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Saturday's soccer game at Stanford Stadium

Original post made on Jul 16, 2007

Mexico's Club America fans light firecrackers, toss homemade confetti, beat brums, wave banners and hold up balloons to cheer for their team prior to the match against the Chelsea Football Club on Saturday, July 14, at Stanford Stadium. Chelsea defeated Club America 2-1.
Photo by Kelley Cox/Palo Alto Weekly.

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments (23)

Posted by Carine, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:33 am

While I was very happy this event was held in the Bay Area, I was annoyed by the way the City of Palo Alto handled traffic at Saturday's game. We got to Palo Alto a little before 6 pm, only to find that the Highway Patrol had blocked the University Exit of the 101 and the Embarcadero Exit as well (in the south bound direction). We were forced to take Oregon Expressway make a right on El Camino and soon joined the traffic nightmare at Embarcadero and El Camino before the game where the police had stopped the traffic light. After over 1 hour, we ended up parking in the downtown lot underneath City Hall and missed the first half of the game. I've never seen the police presence nor the amount of blocked off streets, let alone blocked highway exits and I lived in Palo Alto for 4 years from 99 to 03 and was in town for many football games, even the Big Game with Cal! After my experience, I don't plan on attending another soccer game at Stanford. I felt very unwelcome and could not help but think that this reaction may have been due to the fact that one of the teams was from Latin America. This was not a hooligan crowd, but families with children and I did not see any incidents while walking to and from the game. Please, if Stanford hosts another game, make people feel welcome or let other more welcoming cities host the game.


Posted by Traffic nightmare, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:40 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sports fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:49 am

I am so sorry that visitors to Palo Alto experienced such hassle getting to the game. As a Palo Alto resident, I knew that the best way to go was to park in Paly and walk up Churchill.

However, I do think that the City should warn residents in advance when there is something going on at Stanford that involves crowds. This was a particularly poorly advertised event and many did not know it was happening and were just trying to get to where they were going by using El Camino (I know because I spoke to a couple stopped at the lights which were turned off). On other days when an event is going on at Stanford I have accidentally got caught up in traffic which I could have avoided if I knew in advance.

It would definitely be a good idea if traffic problems were highlighted a few days in advance so that we could all prepare accordingly.


Posted by veronica, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:49 am

At the Chelsea-America soccer match held at Stanford Stadium on Saturday night, America fans set off some pretty elaborate amateur fireworks from the stands three or four times. How did these explosives get past security. If random fans can sneak in firework/explosives into a stadium that holds 100,000 people, what could real terrorists bring in?

By the way security was pretty upset and went in and arrested some guys, but it hardly made up for their dreadful ineffectiveness.


Posted by Sports fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:52 am

Veronica

I do agree, security was pretty scrappy. My family could not get in with our sealed water bottles which were discovered and confiscated. They seemed to be on the lookout for contraband water and nothing else when they "searched" our small bags.


Posted by Don Kazak, Palo Alto Weekly columnist
on Jul 16, 2007 at 11:21 am

Don Kazak is a registered user.

Palo Alto Police Capt. Dennis Burns said traffic was diverted from Embarcadero Road (and presumably University Avenue) by the CHP because the road was clogged with traffic before the game. Unlike Stanford football games, when many people come early and tailgate, a lot of people arrived at or near game time, creating traffic jams from the freeway. Embarcadero Road was closed for 10-15 minutes.


Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2007 at 11:32 am

Anyone remember World Cup, or for that matter Olympics at Stanford? Any Big Game? There is no way around the fact that Stanford is not an easily accessible spot, and traffice will stink any time there's a major event.

The Stadium-- yeah, its a beaut, but by dropping the capacity so dramatically, Stanford has cemented having a 2nd rate football program forever. Too bad.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 11:35 am

This is a poor write up on a soccer game. Was it an exciting game? Who scored the goals and when? If this had been for any sport other than soccer, more details of the game would have been given. This was a world class game between two very dynamic and famous teams. Chelsea is going on to play against LA Galaxy and David Beckham later this week. Soccer is the hot sports topic at present and your coverage is disappointing.


Posted by Traffic nightmare, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Interesting about the water bottles and security--maybe that explains how all those fans brought in explosives undetected


Posted by Susan, a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2007 at 3:40 pm

I went to the game and it took me over an hour to get from 101 to campus down university. When I finally got there I saw no signs for parking and when I finally asked a security gard he told me, the game is sold out Miss and there is no parking so get creative. The game itself was great and I would love to see more exhibition games like this. However, I dont think I will want to return to Stanford.


Posted by stroll, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Park anywhere in Professorville/Downtown/Crescent Park and walk. Parking in Stanford is always be a pain.


Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jul 16, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

Resident: Unfortunately, we didn't have adequate staff (no sports reporter) to actually cover the soccer game, although we did ask a photographer to take a picture of the event. There were several other high-profile sporting events that occurred this weekend which we needed to cover.

This is intended as a photo/caption rather than a comprehensive write-up of the soccer game. Although we would like to post stories about all sports in our area, it is impossible for us to cover everything that occurs (believe me, we wish we could), especially on the weekends. Perhaps one of the other Town Square posters who attended the game would be kind enough to offer a recap of the game....


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Tyler

Thank you for your comments and I do appreciate that your sports reporters did have other events to cover. However, I did think that since this event was such an unusual occurance that it may have warranted even a news coverage in its own right. I am disappointed because as far as I can see, the event had poor coverage by all Bay area media. I did see some coverage on one of the local news channels, but that was all.

I am enjoying all the Little League coverage at present, so please keep that up also.


Posted by Soccer (not riot) fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 6:46 pm

The large police presence was probably in connection with the sport, not the ethnicity of the fans.

I went to a match in Europe where fights broke out between opposing fans (all white). Firecrackers tossed between sections lit a man's hair on fire, and despite police in full riot gear and attack dogs, a large fight broke out on the field.

I've never been more frightened in my life.

The best seat is at home, in front of the telly!


Posted by Driver, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 6:52 pm

A suggestion for Stanford on game days. Why not have a drive and ride parking lot at say Edgewood Plaza on game days, well publicised in advance of course, and have shuttles (Marguerites) shuttle along Embarcadero to the stadium. This should cut down on some of the game traffic and also relieve parking.


Posted by Soccer fan, a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Wow. Almost 50,000 fans descend on Stanford stadium for a soccer game and it's not worth the Weekly's attention?

For those who asked: it was a friendly exhibition game. Not exactly a thriller. But first class professional soccer should be returning in 2008, so don't forget to get your Earthquakes' season tickets.

As for the fireworks: disturbing. Security did indeed seem mostly focused on confiscating bottled water a la airport security, no doubt to ensure that fans would be purchasing $5 soft drinks at the stadium.


Posted by Alfie Noakes, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Resident: Anybody who showed up to this soccer game at 'a little before 6pm' when it was a 6pm kick-off can only blame themselves for not being able to find parking etc. Approximately 50,000 people arrived to see this spectacle so clearly there's going to be some congestion.
As for the Stadium, I think it's much better now than it ever was and I hope there are more events like this in the future!
This is soccer. It's a fast game and it's over in 90 minutes. It's the World's greatest sport, so come on U.S.A, embrace it!


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 16, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

So that's what it was! I was leaving the the Stanford Shopping Center and got stuck for ages on El Camino after the game. It was rather chaotic, with some pretty aggressive drivers. As someone mentioned, too bad there wasn't much advance notice so those not going to the game could have avoided the area.


Posted by James, a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2007 at 8:28 am

Freway exits closed, Residential Sreets closed, No parking lots, Lost attendants......need I say more? I will never go back to a Stanford organized game and so will my group of 120 people that I took to the game.........We left San Francisco at 3:30pm! That should be plenty of time to be at the game...but noooo! We still missed the first 10 minutes of the game.

Not to mention the guy scanning the tickets at the gate......with what looked like a big cell phone.... Infamy, ridiculous, amateur at best...worst than 3rd world, which I've been to.


Posted by Sports fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 10:16 am

A couple more comments

Saturday's soccer crowd was not the atypical crowd that would attend a Stanford game and authorities should have realised this. I am from England and most of the people in the stands around me were English, Irish or other European and were there with families. Our culture at a soccer game would not even think about tailgating, it is an American culture which just doesn't happen in Europe and it wouldn't occur to us to get there hours early for a family cookout before the game.

Also, this game was not an important game in the sense that there was glory at stake. This was a friendly. Neither team had brought 100s of their diehard fans from home who are usually the cause of the hooliganism that usually plagues soccer internationals. These were for the most part nostalgic expats looking to teach our children what "real football" is and were excited at doing so in a local venue. For this reason, everyone expected everyone else to be well behaved and both sets of fans showed respect for each other before and after the game, going to and from the stadium.

For me, it was an excellent time with my family. I think the majority of people at the game felt likewise.


Posted by k, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 17, 2007 at 10:34 am

park and ride lot at Edgewood?? - NO!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 10:40 am

Typical Palo Alto problem. Someone comes up with a possible solution to an occasional problem and one NIMBY complains.


Posted by Sports fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Great pics in this Wed's paper.

Thanks Weekly.


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