SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --Levi's Stadium isn't the only new sports facility going up in the South Bay -- so is a new soccer stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes. On a very hot and sunny Monday, the team praised the solar energy they're installing at the stadium which is on track to be complete in five months.
The San Jose Earthquakes will call the 18,000-seat facility home next spring. "To have a soccer-specific stadium with a team that's doing well, you know, it would only speak leaps and bounds for the area," said Earthquakes midfielder Khari Stephenson.
Both players and management are excited. And the $70 million stadium will be generating part of its energy needs from solar. "They'll be able to generate 230,000 to 250,000 kilowatt hours per year and the savings ought to be between $45,000 and $60,000 a year. And it's clean and green. It's Silicon Valley. Makes sense," said Jjim Petersen with Petersen Dean.
And to show off how tough the photo-voltaic collectors are, midfielders Khari Stephenson and Jean Baptiste Pierazzi kicked balls into them. Not a single one broke. The panels, made in Oregon, will be mounted over VIP parking stalls. They'll produce electricity equivalent to what 30 to 35 homes would use over the course of a year. That's a modest start, but the system can be expanded.
Fans will also have another unique feature at the new stadium -- a 400-foot long bar, which is said to be the longest bar in North America. And for a game where you don't keep your eyes off the field for a second, fans there will have a good view of the action on the field. "You're elevated. You're up six, eight feet from the pitch. You can look down, see all the action, grab a beer, grab a drink, and just have a great atmosphere to watch the game," Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said.
The Quakes are no doubt enjoying the halo effect of the World Cup. Players see interest in the sport growing, especially as the U.S. advances. The U.S. faces Belgium on Tuesday. "They have to give everything they have and hope for a couple lucky bounces," Stephenson said. Asked about the team's chances he said," Have a chance, always have a chance. They're in, so they have a chance. So we'll see."