One year after the groundbreaking for a new Aztec stadium on the Mission Valley site of what was once known as Qualcomm or Jack Murphy Stadium, the project is starting to look more like a sports arena and less like a hole in the ground.
Wait a few months more, and the structure will really take shape when the first of the seats are installed, said Derek Grice, executive associate director of athletics at SDSU.
“Toward the end of the year, you’re really going to see the physical look of a stadium,” Grice said. “Over the course of the next few months, you’ll definitely start to see a change.”
The $310 million project is on schedule to open Sept. 3, 2022 when the Aztec football team is scheduled to play the University of Arizona Wildcats.
“We’ll look to try to do soft opening events to make sure everything is operable before our first (official) event in September,” Grice said. “Small events that will allow us to make sure our staff is familiar with the building.”
They will likely include a preview tour for season ticket holder and SDSU donors, Grice said.
The stadium is nearly half finished, with the steel-topping out in July marking the end of the first phase of construction.
“We’re where we think we need to be at this point,” Grice said.
Clark Construction based in Bethesda, MD is the general contractor. Gensler headquartered in San Francisco is the architect.
Grice said stadium construction hit another milestone in August when the first pieces of precast concrete were installed to begin forming the bowl of the stadium.
“It’s those pieces that will actually form where seating is going to take place in the upper bowl, the concrete that the seats are attached to,” Grice said.
Installation of the precast concrete will run through October
Video boards will go up in November with the first seats due to be installed in December.
“We’ll be installing seats from December through April,” Grice said. “At the end of the year, we’ll spend a lot of time doing finishes
That will be followed by installation of the goal posts in May.
Although the 35,000-seat stadium is designed as the home of the Aztec football team, it’s meant to accommodate a variety of sports including soccer.
“We’ve designed a multi-purpose stadium that we believe can be a hub of activity that embodies all of San Diego and that people can take great pride in,” Grice said.
More to Come
Construction of the Innovation District and residential development on the Mission Valley site is slated to begin in late 2022.
The Innovation District adjacent to the stadium would include 1.6 million square feet of office, technology and research space.
Work on the 34-acre river park will roughly coincide with work on the stadium, with the park scheduled for completion in 2023.
Also planned for the overall Mission Valley site are 4,600 residential units in 18 buildings, a 400-room hotel and conference center, and 95,000 square feet of retail space.