Qualcomm Stadium (a.k.a. “The Q”, “The Murph”), formerly known as San Diego Stadium and Jack Murphy Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in San Diego, California. It is the current home of the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League and of the San Diego State University Aztecs college football team. It hosts the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl college football games every December. Until 2003, it served as the home of San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball. The stadium has hosted three Super Bowl games: Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, and Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. It has also hosted the 1978 and 1992 Major League Baseball 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. It is the only stadium ever to host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year (1998).
The stadium is located immediately northwest of the interchange of Interstate 8 and Interstate 15; the neighborhood surrounding the stadium is known as Mission Valley, in reference to the Mission San Diego de Alcala, which is located to the east, and its placement in the valley of the San Diego River. The stadium is served by the Qualcomm Stadium San Diego Trolley station, accessible via the Green Line and a Special Events line from the 12th and Imperial Transit Center.
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 1965, a $27 million bond was passed allowing construction to begin on a stadium, which was designed in the Brutalist style. Construction on the stadium began one month later. When completed, the facility was named San Diego Stadium.
The Chargers (then a member of the American Football League) 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 east end low (consisting of only one tier, partially topped by a large scoreboard). The Chargers were the main tenant of the stadium until 1968, when the AAA Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres baseball team played its last season in the stadium, following their move from the minor league sized Westgate Park. Due to expansion of Major League Baseball, this team was replaced by the current San Diego Padres major-league team beginning in the 1969 season. (The Padres moved out of QUALCOMM Stadium following the 2003 season.)
After Jack Murphy’s passing in 1980, San Diego Stadium was renamed San Diego-Jack Murphy Stadium or simply Jack Murphy Stadium. In 1983, over 9,000 bleachers were added to the lower deck on the open end of the stadium raising the capacity to 59,022. The most substantial addition was completed in 1997, when 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. In order to continue to honor Murphy, the city named the stadium site Jack Murphy Field.However, as part of the naming agreement Jack Murphy Field was not allowed to be used alongside QUALCOMM Stadium. Many San Diegans, however, still refer to the stadium as “Jack Murphy” or simply “The Murph.” The most common nickname these days is “the Q”. Bob Murphy before his death in 2004, during New York Mets broadcasts still referred to it as Jack Murphy Stadium, even after it was renamed.
The stadium was the first of the square-circle “octorad” style, which was thought to be an improvement over the other cookie cutter stadiums of the time for hosting both football and baseball. (The second and last of this style was the since-imploded Veterans Stadium.) Despite the theoretical improvements of this style, most of the seats were still very far away from the action on the field, especially during baseball games. It is one of the few “cookie-cutter” stadiums to still remain active, along with Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.