Qualcomm Stadium, formerly known as San Diego Stadium and
Jack Murphy Stadium, is a multiple-use stadium in San Diego,
California. It is the current home of the San Diego Chargers of the NFL,
the San Diego State University Aztecs college football team and hosts the
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl college football game every December.
field: 330 ('69-81), 327 ('82-)
Power alleys: 375 ('69-81), 370 ('82-)
Center field: 420 ('69-72; '74-81),
Right field: 330 ('69-81), 327
Backstop: 80 ('69-81), 75 ('82-)
Until 2003, it served as the home of the San Diego Padres in Major
League Baseball. The stadium has hosted three Super Bowl games — Super
Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXXII ten years later, and Super Bowl XXXVII
in 2003. It has also hosted the 1978 and 1992 MLB All-Star Games, the 1996
and 1998 National League Division Series, the 1984 and 1998 National
League Championship Series, and the 1984 and 1998 World Series.
In the early 1960’s, local sportswriter Jack Murphy, the brother of
New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy, began to build up support for a
multipurpose stadium for San Diego. In November of 1965, a $27 million
bond was passed allowing construction to begin on a stadium. Construction
on the stadium began one month later. When completed, the facility was
named San Diego Stadium.
The Chargers played the first game ever at the stadium on August 20,
1967. San Diego Stadium had a capacity of around 50,000; the three-tier
grandstand was in the shape of a horseshoe, with the south end open.
to Jack Murphy Stadium!
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The Chargers were the main tenant of the stadium until 1969, when the
National League expanded to add the San Diego Padres. Another San Diego
Padres team, this one in the AAA Pacific Coast League, played in the
stadium during the 1968 season, following their move from the minor league
sized Westgate Park.
After Jack Murphy's passing in 1981, San Diego Stadium was renamed San
Diego Jack Murphy Stadium or simply Jack Murphy Stadium. The stadium
remained basically the same until 1983. Over 9,000 bleachers were added to
the lower deck on the open end of the stadium raising the capacity of San
Diego Jack Murphy Stadium to 59,022. Sixteen years later, the most
substantial addition was completed at the stadium.
In 1997, the stadium was fully enclosed, with the exception of where
the scoreboard is located. Nearly 11,000 seats were added in readiness for
Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, bringing the capacity to over 71,000. Also in
1997, the facility was renamed Qualcomm Stadium after Qualcomm Corporation
paid $18 million for the naming rights. The naming rights will belong to
Qualcomm until 2017.
The stadium was the first of the "square circle" style, which
was thought to be an improvement over the "cookie
cutter" style of so many of the 1960s stadiums. The second (and
last) of this style was the since-built and since-imploded Veterans
Stadium. Despite the theoretical improvements of this style, most of
the seats were very far away from the action on the field.
The baseball field dimensions have varied slightly over the years. In
1969, the distance from home plate to the left and right field wall was
330 feet, the distance to the left- and right-center field power alleys
was 375 feet, and the distance from home plate to the center field was 420
feet. A 19-foot wall, whose top was the rim of the Plaza level, surrounded
the outfield, making home runs difficult to hit. Later an eight-foot fence
was erected, cutting the distances to 327, 368 and 405 feet, respectively.
In 1996 a note of asymmetry was introduced when a 19-foot high scoreboard
displaying out-of-town scores was erected along the right-field wall near
the foul pole and deemed to be in play, and so the distances to right
field and right-center field were 330 feet and 370 feet, respectively,
while the remaining dimensions remained the same.
Jack Murphy Stadium!
Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium configured for
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
Rickey Henderson collected his 3000th major league base hit here on
October 7, 2001 as a Padre, in what was also the last major league game
for eight-time National League batting champion and Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn,
who played his entire career here.
Recent fans were treated to a recording of the song "Hell's
Bells" by the heavy metal rock band AC/DC whenever ace reliever
Trevor Hoffman arrived in a game in the 9th inning in a save situation.
Victories by both the Padres and Chargers have been celebrated by the
playing of the song "Gettin' Jiggy With It" recorded by singer
and actor Will Smith.
The San Diego Chargers teams that played football here in the 1970's
and 1980's featured a high-scoring offense led by quarterback Dan Fouts
and featuring running back Chuck Muncie, tight end Kellen Winslow,
receiver Charlie Joiner and place-kicker Rolf Benirschke; however, the
first Chargers team to advance to the Super Bowl (in 1994, Super Bowl
XXIX) featured a strong defense anchored by linebacker Junior Seau and
safety Rodney Harrison.
In 2004, the Padres moved to Petco
Park, located in downtown San Diego.
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