When new Levi’s Stadium opens next year, its primary tenant—the San Francisco 49ers—won ‘t be the first to play there.
Instead, the San Jose Earthquakes will host the Seattle Sounders in a MLS match on Aug. 2. The Santa Clara Stadium Authority announced the scheduling on Thursday, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
‘To play the first event there will go down in Bay Area history,” Earthquakes president Dave Kaval said. “It’s important they do more than the NFL games there for Santa Clara.”
The plan for the 68,500-seat facility is to primarily play host to the 49ers, but it’s expected the stadium will also be a future venue for international soccer matches featuring both the men’s and women’s national teams.
“There’s a lot of interest to find a place for the U.S. men to play here,” Kaval said. “We can be a part of that.”
The Earthquakes exec also said he hoped his team could use the facility more often, even with the Quakes’ new stadium set to open in San Jose in 2015. The team plays a game at Stanford Stadium each July that draws 50,000 annually.
This won’t be the first time soccer has pulled down the curtain on a new NFL stadium. In 2003, Manchester United played FC Barcelona at Philadelphia’s new Lincoln Financial Field.
It’s a nice footnote for the Earthquakes, sure, but it also makes financial sense that the stadium be used for more than just eight football dates a year.