Who’s Next, The Padres? Chargers Exit Dignity Health Sports Park, San Diego State Aztecs Moving Incsudhbulletin September 26, 2020 0 COMMENTS
San Diego State has made a postseason bowl game the past 10 seasons. Photo courtesy of San Diego Shooter.
By Daniel Tom, Staff Reporter
Los Angeles is about to become an even bigger football town. On Tuesday Sept. 15, San Diego State University announced that home games for the 2021 football season will be played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, that state-of-the-art stadium right next door to our campus.
San Diego State, one of the few California State University schools that fields a competitive football team, is currently overhauling SDCCU Stadium, formerly known as Qualcomm, where it has played the last 52 years. A new stadium development is set to open in time for the 2022 season.
Initially, the Aztecs wanted to play a farewell season in the old facility before bidding adieu. However, to expedite construction and to ensure everything finishes on schedule, it was decided that the Aztecs would play off-site for this next season.
In a press conference on Wednesday, SDSU Athletics Director John David Wicker addressed the move to Carson.
“At the end of the day, the move was cost-saving and [the university] elected to go with certainty,” he said. “With the move, our fans will see a significant, but much better change in fan experience. While it may take a little longer to get there, we expect our alumni from Los Angeles and Orange counties to come out and support and have easier access to their Aztecs.”
Since opening its doors in 2003, the 27,000-seat Dignity Health Sports Park has played host to a variety of different events. It has hosted Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy since the building’s inception when the Galaxy made the move after splitting time with the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton. Additionally, the Los Angeles Wildcats (XFL) and the Los Angeles Chargers (NFL) have called the stadium home in recent years.
Though temporary, Aztec football’s move to Los Angeles will add to an already rich football culture that includes USC and UCLA along with the Rams and Chargers in nearby Inglewood.
San Diego State competes at the Division I level, and has been affiliated with the Mountain West Conference since 1999.
Before making the jump to the Mountain West, the Aztecs were a member of the inaugural Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) that included four other CSU’S including Cal State LA and finished the season undefeated. After a brief stint as an independent, SDSU joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 1978 and after 20 seasons, left to join the Mountain West.
The Aztecs have made bowl games the past 10 seasons, beat UCLA last year and among their many players who have played in the NFL is Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.
Among the other California State Universities, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State, San Jose State, and Sacramento State all field Division I football teams. Humboldt State, which competes at the Division II level, folded theirs after the completion of the 2018 season.