Qualcomm Stadium

Capacity70 561
Country United States of America
CitySan Diego
ClubsSan Diego Chargers, San Diego State Aztecs
Other names San Diego Stadium (1967–1980), Jack Murphy Stadium (1980–1997)
Inauguration 20/08/1967
Construction 18/12/1965 - 08/1967
Renovations 1969, 1978, 1983, 1987, 1997
Cost $ 27.75 million (1967)
Design Frank L. Hope and Associates
Contractor Robertson/Larsen/Donovan
Address 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, California 92108, USA

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Description: Qualcomm Stadium

Built along San Diego’s northern bypass, the stadium stands out among American ballparks today. It was one of the first, and first so large stadium to have an “octorad” (rounded square) footprint. This unusual layout was chosen to optimally accommodate baseball and American football, however it proved far from optimum in the long run due to compromised sightlines.

Built in 1967, this brutalist giant had a horseshoe shape with east side open above the small lower tier. This lowest level of seating was partly retractable (south and south-west corner) to better cater for baseball needs.

The horseshoe was partially enclosed in 1983, when the initial capacity of over 52,000 was raised to roughly 60,000. Then in 1997 the building was finally enclosed entirely. This brought capacity beyond the 70,000-mark and also allowed to retain high status among NFL venues long after octorad stadiums weren’t built any more. The building played host to three Super Bowl games, last one in 2003.

Eventually the Padres baseball team moved away from the stadium in 2003, making the nearly square layout far from perfect for football. With Chargers considering relocation to Los Angeles, authorities came up with a completely new stadium plan for this location in 2015.

Aside professional football and baseball games the stadium was also the place for numerous concerts and other large events. Importantly for our website, these included many football/soccer games, including two Gold Cups. However, not even once this discipline brought a sell-out crowd to the stadium. It came close in 2008, when Mexicans swarmed the building for a friendly against Argentina.

Initially the stadium was simply named San Diego Stadium, which makes sense after the city financed it with bonds. But in 1980 Jack Murphy took the name. He was honoured in such manner for leading to the stadium’s erection in the first place. Murphy was a journalist who campaigned for this project. And despite Qualcomm acquiring naming rights for two decades in 1997, many locals still call it The Murph.

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