Earthquakes fans makes it,” says Gagliardi. “Earthquakes fans, through SSV, have proven that working together we are incredibly powerful and that we can do great things. Imagine how much good Earthquakes fans can do collectively – today, tomorrow, and into the future – for our club and for soccer, through our own charitable foundation.”

Donations to SSVCF are tax deductible and may be made online at SSVCF.org. The foundation is also looking for board members, program heads, and other volunteers and will be holding a membership meeting on March 1 to discuss these items. "Whatever your talent, we would like to find a place for it," adds Gagliardi.

The new organization hopes to start a number of programs immediately, with help from soccer fans throughout Northern California. Please attend our meeting on Saturday, March 1 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Britannia Arms downtown.



Unanimous Approval!
(November 9) On Tuesday, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and the city council voted unanimously to endorse the city staff's work to date and to continue negotiations through as late as June 30, 2008, on Lew Wolff's proposed plan to build a privately-financed soccer stadium as part of a $1.3–$1.4 billion investment in San Jose.

The proposal would entail the rezoning of Wolff's site in the Edenvale district of San Jose from industrial and retail use to residential use, thereby increasing its value by an estimated $80 million. That property would be sold to residential developers and those funds would be incorporated wholly into the construction of a new, 15,000 to 20,000 seat soccer stadium on the Airport West property. That land, which is currently owned by the city, would be acquired at fair market value by Wolff and his investment partners, who would build two hotels, offices, and retail to complement the stadium.

The presentation given by Paul Krutko, director of the Office of Economic Development, also provided insight on a number of details that have already been incorporated to the potential plan:

- Any potential for job loss by the conversion of the Edenvale property will be mitigated by increasing the allowable densities of neighboring commercial and industrial properties, thereby eliminating the possibility that the city's balance of jobs-producing and residential lands will be disrupted.

- The blighted Airport West site, which saw extensive environmental damage during its use by the FMC corporation, currently costs the City of San Jose over $7 million in general fund revenues each year in the form of payments the city is making on the purchase of the land. By contrast, the development of the FMC site with hotels, office/R&D, and retail space will create revenues for San Jose in the form of property taxes, hotel taxes, and sales taxes.

- The appraisal currently being conducted on the Airport West property to determine its current market value will likely indicate that the city will make money on the property sale, in addition to allowing San Jose to get out from under those annual purchase payments.

- Wolff has also already agreed to pay for any cost overruns associated with the stadium's construction, as well as operations and maintenance of the stadium for the next 55 years — even if the Earthquakes stop playing soccer there.

- Bill Sherry, the aviation director of Mineta San Jose International Airport, explained to the mayor and city council at Tuesday's meeting that the Airport West site is no longer part of the airport's plans, essentially giving the green light to the city council to do whatever they wish with the property.

- In response to a question from a council member during the meeting, city attorney Richard Doyle specifically stated that no tax dollars would be involved in the construction of the stadium.

The city council also directed staff to provide a status report on the negotiations and the timing of the city's environmental review to the Community and Economic Development Committee in March, as well as an update to the full city council at the annual General Plan review hearing next year.

Finally, the council agreed to waive, if necessary, the city's policy to consider zoning changes only once per year, due to the nature of the potential economic benefits in Wolff's proposal. Considering that the successful conclusion of these negotiations would mean the transfer of the Airport West site from public to private ownership, and would therefore allow the city to cease making payments on the site, it would seem this in in the best economic interests of both parties.

All in all, it was an extremely positive outcome for the region's soccer fans. Thanks to everyone who has written San Jose's elected officials to voice support for the project and especially to the hardy Quakes supporters who came out to the meeting after it was rescheduled.



Time CHANGe Tomorrow!
(November 5) We've just been informed that there has been a time change for Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Rather than holding their vote during the evening session, as was previously expected, the San Jose City Council will now act during the afternoon session. This session starts at 1:30 and the stadium negotiations will be discussed between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.

While this will undoubtedly make it impossible for some of us to attend, it can be considered good news from a political perspective. Twice a month, the city council meets both in the afternoon and evening. On these days, the afternoon session usually consists of items that are not controversial or are not expected to engender much public debate or comment. We see this rescheduling as a sign that both San Jose's elected officials and its citizens recognize the great potential in partnering with Lew Wolff's team.

Of course, for the many of you who have rearranged your schedules to attend the evening session, this rescheduling is sure to be inconvenient at best. We apologize for any trouble this causes you and thank you for understanding that this situation is completely out of our hands. (Please note, also, that the Earthquakes had originally planned to hold their press conference announcing the hiring of Frank Yallop at 2:00 pm, so they are inconvenienced as well.)

If this scheduling change makes it too difficult to attend, we understand completely. If you can make it, great, please come out and show your support, but it's not necessary to move heaven and earth to make it happen.


ONe WEek to Go!
(October 30) We're just one week away from the November 6 meeting of the San Jose City Council and their critical vote on the soccer stadium plan.

We have one correction from our last message: This won't be the final vote on the stadium deal after all. It is, however, a critical step towards the culmination of the deal, so we'd still like to pack the city council chambers with Quakes fans in blue.

Here's a progress report as well as details about what the council will be voting on next Tuesday: On October 22, the Community and Economic Development Committee, which is composed of council members Nancy Pyle, Nora Campos, Pete Constant, and Sam Liccardo, voted unanimously to recommend a full council vote on the Office of Economic Development's staff report on the soccer stadium deal. That report, which was released to the public on October 12, contained several details about what had been negotiated so far as well as some of the subsequent steps that would be needed to complete the deal. (You can see video from the meeting here — the presentation on the stadium begins just over 13 minutes in and around 34 minutes in, Lew Wolff and Ann Rodriguez from Earthquakes Soccer take the floor.)

We'll sum up the report that was given. In the four months since negotiations began, a lot has been accomplished:

The developers and city staff have agreed that if the Council decides to approve the change in land use of the iStar Property, the proceeds obtained from that decision, estimated to be approximately $80 million, will be directed towards the construction of a stadium. Wolff and his partners have also committed to guarantee the full cost of the stadium, even if construction exceeds $80 million, and would also be responsible for all costs of the construction, operations, and maintenance of the stadium for a 55-year period — even if, for some unknown reason, the Earthquakes no longer played soccer in San Jose.

Wolff's team has also proposed to develop the balance of the Airport West property — where the stadium would be built — with office, research and development (R&D), hotel and retail development, which would provide substantial sales tax, property tax and transit occupancy tax, ground lease revenues and cash to the City of San Jose. Specifically, they have preliminarily proposed building roughly 1.2 million square feet of office, two hotels with a total of approximately 300 rooms, and 72,000 square feet of retail.

The city staff report also included the following:

- A preliminary traffic analysis indicates that the 1 million square feet of industrial space currently entitled on the iStar site can be reallocated to other properties within the Edenvale Redevelopment Project Area with feasible traffic mitigations.

- Airport staff has determined that construction-related parking and other requirements for the Airport expansion can be fulfilled at alternate locations, which means the full development of the Airport West Property can proceed.

- The city would own the soccer stadium, subject to a 55-year ground lease to the Earthquakes. Wolff and his partners have proposed to purchase up to 40 acres of the 75-acre Airport West property rather than ground leasing that portion of the property.

As you can see, much progress has been made. It is now guaranteed that the money from the iStar conversion will go to the stadium construction and that Wolff and his partners will pay entirely for the operations and maintenance of the stadium for 55 years. The preliminary traffic study in Edenvale looks good and the airport has indicated that they have no problem with the proposal to develop the Airport West property. All of this is good news.

Without the City Council's approval next Tuesday, however, none of this progress will mean anything, because the City Council has the final say. Next Tuesday, they will decide whether or not to direct the city's staff to continue with these negotiations, which means that it's important that we voice our support for the deal.

Please make every effort to be there Tuesday, November 6 at 1:30 p.m., wearing your Earthquakes blue!

San Jose's City Hall is at 200 East Santa Clara Street. A map is available here. Free validated parking is available in the underground City Hall garage — enter off of S. 6th Street and bring your parking voucher to the council chambers — the validation machine is there. Parking is also available for a fee at the 4th Street Garage behind City Hall (enter heading south off of S. 4th St., a half block south of Santa Clara St.) and the Third Street Garage (enter heading north off 3rd St. a half block north of Santa Clara Street). (Note that both 3rd and 4th streets are one-way.)


One More Step
(October 16) Now that we've succeeded in getting the team back for 2008, our focus is on the proposed stadium at the FMC site in San Jose, the permanent home for soccer that has been our quest since SSV's founding in 2004.

As you know, the City of San Jose has entered into an exclusive negotiating period with Lew Wolff and his development partners with a goal of developing an 18,000 to 20,000 seat soccer stadium on a site near the San Jose Airport, off of Coleman Avenue in San Jose. With the approval of the San Jose city council and the support of the local community, the project can move forward.

This site will be a mixed-use (retail, hotel, commercial) development, which may include up to six soccer fields. This stadium will be constructed without public funding or private debt; instead it will be financed through a real estate entitlement process on another piece of land within San Jose. Earthquakes Soccer’s objective is to have the stadium constructed and occupied by April of 2010.

The Earthquakes are very excited about the possibility of having a new soccer stadium in San Jose, but they need our help. The next step is for the San Jose city council to approve the Earthquakes’ stadium proposal in two council votes this fall.

The subcommittee council vote is scheduled for Monday, October 22, 2007. The full council vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening, November 6, 2007.

We will provide detailed information about these votes as they approach. In the meantime, it's important that we begin letting San Jose's elected representatives know that the stadium plan enjoys widespread support from both San Jose residents and from the region's soccer community. We've updated our "Send a Message" page with the latest information on how to contact the city council and, with Earthquakes Soccer, have prepared a brief document with information about the team's return, plans for the coming months, and the stadium project.

A few tidbits from that document:

- In 2008, the Earthquakes are guaranteed two international exhibitions. (We hear through the grapevine that Mexico may be returning to the Bay Area on March 5, 2008.)

- The Quakes are finalizing arrangements for a temporary venue in the South Bay, with the possibility of playing several games against opponents such as the Galaxy in a larger venue such as the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. The small venue should be announced in the next 10 days.

- The Earthquakes will hold an eight-city ‘try out’ tour of Northern California which will include the opportunity to try out for the Earthquakes. Youth soccer clinics, sponsor promotions and season ticket sales information will also be part of these events. Details will be announced in the next week to 10 days.

- Although the Earthquakes are not required by MLS to establish their official ‘youth development academy’ in 2008, they plan to begin developing a youth development system immediately, including teams in the U-17 and U-15 age groups. These teams will wear Earthquakes uniforms and become part of our player pool for the Earthquakes reserves and senior team.

- The Earthquakes expect to announce the hiring of a head coach in the next 30 days.

As you can see, there's a lot going on right now, but the most important thing for the soccer community right now is to get behind the Earthquakes' stadium proposal, so please remember to send a message to the San Jose City Council.

Quakes Back in 2008!
(July 17) The San Jose Earthquakes will return in 2008!

MLS commissioner Don Garber will announce at Wednesday's All-Star Game press luncheon that the league has accepted Lew Wolff's proposal to have the Earthquakes play next season.

Pinch yourself—you're not dreaming. Nine months from now, we will be watching the Earthquakes take the field.

Our congratulations and thanks go out to Lew Wolff and everyone involved at the A's and at Earthquakes Soccer. Our equally heartfelt congratulations and thanks go out to you, the members of Soccer Silicon Valley, who have time and again risen to the challenge and made your voices heard. We are absolutely certain that this would not be happening without you.

SSV's work is not done, however. We will continue to provide a voice for the Bay Area's soccer community as Wolff and the Earthquakes continue their pursuit of a new stadium in San Jose.

In the meantime, we think it's time to celebrate!

Please join us at the Britannia Arms Downtown at 173 West Santa Clara Street on Thursday evening. We'll start arriving at 5:00, the MLS All-Star Game will be on from 6:00 to 8:00, and you'll find plenty of company to celebrate the return of our two-time MLS Cup champions.

Alexa Jontulovich of Earthquakes Soccer will be on hand to take deposits for 2008 season tickets, and those putting down a deposit will receive a free "Return of the Quakes/Quakes '08" t-shirt. (If you can't make it to the Brit and still want to make your deposit, don't fret. We'll be sending information tomorrow morning on how you order online, using a special priority code for SSV members. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday.)

We hope to see you there!

Thanks again to all of you for your continued support. Go Quakes!



Lew Wolff, at podium, answers questions from the San Jose
City Council on Tuesday, June 12, in front of a packed house
of SSV members and other soccer supporters (below).


Unanimous Approval!
(June 13) Late yesterday afternoon, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to enter into negotiations with Lew Wolff regarding the construction of a new soccer stadium in San Jose. The final vote was 10-0!

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who wrote and called San Jose's elected officials and express our special gratitude to the more than 140 of you who attended yesterday's very long council meeting.

We think our strong showing changed votes yesterday and we also believe that we have made a lasting impression on San Jose's political leaders. Thanks to you, we have demonstrated time and again that people care deeply about the Earthquakes and soccer and, even more importantly, are willing to take action to back up those beliefs. It was not just yesterday's crowd, but the cumulative impact of the crowds we have drawn in the past, and the letters and emails, that have shaped this. We could not do this without Lew Wolff, of course, but we the fans are making an enormous contribution. We should all be proud to be part of something that is unprecedented in American sports.

With the passage of yesterday's motion, the city's staff will craft a development agreement for the iStar and Airport West (former FMC site) properties. If successful, those agreements will be reviewed this fall by the city's Economic Development Committee and the City Council (tentative date for council review: October 16). If everything goes as hoped--and we will again be asking for your support as these events grow near--it is estimated that the new stadium could open in 2010.

We could be watching the Earthquakes much sooner than that, though. It was revealed in yesterday's meeting that Lew Wolff and several members of the Earthquakes Soccer staff will be flying to New York next week to meet with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, with the intent of winning the league's permission to begin play in 2008, less than 10 months from now.

Until then, Earthquakes Soccer is sponsoring two upcoming events: an exhibition match between CD Chivas de Guadalajara and Busan I'Park (South Korea) on Saturday, June 30, and the MLS Futbolito 4v4 tournament on Saturday, August 11. More information is available here.

Thanks again to all of you for your continued support. Go Quakes!

And Now, the Council Meeting
(June 11) We're less than 24 hours away from what we hope will be a milestone for the San Jose Earthquakes. Here's your complete guide to tomorrow's big event.

First off, we have some news that we hope will allow more of us to attend the meeting. The City has released a revised agenda which notes that Item 4.2, when the Council will consider the staff proposal regarding the Earthquakes' new stadium, will start no earlier than 2:30 pm. So, if you'd like to skip the first hour of the proceedings, you can arrive at 2:30 and still be there for Lew Wolff's presentation to the council, the public comment period, and the vote. We're hoping that this later start time will allow some coaches to bring their youth teams to the event.

This is a very exciting and nerve-wracking time for all of us. If the meeting goes well, it will increase the chances that Lew Wolff will exercise his option to re-launch the Quakes in time for the 2008 season and that MLS will accept his proposal despite the lack of a finalized stadium deal.

With that motivation, you can understand why we want to make a big impression on San Jose's elected officials. Please make every effort to be there, in Earthquakes blue, for the meeting. If you can't be there, make sure you make your voice heard by calling or sending e-mail or a letter.

We'll say it once more: This is a big day, so please do everything you can to attend! If there's simply no way you can make it, it is possible to watch online here. We will also be updating this page as soon as possible once the vote is in.

Our plans for the event are as follows: SSV's board of directors will present a brief summary of the letter that we sent today to San Jose's elected officials (PDF, 1MB). If you would like to address the City Council, you will need to fill out a speaker's card and submit it to the city clerk at the front of the chambers. You can get a card from the clerk or from any of SSV's board members you see in attendance. Typically, speakers are allowed two minutes, but that limit has been cut to one minute recently when there have been a great number of people who wish to speak. Whether you talk or not is up to you; the important thing is to be there in blue!

City Hall is at 201 East Santa Clara Street, between 4th and 6th. You can find a map here. Free validated parking is available in the underground City Hall garage — enter off of S. 6th Street and bring your parking voucher to the council chambers—the validation machine is there. Parking is also available for a fee at the 4th Street Garage behind City Hall (enter heading south off of S. 4th St., a half block south of Santa Clara St.) and the Third Street Garage (enter heading north off 3rd St. a half block north of Santa Clara Street). (Note that both 3rd and 4th streets are one-way.)

City Releases Report on Wolff Proposal
(May 29) June is shaping up to be a big month for soccer in San Jose!

This afternoon, the City of San Jose released an extensive report on Lew Wolff's interest in the iStar site at Highway 85 and Cottle Road in San Jose, and the FMC site near the airport (PDF, 4.26 MB). The city staff is recommending that the City Council approve a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Wolff's investment group that the City would be willing to consider the conversion of the 75-acre iStar Property from commercial and industrial uses to residential zoning. Further, city staff recommends that the City enter into exclusive land lease negotiations with Wolff and co. regarding the former FMC property as a site for a soccer stadium and 2.25 million square feet of addtional office, research and development, commercial, and hotel uses.

With the details of Wolff's proposal in the public eye, it's more important than ever to make your voice heard! Your e-mails to San Jose's elected officials are vital now, and even more so is your presence at the June 12 City Council meeting. We want a sea of Earthquakes blue in the gallery that day, so please do whatever you can to attend. Youth team coaches, this is a great opportunity to stand up for soccer and to give your kids a great civics lesson. Let's make sure that the City Council knows how much we all care about bringing soccer back to San Jose! Complete details on the City Council meeting under "Upcoming Events" in the right-hand column. We hope to see you there!

The more immediate event is, of course, Saturday's USA/China match and the post-game SSV fundraiser, brought to you by SSV and Earthquakes Soccer, LLC. David Alioto of Earthquakes Soccer will be conducting a Q and A on their progress towards bringing soccer back, perhaps as soon as next year! We expect to have several former Earthquakes in attendance and have delivered our invitation to U.S. Soccer in hopes of getting some of our national team players to stop by. We're receiving new raffle prizes and silent auction items on a daily basis, so this promises to be a great celebration of the past, present, and future of soccer in San Jose!

Further details on the event are available here.


QuAKES in 2008?
(May 24) Sports Illustrated's Jonah Freedman is reporting that the Quakes are nearing a deal to return for 2008. The story comes on the heels of a Bloomberg News piece which says that Lew Wolff has asked MLS to waive its requirement for a stadium commitment before entering the league.

(Bloomberg TV's interview with Wolff, which aired on Friday afternoon, can be heard here. Unfortunately, the broadcast made no mention of soccer or the Earthquakes but instead focuses on baseball. Our guess is that they couldn't fit the soccer content into their time slot, which is why they used it in a published report instead.)

SSV Announces Two Events
(May 23) We have two important events to tell you about today — which we urge you to attend — as well as a couple other items of interest.

The two events will take place Saturday June 2, after the US/China match, and Tuesday, June 12.

We'll start with June 12. That day, during the city council meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 201 E. Santa Clara St., city manager Les White will be presenting details of the city staff's discussions with Lew Wolff regarding the FMC site for a new stadium project as well as the proposed rezoning of the iStar property near the U.S. 101-Highway 85 interchange. While the city council will not be conducting an official vote on the proposal, we nevertheless need to pack the council's chambers with as many Earthquakes fans as we can. PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BE THERE ON JUNE 12 WEARING YOUR QUAKES BLUE!

We understand that the June 12 city council meeting is in the middle of what is a workday afternoon for most of us. This is an extremely important event for the return of the Earthquakes, however, so if you can possibly attend, please do so. If it is simply impossible for you to attend, please make sure to send a message to Mayor Chuck Reed and the San Jose city council members that you support a new stadium for the Quakes. Contact information is provided here. (Thanks, by the way, to those of you who have already done so. We know that your work is being noticed.)

Our second event is this: On Saturday, June 2, we're throwing a party! SSV and Earthquakes Soccer are joining forces for a USA/China post-game blowout at the Britannia Arms in downtown San Jose. For $30, you'll receive admission to the party on the Brit's wonderful outdoor patio, a hamburger or veggie burger cooked on the grill, fries, cole slaw, baked beans, a drink ticket good for a well drink, beer, wine, or soda, and a raffle ticket. Raffle items will include a variety of Quakes, SSV, and USA soccer items, as well as a total of six pairs of tickets to upcoming Oakland A's games. We'll also be holding a silent auction featuring autographed jerseys, signed A's baseballs, and some other great items. David Alioto and Alexa Jontulovich of Earthquakes Soccer are expected to be there, and we're going to issue personal invitations to the players and coaches of the U.S. National Team as well.

There are only 200 tickets available and they're being sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so when they're gone, they're gone. You can purchase your tickets here. THE DEADLINE FOR PURCHASING TICKETS IS WEDNESDAY, MAY 30 AT 2:00 PM. Proceeds from the event will support SSV's continuing mission in serving the soccer community.

Speaking of which, we have a victory to report. On Tuesday, May 15, the San Jose city council voted unanimously to re-name San Jose's Watson Park soccer facility the "Umberto Abronzino Soccer Bowl at Watson Park," an effort which was spearheaded by SSV's Don Gagliardi. Many of you knew Umberto, the National Soccer Hall of Fame member who made an indelible mark on the region's soccer scene before he passed away last year at age 85. We're pleased that we could, in some small way, contribute to his legacy. The full story of how the renaming came about is available on the SSV blog.

Finally, there's one more event we wanted to let you know about, the Bay Area SCORES Corporate Cup, to be played on Saturday, June 9 at Skyline College. SCORES is the only after-school program that uses soccer as the foundation to inspire young people to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students and become agents of change in their communities, and currently serves more than 720 students in 25 public elementary schools in San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and San Pablo. Teams from companies like PayPal, Yahoo!, Jones Day, Bingham McCutchen, Heller Ehrman, Texas Pacific, The Sak and Thomson Corporation are already signed up. For further information, access the Bay Area SCORES web site.

City Identifies Potential Stadium Site
(May 8) As many of you may have seen already, the Mercury News featured a story today on Lew Wolff's interest in a piece of property owned by the City of San Jose: the former FMC Corp. site near San Jose International Airport. Now that it has been made public, we can confirm that this is one of the sites currently being pursued by Earthquakes Soccer for a new stadium.

After reviewing some of the details of the site, we at SSV only have one question: Why wasn't this the top choice from the start? This site, which is immediately northwest of the I-880/Coleman Avenue interchange in San Jose and can be viewed here, offers great freeway exposure and access as well as a nearby CalTrain stop. The future San Jose BART extension will pass right by this location as well. Considering the fact that this parcel has been vacant for years and is currently blighted, with plenty of knee-high weeds, it looks like a fantastic location for a stadium.

We are urging all concerned soccer fans to tell the elected representatives of the City of San Jose that you want to see the Earthquakes playing in a new stadium. Your voice is important and we know that the support of the soccer community can make a big difference. Please go to our "Send a Message" page, where you'll find the contact information for San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and all the city council members, and let them know that you support a new soccer stadium.

 

The Earthquakes' Future is still in San Jose
(April 25) It's been almost a week since negotiations ended between Earthquakes and A's investor Lew Wolff and San Jose State University, and we've been a bit surprised at the reactions we're seeing from some Quakes fans. Comments have been left on the blog stating that the Earthquakes will never return to San Jose without SJSU's cooperation and we've received e-mails stating the same opinion.

Let's be clear about this: Something dramatic did happen last week. The Earthquakes and San Jose State, who have shared 30-plus years of history, are going their separate ways. For as long as their has been a San Jose Earthquakes, they've played in Spartan Stadium, and we all know what great memories we have of that era. Not the part about the M*A*S*H-era sound system, or the too-skinny field, or the fact that even after the field widening project, it was impossible for most fans to see any action on the near-side touch line. Spartan instead will be remembered for being the site of George Best's run through the Fort Lauderdale Strikers defense to score an amazing goal, the greatest game in MLS history (AKA "5-2"), and the Casbah's display of the big Quakes flag after every goal. We all have had great experiences at Spartan, and we will always have those memories. That hasn't changed.

What has changed is this: When the new Earthquakes stadium is built, it will be designed with the primary purpose of being a soccer stadium. We won't have to deal with painted end zones, schedule conflicts with Spartan football, or turf that's damaged from college gridiron games. There is no longer a need to compromise on the design—it will be a soccer stadium, first and foremost. After over 30 years, the Earthquakes will have a place to call their own. We think that's pretty exciting.

All indications are that Earthquakes Soccer is making it their top priority to do this in San Jose. As we noted in our e-mail announcing the end of the SJSU negotiations, David Alioto, executive VP of Earthquakes Soccer, told us "...we are still very excited about our options in San Jose. We are very committed in bringing the MLS back to San Jose!"

The same information appeared two days later in a story in the Sacramento Bee, after a reporter spoke to both Wolff and Alioto:

While the Sacramento area is considered a soccer hotbed, Wolff will first explore other possibilities with San Jose where MLS had previously built a fan base, said David Alioto, executive vice president of Earthquakes Soccer, the group trying to bring an MLS team back to Northern California... "The city of San Jose has been really helpful to us. We will try to work with them first."

We don't know how they're going to do it or where but we think they've earned enough trust from all of us to take this statement at face value. They've told both SSV and the press that San Jose is still their target, and we believe them.

That leaves one question: When will we hear news of their progress? You might recall that almost all of the public statements about the SJSU negotiations came from the university. As demonstrated by the proposed A's stadium in Fremont, it appears that Wolff and co. like to keep their projects out of the limelight until they are ready to present them to the world. There was a lot of speculation in the press about the A's deal, but the A's didn't comment until they had their big press conference with Cisco announcing their plans. Now, the citizens of Fremont are getting their opportunity for input on the proposal. It's our guess that they'll probably do something similar for the Earthquakes — they'll get all their ducks in a row so that they can present the whole picture to the public at once. That way, everyone will have the correct information about what is being offered and will be able to form an opinion based on the facts, rather than leaked information that the press has scrounged up from anonymous sources.

In the meantime, if you haven't told the San Jose City Council that you support the Earthquakes, it's still a great time to do so. All the information you need is on our "Send a Message" page. As always, we'll do our best to keep you informed of any new developments.


SJSU Says No; PLAN B on TAP
(April 19) We've just received an e-mail from Earthquakes Soccer that tells us that San Jose State has come to the conclusion that they do not want to go forward with the proposed stadium.

David Alioto, executive vice president of Earthquake Soccer, tells us that "This was an amicable parting of ways and we have nothing but respect for Don Kassing and the people at SJSU. While we are disappointed in the outcome, we are still very excited about our options in San Jose. We are very committed in bringing the MLS back to San Jose!"

We echo those feelings. The Earthquakes and San Jose State have a long history together in Spartan Stadium, and it would have been nice to see that history continue in a new stadium.

The timing of this decision has taken us somewhat by surprise, as we announced yesterday that we expected negotiations to continue for some time.While the timing was unexpected, Earthquakes Soccer has prepared for this outcome and work has been underway for some time on alternative sites, any one of which would fit the bill for a new stadium where the Earthquakes would be the primary tenant.

 

SSV Launches Letter Writing Campaign: It's Time to Speak Up
(April 12) When Lew Wolff appeared before the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce last August, he quipped that if you invented a cure for cancer, some people would find reason to complain about it. We thought he was joking, but he looks pretty insightful now.

Normally, those who complain about good ideas don't have much influence, but when those people run the local newspaper, their criticisms can influence more people than their ideas merit. In the last few days, the Mercury News has unleashed a barrage of ill-conceived critiques and half-baked analyses of Wolff's efforts to negotiate a stadium for the Earthquakes and San Jose State football.

The latest, most laughable example comes from columnist Scott Herhold, who comes out against the idea of rezoning land that Wolff is reportedly interested in because providing city services to the new residents could cost the City of San Jose “around $88 million” over the next 40 years. He then apologizes because his figure “doesn't include the economic benefit of the soccer stadium.”

It's too bad he didn't ask us. Last month, SSV released a Visitor Projection Report which shows the potential economic benefits of an Earthquakes soccer stadium. The nine-page report, which is supported by over 140 pages of appendices, shows that over just a ten year period, there will be almost six million visitors to the stadium, with a potential economic impact to the City of San Jose of three quarters of a billion dollars ($750,000,000). And that doesn't include the economic benefits that San Jose State University will receive! Even if we're wrong by half, it's clear that Herhold's “back-of-the envelope estimate” paints a woefully incomplete picture of the economics at work here. We've already distributed this report to the San Jose City Council and several members of the local media, and the editors at the Mercury News are certainly welcome to additional copies. (You can download your own copy here.)

We are miffed with the Merc but we're not asking you to write letters to the editor—the Mercury News will realize their errors in due time. The people whose opinions matter are our elected officials. We trust that they will recognize the economic benefits of a new stadium and soccer complex, but they need to know that the public is behind them. Please e-mail or call San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and the City Council to let them know that you support the proposed soccer/SJSU stadium. Our Send a Message page has all the information you'll need.

 

SSV Releases Visitor Projection Report as Stadium Negotiations Continue
(March 25) We have an update on a number of items for you today.

- As has been reported in several places, negotiations continue between Earthquakes Soccer and San Jose State University for a potential new stadium. While we can't provide any new information about the talks, we understand that Lew Wolff attended Thursday night's NCAA Tournament basketball games in San Jose with SJSU president Don Kassing, former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery, and John Fisher, who like Wolff is part owner of the Oakland A's.

- On Friday, SSV released a comprehensive Visitor Projection Report (VPR) which shows the economic benefits of an Earthquakes soccer stadium and field complex. The nine-page report, which is supported by over 140 pages of appendices, is available on the Soccer Silicon Valley web site.

The findings are impressive. The VPR shows that over a ten year period, there will be almost six million visitors to the stadium, with a potential economic impact to the City of San Jose of three quarters of a billion dollars ($750,000,000) from the stadium complex.

The projection of the number of visitors is based on a study by San Jose's Sports Facility Task Force and other sources while the economic impact from the stadium complex is based on a model provided by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau. Thanks go to SSV board member Ned Zuparko for spearheading the effort.

- One of our hopes is that the VPR will provide the media with a better idea of the broad-ranging benefits that a stadium and soccer complex would provide the community, whether it's youth or adult soccer players, fans of international or club soccer, local hoteliers and restaurateurs, or simply people who would like to take a little more pride in their city. Some of the coverage we've seen lately appears to be aimed more at stirring up controversy than informing the public in an even-handed manner. So, if you're like us and see a story that strikes you as unfair, be sure to send a letter to the editor and let them know what you think.

- Some of you may have seen our report on SSV's donation of money for soccer balls to the South Bay Blue Star Moms, who are mothers of local men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are supporting a new drive to obtain additional soccer balls for Iraqi children. If you'd like to make a cash contribution (not equipment), contact Peggy Richardson of the South Bay Blue Star Moms.

- A public hearing on the application by SSV and a number of other members of the soccer community to re-name San Jose's Watson Park soccer bowl the "Umberto Abronzino Soccer Bowl at Watson Park" is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 at 5:40 p.m. in room W-120 in San Jose City Hall. If any of you would like to support the cause, feel free to attend.

- Finally, we have one last item. We're not saying this to tease you or to get you too excited, because there's still work to be done on the stadium deal, but Don Gagliardi and Jay Hipps, president and vice president of SSV, have seen some conceptual stadium drawings and they are spectacular! Sorry we can't say anything more specific, but we will add that no one will ever fault the men and women behind Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, for a lack of ambition. To employ a baseball metaphor—and why not?—they are swinging for the fences.

Media Reports Earthquakes Soccer Closing in on Stadium Deal, Women's Soccer Franchise
(February 28) It's been a busy month and we have several items to share with you today.

- First off, the San Jose Mercury News reports today that a deal is close for a new stadium for the Earthquakes and San Jose State's football and soccer programs. (Please see the article for details.) You'll notice that there is no official comment in the story from Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, and that means our lips are sealed as well, except to say that we applaud the progress that has been made so far.

- But wait, there's more! Fans of professional women's soccer in the Bay Area have reasons for optimism as well. ESPNsoccernet's Jeff Carlisle is reporting that Earthquakes Soccer is pursuing an expansion team in a revamped WUSA. The story says the team would begin play in 2009 "contingent on a stadium being built in the San Francisco Bay Area and an MLS team returning to San Jose."

- Of course, there are opportunities to see soccer in the Bay Area even sooner. On behalf of the Earthquakes and Club Quake, we'd like to thank everyone who purchased tickets to the March 28 match between Mexico and Ecuador which will take place at the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. We had hoped to sell at least 200 tickets for the Quakes fan section, so everyone involved was overwhelmed when the final count came to 372, filling Section 122 in the Coliseum and spilling over into Section 121 as well. (The Earthquakes were particularly impressed with this response.)

- The latest item on the summer's soccer calendar is a match between the U.S. and China, to be played on June 2 in the friendly confines of Spartan Stadium. This will be the team's last tune-up match before they play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, so we are hopeful that we'll see a full-strength U.S. side with representatives from both MLS and European leagues. Tickets are on sale now.

- Finally, a public hearing on the application by SSV and a number of other members of the soccer community to re-name San Jose's Watson Park soccer bowl the "Umberto Abronzino Soccer Bowl at Watson Park" is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 at 5:40 p.m. in room W-120 in San Jose City Hall. If any of you would like to support the cause, feel free to attend.

Earthquakes Soccer to Host Mexico/Ecuador Match March 28
(February 1) The time is now to make your reservations for discount tickets to see Mexico vs. Ecuador at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland on Wednesday, March 28.

Many of you will recall seeing these two teams playing in the 2006 World Cup, where they both advanced to the Round of 16. Mexico was knocked out by Argentina in one of the best matches of the tournament while Ecuador met their end on a David Beckham free kick for England. While this is a great opportunity to see two great teams, this is also going to be a great event for SSV members. Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, is sponsoring the match and they want the world to know that the Bay Area still supports the Quakes and the beautiful game.

Please join us for an evening of great soccer, support the game, support Earthquakes Soccer and WEAR YOUR BLUE.

Earthquakes Soccer Reports “Positive Developments in Stadium Talks
(December 18) It's almost a year to the day that MLS and AEG announced that the players and staff of the San Jose Earthquakes would be relocated to Houston. Besides the pain of our loss, we were left that day with two things: the knowledge that the legacy of the Earthquakes would remain here and a faint glimmer of hope that we would all see the Earthquakes take the field again someday, with new owners and a new home.

That day has not arrived yet but we believe it is getting closer. Lew Wolff and the staff of Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, have been working diligently behind the scenes on a stadium deal and told SSV late last week that they have developed "a lot of momentum" and that there are many "positive developments." The fact that you have not been hearing about this progress in the press does not mean that it has not been substantial.

The efforts by all the parties involved are delicate in nature and as such no announcements are ready to be made. However, when the time is right, you will know about it. Rest assured that we at SSV are very encouraged with the progress made to date.

Earthquakes Soccer has been working on other fronts as well. Earlier this month, David Alioto and Ann Rodriguez — the organization's executive vice president and business development manager — spent several days in New York meeting with league officials including Commissioner Don Garber and deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis.

Last year, the winter holidays were dimmed by the loss of our team. This year, they may glow just a bit brighter in anticipation of what is yet to come. Enjoy the holidays and we will provide you with new information whenever we can.




Earthquakes Soccer Grand Opening Draws Hundreds to Fairmont
(November 9) Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Grand Opening of Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, last night at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose. Our full report, including a number of photos, can be found on the SSV Blog.


SSV Members Invited to Earthquakes Soccer Grand Opening
(October 24) SSV members are invited to come see the Quakes' new offices at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose on the Paseo de San Antonio. Mark your calendar for the grand opening of Earthquakes Soccer, LLC, on Wednesday, November 8 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Earthquakes and/or business attire is recommended.


Wolff to Chamber of Commerce: “Soccer is a Serious Business for Us
(August 31) Yesterday, Oakland A's and Earthquakes Soccer managing partner Lew Wolff addressed a crowd of nearly 200 at the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce of his plans to bring soccer back to the Bay Area. Our full report, including audio of Wolff's interview with Chamber president Pat Dando, is available on the SSV Blog. Our thanks to the Chamber for being such great hosts.

 

SSV Holds successful meeting with Earthquakes soccer, lLC
(August 10) Yesterday, SSV's president Don Gagliardi and board member Jay Hipps met with David Alioto, executive vice president of Earthquakes Soccer, LLC; his assistant Alexa Jontulovich, who played college soccer at Cal Poly SLO; and Ann Rodriguez, director of business development for Earthquakes Soccer and a former staffer for the WUSA's Washington Freedom. It was a very positive meeting and we at SSV are more convinced than ever that Lew Wolff and his group will be successful in their goal to build a new soccer stadium and bring MLS back to the Bay Area. Perhaps more importantly, they are committed to doing this in a first-class manner, so not only do we think that we will be getting a new stadium, but we think we will be getting a stadium that Earthquakes fans and players deserve. No site has been selected yet but they have retained Rossetti Architects, who also designed the Chicago Fire's new stadium, for the project. We will be submitting your stadium wish lists to the Earthquakes soon, so please visit the Soccer Silicon Valley blog if you haven't provided your comments yet.

Alioto and co. added that a large youth soccer complex is part of their plans. It may or may not be on the same site as the stadium but it is their goal to create new fields which would serve as the Earthquakes' training center as well as a new hub for youth soccer in the region.

We are also happy to report that Earthquakes Soccer intends to work closely with SSV and have already solicited our input on a number of issues. We are honored and pleased that we will have the chance to work with such a great organization.

In other news:

- We also want to report some success we've had recently in putting soccer in the spotlight. On Wednesday, August 2, SSV board member Freddy Adames was interviewed on Univision's 6:00 news about SSV's work and recent progress. This is the first visible sign of work that SSV is undertaking to create a higher profile in the local Hispanic community.

Also, the San Jose Mercury News ran an article last week about 1stACT, a new consortium of South Bay cultural, entertainment and business leaders who are proposing a $1 billion investment in downtown San Jose. Among the items on their list, thanks to SSV's input, is a potential soccer stadium. In addition to the article linked above, the Merc ran an editorial endorsing the group's efforts.

- If you're looking for a soccer clinic, check out those run by former Quakes Dwayne DeRosario, Ian Russell, and Richard Mulrooney. The next DeRosario camp takes place at Thanksgiving. Russell's upcoming schedule as well as that of the Mulrooney Soccer Academy can be viewed at the above links.

- Finally, CYSA, “The CW Bay Area,” and Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland are sponsoring the Celebrate Soccer Tour, a campaign which will highlight the positive role of the CYSA in the region. Spots on youth soccer and sports medicine tips from Children's Hospital are being aired on CW Bay Area (broadcast channel 44/cable 12) and the tour will visit a number of CYSA youth soccer tournaments throughout August, handing out free sports water bottles, providing helpful sports medicine advice and giving young players a chance to learn while having fun between tournament games. For details, download the press release.

SSV Solicits Input on Stadium Design as A's Effort Gears Up
(July 21) It's been over a month since our last update and, as you may know if you've been reading the local sports pages, a lot has happened in that time. Here's a summary of the news as well as an update on SSV's activities:

- Lew Wolff and John Fisher, owners of the Oakland A's, have established Earthquakes LLC, the official corporate entity which will be working to engineer a stadium deal and re-launch the Quakes. The new organization will be opening an office in the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose on September 1 and already has its first two employees: David Alioto, formerly vice president of sales and marketing for the A's, and Ann Rodriguez, a recent Stanford MBA who has experience with sports sponsorship, business development and financial analysis, including a stint with the Washington Freedom of the WUSA. Although we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Rodriguez, SSV has been in communication with Alioto, executive vice president of the new venture, and he is enthusiastic about working with us. We expect to be meeting with him shortly to discuss how our organizations might benefit each other (the brick campaign, for example) and to share ideas we hope to hear from you (more about this below).

- SSV has met recently with both San Jose mayoral candidates, Chuck Reed and Cindy Chavez, and both of them have expressed interest in working with Wolff and Fisher. We are satisfied with their cooperation at this time and we have informed them both that we will not be officially endorsing either candidate.

- SSV has also met with the Terry Fisher and Dmitry Piterman, owners of a proposed Santa Clara USL first division team. While SSV's goal is to get top level professional soccer back to the Bay Area, and that means MLS and the Earthquakes, we support all things soccer and will do all we can that is consistent with this goal to assist the USL franchise in their efforts.

- SSV vice president Tony Huston has resigned from the board of directors for personal reasons. The rest of us on the board wish to thank him for all his hard work over the past two years and wish him the best of success going forward, particularly with his engagement to his fiancee, Eileen. Congratulations to you both!

- On a sad note, we at SSV would like to mark the passing of local soccer legend and National Soccer Hall of Fame member Umberto Abronzino, who passed away on July 1 at the age of 85. We would like to express our condolences to his family and our sincere gratitude for everything he did to help the sport grow.

That's the news update. We're also looking for your input on something that we know many of you have already thought about: What would you like to see in a new stadium for the Quakes?

Michael Crowley, president of the A's, tells us that they have looked at several sites in the Bay Area and are beginning to address the design of a soccer stadium. While we are obviously grateful for any stadium that the Quakes can call home, we think we should take the opportunity to take the initiative and share the collected wisdom of our members with the Quakes as they take this important step. So, if you have specific ideas about what you would like to see, please visit the SSV blog and leave a comment.

Wolff, Fisher Acquire Option on Quakes
(May 24) As announced in a press conference held today, investors Lew Wolff and John Fisher of the Oakland A's have acquired a three-year option to purchase the Earthquakes as a Major League Soccer expansion team. See the official MLS press release here.

We are all very excited about this news. But we caution you that there remains a long road ahead before we are eating hot dogs and smelling the fresh cut grass while watching our re-born Quakes in action. We will need your continued support and 'We Believe' attitude as we move forward. SSV stands ready as always to lend the fans' full assistance to Mr. Wolff in making his—and our—vision a reality. In the meantime, as always, we will keep you updated through our email alerts as quickly and completely as we are able.


SSV Update: A Field Trip, World Cup, and More
(May 23) We continue to plug along with our efforts to bring back the Earthquakes. We hope to have some news on positive developments for you shortly. Keep the faith. In the meantime, we want to alert you to several upcoming opportunities to experience soccer and the Quakes community.

• Club Quake is organizing a trip on June 24 to watch Dwayne De Rosario, Ronald Cerritos, Alejandro Moreno, Brad Davis, Eddie Robinson, Pat Onstad, and a bunch of other people you know play at the Home Depot Center in Carson. If you want to go, they need your reservation by May 23. For details, see the Club Quake web site.

• For those of you interested in checking out a match a bit closer to home, we'll remind you that the San Jose Frogs and San Francisco Seals are another option. As noted above in the Bay to Breakers item, the Seals will be playing in Livermore on May 21. We'll add that the City of Livermore has declared May 21 to be Troy Dayak Day, so this should also be a good opportunity to cheer a former Quake.

• Sunday Soccer Skills Clinics and Goalie Training – Each Sunday Ian Russell, Ronnie Ekelund and Santa Clara University goalie training staff will be at Saratoga High School from 4:00 to 5:30 to work with players interested in improving their game. Boys and girls ages 6 – 16. No advance registration required. Cost $30 per session. More information is available here.

• Ian Russell will be hosting Adult Soccer Camps this summer. Camps are a week long and are for any adult wanting to sharpen their skills or just learn the basics. Ian will focus on proper techniques for dribbling, passing, receiving, heading, crossing and finishing. Each day will end with small sided games for fun and fitness.

• Ian Russell and Ronnie Ekelund will be hosting coed Youth Soccer Camps this summer. See their web site for dates and registration information.

Dwayne DeRosario will be returning to the bay area for his 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Soccer Camp for beginning/intermediate and advanced players.

SSV Update: Lew Wolff Meeting
(April 9) SSV met on April 4 with Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff and team president Michael Crowley. We cannot disclose everything discussed. However, we can say that Wolff said he is very interested in pursuing the purchase of an expansion San Jose Earthquakes franchise, as evidenced by the fact that he took the time to meet and speak candidly with us for an hour-and-half. It is clear, however, that an essential part of the equation, as it has always been, is obtaining traction on a new stadium. Wolff is open to a variety of venues, including downtown San Jose, San Jose State South campus, Santa Clara and Fremont, and he is or has been meeting with key people involved with each of these venues. We are very excited about the situation as it is developing, but we caution you that there is a long road ahead—possibly including a public vote for a stadium in San Jose—before we will be watching our beloved Quakes again. We will pass along additional information when it becomes available.


SSV U
pdate: General Meeting
(February 27) We were pleased to host over 75 members at the Almaden Brit on Saturday afternoon. For those of you who were not there, we have an audio recording of the proceedings which you can access on the SSV blog. It’s two hours long, so we thought we would also give a brief written overview of what transpired.

SSV president Colin McCarthy announced that he was stepping aside as president to devote more time to his family (he recently became a father of a baby boy, Owen) and his law practice. He will still be actively involved in SSV, heading up the committee on potential investors. Colin has existing relationships with a number of the potential investors (including Ajax America), cultivated over the last couple years. He is looking for additional SSV members to assist on the committee. Reply to this e-mail if you may be interested.

SSV vice president Don Gagliardi assumed the presidency of the group. Tony Huston will be the new vice president.

SSV is strategically adding four new board members, bringing the board to a total of 11: (1) Lori Hibbett, who will be our liason to the youth soccer community; (2) Dave Chamberlain, South Bay Adult Soccer League, who will be our liason to the adult soccer community; (3) Freddy Adames, who has been our liason to the Hispanic soccer community; and (4) Ned Zuparko, who has been actively involved in our efforts to work with San Jose’s chamber of commerce and convention and visitors bureau. We are open to additional board members, recognizing that the board must remain small to be nimble. Nevertheless, SSV is cognizant that it represents all of the thousands of Earthquakes fans who are its members, and we intend to be as open as possible in sharing information and in utilizing the talents of our members. WE, and we use the term advisedly, are all in this together.

McCarthy and Gagliardi gave an overview of where things stand currently with regard to bringing back the Earthquakes. The board remains encouraged that the Oakland A’s are interested in purchasing the team. McCarthy reported on his lengthy and productive conversation with A’s president Michael Crowley in which Crowley stated that there was a serious interest on the part of the A’s in this regard. Crowley’s statements were consistent with reports we have received from MLS and from the City of San Jose, who have reported likewise following separate discussions with Lew Wolff of the A’s. SSV is hopeful that the A’s interest will crystallize in something more concrete in short order, but we have no specific timeline at present.

SSV announced that it will shortly be kicking-off a “brick campaign” for a new stadium, similar to efforts for Lambeau Field in Green Bay, and for the Rochester Raging Rhinos and Red Wings minor league soccer and baseball teams. (See the Brick Markers web site for more information on the Green Bay campaign.) Fans would be able to purchase bricks engraved with their names or a personal message, to be incorporated in a new stadium walkway or wall. SSV hopes, consistent with other such efforts, to raise a considerable amount—at least $2 million—in this way to give the fans an opportunity to have a way to memorialize their love of the game and to help defray the cost of a new stadium. We would escrow the purchase price so that it could be refunded in the event a stadium is not built or the bricks are not needed or desired by the team ownership. Purchase information will follow soon.

SSV also announced that it is exploring the concept of a creating a limited liability company (LLC) allowing average fans to invest in the new team. Although MLS will not allow a fan group to be the primary owner of a team, MLS has indicated that it would permit investor syndicates to purchase a minority interest in the team. Our concept is that together with a majority owner (whether the A’s or some other party), and the other minority investors (Ajax and others we have cultivated), the fans themselves should become involved. SSV has explored this idea for some time, but, previous counsel we have received about securities law issues indicated that it would be difficult to proceed. However, we have recently received encouragement in this effort. Quakes fan Paul Marotta, with The Corporate Law Group in Burlingame, who has been in discussions with Gagliardi for several weeks, came to the meeting and told SSV members that he believes a public offering strictly limited to California residences in the form of an LLC, might work for our purposes. The idea is entirely conceptual at this point, and the details need to be sorted out. Again, a formal escrow of funds would be part of the equation in case there is no team to invest in or the league and/or primary ownership is not interested in the fans’ investment. Marotta has offered to provide the corporate legal work pro bono (i.e., for free), and SSV is extremely thankful to him for his generous gesture. Marotta observed that we will likely also need pro bono accounting services (for auditing work), and banking services (to administer the escrow). If any of our members can assist in securing such services, please reply to this e-mail and let us know.

SSV also announced that we may be calling on our membership to assist during this election season in supporting candidates who are friendly to our cause with your votes, donations and/or volunteer participation through, for example, walking precincts to deliver literature. Although SSV does not endorse candidates, we encourage our membership to become informed about who are friends in elected office are and to offer them assistance.

Also, SSV announced its position regarding the environmental impact report (EIR) and anticipated November 2006 San Jose ballot measure for a downtown Major League Baseball stadium. SSV’s position, which we ask all our members to adopt as their own, is that soccer must receive equitable treatment with baseball from the City of San Jose. Whatever the City of San Jose does to promote bringing Major League Baseball to San Jose it must also do to promote bringing back Major League Soccer to San Jose. We are not opposed to baseball, but if soccer does not receive equitable treatment, we ask that you act and vote accordingly.

SSV also reiterated its desire to support the Bay Area soccer community in all of its manifestations. We must remain united as one community. In unity there is strength. SSV will be supporting the Frogs and the Seals and the needs for recreational fields throughout the Bay Area. Let us know how we can help.

SSV Update: SSV, MLS Move Forward
(February 1) SSV's Founding Members and Club Quake president Michelle Selincourt met last Thursday with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and league COO Mark Abbott. We covered a variety of topics in the course of the 90-minute meeting and are now in the process of building a relationship through which we can work in concert with MLS to bring about a rebirth of the Earthquakes. It appears to us that MLS is serious about achieving this goal and that they realize SSV is an asset and will play a major part in bringing the Earthquakes back. We were pleased with the progress made at this meeting and look forward to a continuing dialog and partnership with MLS.

We would also like to draw your attention to the shirts donated as an SSV fundraiser by Brian Hall of California Custom, the long-time uniform supplier of the Quakes. Details and a photo are here.

SSV Update: The End… and perhaps a Beginning
(December 16) This is a very sad day for the city of San Jose and for soccer fans around the Bay Area. Despite our best efforts and those of our members, the City of San Jose was unable to reach an agreement with local buyers to help keep the team here.  The efforts were commendable, and while the environment and circumstances under which they were acting were not ideal, many council members and City staff worked very hard to try to keep the team here. We’ve been working for almost two years on this and won a one-year reprieve for the team in 2004, so we are obviously disappointed that the Earthquakes are being relocated.

We have been contacted by many of our members who are sad, frustrated, and angry that this has taken place. We share those emotions.  We are sad, frustrated and disappointed that the team has left town. But as the dust settles on the immediate relocation, all fans of professional soccer in the Bay Area must look to the future.  We must come to terms with the move and continue in pursuit of our goal of finding a buyer for the team and helping them create a permanent home here for soccer.

While there is a temptation to want to blame someone or some entity for this problem, we at SSV will not give in to that temptation.  Although we do not agree with the decision to relocate this team and disagree with some of the decisions that have led to this scenario, now is not the time to assess blame.  Now is the time to move forward and find a solution that works to keep the Earthquakes’ legacy alive.  We thank the City of San Jose for its past and continuing efforts to keep the Earthquakes in San Jose.  We thank AEG for providing the Bay Area with top quality professional soccer for these past few years. We thank SVS&E for all their work in trying to acquire the team, as well as Ajax America and the other individual investors who stepped forward. We thank AYSO, CYSA, SBASL, and all of the Bay Area’s soccer leagues for their support and efforts to keep the team here.  We thank Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, and council members Jamie Matthews and Kevin Moore, for their unwavering support of soccer in the Silicon Valley and their willingness to “roll up their sleeves” to find a solution that works for all parties. 

Most of all, we thank you, our members, for your support.

We have been approached by the City of San Jose with an offer to become signatories on the memorandum of understanding that they hope to execute with Major League Soccer. It is our expectation that we will be brought to the table in this process and, in so doing, become the official caretakers of the Earthquakes’ name and records. Any such memorandum of understanding must allow for the Earthquakes’ legacy to be available to any city which can offer the Earthquakes a permanent home in the Bay Area.  Thus, we expect and hope that AEG will fulfill its promise to leave the Earthquakes’ legacy where it belongs: with the team’s fans.  And we look forward to the good faith efforts of Major League Soccer and Commissioner Don Garber to assist Soccer Silicon Valley in bringing back MLS and the Earthquakes to Silicon Valley. 

Finally, we have a message for the soccer fans in the city of Houston. The team you are inheriting from San Jose is the best in MLS. The players, coaches and staff are not only good at their jobs, though—they are also fine people. Although it grieves us greatly to lose them, we would ask that you recognize the tremendous gift that you have been given. Please support them as we have supported them.

SSV Update: The End of the Road?
(December 14) The roller coaster ride that we have all been on for the better part of two years is, in all likelihood, about to come to an end.

Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), the group that manages the Sharks and one of the investors we have been working with for over a year, has been unable to work out a deal to keep the Earthquakes here for 2006, despite their best efforts. We understand that AEG intends to move the team and is expected to make an announcement in a press conference on Friday in Houston.

There is a bit of hope. During our time on this project, a number of investors, several of whom are high-ranking executives in publicly-traded companies, have come to us and expressed a desire to team with other investors in purchasing the Earthquakes. Many of these investors have met with SVS&E, who were willing to serve as the lead investor in the venture and who have an ongoing business relationship with AEG. SSV's board members are working with these investors to determine their willingness to purchase and operate the team.

We have already petitioned MLS and AEG for ownership of the Earthquakes' legacy—the team's name, colors, trophies, and history—if the team is relocated. When we first approached AEG with this idea in August of 2004, they indicated that they would be willing to do this. We expect that it is still true now.

If the quality and passion of a team's fans were the only barometer of its success, the Earthquakes would be recognized as one of the best teams anywhere and the shining light of Major League Soccer. Unfortunately, the economic reality is that without a stadium, the Earthquakes cannot continue as a viable business.

Thank you as always for your support. We will continue to keep you updated as events unfold.If you'd like to be kept informed of further developments, please join SSV and we'll add you to our e-mail list.

SSV Update: Breakdown
(December 13) As we told our members in an e-mail last night, the Mercury News reports today that negotiations between the City of San Jose and SVS&E have broken down.

We want you to know that SSV is still working with local municipalities, investors, and other organizations to find a solution that will keep the team here. Your support has opened many doors—we thank you for that—and we're focusing our efforts on concrete solutions that have resulted, in part, from those efforts.

We may be asking for your support in the coming week. Please stand by and be prepared to hit the phones, e-mails, and fax machines one more time should the need arise.

We will pass along additional information as it becomes appropriate.

SSV Update: Deal Delayed
(December 10) As we noted in an e-mail to our members last night, the Mercury News reports today that the anticipated discussion of the Quakes' stadium proposal will not take place at the San Jose City Council meeting this coming Tuesday. We will pass along additional information as the situation warrants.

SSV Update: A Standing Ovation
(December 7) We want to send our thanks to everyone who attended last night's meeting, watched it, or even just crossed their fingers for a good outcome.

It was a magical night. About 200 soccer supporters made it to the meeting, turning what had been a sparsely-populated Council Chambers into a standing-room-only event. Over 20 speakers stepped forward to encourage the San Jose City Council to do whatever they could to help keep the Quakes in town. What was most impressive about the speakers were the variety of stories they told. Everyone had great reasons why they wanted the team to stay and, despite the large number of comments, rarely was the same topic covered more than once. All in all, we provided a wonderful overview of the many-faceted jewel that is the local soccer community.

Video of the meeting has been posted on the City of San Jose's web site. We spoke during the "Open Forum" portion of the Council's evening meeting, which is the last item under the pop-up menu.

SSV Update: One Week and Counting
(November 29) SSV sent out the following message to its members this evening:

We're exactly one week away from the December 6 San Jose City Council meeting and it's more important than ever that we have a good turnout. The City Council holds evening meetings twice each month and this is likely to be our only opportunity before the team's fate is decided to show that there is broad public support for the Council's efforts to help keep the Earthquakes here. (If you haven't seen the front page of today's Mercury News, you might be interested in this story.)

We want a show of support that is overwhelmingly positive. Just showing up is important—try to wear Earthquakes blue so the Council can tell why you're there. We are also encouraging anyone who is interested to address the Council during the "Open Forum" portion of the meeting, speaking on why the Quakes are important to them and to the community. We want you to implore the Council to do everything in their power to keep the team here.

You will have lots of help with this effort. The Founding Members of SSV will be there, stating the case for soccer and the Quakes as we have done for most of the last two years. Former Earthquakes star and general manager Johnny Moore will speak, as will his former teammate Easy Perez (now a local attorney). We are expecting other VIPs from the soccer community, too. If you would like to speak and are looking for ideas, we've posted some on our blog. (Please remember that each speaker is only allowed two minutes.)

Plans for the evening are still developing but here's what we know so far. We will begin gathering in the plaza outside City Hall at 5:45-6:00 pm, where we will take the opportunity to cheer and sing for a while before the meeting starts at 7:00. Those wishing to speak during the Council meeting will fill out cards with their names and other relevant information. Once the meeting begins, we'll wait for the Open Forum portion of the meeting to express our opinions. We'd be thrilled if everyone got there early and stayed for the whole meeting, but if you can't get there by 7:00 or have to leave early, come anyway. The important thing is that we represent the soccer community in numbers.

We're looking forward to seeing everybody next Tuesday night. We've always believed. On Tuesday, we act.

San Jose City Council Meeting
7:00 pm, December 6
San Jose City Hall
200 East Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Map
Parking is available underneath City Hall (entrance off South 6th Street) or in the Fourth Street Garage behind City Hall (enter off of 4th Street).

Oh, and one last thing -- it's still a good idea to send letters, e-mails, and faxes to the elected officials in San Jose. If you haven't done so recently, please do so again. Information is available here.

SSV Update: A Call To ActioN!
(November 15) SSV sent out the following message to its members this afternoon:

Dear SSV member:

We need your voice.

MLS has issued a statement today indicating that, if no local ownership solution is found in the next 30 days, the Board of Governors has unanimously approved relocating the Earthquakes to Houston or some other city.

This news is certainly upsetting but we take it as a positive. If the league and AEG were not hopeful that a deal could be completed successfully, today's announcement would have been simply that the Earthquakes were moving and that the decision was final. Instead, MLS is giving everyone involved a chance to make the final push to bring this to a successful conclusion. It is very similar to the deadline which was recently set for Toronto to join the league -- a deadline which the government officials and the investors there met successfully.

Most importantly, it gives us a final chance to make our voices heard in this matter. The investors with whom SSV has been working for over a year are still pushing forward. The only item in question is the stadium. Local elected officials in both San Jose and Santa Clara are aware of the situation and are working to find a necessary solution. It's time for us to encourage them to do just that.

We have two requests to make of you:

First, we need you and all the soccer fans you know to e-mail, telephone, write, and fax the elected officials who have a potential role to play in this. Specifically, we are asking you to contact officials from San Jose and the City of Santa Clara. The contact information for these officials is available here. We have updated the sample letters there if you would like to use those as a guide. In any case, please let them know that we need their support. (By the way, there's no reason you can't send an e-mail, call on the phone, and write a letter, too.)

Secondly, please set aside the evening of Tuesday, December 6 to attend a San Jose City Council meeting with a thousand or so of your closest friends: your fellow Earthquakes fans and SSV members. The City Council will be holding their regularly scheduled meeting that night and we're going to be there, every one of us wearing Quakes blue. The plan is to let the City Council know first hand just how many people support the Quakes and just how deep our commitment is.Our presence alone will be a good indication of that but we also plan to make use of the Open Forum portion of the meeting, in which any citizen can address the council for two minutes. They may tire of our message after the first couple hundred of us have spoken but we will talk all night if that's what it takes to make our point.

We'll have more details on this as the date grows nearer. In the meantime, please mark your calendar.

Tuesday, December 6
7:00 PM
San Jose City Hall
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Map

We are down to the wire. Let's get this done.

SSV Update: Wheels in Motion
(November 11) SSV sent out the following message to its members tonight:

We've learned that there will be an article in the Mercury News tomorrow that names a potential investor for the Earthquakes as well as potential locations for a new stadium.

As you know, SSV cannot comment specifically on our dealings with investors or municipalities.  But we've worked very hard for the last 18 months to keep the team here, and we still hope to accomplish that. As soon as we can provide details, you'll be the first to hear. 
 
Thanks for keeping the faith. We'll be in touch. 

That story has now been published. If you'd like to be kept informed of further developments, please join SSV and we'll add you to our e-mail list.

SSV Update: Investors in the Driver's Seat
(September 30) SSV sent out the following message to its members today:

Our local investors continue to pursue a deal to purchase the Earthquakes and keep them in the South Bay. While we can't give any specific details on the progress of these negotiations, we can say that the local investors are now driving this process. SSV continues to provide valuable input to the investors and politicians, but we are following the investors' lead on how to bring this long adventure to a successful conclusion. This is a natural step in the evolution of these negotiations and, while the future of the team has not yet been secured, progress continues.

We know many of you want to act to save the team and we very much want to have something positive and constructive for you to do. While the investors have not asked for any action on the part of our members at this time, we have updated the "Send a Message" page of our web site to include the latest information about the construction of other stadiums for MLS teams around the country. (We have also removed the contact information for officials in Milpitas and San Francisco because those cities are not a priority at this time). If you would like to send an e-mail to your elected representatives in San Jose, Santa Clara, and/or Santa Clara County at this time, feel free to do so. Please note, however, that there is no desperate need for action at this time. If and when that need arises, however, we hope that we can count on you to again step forward and provide a voice that equals your passion for soccer and the Earthquakes.


SSV L
aunches Blog Devoted to quakes, Regional Soccer Issues
(September 9) Soccer Silicon Valley has launched a new blog at blog.SoccerSiliconValley.com.

The blog is intended to provide both a source for news and a place to discuss items relating to the present and future of the regional soccer community. One thing that we have learned over and over throughout SSV's existence is that good ideas come from all over and we want to make sure that we provide ample opportunity for every voice among us to be heard. The local soccer community is large (as we demonstrated last August by staging the largest rally in San Jose history) and we want to provide a community forum that will serve as an incubator of ideas and inspiration.

Check it out and let us know what you think. If you have ideas for future topics or come across news items you think we should post, please send us an e-mail.

Ajax America Goes Public with Intention to Invest in Earthquakes
(August 23) Ajax America, the U.S. affiliate of AFC Ajax (Amsterdam), will state in a press release tomorrow that they are interested in acquiring an equity share of the San Jose Earthquakes.

The public airing of this intention marks a break from Ajax America's past policies. SSV has been working with Ajax America for over one year but up until this time have been speaking under the terms of a confidentiality agreement.

Their interest indicates a potential milestone for MLS and for American soccer. AFC Ajax (pronounced EYE-ax) is one of the world's most successful and best known soccer teams. They've won the Dutch championship a staggering 29 times and have won the European Champion's Cup -- the competition now known as the UEFA Champion's League -- four times, most recently in 1995. The Ajax Youth System is known internationally as the pre-eminent developer of young soccer talent in the world. Their interest in American soccer is another indication of the progress that U.S. players and teams are making in raising their prominence on the world's stage.

Ajax's press release will note that they are also interested in a potential investment with the Kansas City Wizards and that they will only invest in one of the two teams. While the threat of losing Ajax as a potential investor might seem like a cause for great concern, it is not necessarily the case. Here's why: Ajax America is not interested in acting as a lead investor -- they want to partner with local investors. This means that if they decide to partner with someone in KC (which we sincerely believe is their second choice after San Jose) they are not jeopardizing the ability of our local, lead investors--with whom SSV is still working, under a non-disclosure agreement--to buy the Earthquakes. The work of these local investors will continue regardless of whether Ajax is part of the picture or not and we have every confidence in their ability to successfully complete a deal to keep the Quakes in Silicon Valley.

To sum up, the American affiliate of one of the most successful teams in Europe is interested in investing in the Earthquakes and, even if they choose to pursue another opportunity, we at SSV feel that the future of the Earthquakes will still be in good, local hands.


SSV Continues Work with Local Investors to Buy Earthquakes
(August 5) SSV sent out this update to its members this afternoon:

We wanted to give you a quick update on our activities since it's been over a month since our last message. As many of you are aware, there have been an increasing number of news reports that say that the team will be going to Houston next year. As we noted in our last message, that is one of AEG's options and it appears that they are preparing earnestly for that contingency.

It is not a foregone conclusion that relocation to Houston will be the team's fate, however. We are still working with an investor and things are moving forward. Unfortunately, there's not much more we can tell you. Because of the confidentiality which is required concerning this process, we are unfortunately restricted in what we can share. We understand that this is frustrating for many of you and we appreciate your continued faith in our efforts. We look forward to the time when we can be completely candid with all of you about the whole process. Until then please accept our apologies for the silence and realize that it is in the best interests of keeping the team here. We realize that this is a difficult time for every Earthquakes fan but please note that we will keep you informed should the situation change significantly.

On to two other items:

- Thanks to everyone who contacted the City of Milpitas regarding their consultant's report recommending the development of a soccer stadium. Thanks to your e-mails, letters, and faxes, we have had a meeting with the vice mayor and brought this report to his attention. This may prove to be an important step should the investors decide to pursue a stadium in that community (several sites in other communities are under consideration as well).

- We realized recently that we never announced the winner of the autographed Earthquakes jersey which we offered the SSV member who put up the most posters promoting the "Bring It Home" rally we held earlier this year in conjunction with the Quakes and the San Jose Sports Authority. The winner was Anne Tucker of Santa Clara. Congratulations, Anne!

Meanwhile, in light of the "80's Night" theme of the recent home game against the MetroStars, we offer you this: "Don't Stop Believin'."


SSV Issues Statement on Future of Earthquakes
(July 1) Today, SSV sent out the following statement to its members and the press:

We are aware of the recent press coverage regarding rumors that Club America and AEG have „an agreement in principleš to transfer ownership of the Quakes and move them to Houston. We spoke with AEG on Tuesday and were told at that time that no deal had been consummated between the two. AEG is well aware of the group of investors that we have been working with and communication continues between the leader of this investment group and those at the highest levels of AEG.

While it is safe to say that the team will be sold this season, we believe it is premature to say to whom.

We apologize for our success in keeping the identities of these investors confidential (per their request) because it subjects all of us to one-sided stories about the team‚s alleged future in south Texas. We can only say that we are confident, although there are no guarantees, that we have the necessary investors to appeal to MLS based on the league‚s past history and their stated goals for the future.

SSV continues work with Investors, Launches Milpitas PR Campaign
(June 20) Last Friday, SSV sent out a newsletter to its members regarding two items.

• SSV continues to work confidentially with investors who are interested in purchasing the Earthquakes. Both SSV and the investors with whom we're working are aware that AEG has stated that a decision on the Quakes will be made in "weeks, not months," and we're all working to meet that timeframe. While nothing is guaranteed, things continue to move forward and everyone at SSV is hopeful of a positive conclusion. In other words, we still believe.

• We also asked our members to contact the elected representatives of the City of Milpitas in hopes that they would explore the suggestions made by a consultant that they hired who recommended the construction of a soccer stadium/entertainment complex and retail center as part of a redevelopment project. While SSV has established relationships with several local municipalities and identified several potential stadium sites, we are always looking to add to the potential choices available.

Lalas Departs for MetroStars as AEG Prepares to Build Stadium in New Jersey

(June 13) Earthquakes president and general manager Alexi Lalas is leaving San Jose for another AEG-owned team, the MetroStars. The move was announced on a conference call today by Lalas and AEG head Tim Leiweke, who both stated that the move was necessary as the MetroStars prepare to announce that they have reached a deal to construct a new stadium in Harrison, NJ. Leiweke added that Lalas' transfer had nothing to do with the future of the Earthquakes and that, with the stadium deal due to be announced in the next two weeks, AEG needed Lalas in New York.

SSV would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Alexi on his move and to thank him for his work with us during his time here.

Over 500 Attend "Bring It Home" Rally
(April 1) Thanks to everyone who attended last night's season kick-off rally at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park in downtown San Jose. During the 90-minute event, the players (including team captain Wade Barrett, seen above, and the newest Earthquake, Danny Califf, below) signed autographs and chatted informally with the crowd of 500-plus who attended the event. Thanks as well to San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, and San Jose City Council members Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Chuck Reed, Forrest Williams, and Ken Yeager, all of whom attended the event. Fans were also treated to speeches from Earthquakes president and general manager Alexi Lalas, former Quakes GM and U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame member Johnny Moore, Quakes coach Dominic Kinnear, SSV president Colin McCarthy, and emcee John Shrader. Thanks go from SSV to our co-sponsors for the event: the City of San Jose, the San Jose Sports Authority, and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Let the season begin and let's bring home our trophy for a third time!


San Jose City Council Votes to Support Earthquakes, Stadium Discussions
(March 16) Yesterday by unanimous vote, the San Jose City Council approved the following action items regarding the San Jose Earthquakes and sports facilities in San Jose:

1) Approved co-sponsorship of the 3/31/05 Season Kick-Off Rally with the San Jose Sports Authority;

2) Adopted a resolution of support for efforts to keep the Quakes in San Jose;

3) Directed City staff to coordinate with other South Bay cities — including Santa Clara — on potential strategies to keep the team here; and

4) Directed staff to pursue a joint planning effort with San Jose State University regarding a South Campus multipurpose housing and recreation district which would include a stadium.

There have been informal discussions between staff and the university which will now be formalized. There will be a report on the planning progress in the next 90 days.

City of San Jose, San Jose State to Discuss Construction of New Stadium, Recreation District
(Mar. 7) At their Tuesday, March 15 session, the San Jose City Council will address preliminary discussions with San Jose State University regarding the potential construction of a new stadium which would accommodate San Jose State football and the Earthquakes as part of a multi-purpose recreation district proposed for the South Campus area. While we understand and emphasize that these discussions are only preliminary, Soccer Silicon Valley wishes to commend both the elected representatives and staff of the City of San Jose as well as the leaders of San Jose State University for their willingness to discuss this creative new solution. We suggest our members who are San Jose residents contact the mayor and your council member to thank them for taking this step.

South Bay Suffering from Shortage of Soccer Fields
(Feb. 19)
Today's San Jose Mercury News reports that the South Bay's existing network of soccer fields is suffering from crowding and overuse. The problem is widespread, says the article, and impacts youth, adult, and even school teams. The situation offers an opportunity for the creation of additional fields as part of a new stadium complex, as SSV has recommended.

SSV Featured in Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper
(Jan. 13) Metro, Silicon Valley's weekly newspaper, has published a lengthy profile on SSV's work and seven founding members. Our thanks to writer Gary Singh and photographer Felipe Buitrago for their fine work in telling our story.

San Jose City Council ApproveS ALMADEN FIELDS
(Dec. 9) At a meeting on Tuesday night, the San Jose City Council approved creation of youth soccer fields in the South Almaden Valley Urban Reserve. The San Jose Unified School District, which owns agricultural land earmarked for a school off McKean Road, had offered to lease the land to the Almaden Youth Association for athletic fields but the plan required an environmental impact report (EIR) and an amendment to San Jose's General Plan to allow the project to proceed. The council voted unanimously to certify the EIR and only one dissenting vote was cast on the necessary zoning amendment.

Founding members John Jussen and Don Gagliardi represented Soccer Silicon Valley before the council. There were over 125 speakers in all, including San Jose Earthquakes president and general manager Alexi Lalas. Congratulations to all on a job well done!

Quakes to Stay in San Jose for 2005
(Nov. 9) As Soccer Silicon Valley announced to our members in an e-mail yesterday, the Earthquakes will be staying in San Jose for the 2005 season, celebrating their 10th season at Spartan Stadium.

That means it's time for Soccer Silicon Valley members to follow up on their pledges to purchase season tickets. Please contact your ticket reprsentative at (408) 985-GOAL, by visiting the Earthquakes Ticket Office at 100 North Almaden Blvd., or by visiting the Earthquakes web site.

SSV, Amanpour Part Ways
(Nov. 2) Soccer Silicon Valley is taking a new step in our efforts to find a local buyer for the Earthquakes. At SSV's request, Tony Amanpour is curtailing his attempt to put together a team of investors and will not actively pursue a deal to purchase the team at this time.

This may seem like the end but it's not. To date, many of the investors with whom Mr. Amanpour has been working have been referred to Mr. Amanpour by SSV. While Soccer Silicon Valley is appreciative of everything that Mr. Amanpour was able to accomplish, including creating a higher profile for our owner search in the local media and helping to obtain an extension to AEG's initial deadline, SSV has decided to follow a different path towards local ownership.

We understand that AEG continues to negotiate with other investors.  We hope and expect that this means the team will be here at least one more season. 

In the meantime, SSV is seeking additional investors interested in either purchasing the team or joining other investors in an effort to do so. SSV will continue to provide information on a variety of subjects to all interested investors, including:

  • Information on the San Jose market;
  • Information on available stadium sites and our progress in creating ongoing relationships with stakeholders;
  • A history of the team's previous management and marketing efforts; and
  • Strategies relating to creating a permanent place for the Earthquakes in the local community.

Thanks for a great year!
(Nov. 1) The San Jose Earthquakes fell in the playoffs to Kansas City on Saturday, bringing the defense of their MLS Cup championship to an end. Despite the loss, Soccer Silicon Valley wishes to thank the team for a great year. Considering all they had to put up with off the field — threats that the team might be sold and moved to Texas, a situation that has still yet to be resolved — they still managed to play some of the best soccer the league has ever seen.

No Resolution yet
(Oct. 29) AEG and the San Jose Earthquakes
today released the following statement concerning the future of the club:

"Negotiations, with regards to the sale of the San Jose Earthquakes, continue with several interested parties, including Tony Amanpour," Earthquakes President & General Manager Alexi Lalas said. "But as of today we have not entered into an agreement nor accepted deposits from any of these parties. Many of the parties involved have indicated a genuine interest in keeping the team in the Bay Area. As these discussions are ongoing and positive in nature, plans for the 2005 season will be announced at a later date."

Soccer Silicon Valley continues to work as a liaison with several investors interested in either purchasing the team themselves or in being part of a group of investors who will buy the team.

Santa Clara City Council Vote to Continue Discussion of Potential Stadium Deal
(Oct. 27) Last night, the Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously to continue discussions regarding a potential stadium for the Earthquakes. A date has not been set for the next update on the stadium but will be submitted by SSV in the coming weeks.


Santa ClAra City Council to Continue Discussion of Potential Stadium Deal
(Sept. 22) On Tuesday, September 21, the Santa Clara City Council voted 5-2 to continue discussions regarding the potential construction of a multi-use soccer/entertainment facility for the Earthquakes. The council agreed that several conditions would need to be met for a deal to go forward, including no use of the city's General Fund and the active participation of Great America in the process. (The city-owned land that is under consideration as a stadium site is currently leased to Great America as an overflow parking lot.) Discussions are scheduled to continue at the October 26 Santa Clara City Council meeting.


N
ew Deadline: October 29
(Sept. 17) Today, SSV received the following e-mail from AEG:

AEG has agreed to extend its discussions with Bay Area businessman and resident Tony Amanpour regarding the sale of the operating rights of the San Jose Earthquakes. Initial discussions with Mr. Amanpour have been positive in nature but at this time no definitive understandings have been reached. If these discussions continue in a positive direction, AEG would expect to be in a position to execute a letter of intent with Mr. Amanpour by October 1, 2004. Mr. Amanpour has stated that his interest in the Earthquakes is contingent upon finding a better stadium solution in the Bay Area. AEG will cooperate fully with Mr. Amanpour in seeking a stadium solution, but is not likely to be an investor in the stadium.

At this time AEG will also continue discussions with other cities regarding a relocation of the team, and with Club America of Mexico regarding the sale of the operating rights of the team. AEG reserves the right to enter into an agreement with any of these parties and is under no contractual obligations to the contrary. AEG expects to be able to announce definitively where the Earthquakes will play in 2005 no later than October 29, 2004.
SSV's Season Ticket Pledge Drive Breaks 1,000 Mark
(Sept. 14) After only three weeks, the Soccer Silicon Valley 2005 Earthquakes Season Ticket Drive has already generated over 1,000 pledges for new season tickets for next year. These are new season tickets, not renewals, and what makes it even more impressive is the fact that Earthquakes season tickets are already at an all-time high. With the help of those of you who have pledged, we are sending a strong message to potential investors that this team has broad community support as well as great potential for growth.

Soccer Silicon Valley has also confirmed that 2005 season ticket holders would have the first opportunity to buy season tickets in a new Earthquakes stadium should one be constructed for the 2006 season.

There's still time to make a pledge. If you don’t have season tickets, now is the time to get them. If you already have season tickets, now is the time to double the number that you get!

Last year, season tickets were priced as follows:
VIP Seats (center section on West Side) - $720
West Sideline - $396
East Sideline- $243 for adults, $180 youth and senior rate
North End - $180 for adults, $144 youth and senior rate

If you’d like to make a pledge to purchase 2005 season tickets, please send your name, address, phone number, the number and location of season tickets you currently own, and the number and location of season tickets you are pledging to buy to ticketpledge@soccersiliconvalley.com. (Please don’t send any payment or credit card information at this time. We’re only collecting pledges.) You can also make your pledge online at the San Jose Earthquakes web site.

If you'd like to help promote Soccer Silicon Valley's 2005 Earthquakes Season Ticket Pledge Drive, please download this flyer and post it at work or hand it out to everyone you know! We have one in Spanish now, too! (Adobe Acrobat required).


P
otential Investors, Others to Seek Deadline Extension from AEG
(Sept. 15) As SSV announced to its members last night and as reported in today's San Jose Mercury News, Tony Amanpour, the president and CEO of First Portfolio Mortgage Planners and Bankers in San Jose, will be requesting an extension of AEG's September 17 deadline to purchase the Quakes.

SSV is aware of several other entities which will also be making a request for an extension.

More information on Amanpour's bid to buy the Quakes is in this week's issue of the Metro.

Local Investor Group Forming to Purchase Earthquakes, Build Stadium
(Sept. 3) As SSV announced to its members last night and as reported in today's San Jose Mercury News, Tony Amanpour, the president and CEO of First Portfolio Mortgage Planners and Bankers in San Jose, is in the process of putting together a team of investors to buy the Quakes. Mr. Amanpour first contacted Soccer Silicon Valley at our August 20 rally and SSV has been working with him since then to provide any information and assistance he has requested from us. He has already recruited several people to join him in the venture, which also aims to construct a new stadium for the team.

Soccer Silicon Valley has aided Mr. Amanpour in establishing communication with Mayor Ron Gonzalez of San Jose, Mayor Patricia Mahan of Santa Clara, and Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco.


T
hank You!
(August 20) Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Rally. We took photos of the crowd at its peak and have counted a grand total of 1,527 people! As Soccer Silicon Valley president Colin McCarthy said to the crowd, "We're only as loud as you make us," and everyone who attended gave Soccer Silicon Valley a very loud voice for keeping the Quakes in the Bay Area. The rally was covered extensively on local TV and radio and even on the BBC! The rally and SSV's investor search was also one of the lead stories on Saturday night's broadcast of MLS Wrap on Fox Sports World. Thanks to everyone involved for making things happen.

US National Team Players Endorse SSV
(August 13) Soccer Silicon Valley has been endorsed by the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association, the union of the U.S. National Team. "The US National Soccer Team Players Association and our members fully support the efforts of Soccer Silicon Valley and others working to build a soccer-specific stadium in the Bay Area and ensure the long-term future of the Earthquakes soccer club," the organization's letter to SSV begins. "We share the belief of our members like Earthquakes general manager Alexi Lalas and players Jeff Agoos, Landon Donovan, and Richard Mulrooney, that the best future for Earthquakes soccer is to remain in the Bay Area." Click here to download a copy of the full letter. (Adobe Acrobat required).


Former Earthquakes and U.S. National Team defender Danny Califf