San Jose Earthquakes welcome the fans back on April 24th
For the first time in more than a year, fans of the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team get back in the stands. No vaccination certificate or negative coronavirus test is required to get in.
SAN JOSE, California – – For the first time in more than a year, fans of the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team get back in the stands. No vaccination certificate or negative coronavirus test is required to get in.
For the team’s home opener in PayPal Park, the capacity is limited to 3,600 fans.
“We’re really looking forward to this game on Saturday, it’s been a long year,” said Jared Shawlee, San Jose Earthquakes chief operating officer.
A new field is being installed and signposted in the home of the San Jose earthquake. The stadium is now Paypal Park under a new naming agreement.
On a rainy day, March 7, 2020 was the last game with fans.
Some fans were allowed to see games from their cars on a big screen during the pandemic to see what was different.
“Getting the energy back in PayPal Park will be an amazing experience,” said Shawlee.
Capacity is capped at 20 percent to comply with social distancing protocols. Masks are required and fans sit in pods for up to six people.
Ticketing is contactless on cell phones.
One thing fans shouldn’t have to worry about is having proof of vaccination.
“Government guidance doesn’t require you to have a negative Covid test or vaccination in the orange tier. Therefore, we follow all state and federal health officials,” Shawlee said.
The venue is outdoors with an open air hall.
“We are definitely missing the MLS season,” said Kyle Taylor, manager at Smoking Pig BBQ.
Across the street, the Smoking Pig BBQ Restaurant is busy and hiring. Before the pandemic, it was packed with fans before the game.
“We’re excited to see what the limited capacity will bring,” said Taylor.
“I’m so excited,” said Nanci Klein, director of economic development for the city of San Jose. “The earthquakes are a great convenience for the city.”
Klein said the city’s scenery wouldn’t be the same without live sports.
The stadium will reopen as the San Jose Sharks will welcome fans back to the SAP Center on Monday.
“Coming back and watching the game together is a source of hope,” said Klein.
“I’m thrilled,” said San Jose’s John Pujols. “We can finally go back to the park.”
Pujols said it was way too long. He can’t wait to find his team personally.
“People need to go out and feel normal again so I think this will be a step forward to feeling normal,” said Pujols.
Saturday’s matchup against FC Dallas is sold out to subscribers. The game starts at 12:30 p.m.
Azenith Smith is a reporter at KTVU. Email Azenith at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.