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RIP: San Diego Stadium

San Diego Stadium 1967

A former Major League Baseball ballpark is now being demolished, as SDCCU Stadium–the former San Diego Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium and Jack Murphy Stadium–is being torn down to make way for a new San Diego State facility.

That SDCCU Stadium would be torn down to make way for a new SDSU stadium and campus expansion was a done deal months ago after the city of San Diego made an agreement to see the stadium site. The development of the site will begin with the new stadium and a 35-acre park before moving on to a proposed campus expansion at SDSU Mission Valley, developed in conjunction with JMI Sports and Legends. All in all, the $3.5-billion development plan includes 51 additional acres of parkland and open space, 1.6 million square feet of office and research space, 4,600 housing units with 10 percent set aside for low-income households, 95,000 square feet of campus retail and a 400-room hotel.

The original plan was for the Aztecs to play one final season at SDCCU Stadium before demolition, but with COVID-19 shutting down play, San Diego State made the decision to shift football games elsewhere and move ahead with demolition. The last event at the stadium: the 2019 Holiday Bowl. From ABC News:

“We didn’t even have one last house party for the place,” said Ted Giannoulas, 67, who is semi-retired as the San Diego Chicken after a career of making fans laugh by poking fun at umpires, opposing players and his favorite foil, former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

“To see The Murph being taken apart like that is a letdown, to be polite,” Giannoulas said. “I saw it as the heart of the town, the spirit of San Diego.”

SDCCU was the last facility standing that was part of 1969’s MLB expansion. In previous years Sick’s Seattle Stadium and Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium town down; in addition, we saw much of Montreal’s Jarry Park torn down with the grandstand reused as part of a national tennis facility. The Padres played until the 2004 season, when Petco Park opened. Here’s a look at the history of the facility from its earliest AFL and MiLB days to the end times as an NFL stadium.

We’ve removed SDCCU Stadium from our list of Endangered Ballparks.

Photo courtesy city of San Diego.

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