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San Diego State to play home football games at Dignity Health Sports Park until 2022

The Goodyear blimp flies over Carson's Dignity Health Care Sports Park during a Chargers game last season.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Construction at the Aztecs’ stadium site is the reason given for the move to the Carson stadium where the Chargers played the past three years.

San Diego State football fans were excited last month when the Aztecs broke ground on a new stadium targeted to be ready in time for the 2022 season.

Now something Aztecs fans probably won’t be too excited about in the two seasons leading up to the grand opening: SDSU will play its home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson until its new 35,000-seat stadium opens.

SDSU officials announced the temporary move 111 miles north — to the same stadium where the Chargers played in for three seasons after moving to Los Angeles in 2017 — on Tuesday morning, saying in a release that the change of venue is a “decision (that) allows the University to expedite its work on the construction site adjacent to SDCCU Stadium and continue progress on a new stadium”

The Aztecs planned to play the 2020 season at SDCCU Stadium. When the season was postponed to the spring because of coronavirus concerns, however, a school spokesman said it made playing at SDCCU Stadium problematic.

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SDSU players were informed of the decision Tuesday morning, shortly before it was made public in a release by the school.

“Once the sale of the site was finalized with the city and we knew we could play football in Aztec Stadium in fall 2022, based on all the information we had gathered, it became clear the existing stadium had to come down in the first quarter of 2021,” John David Wicker, SDSU’s director of athletics, said in the release. “Our intention had been to play a final season in SDCCU Stadium. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced our hand and we must move the spring 2021 games as well.”

Wicker had stated previously that SDCCU Stadium would be used through the 2021 season and then be taken down in the first quarter of 2022.

”This is not a decision we made lightly,” Tom McCarron, SDSU senior VP for SDSU Mission Valley Development said in the release. “Getting the site ready for future development is critical for SDSU to realize the vision we have shared with the community over the past many years. The accelerated development timeline not only keeps the stadium on schedule, but also the River Park and development pads for the residential housing and Innovation District.”

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The Aztecs have played in the Mission Valley stadium since it opened in 1967. With this decision, it means the last Aztecs game played there was a 13-3 victory over Brigham Young on Nov. 30. The last football game played there was the 2019 Holiday Bowl in which Iowa defeated USC 49-24 on Dec. 27.

Neither Wicker nor SDSU head coach Brady Hoke was immediately available for comment.

This is a developing story that will be updated throughout the day.


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