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Friday, February 18, 2011

Quakes plan to demolish building on proposed stadium site

(by Elliott Almond mercurynews.com 2-16-11)

In a symbolic move toward the building of a soccer-specific stadium in San Jose, the Earthquakes plan to demolish a former manufacturing plant at their proposed Airport West site, the team announced Wednesday.

Although Quakes officials are not ready to announce a groundbreaking date for a 15,000-seat, $60 million stadium, the latest development is another step forward, team president David Kaval said. A demolition ceremony will be held March 3 with city and team officials.

"We still need a permit to build the stadium," Kaval said. "We still need to finalize the actual building. But this is the key thing in order to move forward on this site. That building can't be there."

Quakes owners already have built a training field adjacent to the proposed stadium site across the street from Mineta San Jose International Airport. But the weathered buildings of the former Food MachineryCorp. plant gave the area a depressed look.

Kaval said the team also is applying for building permits to kick start the project that still needs the key component of financing. The ownership group led by Lew Wolff, a Los Angeles developer, wants to build a stadium to establish deep roots in the South Bay.

The Quakes are scheduled to open their fourth consecutive season at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 19 against Real Salt Lake.

"We feel we need to start making some of steps because the time is right," Kaval said of the decision to demolish the building.

"It has been a long time where we haven't been moving. We're taking one hurdle at a time to keep moving forward."

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