Qualcomm Stadium

stadium_name = Qualcomm Stadium
nickname = The Q, The Murph

location = 9449 Friars Road
San Diego, CA 92108
broke_ground =
opened = 1967
closed =
demolished =
owner = City of San Diego
operator = City of San Diego
surface = Grass
construction_cost = $27 million USD
architect =
former_names = San Diego Stadium (1967–1980)
Jack Murphy Stadium (1980–1997)
tenants = San Diego Chargers (NFL) (1967–Present)
Holiday Bowl (NCAA) (1978–Present)
Poinsettia Bowl (NCAA) (2005–Present)
San Diego State Aztecs (NCAA) (1967–Present)
San Diego Padres (NL) (1969–2003)
San Diego Sockers (NASL) (1978–1984)
San Diego Jaws (NASL) (1976)
seating_capacity = 50,000 (1967) 44,790 (1973) 47,634 (1974) 47,491 (1976) 48,460 (1977) 51,362 (1979) 48,443 (1980) 51,362 (1981) 51,319 (1983) 58,671 (1984) 58,433 (1986) 59,022 (1990) 59,254 (1991) 59,700 (1992)
1997: 71,294 (football); 67,544 (baseball)
dimensions = Left field: 330 (1969), 327 (1982); Left-center & Right-center: 375 (1969), 370 (1982); Center field: 420 (1969), 410 (1973), 420 (1978), 405 (1982); Right field: 330 (1969), 327 (1982), 330 (1996)
Backstop: 80 feet (1969), 75 (1982)

Qualcomm Stadium (a.k.a. "The Q", "The Murph"), formerly known as San Diego Stadium and Jack Murphy Stadium, is a multiple-use stadium in San Diego, California. It is the current home of the San Diego Chargers of the NFL and of the San Diego State University Aztecs college football team. It hosts the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl college football games every December. Until 2003, it served as the home of the San Diego Padres in baseball's National League. 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, 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).

The 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 Alcala, which is located to the east, and its placement in the valley of the San Diego River.


In the early 1960s, local sportswriter Jack Murphy, the brother of New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy, began to build up support for a multipurpose 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 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.)

After Jack Murphy's passing in 1980, San Diego Stadium was renamed San Diego-Jack Murphy Stadium or simply Jack Murphy Stadium. 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 over 71,000. 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. [ [http://clerkdoc.sannet.gov/legtrain/Minutes/1997/min19970318 San Diego City Council Minutes, 31 March 1997 ] ] However, as part of the naming agreement Jack Murphy Field was not allowed to be used alongside QUALCOMM Stadium. [ [http://apse.dallasnews.com/oct2001/3-7grant.html "Newsroom Role Getting a Tough Test," October 2001] ] Many San Diegans, however, still refer to the stadium as "Jack Murphy" or simply "The Murph." The most common nickname these days is "the Q".

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.


In order to accommodate the dimensions of both football and baseball fields, the stadium was constructed with half of the Field-level seating permanent (built of concrete, in the southern quadrant of the stadium), and the other half 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 and serve as the third-base half of the infield. Open bullpens were located along both foul lines just beyond the ends of the Field-level seats.

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 Padres

From their inception in 1969 until the end of 2003, when they moved into PETCO Park in the downtown area, the National League's San Diego Padres called the stadium home. 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 convert|330|ft|m, the distance to the left- and right-center field power alleys was convert|375|ft|m, and the distance from home plate to the center field was convert|420|ft|m. A convert|19|ft|m|sing=on 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 convert|405|ft|m, respectively. In 1996 a note of asymmetry was introduced when a convert|19|ft|m|sing=on 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 convert|330|ft|m and convert|370|ft|m, respectively, while the remaining dimensions remained the same.

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 eight-time National League batting champion and Hall of Famer: "Mr. Padre" Tony Gwynn, who played his entire career here. Recent fans were treated to a recording of the song "Hell's Bells" by the heavy metal rock band AC/DC whenever ace reliever Trevor Hoffman arrived in a game in the 9th inning in a save situation. Victories by both the Padres and Chargers have been celebrated by the playing of the song "Gettin' Jiggy With It" recorded by singer and actor Will Smith.

The Home of the Chargers

The San Diego Chargers teams that played football here in the 1970s and 1980's featured a high-scoring offense led by quarterback Dan Fouts and featuring running back Chuck Muncie, tight end Kellen Winslow, receiver Charlie Joiner and place-kicker Rolf Benirschke; however, the first Chargers team to advance to the Super Bowl (in 1994, Super Bowl XXIX) featured a strong defense anchored by linebacker Junior Seau and an unspectacular but efficient offense led by quarterback Stan Humphries and running back Natrone Means.

The Aztecs

: "See San Diego State Aztecs"

Since its inception, the stadium, which is approximately five miles from campus, has been the home of the San Diego State University Aztecs. 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 Cox 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 led to poor play by the Aztecs and a reversion back to the traditional look.

College Bowl Games

: "See Holiday Bowl"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 no team has 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 1/3 of the games have had a team even score less than twenty points. 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 BCS alliance.

: "See Poinsettia Bowl"

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.


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 Mexican National Team. ["El Tri in San Diego" 27 Feb 2007 [http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/soccer/20070227-1619-soclist27.html] ] 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 4 June 2008 drew 68,498 spectators. ["Messi makes mess of El Tri's defense" Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 June 2008. [http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/soccer/20080605-9999-2s5mexsoc.html] ]

The San Diego Sockers of the North American Soccer League played at the stadium from 1978 to 1983.

Other Sports

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 indiviual schools).

BMX Motocross and monster truck events have been held in the stadium as well.

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 a open-air amphitheater for concerts and other entertainment shows. The venue holds 12,500, making it the second biggest entertainment venue in the Greater San Diego area; only Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre seats more. The practice field that these concerts are held on was the Charger practice field.

Other uses

Jehovah's Witnesses usually host their District Conventions here, where thousands attend. Billy Graham has also held a few reunions here. Many concerts have also been held inside the stadium over the years. 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).

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 and Yuma County, Arizona, to form the Desert Pacific Council.)

The future

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. There have been many problems with this project, the most obvious one being the city's inability to fund such a stadium. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/04/21/state/n160825D17.DTL "San Diego mayor says city can't afford new Chargers stadium," 21 April 2006.] ]

The team and city have both attempted to bring business partners in on the proposed $800 million project, which would be located in the parking lot of the current stadium and include upgrades to the area and infrastructure, but all efforts have failed so far. The Chargers have a clause in their contract saying that if they can pay off all debts to the city and county for the upgrades to the current stadium by 2007, then the team can pull out of its lease in 2008.

As the 2006–2007 football season comes to a close, the plan still remains in limbo, and the team's future remains uncertain, and a return to the Chargers' original home of Los Angeles is a possibility. However there have been talks with National City, Chula Vista, and Oceanside, all cities in San Diego County, to build a new stadium at their cities as a plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego County, but even that remains uncertain. National City pulled out of contention in early 2007 citing numerous difficulties.


External links

* [http://www.sandiego.gov/qualcomm/ Official website]
* [http://www.ftballiance.org/index.php The Fans, Taxpayers and Business Alliance for NFL Football in San Diego (a group pushing for the new stadium)]

succession box
title = Home of the
San Diego Chargers
years = 1967 – present
before = Balboa Stadium
after = New Chargers Stadium TBA
succession box
title = Home of the
San Diego State Aztecs
years = 1967 – present
before = Aztec Bowl Stadium
after = current
succession box
title = Home of the
Holiday Bowl
years = 1979 – present
before = first stadium
after = current stadium
succession box
title = Home of the
Poinsettia Bowl
years = 2005 – present
before = first stadium
after = current stadium
succession box
title = Home of the
San Diego Padres
years = 1969 – 2003
before = first ballpark
after = PETCO Park
succession box
title = Host of the All-Star Game
years = 1978
before = Yankee Stadium
after = The Kingdome
Camden Yards
succession box
title = Host of the Super Bowl
years = XII 1988
XXXII 1998
before = Rose Bowl
Louisiana Superdome
Louisiana Superdome
after = Joe Robbie Stadium
Pro Player Stadium
Reliant Stadium

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