New San Jose Earthquakes stadium officially named

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Thursday, November 20, 2014
New San Jose Earthquakes stadium officially named
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On Wednesday one of the most lucrative deals in all of Major League Soccer happened in the Bay Area.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- One of the most lucrative deals in all of Major League Soccer is right here in the Bay Area. On Wednesday the San Jose Earthquakes announced a new name to go with their new home -- Avaya Stadium.

This deal is worth about $20 million over the next 10 years and it comes as the Earthquakes prepare to invest even more money into their new facility.

Just months from opening day, you can hear the sound of construction as crews hammer away. And off Coleman Avenue in San Jose there is new look and a big announcement on full display.

"We wanted a partner, like I've said before, that wasn't just a name on the building, that brought strategic value, and especially in this area, having a technology partner," San Jose Earthquakes team president David Kaval said.

The Quakes are awarding the naming rights for their stadium to Avaya, a business communications company based in Santa Clara.

"We want to create a fan experience where the fans are communicating amongst themselves, to the players, whether they're in the game, or outside of the game," the Avaya global field operations president Pierre-Paul Allard said.

Avaya Stadium will be the first MLS venue to be cloud-enabled, rather than being tied to outdated apps or in-stadium tools that could become obsolete. Company officials tell us they'll use cloud technology to their advantage.

"Innovation around communications, use of video, innovative use of cell and Wifi technologies to help people communicate," said Allard said.

Costs for the stadium have soared. Initially there was $60 million budgeted for the project, but team officials have bumped it up to $100 million. They say it has nothing to do with cost over-runs, but more so with upgrades they've been making: field-level suites, high-end finishes and what's expected to be the biggest outdoor bar in North America.

"It was the level of investment that we thought was required to create a stadium for our community that would be successful, that would attract partners and sponsors like Avaya," Kaval said.

This is a privately-funded project. The Earthquakes haven't said how they're financing the extra costs, but despite the mystery, many people -- players included -- can't help but feel a sense of excitement.

"Even if you know nothing about soccer, you're going to get caught up in the passion of it, and with this atmosphere and this stadium here, it's going to be a fun fan experience," San Jose Earthquakes right midfielder Shea Salinas said.