Not content to let the Seattle Sounders have all the big attendance numbers, the San Jose Earthquakes will host the Rave Green for an August 2nd game next year, but not in San Jose. Rather, they will rent out Levi Stadium, future home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, before the Gridiron team even gets a chance to take the field. That's right: The Santa Clara stadium's first host will be soccer.
The stadium has a normal capacity of 68,500, which can be expanded to 75,000. Being the first event and having nearly a year to get the word out gives San Jose a great chance to sell the building out, which would trump the Sounders' 67,385 matched this year against the Portland Timbers. San Jose has experience hosting these events in larger stadiums, making a tradition of playing the Galaxy at the campus of nearby Stanford University. However, that stadium's normal max capacity is 50,000. The team has hosted over 73,000 as part of a double header.
The pitch will be natural grass, which makes getting in before the football season starts crucial.
From the press release:
"We are proud to open Levi's® Stadium against Sounders FC," said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. "Santa Clara and the 49ers are great partners and they are constructing a world-class venue that all the Bay Area can be proud of. We have seen great crowds around MLS over the past five years, especially in Seattle, but we are confident that this match will once again demonstrate that the Bay Area has the most passionate soccer fans in the country."