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San Diego Mulling Qualcomm Stadium’s Future

Qualcomm StadiumNow that the San Diego Chargers are out of the picture, San Diego officials must decide how long Qualcomm Stadium can continue to operate.

The move of the Chargers to Los Angeles puts an end to Qualcomm Stadium’s days as a major sports facility, but the venue has a future in the short run. The San Diego State Aztecs are set to continue playing their home games at Qualcomm Stadium, which is also scheduled to continue hosting the Holiday Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl.

However, the agreements for all three of those entities conclude after the 2018 season. If San Diego officials decide that the stadium’s high maintenance costs make it too obsolete to continue operations beyond 2018, then Qualcomm Stadium’s removal could come sooner rather than later.

Ultimately, the demolition of Qualcomm Stadium is something that could take place regardless. San Diego State is still planning a major expansion that could use part of the site, with a new stadium that would host the Aztecs and potentially an MLS franchise expected to be a part of that development. San Diego State officials, including athletic director John David Wicker, are pointing that while a stadium is still in the works, it is unlikely to be completed before the school’s agreement at Qualcomm Stadium expires. More from The San Diego Union-Tribune:

San Diego State and the bowl games would like the city to continue operating the stadium beyond 2018.

“With the heavy lifting that needs to be done, I can’t see us having a new stadium before 2020,” said Wicker, the university’s athletic director.

He expressed confidence the university could generate more revenue at the stadium with the Chargers gone.

“We’re currently working with the city to understand how we’ll move forward with sky boxes and premium seating,” he said. “And yes, I think there’s a market for that. There was a market for that with the Chargers, and we’ll be reaching out to local businesses, corporations, our fans, our alumni, to understand what their interest is, not only with the sky boxes, but also the club-level seating.”

Qualcomm Stadium first opened as San Diego Stadium in 1967, with the Chargers and the Aztecs among its first tenants. Our own Jeff Goldberg profiled the stadium’s history earlier this week.

Image courtesy San Diego Chargers.

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