Finally, after a 2 year hiatus, Major League Soccer will return to the South Bay when the San Jose Earthquakes kick off against FC Dallas at Santa Clara's own Buck Shaw Stadium on May 3rd. With a sellout crowd of over 11,500 expected for the matchup against the Western Conference leading Dallas squad, it is assumed that our campus will be flooded with fans on game day. While the University has taken many strides to ensure a convenient and fun fan experience for the Quake faithful, they seem to have turned a blind eye to the needs of the students. Over 2,000 student parking permits are being overridden and nearly every lot of meaningful size on the campus is being commandeered for use by the MLS fans. This has been handled poorly by the University as it puts a lot of students in an uncomfortable and strange situation. Having to park off campus is often a risky and scarce proposition. Not only are there few to none spots in the immediate surroundings of the campus, but those that are available are in high risk areas for damage, such as the spaces behind Safeway on Market.
Santa Clara should have leveraged the construction of a new parking structure from the Earthquakes in their agreement to house the team. I mean, they agreed on a large expansion for Buck Shaw, and a brand new practice field, but they couldn't get MLS help for a parking structure to accommodate the large influx of fans to this new venue? I don't buy it. The Quakes were coming here regardless, they had no other option then to play at Buck Shaw until they can get a stadium of their own. The only alternative for the Quakes would have been the Oakland Coliseum, and that isn't financially viable for a team that would have been bound to leave 50,000 seats empty per game. Shame on you Santa Clara for you poor planning and execution of what could have been a shinning moment in University PR.