Hear more about this historic event on the Peninsula Report radio podcast.
The San Jose Earthquakes and their fans broke more than just the ground on their new soccer-specific stadium Sunday: they broke a world record, too.
A reported 6,256 ‘Quakes fans and personnel dug for two minutes on the future site of the ‘Quakes field, breaking the world record for the most participants in a groundbreaking. The 6,000-plus diggers blew away the previous record of 4,532, set in Jaipur, India in 2007.
Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records were on hand to verify the record-breaking effort. The commissioner of Major League Soccer, Don Garber, the mayor of San Jose, Chuck Reed, and Earthquakes’ owners, staff and players all attended. They witnessed loud and enthusiastic ‘Quakes fans celebrating their new place in history, as well as the Supporter’s Shield – the honor given to the team with the best regular season record – which the Earthquakes clinched Saturday night when the only team with a chance to catch them, Sporting Kansas City, lost its match.
Many fans began lining up for the noon ceremony more than two hours early, and a live band, refreshments and photo opportunities entertained the crowds as they waited. A large number of the fans also made the two-mile trip back to Santa Clara University’s Buck Shaw Stadium – the Earthquakes’ current home – to see the Earthquakes tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-2, later that afternoon.
Earthquakes officials say the team will play in its new home in the 2014 season.