Aztecs to play 111 miles from campus
San Diego State has a new temporary home in Carson City
New stadium not until 2022.
San Diego State is no longer playing football at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium. The plan is to have its new stadium ready for the start of the 2022 season in Mission Valley.
What do the Aztecs do in the meantime? Well… the solution is not ideal. San Diego State will play in Carson City at Dignity Health Sports Park which is a 35,000-seat stadium opens for whatever season the Aztecs have this year and also the 2021 season.
This stadium hosted the Los Angeles Chargers played the past three years and is currently the home of the L.A. Galaxy of the MLS.
Did we mention that Carson City is 111 miles North of San Diego? This is a tough ask for fans, specifically for those who want to tailgate before the game, and then after those late 7:30 p.m. locak kicks that can be a trecherous drive down I-5 that can be hours.
“It’s a decision that was not entered into lightly,” said John David Wicker, SDSU’s director of athletics. “We spent a lot of time working through this. However, at the end of the day as we think about long term and opening the new Aztec Stadium in 2022, where it can be most successful … This made the most sense.
“We chose to go with certainty. We are certain that we’ve started construction and that the fall of 2022 is very achievable. With the uncertainty surrounding when exactly we might start the (2020) football season, we felt it best to go ahead and make this move. It allows us to pick up a little time on demolition of the current stadium.”
This move is to pick up the pace to make sure the on-campus stadium is ready to go for fall 2022 for the Aztecs home opener that season.
However, Wicker even tried to spin this as a good option. He mentions a better game day experience with better video boards and concessions but travel well over two hours for a “home” football game is going to deter fans from going to San Diego State football games as long as they are in Carson City.
It is a short term fixture and not a great one. There aparently were no other options in the San Diego-area. There was a working deal to have the Aztecs and San Diego Padres share Petco Park a few years ago but that never happened. Now, it is not in the cards either for Aztecs football.
It will be interesting to see what the attendance will look like for Aztecs football — once COVID-19 is behind us. San Diego State averaged 29,896 fans in 2019 for its football game and due to complexity of getting to games one should take the under on the Aztecs reaching something close to those attendance numbers.