|"The Q, The Murph"|
|Former names||San Diego Stadium (1967–1980)
Jack Murphy Stadium (1981–1997)
Snapdragon Stadium (December 2011)
|Address||9449 Friars Road|
|Location||San Diego, California|
|Public transit||San Diego Trolley: Qualcomm Stadium Station|
|Owner||City of San Diego|
|Operator||City of San Diego|
|Capacity||70,561 (Football, Chargers)
54,000 (Football, Aztecs)
|Field size||Left field
330 (1969), 327 (1982)
Left-center & Right-center
375 (1969), 370 (1982)
420 (1969), 410 (1973), 420 (1978), 405 (1982)
330 (1969), 327 (1982), 330 (1996)
80 feet (1969), 75 (1982)
|Surface||Bandera Bermuda Grass|
|Broke ground||December 18, 1965|
|Opened||August 20, 1967|
|Construction cost||US$27.75 million
($199 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||Frank L. Hope and Associates|
|San Diego State Aztecs (NCAA) (1967–present)
San Diego Chargers (NFL) (1967–2017)
San Diego Padres (PCL) (1968)
San Diego Padres (MLB) (1969–2003)
San Diego Jaws (NASL) (1976)
Holiday Bowl (NCAA) (1978–present)
San Diego Sockers (NASL) (1978–1984)
Poinsettia Bowl (NCAA) (2005–2016)
Qualcomm Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in San Diego, California, United States. The stadium opened in 1967 as San Diego Stadium and was later known for many years as Jack Murphy Stadium. Since 1997, the stadium's naming rights have been owned by Qualcomm, a San Diego-based telecommunications equipment company. The naming rights expired on June 14, 2017, but there are no such plans to rename the stadium.
It is the home of the San Diego State Aztecs football team from San Diego State University. Two college football bowl games, the Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl, are held in the stadium every December. The stadium was the longtime home of two professional franchises, the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) and the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Chargers played at the stadium from 1967 through the 2016 season, after which they moved to Los Angeles, while the Padres played home games at the stadium from their founding in 1969 through the 2003 season, when they moved to Petco Park in downtown San Diego.
The stadium has hosted three Super Bowl games: Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, and Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. It has also hosted the 1978 and 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, as well as games of the 1996 and 1998 National League Division Series, the 1984 and 1998 National League Championship Series, and the 1984 and 1998 World Series. It is the only stadium ever to host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year (1998) and is one of three stadiums to host the World Series, MLB All-Star Game, and Super Bowl, along with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Qualcomm Stadium is located immediately northwest of the interchange of Interstate 8 and Interstate 15. The neighborhood surrounding the stadium is known as Mission Valley, in reference to the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, which is located to the east, and its placement in the valley of the San Diego River. The stadium is served by the Qualcomm Stadium station of the San Diego Trolley, accessible via the Green Line running toward Downtown San Diego to the west, and Santee to the east.
In the early 1960s, local sportswriter Jack Murphy, the brother of New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy, began to build up support for a multi-purpose stadium for San Diego. In November 1965, a $27 million bond was passed allowing construction to begin on a stadium, which was designed in the Brutalist style. Construction on the stadium began one month later. When completed, the facility was named San Diego Stadium.
The Chargers (then a member of the American Football League) played the first game ever at the stadium on August 20, 1967. San Diego Stadium had a capacity of around 50,000; the three-tier grandstand was in the shape of a horseshoe, with the east end low (consisting of only one tier, partially topped by a large scoreboard). The Chargers were the main tenant of the stadium until 1968, when the AAA Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres baseball team played its last season in the stadium, following their move from the minor league sized Westgate Park. Due to expansion of Major League Baseball, this team was replaced by the current San Diego Padres major-league team beginning in the 1969 season. (The Padres moved out of Qualcomm Stadium following the 2003 season.) The original scoreboard, a black-and-white scoreboard created by All American Scoreboards, was replaced in 1978 by one manufactured by American Sign and Indicator, which was the first full-color outdoor scoreboard ever built. This was replaced in 1987 by a White Way Sign scoreboard, in which the video screen is surrounded almost entirely by three messageboards. The original video board was replaced in 1996 by a Sony JumboTron, with a second JumboTron installed behind the opposite end zone (third base in the stadium's baseball configuration).
After Jack Murphy's death in September 1980, San Diego Stadium was renamed San Diego–Jack Murphy Stadium by a 6–2 vote of the San Diego City Council on January 6, 1981. In 1983, over 9,000 bleachers were added to the lower deck on the open end of the stadium raising the capacity to 59,022. The most substantial addition was completed in 1997, when the stadium was fully enclosed, with the exception of where the scoreboard is located. Nearly 11,000 seats were added in readiness for Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, bringing the capacity to 70,561. Also in 1997, the facility was renamed Qualcomm Stadium after Qualcomm Corporation paid $18 million for the naming rights. The naming rights will belong to Qualcomm until 2017. In order to continue to honor Murphy, the city named the stadium site Jack Murphy Field. However, as part of the naming agreement Jack Murphy Field was not allowed to be used alongside Qualcomm Stadium. Some San Diegans, however, still refer to the stadium as "Jack Murphy" or simply "The Murph". Before his death in 2004, Bob Murphy still referred to it as Jack Murphy Stadium during New York Mets broadcasts, even after it was renamed. The stadium was temporarily renamed "Snapdragon Stadium" for 10 days in December 2011 as a marketing tie in for Qualcomm's Snapdragon brand. The legality of the temporary name change was challenged at the time, since it was agreed to unilaterally by San Diego's mayor, without approval from the City Council and against the advice of the City Attorney.
The stadium was the first of the square-circle "octorad" style, which was thought to be an improvement over the other cookie cutter stadiums of the time for hosting both football and baseball (the second and last of this style was the since-imploded Veterans Stadium). Despite the theoretical improvements of this style, most of the seats were still very far away from the action on the field, especially during baseball games. It is one of the few "cookie-cutter" stadiums to still remain active, along with Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
|Date||Super Bowl||Team (Visitor)||Points||Team (Home)||Points||Spectators|
|January 31, 1988||XXII||Washington Redskins||42||Denver Broncos||10||73,302|
|January 25, 1998||XXXII||Green Bay Packers||24||Denver Broncos||31||68,912|
|January 26, 2003||XXXVII||Oakland Raiders||21||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||48||67,603|
In order to accommodate the dimensions of both football and baseball fields, the stadium was constructed with half of the lower (Field Level) level seating built of permanent concrete (in the southern quadrant of the stadium), and the other half of portable modular construction using aluminum or steel framing.
When the stadium was configured for baseball, the portable sections would be placed in the western quadrant of the stadium along the third base-left field side. Open bullpens were located along both foul lines just beyond the ends of the Field-level seats. In the later years of the Padres' tenure at the stadium, the home plate area took on the shape of home plate itself; this feature is seen in Detroit's Comerica Park today.
In the football configuration, the portable seating sections are placed in the northern quadrant of the stadium (covering what is used as left field in the baseball configuration) to allow for the football field to be laid out east–west (along the first base/right field foul line, with the western end zone placed in the area occupied by the portable seating sections in the baseball configuration, and the eastern end zone along the right-center field wall).
Doorways are cut in the walls of the stadium in order to allow access to these seats from the tunnel below the Plaza level in both configurations (in baseball configuration, the football doors could be seen above the left field inner wall; in football configuration, the baseball doors are visible above the west end zone, opposite the scoreboard). These doors are rolling metal overhead doors, with the field side painted to match the surrounding walls facing the field.
The baseball field dimensions had varied slightly over the years. In 1969, the distance from home plate to the left and right field wall was 330 feet (100 m), the distance to the left- and right-center field power alleys was 375 feet (114 m), and the distance from home plate to the center field was 420 feet (130 m). A 19-foot (5.8 m) wall, whose top was the rim of the Plaza level, surrounded the outfield, making home runs difficult to hit. Later, an eight-foot fence was erected, cutting the distances to 327, 368 and 405 feet (123 m), respectively. In 1996 a note of asymmetry was introduced when a 19-foot (5.8 m) high scoreboard displaying out-of-town scores was erected along the right-field wall near the foul pole and deemed to be in play, and so the distances to right field and right-center field were 330 feet (100 m) and 370 feet (110 m), respectively, while the remaining dimensions remained the same.
Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale's scoreless inning streak at Jack Murphy Stadium on September 28, 1988 as the Los Angeles Dodgers played the San Diego Padres. Rickey Henderson collected his 3000th major league base hit here on October 7, 2001 as a Padre, in what was also the last major league game for Tony Gwynn, the eight-time National League batting champion and Hall of Famer who played his entire career with San Diego. It was also before a Padres game here where comedian Roseanne Barr gave her infamous rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1990.
The stadium was the site of the 1980 AFC Championship Game, which the "Bolts" lost to their AFC West and in-state rival, the Oakland Raiders, 34–27. The Chargers also hosted Wild Card and Divisional Playoff games in 1980, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, going 5-5 in all playoff games held at the stadium. The Chargers were unbeaten at Qualcomm against the Detroit Lions (5–0) and Jacksonville Jaguars (4–0), but winless against the Atlanta Falcons (0–6), Carolina Panthers (0–3), and Green Bay Packers (0–6). The Chargers moved from Qualcomm to the StubHub Center in Carson, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, following the 2016 NFL season.
Since its inception, the stadium, which is approximately five miles from campus, has been the home of San Diego State University Aztecs football. Before the building of the stadium, they had played their games at Balboa Stadium and their small, on-campus stadium, the Aztec Bowl (which is now the site of Viejas Arena, the home of the university's basketball teams). Traditionally, the team, clad in all-black uniforms and red helmets, has played its home games at night, a tradition started during the days of former head coach Don Coryell before the stadium was even opened. There have been attempts in the past to change from "The Look", but all have been associated with subsequent poor play by the Aztecs and a return to the traditional look.
College bowl games
Following the 1978 college football season, the stadium began hosting the Holiday Bowl, an annual bowl game held before New Year's Day. It originally hosted the Western Athletic Conference champion (at the time, the hometown Aztecs had just joined this conference) against a nationally ranked opponent. The game has traditionally been a high-scoring affair, and prior to 2009 no team had ever managed to score less than ten points (which occurred in the 2006 game, when the Texas A&M Aggies lost 45-10 to the California Golden Bears) and only ⅓ of the games have had a team even score less than 20 points. In the 2009 game, Arizona failed to score against Nebraska. The 1984 game is well known for it being the culmination of BYU's championship season, the last championship not won by a member of the current College Football Playoff alliance.
On December 22, 2005, a second bowl game came to San Diego when the inaugural San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl was played at Qualcomm, with Navy beating Colorado State. The Poinsettia Bowl was organized by the same organizing committee as the Holiday Bowl. It was officially discontinued after the 2016 game, as the organizing committee announced (in January 2017) that it had decided to host only one game, beginning with the 2017 season.
Qualcomm Stadium has been a venue for many international soccer matches. The stadium has hosted FIFA tournaments, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the U.S. Cup (an international invitational), as well as many international friendly matches involving the Mexico National Team. The most recent international friendly at Qualcomm set an all-time attendance record for the sport in the region. The match between Mexico and Argentina which was held on June 4, 2008 drew 68,498 spectators. In addition, Qualcomm Stadium was part of the 18-stadium United States 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, but the United States did not win either bid for the World Cup.
The San Diego Sockers of the North American Soccer League played at the stadium from 1978 to 1983. Qualcomm Stadium was the venue of Soccer Bowl '82 of the North American Soccer League and Major League Soccer's 1999 All-Star Game.
In October 1967, just weeks after the stadium opened, it hosted a SCCA event organized by San Diego Region. The event was not held in the stadium itself, but on a temporary course mapped out through the stadium's parking lot. In July 1968, the Region organized a SCCA National for the car park, now called the San Diego Stadium International Raceway, but the combination of a very small crowd and complaints about the noise ensured that the experiment was not repeated.
CIF San Diego Section Finals for high school football are held at Qualcomm Stadium. These usually take place on a Friday in early December, and four games are played (with eight teams representing four separate divisions, which are determined by the enrollment sizes of the individual schools).
Qualcomm Stadium has also hosted rugby matches. In October 1980, the USA played New Zealand in a rugby match televised on ESPN. With 14,000 fans in attendance, this game at the time was the largest crowd ever to watch an international rugby game in the US. Old Mission Beach Athletic Club RFC play rugby union at the adjacent mini-stadium, so-called Little Q.
Qualcomm Stadium was home to a round of the AMA Supercross Championship each year, usually in early February, from 1980 to 2014. The stadium also hosted a round of Monster Jam, also ran and operated by Feld Entertainment. In 2015, both events were moved to Petco Park.
ESPN held their inaugural Moto X World Championships at Qualcomm in April 2008, and has previously used the stadium parking lot and surrounding streets as a venue in the X Games Street Luge competition.
Concerts on the Green
Concerts on the Green is a sports field converted into a music and entertainment venue, located on the southwest corner of the stadium parking lot. The field was originally used as a practice venue for the San Diego Chargers. After the team moved to Chargers Park about a mile north of the stadium, the area was used primarily for rugby. AEG leased the area and retrofit it into an open-air amphitheater for concerts and other entertainment shows. The venue had the capability to hold 12,500, making it the second biggest entertainment venue in the Greater San Diego area; only Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre seats more.
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Many concerts have also been held inside the stadium over the years, by famous artists of many different genres. Metallica and Guns N' Roses brought their co-headlining Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour to the stadium on September 30, 1992, with Body Count as their opening act. Guns N' Roses later returned to perform at the stadium on August 22, 2016 as part of their Not in This Lifetime... Tour with The Cult as their opening act.
Billy Graham hosted a crusade at the stadium in early May 2003.
American Idol (season 7) held auditions there in July 2007; a total of 30 people who auditioned there made it to the next round.
During the Cedar Fire in October 2003 and the October 2007 California wildfires, the stadium served as an evacuation site for those living in affected areas. (This was similar to the use of the Houston Astrodome and the New Orleans Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.) The Cedar Fire forced the Chargers to move a contest with the Miami Dolphins to Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, the San Diego County Council of the Boy Scouts of America used the stadium's concourse areas (between the rear of the grandstands and the freestanding wall which contains the entrance gates) as well as portions of the parking lots as the site of its annual Scout Fair. The San Diego County Council has since merged with the council representing Imperial County to form the Desert Pacific Council.
In a January 30, 2009 episode of Monk, Qualcomm Stadium was known as Summit Stadium in the episode Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs with the fictitious San Francisco Condors as the home team.
The Little Q
The Little Q is a sports field, used primarily for rugby located adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium; the Little Q is home to San Diego's Super League rugby team OMBAC and the College Premier Division San Diego State University Aztec rugby team.
In 1983 rock radio station KGB 101.5 FM hosted the KGB Skyshow 8 with Uriah Heep, Eddie Money, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard finishing the show.
Also, in 1982 the rock band The Who made an appearance in their "Farewell Tour" here.
Big SoCal Euro
Big SoCal Euro is a gathering of European car enthusiasts. It attracts over three thousand car lovers every year. Not only is Big SoCal Euro one of the largest all European car gatherings, it is one of the oldest events of its kind, established in 2002. It has been held at Qualcomm Stadium since 2007. The event was founded by Lon Mok of SoCalEuro.com
With the departure of the Padres following the 2003 season and even beforehand, there has been much talk of replacing the increasingly obsolete (by NFL standards) stadium with a more modern, football-only one. Also, the NFL has demanded a new stadium to host another Super Bowl. There have been many problems with this project, the most obvious one being the city's inability to fund such a stadium.
The team and city attempted to bring business partners in on the proposed $800 million project, which would be located in downtown San Diego's East Village and include upgrades to the area and infrastructure, but all efforts failed. The Chargers had a clause in their contract, to the effect that if they paid off all debts to the city and county for the upgrades to the current stadium by 2007, then the team could pull out of its lease in 2008; however, the clause was not activated.
On February 19, 2015, the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders announced that they would build a privately financed $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California if they were to move to the Los Angeles market. Both teams stated that they would continue to attempt to get stadiums built in their respective cities.
On April 22, 2015, the Carson City Council bypassed the option to put the stadium to public vote and approved the plan 3-0. The council voted without having clarified several issues, including who would finance the stadium, how the required three-way land swap would be performed, and how it would raise enough revenue if only one team moved in as tenant. On January 4, 2016, the Rams, Raiders, and the Chargers all filed for relocation to Los Angeles and days later on January 12, 2016, NFL owners voted to approve the Rams relocation from St. Louis to the Greater Los Angeles Area and the Inglewood Stadium 30-2, with the Chargers given a one-year option to join (the Raiders also had this option had the Chargers option to join the Rams not been exercised before January 15, 2017).
On January 29, 2016, Dean Spanos announced that the Chargers will stay in San Diego for the 2016 NFL season after the Chargers agreed to share a stadium with the Rams. On February 23, 2016, the Chargers announced that their new stadium efforts would be focused on East Village in Downtown San Diego. One month later on March 30, 2016, details of the initiative and the stadium proposal were unveiled to the media. On April 21, 2016, renderings of the downtown stadium were unveiled and on April 23, 2016, signature gathering for the Chargers downtown stadium began and on June 10, 2016, the Chargers initiative gathered 110,786 signatures were enough to put the proposal on ballot. On July 12, 2016, City Clerk Liz Malland announced the Chargers stadium initiative had enough valid signatures to be put to a vote on November and on July 18, 2016, the San Diego City Council voted 8-0 to put the Chargers stadium plan and the Citizens on the November ballot. However, despite vigorous campaigning and millions of dollars spent, voters rejected the ballot plan 57%-43%, placing serious doubt about the team's future at the stadium.
A month later at the NFL owners meetings December 14, 2016, the lease agreement between the Chargers and the Rams as well as the team's debt waiver fee were approved, taking the first steps to move to the Greater Los Angeles Area in 2017. Four days later, CBS Sports reported citing several NFL owners (and ownership sources) that Dean Spanos had been resigned to the fact that he and the Chargers are moving to L.A. next year. At the same time, Scott Kaplan of San Diego-area sports radio station the Mighty 1090 was told by Spanos that he was leaning towards his team moving and he would have been committed to San Diego had the vote been 50%. On January 12, 2017, the Chargers announced they were moving to Los Angeles and StubHub Center starting with the 2017 season.
Since the Chargers' departure, a proposal has emerged which involves a group of investors who propose to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. They have offered to purchase the Qualcomm Stadium site from the City of San Diego (its present owner) if their application for a soccer franchise is approved, and to construct a smaller, soccer-specific stadium outside the footprint of the current stadium. This stadium would be shared with the San Diego State University football program, allowing Qualcomm Stadium to be demolished upon its completion. The proposal includes residential and commercial development and space set aside for a public park.
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