Commissioner Don Garber voiced objections over the possibility of holding the MLS Cup final at Buck Shaw Stadium should the Earthquakes advance to the league's championship Dec. 1.
"I think if we're able to find a stadium for the Earthquakes, should they be in a position to host the game, it would be better for what they're trying to achieve to have a larger stadium," he told reporters Sunday night at the Seattle-Portland game. "I know there are a lot of their fans who are really passionate about the intimacy of Buck Shaw, but I'd much rather see tens of thousands of people who can experience something special."
The Quakes, who have clinched the Western Conference title, are close to winning the Supporters' Shield for the first time since 2005. The highest-seeded playoff team in the final gets to play host to the MLS Cup match, a change from previous years when it was held at a neutral site.
Club officials are exploring three Bay Area college football stadiums as potential sites: Spartan Stadium, Stanford Stadium and Buck Shaw. The players and coaches have said they want to play at their home stadium where they are 10-0-5 this year and haven't lost since August 2011.
But the stadium at Santa Clara University doesn't have luxury boxes or adequate press facilities to accommodate MLS sponsors and national media. It also would be need additional seating as it holds only 10,500 spectators.
No. 17 Stanford's victory over Arizona last weekend complicates the chances of holding the game at 50,000-seat Stanford Stadium. Quakes officials need to secure a stadium by early November and the schools in the running to play in the Pac-12 championship on Nov. 30 probably won't be decided by then.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.