With all eyes on Avaya Stadium for the Earthquakes’ regular season opener this Sunday against the Colorado Rapids, the club held a lead-in Media Day where coaches and players offered thoughts on the upcoming season, and the press had a sneak peek at recent enhancements to what is already an impressive MLS venue.
The Quakes have added attacking options Simon Dawkins and Alberto Quintero during the off-season, while Innocent Emeghara is re-integrated into training, though still in need of a few more weeks to recover full match-fitness, such is the nature of the long-term knee injury he suffered last April. Dominic Kinnear has also brought in youngster Kip Colvey, who spoke to the media for the first time at the today’s event. The team have maintained a solid core from last season and hope their finishing touches in the off-season can help restore the Quakes to a playoff spot, which they narrowly missed in 2015.
Off the pitch, the club has continued to invest in Avaya, and fans attending Sunday’s match can look forward to some new amenities added in the off-season, including upgraded food options. While we don’t consider ourselves to be high-end foodies here at Quakes Talk, we devoured the sliders and pizza on offer at the Media Day. The burgers seem a notch or two above what fans may expect from stadium cuisine, while the pizza offerings are set to include a vegan option befitting the Bay Area demographic.
Other stadium additions this season include a global gallery of soccer scarves at the south end of Avaya, with flags from all corners of the globe from teams ranging from Manchester United to Bradford City, and Poland to San Francisco City FC. In a nod to the ultras no doubt, certain MLS rivals have been wisely left out of the collection.
The pole banners that line the inside of the concourse have been updated to introduce their new roster additions this season, while keeping historic moments and all-time greats a consistent part of the design.
Finally, adjacent to the main stadium gate, the Devotion Wall has also been enlarged from 2015 and will now feature five panels to honor season ticket holders at Avaya, as well as the names of all inaugural season ticket holders. It’s just one of the many small changes that make Major League Soccer’s newest stadium even better.