WEEK 12: SJ v ORL
Let’s make no mistake: in the year of opening San Jose Earthquakes’ brand new Avaya Stadium, hosting a match at Levi’s ain’t no #MarchHome.
Some might like to pretend that Levi’s is like a "home avay from home," but many Quakes fans see it similar to attending the spouse’s friends’ in-law’s extended family reunion—the one where you don’t know anyone and everyone else speaks a foreign language while they offer you all the parts of the animal not fit for human consumption as an "exotic delicacy," and one they’ll brand you close-minded/racist/curmudgeon if you don’t swallow with a smile.
Then, after you leave, they laugh like Tyler Durden in Fight Club at what they tricked you into stomaching.
A completely unscientific random survey seems to indicate most #Quakes74 fans are not that enamored with matches at @LevisStadium— FootySF (@footysf) May 24, 2015
@QuakesFan Love you but you can't use #MarchHome to refer to @LevisStadium. #sacrilege— Eli Stuart (@goldenballzen) May 24, 2015
LOBINA thinks the stance a bit harsh, but understands.
For the first time in club history, the San Jose Earthquakes have our OWN STADIUM!!!
Avaya Stadium is awesome--not a bad seat (or bar) in the house!—and place that is OURS. We’ve packed Avaya full for every game, even the USWNT match against
Even in the toilets.
So why, while still getting comfy in our new home, why do we have to half-fill an American football stadium a mere 4 miles away?
As a bar who knows a thing or two about stools, let me offer: BUTTS IN SEATS.
As mentioned & mocked in social media:
"@OrlandoCitySC" Attendance here today at @LevisStadium: 36,224 #SJvORL" pic.twitter.com/88ZH1701Q5— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) May 25, 2015
If you saw half a stadium of empty seats, you’re probably the kind of person who puts the "ass" in "Glass Half Empty."
Just think about that 36,224 attendence for a second.
That’s TWO AVAYA’S worth of fans who cheered on the Quakes and were witness to Wondo’s 100th MLS goal.
And there were clear advantages to have only a half-full Levi’s. For one, the VTA to the game was operating at Goldilocks capacity:
Time to get to the game! VTA working well, even though they allow Lions on the trains: pic.twitter.com/CcA8Sx6gKe— LOBINA (@LOBINA_QUAKES15) May 24, 2015
But they turned out to be rather toothless, so no worries.
Coming off the VTA, you could tailgate before the gates by parking your tail on the concrete:
Maybe it's my beer goggles, but this side of Levi's looks like a tenement project from the '60s.
Plenty of seats so you could spread out, maybe get so comfortable, warm, and cozy in the sunshine that you started to nod off:
The soporific "action" of the first half probably didn't help.
And when you needed a charge:
Of course, Avaya kicked Levi ass in certain aspects, such as offering a perfect pitch for real football:
@johnprostsoccer Need something to soak up the gladiator blood in this pit.— LOBINA (@LOBINA_QUAKES15) May 24, 2015
Going to get a beer left you in the dark:
How can you watch the match from here?
Plus side: pulled pints were $11, rather than Avaya's $12 (though both better than StubHub's SIXTEEN F'ING DOLLARS FOR A PINT OF REAL BEER!)
After grabbing a beer, you can mosey out to the walkway and watch Santa Clara youth soccer at its finest:
Or you can until the 49ers smother access and then pave it all over as a parking lot.
And Avaya allows you to actually bring a bag, while Levi's let's you bring a lab sample:
Guess she didn't know about those charging stations!
Other issue is the shallow "bowl" of seats:
Once you experience Avaya's steep-raked seating, everything else seems like you're sitting farther away than you should. And the upper deck distances a bit far:
More people saw that penalty kick through the screen of their phone than with their own eyes. #Quakes74 #SJvORL— Osbaldo Lucero (@BaldoLWOS) May 25, 2015
Fan noise sounded a bit subdued as well, akin to throwing a hot dog down a hallway, but the supporters' section was rocking, and security seemed to hear everything:
And, of course, the Ultras dressed for the occasion.
But people had fun:
Fun time at th Quakes game #Quakes74 #SJvORL #InstaSize https://t.co/4jwRzjlPAS— Chris (@TempleofDoom) May 25, 2015
And some people had too much fun:
Not gonna lie, watching that pitch invader try and evade the police was one of the more exciting parts of the match #SJvORL— John Marshall (@johnprostsoccer) May 25, 2015
Similar to Avaya, the Levi's stewards were experts at efficiency at exiting fans from the stands tootsweet:
And not having 75,000 drunk Niners fans made catching the VTA back an enjoyable experience, thought it did raise some questions about LOBINA's mobility:
@LOBINA_QUAKES15 so how do you put the bar on VTA? ;) LBOVTA? It'd be a nice addition!— sarah gregory (@scgpdx) May 25, 2015
With extensive train-ing, of course.
Thank you very much.
Even with the tie, and being away from home, surrounded by all the red and gold, it was still a fine time to be had by most:
had a blast at #SJvORL! big thanks to @realdreweiden for the tickets & of course, an epic hang out session full of custard, comics & jokes!— Devin Dismang (@dismayne) May 25, 2015
We can all use custards, comics and jokes, and LOBINA was there in spirit(s):
Lobina jersey, bucket hat. The bar has been set. Take note #Quakes74 fans. #SJvORL #SoMuchWin pic.twitter.com/w54Z2uTEMI— Bill Midd (@bill_midd) May 24, 2015
At the end of the match, Quakes earned a point, Wondo got his 100th, and we don't have to worry about Levi's for another year. Hopefully we can fill Levi's for a CONCACAF Champion's League Final, with the Quakes as the first MLS team to win the championship. (Though that would still be better at Avaya)
I think @SJEarthquakes signed this deal with @LevisStadium to remind us how amazing @AvayaStadium is #quakes74 #SJvORL— 'Til I Die (@tilidieapparel) May 25, 2015
SEE YOU NEXT HOME MATCH: SJ v DALLAS FC SUNDAY JUNE 7 at 4PM!!