While it has been stated publicly that the 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara would be a shoo-in at hosting some of the World’s largest sporting and entertainment events like the Super Bowl, Wrestlemania and International soccer contests, the culturally diverse Bay Area could also bring hundreds of thousands of guests to Santa Clara for cultural and religious events.
The myriad of events hosted at the new stadium could include International soccer contests, outdoor lacrosse, college football game, high school championship football and lacrosse games, Native American games, concerts and large conventions – such as the Democratic National Convention, which in 2009, was held at Invesco Stadium in Denver. In addition to these events, Mohammed Nadeem, a Civil Service commissioner and Santa Clara Rotarian believes an array of cultural events will also attract visitors to Santa Clara.
“I believe the Stadium will be a game changer for Santa Clara,” states Nadeem. “I believe the Stadium will help us in bringing our Communities and families together for the greater good of all Santa Clarans for a variety of reasons.”
Among the events Nadeem envisions taking place at the Stadium include Eid celebrations. Muslims celebrate two major festivals each year, Eid Ul Fitr, a day of prayers, thanks and celebration after the month-long Ramadan fasting and Eid Il Adha, a day of prayers, thanks and celebration at the conclusion of Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).
According to Nadeem, there are about 200,000 Muslims from all over the world – Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Middle Eastern, African and European Muslims living in the Bay Area. On an average about 50,000 attend and participate in Eid prayers at several different Mosques of the Bay Area.
“With the state of the art stadium built in Santa Clara, it will bring these 50,000 Muslims together for big prayer/celebration/festivals on Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Adha. In other words, 100,000 Muslims coming into Santa Clara on two different days … creating a great cultural and good for business in Santa Clara. You’re looking 100,000 folks spending tens of thousands of dollars in Santa Clara. It’s a win-win situation for the City of Santa Clara with immense potential revenues for the city of Santa Clara.”
Nadeem adds that the Muslim community of the Bay Area holds a variety of charity fundraisers, raising approximately $2 million in any given year. The fundraisers are held at various smaller locations scattered throughout the Bay Area. Nadeem believes the stadium would attract event organizers to consolidate their resources, holding major fundraising events at the stadium.
Another ethnic sporting event, cricket, could be a hidden gem for the stadium as well, as there are over 100,000 cricket fans in the Bay Area, with several major cricket leagues in the area, including the Santa Clara Cricket Club, established over 25 years ago.
Cricket is a very popular sport in the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), England, South Africa, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
The 2015 World Cricket Cup will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Nadeem believes that Santa Clara should bid at hosting the 2019 World Cricket Cup, “again, you’re looking at least 60,000 people coming together. In fact, we could also host several one-day international cricket matches inviting the teams in any given year.”
Soccer and Field Hockey World Cups
“My community loves soccer and field hockey. To put it plainly, folks from Indian subcontinent, Middle East, and Africa love soccer and field hockey – the next world cup soccer is scheduled for 2014, the Santa Clara Stadium will be able to feature world class soccer/field hockey teams between 2018 and 2022.
Nadeem also believes many multicultural concerts organized by Muslims, Hindus, and people of all other faiths for a variety of reasons and causes would bring people into the city.
“I believe the City of Santa Clara is uniquely positioned for a stadium. Santa Clarans will enjoy the benefits for a long time to come.”