Qualcomm Stadium, also referred to by fans as "the Q'' and "the Murph'', is the home stadium of the NFL's San Diego Chargers and the San Diego State University Aztecs college football team. The stadium is located within five miles of the Aztec's main campus.
Originally named San Diego Stadium, the name was changed to Jack Murphy Stadium in 1980 in honor of sportswriter Jack Murphy who pushed for the stadium's construction in the 1960s. This lasted until 1997, when the QUALCOMM Corporation purchased the naming rights for the stadium for $18 million, and will retain the rights until 2017. This money was used to help pay for the expansion and future renovation of the venue. Jack Murphy's memory is still honored by many fans that still refer to the stadium as "the Murph'' as well as statue of Murphy with his dog standing outside of the stadium.
The stadium, initially costing $27.5 million to build, was expanded in 1997 along with the name change. This pushed the seating capacity to 70,561. Qualcomm Stadium is owned and operated by the City of San Diego. With the 1997 expansion, the stadium gained a total of 34 specialty suites and four club lounges. Two new video boards were installed, along with a new practice area. The cost of the expansion totaled $78 million.
The venue offers fans 19,240 parking spaces, and can be rented for special or private events. Along with this, ATM machines can be found all about the stadium. On the plaza level are two pro shops that sell Chargers merchandise for fans hoping to support their team. The stadium has a natural grass field with an open roof. Qualcomm Stadium itself is available for rent for special events and occasions.
In addition to being home to the Chargers and the Aztecs, Qualcomm Stadium also hosts the NCAA Pacific Life Holiday Bowl and the NCAA Poinsettia Bowl. It has been the site of FIFA professional soccer games, setting an attendance record in June 2008 in a game between Mexico versus Argentina. A number of other games are also scheduled for the future. Qualcomm Stadium serves as a multipurpose complex, hosting countless other events over the years and acting as the home field for the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 2003. Other events include the Season 7 American Idol auditions (2007).
Qualcomm Stadium was formerly the home for Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres, but the team relocated to PETCO Park in 2004. Since the Padres move, plans have been in the works to make the venue better fit for an NFL team. Hosting the World Series and the Super Bowl both in 1998, Qualcomm Stadium is the only venue ever to do so. On the former practice field for the Chargers, and event called Concerts on the Green is occasionally held. For a short time, rugby was played on this field, but after it was leased by AEG, an amphitheater was built to allow for a variety of performances. It has a capacity of 12,500, and is the second biggest venue of this sort in San Diego.