Showing posts with label san jose pro sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose pro sports. Show all posts

Friday, August 11, 2023

The San Jose Barracuda and Tech CU Arena

The San Jose Sharks are our most famous pro sports team by far, but did you know that we have an AHL pro team as well called the San Jose Barracuda? They have their own 4,200-seat home called Tech CU Arena and it's attached to the largest ice facility in the United States (370,000 SQFT). It's one of only seven facilities in the US that operate at least six regulation NHL-sized ice rinks. It also happens to be the San Jose Shark's practice facility and is open to the public. You can sign up for non-pro ice hocky, broomball, curling, speed skating or just go for open ice skating. 

The San Jose Barracuda's Arena was part of a 200,000 SQFT expansion of Sharks Ice last year that also added two additional recreational sheets. 

For a look inside head over to the source link. For the San Jose Barracuda's schedule and tickets (an amazing value for a pro game), head over here. 

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, July 27, 2023

San Jose is getting a new pro-sports team!

Soccer continues to get more and more popular in the US. In fact, the US has won the past two women's World Cups and are off to a great start this year.

Bay FC will call San Jose home during the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in 2024. They'll be sharing PayPal Park with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Bay FC will invest more than $3M in a 3,600 SQFT facility adjacent to the stadium for the team's locker room, offices, and training facilities.

Stadium capacity is 18,000 and PayPal park has the largest outdoor bar in North America, a 2-acre fan zone, and a variety of suites and club seats. It's easily one of the nicest soccer-specific stadiums in the US.

For tickets to the inaugural season and to learn more, check out the Bay FC website over here. I'll also permanently add a link to the right under Pro Sports teams.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Solar4America ice rink expansion

This is an old story, but is still worth sharing. The Solar4America ice rink where the San Jose Sharks practice, will be doubling in size over the next few years and will soon become the largest ice rink on the West Coast.

At 180,000 SQFT, the building is one of just eight facilities in the US to have at least four NHL regulation-sized ice rinks. The $150 million expansion would add a staggering 200,000 SQFT.

The new space would have an additional community rink, a competition rink for the San Jose Barracuda, and a new practice facility for the Sharks.

If everything goes well, then construction will begin at the start of 2020 and be complete by the end of 2021.

Source: Enterprise-Record

Thursday, December 29, 2016

World Cup qualifying match coming to San Jose in March

On March 24th, the US Men's National Team will face off with Honduras in Avaya Stadium for a shot at the 2018 World Cup. The US lost its first two qualifying games, so it is pretty much do or die for the team. It should be a great game and it's a huge honor for San Jose to host it.

Source: SVBJ

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Stats: Rents are higher near the Shark Tank

There is a sometimes controversial theory that sports venues increase property values around them. A recent RentCafe study adds some legs to the connection. Based on their analysis, rents are on average 27% higher within a 2-mile radius of NHL arenas. San Jose in particular has 18% higher rents within this radius than the rest of the city.

This is not always the case. For example, rents are a 31% less near the Oakland Coliseum based on a similar study for NFL teams (Levi's Stadium shows up as 9% higher rent). For more info, hit the source link.

Source: RentCafe

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Game Six!

Let the rally continue!

On the fence in a desperate Game Five in Pittsburgh, the Sharks successfully staved off elimination, bringing the series back to San Jose to play their last game in front of the faithful fans this season.  A win today will force a Game Seven in Pittsburgh, this time with the momentum on the Sharks' side.

Goaltender Martin Jones' brilliant performance (who arguably has played a significant role in keeping the Sharks in the running), coupled with an extremely solid defensive core, kept the Sharks in the lead.  Jones made 44 saves in Game Five, some of which were deadly scoring chances that many thought would be goals.  While the Penguins lit up Jones with shots, the Sharks' strategy of ensuring quality shots has given them a lower shot count.  The Penguins have also been nothing short of amazing with their positioning as to block most of the Sharks' opportunities and to not allow any clear shots towards the net.

While the Penguins currently have the upper hand on the series lead, the Sharks have shown stronger play as a team with each progressive game this series as they learn from the Penguins' method of playing, matching speed with finesse, and blind shots with quality scoring chances.  The Sharks had plenty of scoring opportunities in Game Five (i.e. one-on-none on the goalie), but Penguins goaltender Murray found a way each time to keep his team in the running.  Converting more of these can tun these close games into more of a runaway.  (Remember Game Seven vs. the Predators in Round Two?)  Ardent observers of the game understand that while you need to be good to begin with, hockey really comes down to matching up playing styles, and the Sharks' lack of experience with playing a team like the Penguins hurt in the opening of the Stanley Cup Finals.

This undoubtedly has changed in the Sharks' favor as this series has unfolded.

There are several points of consideration I would like to mention that will keep the Sharks fans happy and force a Game Seven.  See below:

The Sharks absolutely must be the first team to score.  While they demonstrated that - twice - in Game Five, it is equally important to not let up and allow the opposition to get two quick ones right back.  As the Sharks have shown this series that they have learned the Penguins' style of play to adapt to it (notice how the Penguins do not look as 'fast' as they did in Games One and Two?), they certainly will learn to "shut the gates" if they can throw one or two quick ones during the first period.

One notable point about this series is the lack of scoring by each team's best players.  Notice the lack of scoring by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin (well, he did get one 'weak' one in Game Five), and Phil Kessel (invisible since Game One)?  Thank Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun.  While Martin Jones' kudos is rightly earned, the Sharks' defensemen have been extremely hard at work, nullifying the team's most capable offensive producers.  (That explains why players like Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues struggles to put points on the board.)

In addition to this, we must continue to position ourselves well to eliminate any potential scoring chance.  We have shown that we can do this, so let us continue on!

This one is both for the fans and for the players.  We can watch the trash talk and videos of Joe Thornton messing with Sidney Crosby, but there is good reason why playing at home gives the home team a distinct advantage.  Even more so, players voted the SAP Center as the toughest place to play in the entire league (as evidenced by this video, where the two facilities determined as 'tougher' to play no longer exist).  In other words: NO EXCUSES!  Time to be loud!  Remember that hockey is a fast-paced game, and either team can certainly recover from any goal deficit, so keep the cheers coming!

Sharks hockey, when they are playing well, is like watching some kind of art form.  Joe Thornton is arguably one of the best passers - ever - in the NHL, and watching him set up teammates is quite fun to watch.  Now that we know Joe Thornton can shoot as well, we are seeing far more scoring from any line he is on.  It seems now Thornton is not the only one who can pass well, with the likes of Tomas Hertl, and setting up scorers like Joonas Donskoi and Joel Ward.  While it is natural to have the Stanley Cup Final jitters, the Sharks need to relax and play like they can, because when they are indeed "cool and collected," it is quite beautiful to watch; not only what the team can do with the puck, but how the puck beautifully enters the opposing net.

We saw Brent Burns score in Game Five (the first time this series) and add on a couple of extra exciting scoring chances.  Joe Pavelski, despite getting his only goal on an empty netter, looked quite good as well.  The Sharks' prominent offense is waking up, and it does not seem like it will slow down through the rest of the series.  If they can keep this all up, a forced Game Seven seems all too within reach.

Along with many other diehard fans, I will be in attendance tonight.  It is going to be a fun one!


Go Sharks!

It's great to see Centerra showing some team spirit!

Source: jawz from the San Jose Development Forum

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Your guide to San Jose festivities during the Stanley Cup Final Series

Sharks Themed Festivities in San Jose Encourage Fans to #TurnUpInTeal

SAN JOSE, Calif. – For the first time ever, the Stanley Cup Final Series comes to San Jose and the city has planned several events and activities for Sharks supporters and traveling fans. There are a variety of ways to cheer on the Sharks and the list below is your guide to celebrating the Final in San Jose:

It's Happening! Sharks at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in Downtown San Jose (June 4, 6, 9, 12 and 15 from Noon – 6:00 p.m.)
During home and away Stanley Cup games Plaza de Cesar Chavez will host a Sharks Rally with food trucks, a dessert truck, SJ Boom Box, a beer/wine garden, and games including Cornhole, Ping-Pong, giant Jenga, and more.

San Pedro Square Market Viewing Party (June 6 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
San Pedro Square Market is the official Sharks viewing party for game 4. Fans will be treated to a Sharks game production and entertainment.

SubZERO Festival in the SoFA District (June 3 and 4 from 6:00 p.m. – Midnight)
SubZERO Festival is a mash-up of street-meets-geek with outdoor stages and entertainment from over 300 artists, musicians, performers, plus food trucks and craft beer tasting. The festival takes place along South First St. between San Carlos and Reed Streets.


#TurnUpinTeal and win Sharks prizes
When you "turn up in teal" at participating locations throughout San José, you have a chance to win San Jose Sharks prizes and Final tickets. For a list of times and locations visit:

20 Percent Off at the San Jose Museum of Art
The San Jose Museum of Art will offer 20 percent off museum admission to anyone wearing their Sharks gear. The museum’s “Art and Science” exhibition that opened on June 1, prominently features “Shark’s Tooth” by Catherine Wagner.

Lick Observatory Declares Itself Sharks Territory
Sharks territory extends to the top of Mount Hamilton at the iconic Lick Observatory, where visitors can enjoy stunning views from 4,200 feet above the valley and see one of the largest refracting telescopes in the world. Discover how physicist Stephen Hawking is working with Lick Observatory on the biggest scientific search for intelligent life in the universe.

Stanley Cup Cocktail Crawl – On your way to the game be sure to stop by the following restaurants and bars for Sharks themed cocktails:
  • Peggy Sue's (29 N San Pedro St #100): Shark Tank (32oz. margarita) – three shots of Tequila, two shots of triple sec, lime juice, premium blue curacao, and sweet and sour mix.
  • AFK Gaming Lounge (163 W Santa Clara St.): Shark Bowl cocktail – Smirnoff Sour Berry Vodka, special teal sauce and lemon lime soda.
  • Nomikai (48 S 1st St.): Shark Tank Punch Bowl – Coconut rum, blue curacao, pineapple, lemon juice and gummy sharks.
  • O'Flaherty's Irish Pub (25 N San Pedro St.): Shark Attack – a Great White Beer paired with a shot of Jameson.
Happy hour at Stanley’s Sports Bar
Stanley’s Sports Bar located inside Sharks Ice and the home of the San Jose practice facility is offering happy hour pricing for every Stanley Cup Final game.

“Jumbo Joe” Burger at the Fairmont San Jose
The Fairmont San Jose’s Lobby Lounge is offering Sharks themed menus including: Shark Attack Burger & Brew Special, which comes with a “Jumbo Joe” Burger (Niman Ranch Burger, Braised Short Ribs, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Onion Rings and Chipotle Ranch) and Local Draft Beer; and The Power Play Special, which comes with a “Jumbo Joe” Burger, Local Draft Beer and Decadent Chocolate Brownie.

Sharks themed sandwiches at Ike's Love & Sandwiches
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches in San Jose is serving up Sharks themed sandwiches including: a Patrick Marleau Sandwich with Roast beef, bacon, creamy horseradish, Sriracha and jack cheese; a Go Sharks Sandwich with Vegan Chicken, Honey Mustard, Buffalo Wing Sauce and Gouda; and a Randy Hahn with ham, dirty sauce and cheddar.

For the latest information on San Jose Sharks festivities and events, visit

In addition, here is a bonus release disclosing a wager between Team San Jose and VisitPITTSBURGH...

Team San Jose and VisitPittsburg Make Stanley Cup Final Series Wager

San Jose, Calif. – Team San Jose CEO Karolyn Kirchgesler and VisitPITTSBURGH President and CEO Craig Davis made a friendly wager for the Stanley Cup Final Series between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

VisitPITTSBURGH will send Primanti’s Bros. sandwiches, a burnt almond torte (one of Pittsburgh’s most famous desserts) from Prantl’s Bakery and traditional pierogies from Pierogies Plus to San Jose if the Penguins lose. Team San Jose will send tacos and orange sauce from La Victoria, J. Lohr wine and manju from San Jose’s Japantown to Pittsburgh, if the Sharks lose.

“San Jose has been waiting a long time for the Sharks to go to the finals we couldn’t be happier for our team and our city,” said Karolyn Kirchgesler. “We are grateful to share the spotlight with a major sports destination in Pittsburgh and look forward to showing Pittsburgh Penguins fans all that San Jose has to offer leisure travelers. It will be a great series and we’re glad to be part of the action with this wager against VisitPITTSBURGH.”

The city of San Jose will colored in teal in support of the Sharks throughout the Stanley Cup Final Series. Visitors can look forward to discounts at local attractions and enjoy viewing parties and street rally’s throughout Downtown San Jose.

“We are excited to make this wager with our colleagues from the beautiful city of San Jose, so we can show our tremendous pride in our Pittsburgh Penguins who have helped make Pittsburgh a legendary sports town and a major sports destination,” said Craig Davis, President and CEO. “Both of our teams have put our cities in the national spotlight, and that exposure will help drive tourism well into the future. We invite the great sports fans from San Jose to come and visit Pittsburgh and experience our great restaurants, hotels, sports events, attractions, theaters, museums and attractions.”

In 2015 Pittsburgh was named one of the top 10 destinations on the rise by Trip Advisor and the No. 1 Food City in the U.S. by Zagat. Prantl’s Bakery is a Pittsburgh institution and the Huffington Post recently named their Burnt Almond Torte the “best cake America has ever made.”

Primanti's Bros is a Pittsburgh original, known for topping its sandwiches with coleslaw and French fries. The Penguins' third line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel — the HBK line — has grown in such popularity that it has its own Primanti's sandwich

Pierogies Plus is the go-to place for homemade authentic pierogies, a crescent-shaped, tender dumpling filled with a variety of fillings – potato and cheese is most popular.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Go Sharks!!!

Here is a great photo before Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals posted by Hillrise on the San Jose Picture Thread at SkyscraperCity. This year could be the first time in history that the Sharks win the Stanley Cup!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The San Jose Sharks are going to the Stanley Cup Finals!!!

For the first time in history, the Sharks are the NHL Western Conference Champions! Fourth time's a charm. Next week San Jose will participate in the Stanley Cup Finals! Now's the time to paint the city teal.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

San Jose will host the 2016 MLS All-Star game

On July 28th, the MLS All-Stars will take on Arsenal FC at Avaya Stadium. Arsenal's draw is huge--people from around the world will be coming to see the team play. The best part is that the event will bring a whole week's worth of events that include parties at San Pedro Square to celebrate soccer and the MLS. It is expected to be a significant economic driver for San Jose.

This will be the Arsenal's first visit to play in the Bay Area. For more information hit the source link below.

Source: MLS

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Celebrate the Big Game at Santana Row

San Jose, CA  - Santana Row adds to the Bay Area’s celebration of the Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium with a long weekend of football festivities at Silicon Valley’s Premier Destination. Come join the fun!

The Beer Blitz Presented by Anheuser Busch
Thursday, Feb. 4, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Santana Row kicks off Super Bowl 50 weekend by hosting The Beer Blitz Presented by Anheuser Busch, an evening featuring 10 breweries in eight locations with each stop representing a division of the NFL. (Some locations will have more than one brewery.)

Partnering with The Beerwalk organizers, the Santana Row event includes an evening of unlimited tastings in the participating locations, an official Big Game swag bag from Anheuser Busch and a passport for shopping and dining discounts to stores and restaurants at The Row! Anheuser Busch will have a pop-up shop in Santana Row Park where other activities are also planned.

Tickets: $100 per person and limited in number. Includes:

  • Unlimited tastings
  • Souvenir pint glass
  • Gift bags with Big Game merchandise

Check-in Location and time:
Santana Row Park, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Bud Light
Shock Top

Featured imported breweries:
Stella Artois

Featured National Breweries:
Elysian Brewing, Seattle, WA
Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles, CA
Goose Island, Chicago, IL
10 Barrel Brewing Company, Eugene, OR

Highlighted Local Breweries:
Red Branch Cider Company, Sunnyvale, CA
Santa Clara Valley Brewing, San Jose, CA
New Bohemia Brewing Co, Santa Cruz, CA
Golden State Brewery, Santa Clara, CA
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, San Francisco, CA
Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA

Tasting locations:
Santana Row Park
lululemon athletica
Kit and Ace
Pasta Pomodoro
Rosie McCann's Irish Pub & Restaurant
Roots and Rye
Sino restaurant
Straits restaurant

Super Bowl activities at The Row, Thursday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, Feb. 7
One of the Bay Area’s most-talked about destination for food, fun and festivities
is hosting Super Bowl events and offering shuttle service to hotel guests from select hotels and to Levi’s Stadium on game day. More details coming soon!

  • Live music in the parks and plazas from Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 through Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016.
  • Complimentary round-trip shuttle service from The Fairmont and Hilton hotels in San Jose are offered on Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6. The shuttle service begins at 11 a.m. each day in front of each hotel. The service will run every 45 minutes continuously all day to and from Santana Row, with the last shuttle departing each hotel at approximately 8:45 p.m. The shuttle will drop guests off at Santana Row, which is about five miles away, and guests are picked up at the same location as the drop-off to return to the hotels.  Questions? Contact Santana Row Concierge, 408.55.4611.
  • Super Bowl ticket holders can conveniently pick up their tickets in the days leading up to the Big Game. Ticketmaster will be on site at Santana Row, next to Z Gallerie.
  • On Super Bowl Sunday, Santana Row will have its ongoing shuttle service to Levi’s Stadium for those going to the game. Shuttles depart at 1 p.m., about two and a half hours before game time (3:15 p.m.) and tickets are $30 for each passenger. See details below.

Super Bowl 50 Viewing Parties and Happy Hour Specials for Super Bowl 50!
Several Santana Row restaurants and bars are inviting football fans to enjoy the Big Game and feast on festive food and drinks:

  • Left Bank Brasserie will be showing the game on two large screens in the bar area and has an exclusive happy hour beginning at 3 p.m. Wings, sliders and other nibbles for $6, plus select wines and beers for $5.
  • Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant will have a large projector screen in the restaurant as well as smaller TVs in the bar area.
  • The Counter will be showing the game and is offering happy hour specials all day, including half off starters, $2 mini burgers, $2 off draft beer, wine, signature cocktails and adult shakes. Wings are six for $6.
  • VBar at Hotel Valencia airs the game in the bar area and will have special hours from Thursday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, Feb. 7. Drink specials and a special Super Bowl menu items are offered.
  • Vintage Wine Bar won’t be televising the game but is celebrating anyway with all-you-can-drink-champagne (featuring Taittinger, Pommery and Delamotte) for $60 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • LB Steak will have all day happy hour and the Big Game showing on two TVs.

Calling all Super Bowl 50 Ticket Holders!
Take the Round Trip Shuttle to Levi’s Stadium from Santana Row
Avoid the headache of game day traffic! Take the shuttle from The Row to Levi’s Stadium for a hassle-free day that starts with easy parking, shopping and dining perks.
Shuttles leave two hours before game time.
Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, Super Bowl 50 (departs at 1 p.m. for 3:15 p.m. kickoff)
The shuttle registration begins about 30 minutes before departure time. Registration and shuttles are located near the CineArts Theatre.
Your $30 ticket, which can be purchased in the concierge office or at, includes:

  • Round trip transportation to Levi’s Stadium
  • Free parking at Santana Row
  • Santana Row shopping and dining incentives

When you arrive at Santana Row, park your vehicle in the designated, secured parking lot on Winchester Boulevard in the former Century 21 Theatre area. Walk across Winchester Boulevard to Olsen Drive where the registration table and bus will be waiting to load in front of the theater. The bus departs at the scheduled time (two hours prior to game time), and will not wait for passengers.

Levi’s Stadium drop-off site:
The bus will park at the official shuttle drop-off location at the stadium. One hour after the conclusion of the game, the bus will depart from the same location. Passengers not on bus at the specified departure time, will not receive transportation back to Santana Row.


About Santana Row
Santana Row, a 647,000 square foot mixed-use development in San Jose, CA, is Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living and working. Santana Row features over 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail & restaurant collection, Santana Row offers 615 luxury rental homes, 219 privately owned condos and 65,000 square feet of Class A office space. Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit

About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply.  Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities.  Federal Realty’s 90 properties include over 2,600 tenants, in approximately 21 million square feet, and 1500 residential units.
Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 48 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit

Sunday, January 31, 2016

VTA Plan for the Super Bowl

There are going to be some major VTA route changes during the Super Bowl next week. The most substantial of which is a complete closure of Light Rail in front of the stadium itself. If you are one of the lucky ones with Super Bowl tickets and are planning to take Light Rail to the big game--or you just plan on using Light Rail at any time on February 7th--you should watch the video below.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

San Liccardo and Jim Plunkett Welcome Super Bowl Fans

Team San Jose has created a short video with our mayor and San Jose-native Jim Plunkett. Stay tuned over the next week for more info on all the great San Jose events happening during Super Bowl week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Plaza de Cesar Chavez Hosting Light Shows, Cafe, and Beer Garden During Super Bowl Week

Downtown San Jose has ambitious plans for Super Bowl Week. Plaza de Cesar Chavez is going to be transformed into the epicenter of South Bay festivities thanks to $150,000 in privately funded improvements (split between the Adobe Foundation and the Knight Foundation).

The trees will be lit with animated LED displays that are synchronized with both live and recorded music. There will be a new cafe and beer garden open from noon until 10pm and well as food trucks along the perimeter of the park. They will even have games for visitors such as a scaled-down football field and ping pong tables.

Some of the attractions will be used to showcase what can be done in urban parks, while some others like lighting improvements and new furniture will be permanent. That is a big win for our top park in Downtown San Jose. Hopefully we will do more events like this in the future. A permanent cafe in the middle of the park would not be a bad idea either.

You will be able to check out the new and improved Plaza de Cesar Chavez from January 29th to February 7th.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, December 6, 2015

An Emotional Game

An emotional game.  A passionate game.  A game only the most ambitious can win.

I write, of course, about the NHL, and more specifically, our Sharks.  In today’s fast paced sport with largely even teams, skill can only go so far before work ethic and desire must take over to be advantageous.

Skill certainly helps define how well a hockey player can execute in any given game, but as any ardent observer of hockey can confirm, it is the will and hunger that ultimately determines the difference between winning and losing.  In an era where there each game presents no discernible certainty of victory, it is only true desire, which in turn fuels better execution, that provides the advantage.

Many can assume that the Chicago Blackhawks or the Los Angeles Kings, the only two teams to have had multiple Stanley Cup Victories in the last six years, are the strongest teams and have the best chance of winning.  While having postseason success is indeed the mark of superior hockey playing, by skills alone, it is inconclusive to determine, on stats alone, that the current Blackhawks or Kings team are better than any other team out there.  The Blackhawks, for example, have dropped the last three games in a row.

From a standpoint of skill, the Sharks are unquestionably one of the top NHL teams in the league.  If the results of today’s hockey are dictated by skill alone, the Sharks would have no problems finishing in the very top amongst perennial playoff contenders each year.  I mean, look at Joe Thornton, arguably the best playmaker on the ice today (still!), and a combination of terrific young talent (e.g. Karlsson, Donskoi, Hertl) to complement the veteran leadership.  How about the amazing consistency of Captain Joe Pavelski?  Fans will remember, of course, that the Sharks did not qualify for the playoffs last year for the first time in over a decade.  Why is that?  What happened?

The lackluster finish should be clear to fans of the team.  As a whole, there was a lack of emotion, a lack of passion.  No aggressive net crashing.  No accurate passing or shooting.  No desire to take it to the postseason, despite having the skill to do so.

Often times, just by watching the first five to ten minutes of any Sharks game, I can predict the end result.  From a game’s onset, if I witness energetic speed, pinpoint pass and shot accuracy, and aggressiveness, the Sharks generally have a good chance of winning.  Some of the most exciting games I have witnessed the Sharks play came against the rival Anaheim Ducks last year (a team that finished high in the league standings), where their overt display of toughness and energy allowed them to win in four out of their five total contests (with their only loss coming from overtime).  Sure, the Sharks had moments of brilliance against other teams, but the body checks were not as hard, the players did not appear as fast, and the team did not seem to quickly adapt to their opponents’ changing strategy.

It is easy to see when our boys in teal decide to “turn it on,” like in such instances where one would be convinced their proficiency at scoring goals is better on the penalty kill or even strength than the power play.  The team’s proficiency is more than just executing good strategies.  It is the requirement to be hungry and aggressive.  Watch any NHL game today, and you will find that most goals come from an intense rush from one end to another, and with players cognizant of each other’s position as to increase the awareness of where a passed or rebounded puck will end up.  Remember, proper crashing of the net translates to goals, as does reading, understanding, and adapting to the opposition.

Last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was a good example of the polarizing impact of playing with emotion.  The Sharks lost 4-3 in regulation, but at one time was at a 4-1 deficit in the third period.  Early on in the game, the Sharks were indeed not playing well, made worse by bad reads, such as missed passes to the point (i.e. the area in the back of the offensive zone where defensemen often stand) and lack of energy.  This is not to say the Sharks displayed no energy (besides, who am I to comment on the ethic of seasoned pro athletes?), but I have seen far better execution.

At the second half of the game, with the Sharks at that point down 2-0, the team started performing extremely well.  The Sharks not only maintained significant control of the puck, but managed to get off a lot of shots through to Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop as well.  Most notable was the performance of Brent Burns, likely the best example on the Sharks of playing complete, passionate hockey.  At of today, Burns is third in the league in points for defenseman, and first in goals (with ten).  During the game, Burns not only got unleashed his devastating shot (with a team leading seven), and scoring, he also set up plays for others, and at one defining moment of an offensive power play push, blocked a clearing attempt by the Lightning and kept the play moving.  This play set up the first goal of the game from a blast by Matt Tennyson.

Shooting repeatedly at the net, skating hard, and having constant awareness of one’s teammates is critical in the NHL for steering one’s team to victory.  The Sharks may have unlocked their potential late in the game, the attempted rally was too late to overcome the struggles of the first half, complemented with timely blocks and fortunate saves by the Lightning.  With a game as fast as the NHL, even dropping one’s guard for one minute can be the difference between winning and losing, especially in games where the decision is by one goal.

If the Sharks play like they did the second half of yesterday’s game, they will finish at the top of the Pacific Division.  Likewise, if they do not, the team must attempt to rely on their skill to win games; however, as I mentioned earlier on, how far can skill alone really take a team in the NHL? This year, we finally have solid leadership with the team of Joe Pavelski (C) - Joe Thornton (A) - Logan Couture (A). May they inspire the team to carry through a successful 2015-2016 season!

(Despite how the game turned out, wishing all the best for goaltender Ben Bishop, whose unprotected neck was the unfortunate recipient of Tomas Hertl’s deflected stick.  Hope for a speedy recovery!)

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Fencing Center is Celebrating Their Anniversary on July 5th

Not only are the U.S. National Fencing Championships in San Jose this year (June 27-July 6), but the oldest fencing club in Silicon Valley--and the largest fencing venue in the Bay Area by far--is celebrating the one-year anniversary of their new facility by unveiling two large sculptures on July 5th. The unveiling event will have food, drinks, and music and me emceed by Scott Knies (Executive Director of the San Jose Downtown Association).

To be honest, I had no idea we had such a prestigious fencing facility in San Jose. The Fencing Center has been responsible for Junior and Senior National Champions, U.S. Olympic Team members, NCAA all-Americans, and prominent international fencing officials and coaches. For more info, check out the press release below or head over to their website (wow, they managed to register the domain

SAN JOSE – With more than 4,000 athletes in town for the U.S. Fencing National Championships, the South Bay’s oldest fencing club, The Fencing Center of San Jose, will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its new facility with the unveiling of two sculptures by former U.S. Olympic fencer Peter Schifrin on July 5. 

The Fencing Center will host “A Celebration of U.S. Fencing,” open to the public, on July 5 from 6-8 p.m. The reception will feature a performance by Schifrin at 7 p.m. when his two fencing themed sculptures, “The Salute” and “The Final Touch,” are presented to The Fencing Center where they will be on permanent loan. 

The largest fencing tournament in the world, the Nationals will feature both individual and team events in three weapons – foil, saber and epee – with national titles awarded for both men and women in all age groups, plus berths on National teams.

While the National Championships take place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center June 27-July 6, The Fencing Center welcomes all competitors to practice for free at its new 15,000 square foot club just south of downtown San Jose at 1290 S. First Street. 

The two bronze sculptures of fencers are the first sports-themed work Schifrin has created since his San Jose State University days as a young epee fencer who represented the U.S. in the 1984 Olympic Games. A former Fencing Center coach and now an art professor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Schifrin is known for his public art sculptures, notably Coyotes in San Jose and Confluence in San Francisco. 

“The Fencing Center’s dedication to the art of fencing continues through these powerful sculptures that celebrate the very joy of our sport,” said Sandeep Tawari, president of The Fencing Center Board of Directors.

Connie Yu, a long time coach at the club, commissioned the sculptures in homage to the legacy of The Fencing Center in San Jose. Yu, while a fencer herself, served on The Fencing Center’s first board of directors, and her three children, Jennifer, Jessica and Martin were all fencers, too.

“Fencing is an art form as well as a competitive sport. It’s not just about making the touches and winning,” Yu said. “I want to bring back the culture and pageantry that inspire people to be fencers, and having Peter’s sculptures here can help do that.”

The Fencing Center has a long association with downtown San Jose. Its first club opened in 1982 on the second floor of the old Mercury News Building at 10 Notre Dame Avenue, then moved to 40 North Street after incorporating as a non-profit organization, and finally operating for 18 years at 110 Stockton Avenue just behind the SAP Center until last year.

The Fencing Center boasts a long roster of members who have become Junior and Senior National champions, U.S. Olympic Team members, NCAA all-Americans, international fencing officials and prominent fencing coaches. The center continues its tradition of offering classes for all weapons and levels of fencing, including an introductory course, as well as being a host site for local and regional tournaments with 16 Olympic length strips, making it by far the largest fencing venue in the Bay Area. 

The special event on July 5 begins at 6 p.m. with food, beverages and music. The program will commence at 7 p.m. and be emceed by The Fencing Center’s first Executive Director, Scott Knies. There will be open fencing from 8 - 10 p.m. 

A $10 donation per person is suggested. 

For more information on The Fencing Center of San Jose:

For more information on The U.S. Fencing National Championships:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

San Jose Gets a Piece of Super Bowl 50!

Since it was announced that Santa Clara would host Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium next year, it was expected that the city of San Jose would receive some of the benefits as well. After all, our city is a lot closer to the game than San Francisco. San Jose hotels, tourist attractions, and entertainment venues will all do quite well during Super Bowl week. The good news is that the benefits are going to extend beyond that.

A few weeks ago the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee confirmed that one of the teams will be headquartered at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown San Jose and practice at Spartan Stadium. The team will literally be living in Downtown San Jose for the whole week. The hotel is right next to the San Jose Convention Center, The City National Civic, and The Montgomery Theater... I think the odds are quite good that the team will plan some events in the area much like the WWE did during Wrestlemania. There are already talks of using the SAP Center to stage the Super Bowl Media Day. Best of all, these benefits are coming to San Jose for free. Heck, SJSU is even getting a Football locker room upgrade out of this.

Fortunately, San Jose is planning to take full advantage of the situation. Our awesome Downtown Ice Rink in the Circle of Palms will be extended through February 7th and a "party zone" will likely be created Downtown for fans.

Who knows, by the next time a Super Bowl is hosted at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara and San Jose might fully become the official host cities with the auxiliary events in SF.

Source: The Merc

Friday, May 29, 2015

Earthquakes Hosting a FREE Viewing Party at Avaya Stadium Tomorrow

What a great way to increase utilization at what is perhaps the nicest stadium in the MLS. The Earthquakes are going to host a series of admission-free viewing parties for away games. The first one will be tomorrow at 2pm with the Quakes facing off against Toronto FC. The next will be on Saturday, June 20th against the Seattle Sounders FC at 1pm.

The gates to Avaya stadium open one hour prior to kickoff and fans will be able to watch the matches on the massive screen facing Coleman Avenue. Concessions will be available as well as two food trucks. Best of all, the largest outdoor bar in America will be open and serving fans throughout the game.

Lastly, there will be activities located in the two-acre 7UP Epicenter, but the Quakes did not disclose what those activities will be.

Source: Earthquakes