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Jack Murphy Stadium

By Wikipedia

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.

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 9449 Friars Road
San Diego, California
Broke ground December, 1965
Opened August 20, 1967
Replaced by PETCO Park
Owner City of San Diego
Operator City of San Diego
Surface Santa Ana Bermuda grass
Construction cost $27.75 million
Architect Gary Allen (of Frank L.
Hope & Associates)
San Diego Stadium (1967-1981)
Jack Murphy Stadium (1981-1997)
Qualcomm Stadium (1997-)
Padres (MLB, '69-'03)
Chargers (NFL '67-)
Holiday Bowl (1978-)
San Diego State Aztecs (NCAA)
San Diego Sockers (NASL) (1978-1984)
San Diego Jaws (NASL) (1976)
Replaced by
Petco Park (Padres, 2004)
Seating capacity
Football: 71,294
Baseball: 50,000 (1967); 44,790 (1973);
47,634 (1974); 47,491 (1976); 48,460 (1977);
51,362 (1979); 48,443 (1980); 51,362 (1981);
51,320 (1983); 58,671 (1984); 58,433 (1986);
59,022 (1990); 59,254 (1991); 59,700 (1992);
67,544 (1997)
Left field: 330 ('69-81), 327 ('82-)
Power alleys: 375 ('69-81), 370 ('82-)
Center field: 420 ('69-72; '74-81), 410 ('73),
405 (
Right field: 330 ('69-81), 327 (82-95),
330 ('96-)
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 1960s, 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.

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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!

Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium configured for baseball.

Photo by City of San Diego

04/08/1969 Astros 1, Padres 2
Umpires Shag Crawford, Chris Pelekoudas
  Doug Harvey, Frank Dezelan
Managers Preston Gomez, Padres
  Harry Walker, Astros
Starting Pitchers Dick Selma, Padres
  Don Wilson, Astros
Ceremonial Pitch Carol Shannon, daughter of
Padres owner C.S. Shannon
Attendance 23,370
Batter Jesus Alou (single)
Hit Jesus Alou (single)
Run Jesus Alou
RBI Doug Rader
Single Jesus Alou
Double Ollie Brown
Triple Jesus Alou
Home Run Ed Spiezio
Grand Slam Al Oliver (05/21/1969)
IPHR Denny Doyle (07/18/1970)
Stolen Base Jesus Alou
Sacrifice Hit Dick Selma
Sacrifice Fly Johnny Podres (04/09/1969)
Cycle NONE
Win Dick Selma
Loss Don Wilson
Shutout Johnny Podres, Tommie Sisk
Save Tommie Sisk (04/09/1969)
Hit by Pitch Don Wilson hit Roberto Pena
Wild Pitch Ray Sadecki (04/11/1969)
Balk Don Wilson
No-Hitter Dock Ellis (06/12/1970)
Primary 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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Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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Qualcomm from Space!

USGS Photo

Year by Year statistics: for Jack Murphy Stadium

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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