Aztec Stadium groundbreaking held

Video: goaztecscom (YouTube)

The San Diego State University (SDSU) in San Diego, US, held a groundbreaking ceremony recently to mark the varsity officially assuming ownership of the Mission Valley stadium site and commemorate the launch of a new era for the greater San Diego region. It was a watershed moment for them.

San Diego State University is a public research university in San Diego, California, US.

The planned 35,000-capacity Aztec Stadium would be among the first projects to be built as part of the university’s Mission Valley campus. The project boasts new educational facilities, a 450-bed hotel and a 34-acre City-owned river park.

As part of the SDSU Mission Valley campus, Aztec Stadium is designed to meet the needs of the entire San Diego community and will launch the university into a bold new future. This year-round entertainment destination will feature over 300 projected events annually and serve as a hub of community engagement and Aztec pride.

Anchored by Aztec Stadium, the new home for the San Diego State football program, SDSU Mission Valley will deliver immense benefits to the community for generations to come. Upon breaking ground, one of the first major construction projects to undergo development, in addition to the River Park, will be the highly anticipated stadium, which is scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2022.

“We are building a stadium for Aztec football, international and professional soccer, concerts, and any other event you can think of,” stated SDSU Athletic Director John David Wicker.

“A world-class 35,000-capacity stadium designed to offer the amenities fans expect today. This is the most important sports and entertainment venue in San Diego since Petco Park and will be available 365 days a year for our campus and community,” Wicker added.

Petco Park is a baseball park located in the downtown area of San Diego, California, United States, that is home to the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). In addition to baseball, the park also is used as venue for concerts, soccer, golf, and rugby sevens.

Apart from the significant land development, the project will bring about a sea change in the community. SDSU Mission Valley is projected to expand the university’s economic footprint in the region by $3 billion annually. Along with football, Aztec Stadium will have the capability to stage select SDSU men’s and women’s soccer matches, as well as women’s lacrosse games.

Remarked San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, “What happens on the ground right here, beneath our feet will elevate San Diego State and elevate San Diego in ways that we can’t possibly imagine. San Diegans should take great satisfaction in knowing that the future of this land is finally set as a place where education, athletics, and the community will thrive side by side for generations to come.”

In its entirety, SDSU Mission Valley will create new educational experiences, foster research, advance technology, facilitate internships, and open a floodgate of educational opportunities. The result of this expansion will enable the university to gradually increase enrollment by up to 15,000 students.

“It marks a milestone moment for San Diego State University and the City of San Diego,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre.

“With the groundbreaking, we begin the work to expand SDSU’s educational, research, and entrepreneurial missions. SDSU Mission Valley also addresses the realities of the past few months and the need for new streams of revenue to support higher education opportunities for all,” the SDSU President added.

Though initially it was decided to open the stadium site to the general public, but with coronavirus wreaking havoc in the United States, it was not done so. The stadium site is now an active construction site. Instead, the number of in-person speakers and invited guests was restricted in concert with the county’s public health guidelines. Prior to the groundbreaking event, SDSU organizers held close interactions with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency to ensure the health guidelines were followed in toto.

Earlier, Tom McCarron, San Diego State’s Senior Vice-President for SDSU Mission Valley, kicked off the groundbreaking ceremony. He acknowledged the collective years-long efforts of all those involved in the development, from conception to realization for their critical and steadfast support.

“The groundbreaking ceremony is truly a momentous day in the history of our university and the City of San Diego. With this, we celebrate the commencement of construction of SDSU Mission Valley, Aztec Stadium, and the River Park,” McCarron enthused.

Additional remarks were made both in-person or via video by California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees Members Adam Day and Jack McGrory, San Diego City Council Members Georgette Gómez and Barbara Bry, Interim Vice-President for Research Hala Madanat, Aztec Stadium donor Dianne Bashor, Chair of The Campanile Foundation Jerry Sanders, SDSU Associated Students President Christian Holt, and alumni and long-time SDSU supporter Nikki Clay.

The groundbreaking ceremony concluded with the participants taking part in a ceremonial first “shovel in the ground”.

Construction will begin in full swing by Clark Construction with grading and infrastructure work, paving the way for the stadium and River Park construction. Clark Construction is expected to employ an estimated 3,500 to 5,550 construction crew through both the stadium and site development.

The San Diego State football program has made 10 straight bowl game appearances and is one among the 10 schools nationally to win at least 10 games in four of the last five seasons. The Aztecs have called SDCCU Stadium home since 1967 and have compiled a 221-113-6 (.659) record at the facility in that span.

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