SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Santa Clara County and the San Jose Earthquakes have begun conversations about potentially bringing a new sports complex to the county.

The County and Earthquakes Soccer LLC announced Tuesday they have entered an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) for 12 months to explore the potential long-term lease for a soccer complex at the County Fairgrounds.

The plan would potentially include a training facility for the Earthquakes Youth Academy program, practice fields, and facilities for the professional Earthquakes Soccer Team.

Approximately 14.8 acres of the 34-acre project at the County Fairgrounds would be leased to the Earthquakes.

The County said it’s also considering the development of up to six publicly available soccer fields adjoining the Earthquakes site.

“We’re excited about this initial agreement with Earthquakes Soccer to develop a multi-use soccer complex at the Fairgrounds,” said Chief Operating Officer Miguel Márquez, J.D.

“This is another step to explore high-quality recreational opportunities at the Fairgrounds. The County wants to ensure everyone in our community, especially those in areas with limited outdoor recreational options have the same opportunities to get outside and learn how to play the world’s most popular sport: soccer.”

Talks to bring a new complex began in 2020 after the County Board of Supervisors received a letter from the Earthquakes to lease land at the Fairgrounds to create soccer fields and associated facilities.

The County said this would be part of the County Fairgrounds Master Plan to consider leasing proposals for parts of the 150-acre site.

“This is a major step towards our goal of having an elite training center and singular home for all of our teams,” said Earthquakes President Jared Shawlee.

“As part of our club ethos, we wanted to pursue an opportunity that not only provided a first-class complex for our professional and youth teams but also facilitated the development of the premier public-use youth and adult soccer facility in Northern California. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the County of Santa Clara that has a shared vision for those goals.”  

The proposed team training building would consist of locker rooms, a weight room, dining hall, theatre, medical treatment facility and hydrotherapy, equipment and laundry rooms, coach and staff offices, and more.

The professional training center would include 10 full-size soccer fields: four would exclusively serve the Earthquakes, and six turf fields would be dedicated exclusively for year-round public use.

All 10 fields would have lights and at least three of the Quakes’ four fields would feature natural grass.