Behind the MLS Ambition Rankings: San Jose Earthquakes
How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?
The Quakes fully fund all their academy teams and also funds the entire roster for the Burlingame Dragons PDL team. Additionally, we have a Youth Club with 50 boys teams and 30 girls teams based in San Jose. The youth program includes five Regional Development Schools that serve as ID camps. The RDS’s are located all over the Bay Area so that we can identify the best young talent in the Bay Area. We also host trainings called the Center of Excellence to bring in as many youth players as possible for training programs. This helps us identify more players in the area.
We currently pushing for a $30-40 million dollar youth complex in San Jose. Ownership has committed to building the complex and we are working through the city processes right now.
How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?
Two: Tommy Thompson and Nick Lima. Tommy has played and Nick Lima looks likely to start in his rookie year. Tommy played for the U.S. U-20 team at the past FIFA U-20 World Cup. He may also win a starting role this year. We have 3-4 collegiate players that all could be homegrown signings, including U.S. U-20 goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.
How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2016?
We had 12,000 in 2017. We had 13,000 in 2016, but we chose to lower that number because we had a higher percentage of tickets sold than we wanted last season. We wanted more group and individual ticket buyers to attend to increase our fan base long term.
Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?
The training field is next to the stadium. We built it in 2010. We use our stadium locker room and weight room as the facility. The home locker room features a meal room and we give the players breakfast and lunch every day and we have the gym available for players at all times. We have training field, stadium and team offices all at the same location. This is the best possible set-up.
Did your team build its own stadium? If yes, how much money did the team spend on the stadium?
Yes, a 100% privately financed, $100 million stadium. One of a handful of stadiums in MLS that had zero public dollars put toward the project. We own the stadium and the land.
Do you have a USL affiliate? How big is your budget this year for your USL team?
Between $750,000-1,000,000. We pay for the roster and coaches at Reno 1868 along with some other costs.
How much money have you spent in the three previous years on Designated Players (transfer fees and salary)? How much are you spending on Designated Players this year?
For 2015 and 2016, we had three designated players both years for the first time in team history. We currently have two DPs on the roster and we are planning to add a high-profile DP in the summer transfer window. Jesse Fioranelli, our new GM, believed that there would be better options in the summer to help us in the long term.
How much TAM have you spent since its inception in the middle of 2015 (including this year)?
We have spent a lot of TAM money. We had four TAM signings this past offseason, Marco Urena, Florian Jungwirth, Danny Hoesen and Jahmir Hyka.
How would you describe your investment in and use of data analytics? How many full-time analytics employees do you have?
We have two full-time employees that work on analysis and are adding a third very shortly. The candidate is already identified.
We also utilize Catapult, Match Analysis, Wyscout. We are currently integrating a proprietary app that all technical staff and players will have. That app includes video analysis, nutrition, communication tools and other information.
Considering all the technology in the Bay Area, we launched an Innovation Board last fall that includes members from Intel, Sony, Pandora, Tesla and Solar City. The board focuses on ideas for the technical side as well as the business side. We have begun integrating some new ideas and we will have some announcements in the near future.
Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?
Sutter Health is our jersey sponsor and we earn over $10 million in commercial revenue.
Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season? How big is your budget for presenting local TV broadcasts? Do your broadcasters travel on the road for local TV broadcasts?
All non-national TV games are on local TV. We have a rights fee from Comcast SportsNet that is worth over $1 million a year. Broadcasters travel to road games.
How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?
85. We have added about 10-15 employees in the past year.
What other sorts of details should we know about your club that are a good barometer of the club’s ambition?
A few other key details include the annual Stanford Game, spending on our technical staff and our youth soccer complex.
For the past five years, we have moved one game vs. the Galaxy to Stanford Stadium and have sold out the match at 50,000 people. There was not really a precedent for this since we started this match when we played at Buck Shaw Stadium and had a season ticket base of 5,000. It has now become one of the summer’s biggest sporting events in the Bay Area.
With the hire of our new general manager, we now rank near the top of spending on technical staff in MLS. We have one of the highest paid GMs in Fioranelli, who came to MLS from Roma. Chris Leitch is a very experienced technical director and Dominic Kinnear is one of the highest paid coaches in MLS. Additionally, we will be announcing soon increased expenditures in scouting and analysis.
The youth complex is a very important project that we are working on. We have two options to build a new complex for all our youth teams. We have a location 1/4 mile from the stadium where we can build seven soccer fields for an investment of $30-40 million. It would include a permanent home for our academy teams and a place for international teams to train. We will also be able to have other local youth teams train and we can host tournaments. We recently have identified another potential site where we can build up to 14 fields, including two buildings. We are working through the city/county processes in both locations.