Tomorrow MLS Commissioner Don Garber will officially announce that the San Jose Earthquakes will return to Major League Soccer in 2008. The Bay Area lost the Quakes two years ago when hapless, disinterested owners AEG moved the team to Houston, where they became the Houston Dynamo. Fortunately, a dedicated group of fans lobbied to preserve the team name and records. The Earthquakes were MLS champions in 2001 and 2003, and the name was used even earlier by a NASL team on which Guus Hiddink and England star George Best once played.
Lew Wolff and John Fisher, business partners who also own the Oakland A’s, bought the rights to start a new San Jose Earthquakes team. After a lot of negotiations, they are now finally able to exercise their option to have the team start playing next year. Wolff has become a big supporter of soccer, and I think he and Fischer will be great owners.
The team will likely play their 2008 matches in two or three different stadiums, while the ownership team continues to work on plans for a new stadium. The descriptions that I have heard of the stadium design sound awesome. Of course, just about anything would be awesome compared to their former home, San Jose State’s Spartan Stadium. At least the beer selection at Spartan was awesome, but that’s about the only thing about the facility that was great.
Here’s some of the early news coverage:
More info is available at the Soccer Silicon Valley website. SSV is throwing a celebration party Thursday night at the Britannia Arms Dow ntown in San Jose. I’d love to go, but I’ll be watching Sonic Youth perform Daydream Nation that night in Berkeley.
Update 7/18/07: We put down our deposit on season tickets today. Go Quakes!