The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the opening of their new stadium, scheduled for the start of the 2014 MLS season, has been delayed until the second half of the season. Unforeseen complications with the preparation of the stadium site led to a decision by the club and contractor DevCon to push back the construction timetable into next July.
The litany of issues that has delayed the project has been chronicled completely by Earthquakes president David Kaval on his blog on the official club website. Highlights included numerous underground concrete vaults -- nicknamed "icebergs" by the construction crew -- that required extensive excavation efforts. From tank parts, to office furniture, and even long forgotten military grade ordinance, clearing the site of these hidden vaults extended the timeline of the site preparation from an original 30 day schedule to the current ongoing drawn out process.
Kaval, known for his openness with supporters of and stake holders with the Earthquakes, followed up his blog post with a Google+ Hangout interview where he candidly answered a number of questions. Kaval has pledged from the beginning that he wanted the stadium to be one of the premier sports stadiums in California, and while he would have preferred not to see the project delayed, he reiterated that the club wants to get the stadium built right the first time.
Obvious fallout from today's announcement came from season ticket holders and new ticket purchasers that the promised 2014 MLS First Kick weekend stadium opening would not be happening. Kaval responded to the clamor by assuring ticket buyers that the club would reach out to them individually to allay any and all concerns brought on by the delay. The Earthquakes plan on starting the 2014 season with 8 home games at current home Buck Shaw Stadium leading into the annual summer soccer celebration at Stanford University. The updated schedule has the new stadium opening possibly opening in early July 2014 for the remainder of the Quakes home MLS matches.