To finish off the second week of our San Jose Earthquakes advent calendar we have one of the most misunderstood parts of Avaya Stadium: the longest outdoor bar in North America, or LOBINA for short. As someone who enjoys an adult beverage or two during matches, I was excited when this part of the stadium was announced. Then the team announced it again. And again. It was announced so much by the front office that by the time the first match was played at Avaya Stadium it was difficult to tell if they were more proud of the stadium, the team or the bar.
People around the country also caught on to the constant promotion of the “longest outdoor bar in North America” and quickly turned it into jokes and snide remarks. I showed up to the first game at Avaya phone in hand ready to jump on the trash talking bandwagon, but after my first experience, it quickly became one of my favorite places in the stadium. Let me explain but first, stop laughing and clean up the drink you spilled after reading the last sentence.
Soccer is great because of how fast it is. Most games are around two hours in length, and there are no stoppages to let you go down and get a drink so fast service is essential, not like that other football Americans are so in love with. With over 60 yards of space, there is plenty of room for a bunch of bartenders to help keep the lines moving. It’s actually about 120 yards of space because they use both sides of the bar for even faster service. Another favorite point that people bring up, both Earthquakes fans and strangers, is that the bar itself becomes a point of interest that takes people away from enjoying the game. “The seats would look full if everyone at the bar sat down,” they say failing to realize that you cannot hang out at the bar and not watch the game. The opposite side of the stadium is an international airport, so unless you like to see planes take-off and land or you enjoy getting hit in the back of the head your attention will be on the pitch. Also, because of the way the suites are at field level at Avaya, the bar allows you to get so close to the action that you can actually step on the pitch.
I could easily go on for pages about why the bar is so misunderstood, but words can only do so much. If you have the time and money I highly suggest you make a trip out to Avaya and LOBINA, you will be impressed.
Check back tomorrow as we keep our advent calendar going!