|United States of America
|San Diego State Aztecs, San Diego Wave FC, San Diego Legion
|17/08/2020 – 19/08/2022
|$ 310 M
|Clark Construction Group
|2101 Stadium Way, San Diego, CA 92108
Snapdragon Stadium – stadium description
How did the construction of a new football stadium in San Diego happen?
When the Chargers (the NFL franchise), tempted by the opportunity to play at the state-of-the-art ultra-modern SoFi Stadium, moved to the Los Angeles metropolitan area in 2017, questions began to be asked about the future of the massive, 70,000-plus-seat San Diego Stadium. The baseball players of the MLB team, the San Diego Padres, moved out of the facility as early as 2003. The stadium continued to serve the athletes of the university-affiliated San Diego State Aztecs and hosted various competitions, but its glory years were behind it.
The facility was located on a sizable plot of land (135 acres) and was surrounded by open space. Two initiatives soon emerged, each to build a new, but noticeably smaller stadium on the site, adapted to current needs. In a public vote on November 6, 2018, residents voted in favour of San Diego State University's project to build a new university campus, part of which was to include a new stadium for San Diego State Aztecs athletes.
How did the construction of San Diego's new stadium proceed?
The deal to sell the city-owned land to the university (for $86.2 million) was finalised in the summer of 2020, with a design already prepared by the Gensler studio. Shortly after the university acquired the land, construction of the new stadium began. The official ground-breaking ceremony took place on August 17, 2020.
The new facility was being built right next to the old San Diego Stadium, which was decided to be demolished ( dismantling began in late 2020 and was completed in spring 2021). Materials from the torn-down facility were used to build the new arena. The main contractor delivering the stadium was Clark Construction Group. The new arena was expected to be built within two years and ready for the start of the 2022 college football season.
The initial construction cost was expected to be $150 million, but by the time work began, the figure had already grown to $310 million. The facility was originally associated with the name Aztec Stadium; in December 2021, Qualcomm bought the naming rights to the stadium to promote its Snapdragon-branded chips.
Work proceeded on schedule. In December 2020, concrete pouring began. In July 2021, an installation of the last steel beam was celebrated. In January 2022, the assembly of the grandstand seats began, in March the installation of the LED screens began and in June the turf was laid.
On August 20, 2022, a 'soft opening' was performed, which saw fans enter the stands of the new stadium for the first time, with the Aztecs football team introduced to the public. The day before, a ribbon cutting had taken place, marking the completion of construction exactly two years and two days after its official start. The proper inauguration of the stadium took place on September 3, 2022, when the Aztecs football team faced the Arizona Wildcats in their season-opening game (20:38).
What will be included in the Snapdragon Stadium surroundings?
The opening of the stadium has only completed the first phase of the new San Diego State University campus surrounding the former San Diego Stadium. Subsequent facilities, such as academic as well as research and development centres, residential buildings, retail space and recreational areas, are expected to be built within 10-15 years, with the entire project, referred to as SDSU Mission Valley, estimated to be worth $3.5 billion.
Who does Snapdragon Stadium serve?
The stadium is home not only to football players representing San Diego State University, but also the university's soccer and lacrosse teams. In addition, the facility hosts a rugby team, the San Diego Legion, which plays in the MLR, as well as the San Diego Wave FC women's soccer team, which participates in the NWSL.
In 2023, the stadium was the main arena for the World Lacrosse Championships. There is also potential talk of establishing a soccer team in San Diego to compete in the MLS and even the return of NFL games to the city, which would necessitate an expansion of the facility. In addition, the stadium could be used to host other events, such as concerts.
What are the features of Snapdragon Stadium?
The stadium's stands surround a rectangular field on all sides, designed primarily for football and soccer. The pitch is named Bashor Field, in honour of Dianne Bashor, who contributed $15 million to the construction of the stadium. The playing field is below ground level, with the first tier of stands resting on slopes created around the field.
The lower level of the stands on the west side was further divided into two tiers. Along the pitch, on either side, a second tier of spectator seating was added, created with concrete steps set on a steel framework. A modest, low second level is also located above the north stand, near the western corner. The north stand is equipped with rows of railings, allowing it to serve as a secure standing section. The auditorium is not covered.
A semi-open pavilion with commercial areas and a hospitality zone has been placed behind the western part of the stands. In the two corners there are large screens. Illumination is provided by floodlights mounted on twelve masts (eight are attached to the upper tier of the stands along the length of the pitch, four more stand near the corners). One of the most interesting additions to the stadium is the special pier-like platform that has been erected over the south stand.
The capacity of the stadium is 35,000 spectators. The stands are a mosaic of seats in shades of grey and burgundy, which is present in the upper sections. The stadium has a wide range of catering and extensive premium options. Only cashless payment is available at the venue. There is a light rail stop close to the stadium, and interstate highways 8, 15 and 805 also run nearby.
USA: Snapdragon Stadium to host the final of the first W Gold Cup
San Diego's Snapdragon Stadium has been awarded hosting rights for the final of the W Gold Cup, the new Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (Concacaf) flagship tournament for women's national teams.
USA: Pitchside VIP seats at Snapdragon Stadium!
The newest mark on California's football map has not even played in MLS yet, and it has already caused quite a surprise. San Diego FC's plans go beyond the previously established framework of hosting premium visitors. And it won't stop with the boxes.
USA: Snapdragon Stadium will host a new MLS team
Growing with each season, Major League Soccer (MLS) will once again expand. A club will soon be joining the competition and will be based in San Diego. It will be the league's 30th team and its home will be the newly opened Snapdragon Stadium.
Stadium of the Year 2022: Discover Snapdragon Stadium
Our Stadium of the Year competition has officially begun and will run until March 15. As many as 36 venues are on the list of nominees this year. One of them is Snapdragon Stadium located in San Diego, California. Take a look at this candidacy and decide whether you want to vote for it in the contest for Stadium of the Year 2022!
Stadium of the Year 2022: Time for your nominations!
We have said goodbye to the old year and are looking forward with high hopes to what 2023 will bring. For our editorial team, it is time to summarise what happened on the world's stadium map in 2022. Any moment now, the next edition of our Stadium of the Year vote will be launched. We invite you to take an active part in our competition and suggest your candidates.
USA: A record 32,000 spectators at the NWSL match!
The San Diego Wave FC, playing in the National Women's Soccer League, broke the attendance record for a league match at Snapdragon Stadium. The previous result was beaten by almost 7,000 spectators! This is yet another step in the process of developing women's soccer in the US.
USA: Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego inaugurated!
After just over 2 years of construction work, the first game at San Diego's Snapdragon Stadium was officially played. In an arena filled almost to capacity, the players of the local college football team, the Aztecs, took on the Arizona Wildcats.