The Major League Soccer club broke the world record for the most people to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday.
The ceremony saw 6,256 people dig shovels into the ground to prepare the way for the Earthquakes' new, soccer-specific stadium. The turnout at "Groundbreaking Day" surpassed a mark set in 2007, when 4,532 people participated in an event in Jaipur.
The Earthquakes will leave Buck Shaw Stadium for the 18,000-seat in 2014, but they are already creating plenty of present-day excitement. On Saturday, they won the 2012 Supporters' Shield (which goes to the MLS team with that earns the most points in the regular season) and clinched home-field advantage throught the playoffs.
San Jose thinks on-field success, combined with a new stadium to call home, will make the club a marquee MLS destination for players and fans, according to SJEarthquakes.com.
"This is the event," Earthquakes president David Kaval said. "It sets the tone, it puts us off on a whole other trajectory -– both symbolically in terms of breaking the ground and starting the building of the stadium, but also in terms of where our club is, and an inflection point to take us from a quasi-minor league team to, really, the big leagues.
"I think that's really an amazing accomplishment for our ownership group, our front office, our team."
Kaval says the groundbreaking ceremony will provide fans with a lifelong memory, connecting them to the club for generations.
"This is something that people will remember and tell their grandkids about," he said. "That's the type of event that I like to be a part of, because they're truly historic. They just have such an impact."
"To have the ability to clinch the Supporters’ Shield on the same day that we break ground for our new stadium is really just a momentous occasion," Kaval said. "It’s almost hard to describe how exciting that is."
An official Guinness World Record adjudicator was on hand to count heads and verify the new record. He should stick around town, as the Earthquakes hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday. San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski has scored 25 goals this season, just two shy of the league record Roy Lassiter set in 1996. Sunday could be a two-for-one special, as far as record breaking is concerned.
Photo via Twitter/@SJEarthquakes