The San Diego Chargers and Qualcomm Stadium are at a crossroads because San Diego face losing their team. If plans don’t work out for a new stadium, relocation back to Los Angeles is a possibility, where the Chargers played their first and only season in L.A. Despite calling San Diego their home for 59 years, ownership has been slow in negotiating proposals for a new stadium.
Opened in August 20th, 1967, Qualcomm was originally called San Diego Stadium. In 1980, Jack Murphy was posthumously honored by having the stadium named after him, a nod towards his work in gathering support for the team and stadium before its construction in 1965. Even after the naming rights were sold to Qualcomm, most San Diego fans still referred to the facility as Jack Murphy or The Murph, including his brother Bob Murphy, a New York Mets broadcaster who avoided using the sponsor’s name on-air.
Due to the design of the stadium, which is one of the oldest in the NFL, some of the seats are very far from the action, which is one of the reasons why the team requires a new facility. The latest details for the proposal suggest that the price tag for the new facility will exceed $1 billion with the taxpayers paying $350 million of the bill. Despite much effort and discussion, negotiations were stalled at the beginning of the 2015 season.
San Diego Chargers Stadium
Despite its age and the strife surrounding the future of the team, Qualcomm Stadium is known for the quality of its playing field. For the 2010 NFLPA survey on playing fields, Qualcomm was voted third best among all natural playing surfaces. The type of natural turf used is Bandera Bermuda Grass.
Over the past five seasons, the Chargers have amassed a record of 24-16 for a .600 winning percentage, which is slightly above the average winning percentage of home teams in the NFL. Interestingly, when playing at Qualcomm, the Chargers have never beaten the Falcons, the Packers or the Panthers. San Diego does have a perfect home record against the Lions and the Jaguars.
This stadium has undergone several expansions in order to meet specifications for special events hosted at Qualcomm, including three Super Bowls. If the city of San Diego ever wishes to host another Super Bowl, the NFL has made it clear that they must build a new stadium.
Date Opened: August 20th, 1967
Construction Cost: $27.75 million
Architect: Frank L. Hope and Associates
Capacity Attendance: 70,561
Playing Surface: Bandera Bermuda Grass
Previous San Diego Chargers Stadiums
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Balboa Stadium, Sun Devil Stadium.
Other Major Events
The first time the Super Bowl visited Qualcomm Stadium was in 1998, where the Washington Redskins destroyed the Denver Broncos by a score of 42-10 to win Super Bowl XXII. A decade later, the Broncos returned for Super Bowl XXXII, defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-24. In 2003, Qualcomm welcomed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders for Super Bowl XXXVII, witnessing the Buccaneers paste Oakland by a score of 48-21.
Qualcomm’s other big tenant are the San Diego State Aztecs, which have used this facility as their home field since 1967. San Diego also hosts a pair of bowl games, starting the tradition in 1978 with the Holiday Bowl. The Poinsetta Bowl has been hosted by this field on an annual basis since 2005.
A variety of FIFA events have taken place at Qualcomm field over the years, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup and international friendlies between Argentina, Mexico, China and the United States. Some of the biggest pro sides have also played at Qualcomm, including the 2011 World Football Challenge match between Real Madrid and C.D. Guadalajara, which Real Madrid won 3-0.