The final piece of SDCCU Stadium in San Diego’s Mission Valley area was torn down Monday, signaling the end of an era.
The final phase of the demolition began at 9 a.m., with the last light tower and upper bowel area of the stadium torn to the ground. With that, the original stadium will no longer be visible from the Interstate 8 and Interstate 15 freeways.
San Diego State University said the plaza level would be demolished over the next few months, but the demo of the final tower Monday was officially the “final goodbye” for the landmark – and the final time the media would get to look inside during the demo process.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
The demolition of the San Diego landmark has been going down for months.
As the old stadium has been torn apart, the foundation of the new Aztec Stadium has been taking shape. The new stadium, if the project stays on track, should be completed in time for the 2022 football season. The site infrastructure and River Park are set to be completed in 2023, SDSU said.
“Demolition of the existing stadium is key to unlocking the development potential for the site and allows subsequent development of the Innovation District, housing and hotel to proceed,” SDSU said in a media release.
A deal years in the making, the sale of the 135-acre Mission Valley stadium site to San Diego State University was officially approved last summer.
The demolition work began in August 2020 and, by September 2020, SDSU was working on plans to sell the stadium’s old seats to fans. It was a way to give locals a chance to take a little piece of the landmark home, forever.
Over the past six months, NBC 7 has spoken to many San Diegans who feel a connection to the landmark. After all, it’s the place where many locals watched games, concerts, and fireworks over the years – likely next to family members and friends. It’s a space that holds precious memories.
The landmark broke ground in 1965 and has been called by many names over the decades, including Jack Murphy Stadium (aka “The Murph) and Qualcomm Stadium (aka “The Q”).
Last month, NBC 7 spoke with the original architect of the stadium, 90-year-old Ernie Lord, who shared his memories of the biggest project of his career. He called the demolition of the landmark, “progress.” You can read his story here.
San Diego Stadium Demo Videos
For a look at the demolition of the stadium, bit by bit, check out these videos below: