Snapdragon Stadium, the new home of San Diego State University’s American football team, staged its first game on Saturday as the Aztecs lost 38-20 to the Arizona Wildcats.
Work on the 35,000-capacity stadium, which will also serve as the home of National Women’s Soccer League franchise San Diego Wave, began in August 2020 and the project was completed on time ahead of the Aztecs’ season opener.
Snapdragon Stadium will serve as the anchor facility of SDSU Mission Valley, a mixed-use development that will also include an innovation district, housing, a hotel, retail, and more than 80 acres of community parks and open space.
The opening game on Saturday was played in stifling 100-degree heat. NBC San Diego reports that several people attending the game were treated for heat exhaustion.
More than 12,500 season tickets have already been sold by SDSU. Sales began in September 2020 to coincide with the groundbreaking of Snapdragon Stadium.
Technology company Qualcomm holds naming rights to the $310m (£268m/€312m) stadium through its premier mobile platform brand, Snapdragon. Qualcomm signed a 15-year, $45m deal last December, with the agreement to also see 5G technology implemented throughout the stadium.
The Snapdragon Stadium project has been deemed San Diego’s most significant sports and entertainment venue since the opening of Petco Park, home of Major League Baseball team the San Diego Padres, in 2004.
In May, operators of Snapdragon Stadium said they were confident of landing a Major League Soccer expansion franchise to play at the venue.
Investors are eyeing up the launch of a team in the Californian city as soon as 2024, with the 35,000-capacity stadium compliant with MLS requirements.
Snapdragon Stadium has been built close to the now-demolished SDCCU Stadium, the former home of the Aztecs and the NFL’s Chargers, which now play at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium.
The Aztecs played at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of MLS team Los Angeles Galaxy, while Snapdragon Stadium was being built.