Clark Construction Completes New SDSU Stadium

The Snapdragon Stadium is a 35,000-capacity venue provides a home field for SDSU Aztec Football and other cultural events.

Photo: Clark Construction Group/ SDSU

Clark Construction Group finished construction on the state-of-the-art Snapdragon Stadium at San Diego State University (SDSU).

Designed as a hub for sports and entertainment, the new 35,000-capacity venue provides a home field for SDSU Aztec Football, as well as for professional and collegiate soccer, NCAA championship games, concerts, and other cultural events.

As the design-builder in charge of design and construction efforts on the multi-purpose venue, Clark Construction led a team of more than 250 firms, including engineers, and trade contractors. Gensler Sports was the lead designer.

The stadium’s signature design elements, including concourse level “neighborhoods,” and standing-room-only “piers” that jut out over stadium seating to conjure a coastal vibe are designed to reflect the city’s diverse communities and combine to create a venue that is authentically San Diego.

The stadium is a part of the first phase of development at SDSU Mission Valley, a mixed-use, medium-density, transit-oriented development that will expand the university’s educational, research, entrepreneurial, and technology programs. An Innovation District is projected to provide educational opportunities for up to 15,000 additional students and, once complete, SDSU Mission Valley will also include retail, housing, and the development of community parks and open space. It is expected to bolster the university’s local economic impact by an estimated $3 billion per year.

Snapdragon Stadium’s construction has served as a boon to the San Diego economy. Local firms were awarded $250 million in construction contracts on the project. Throughout construction, Clark also helped lead training programs to ensure a local and diverse workforce had the opportunity to work on the project. In aggregate, a combined 4,000 workers logged 1.2 million hours to successfully deliver Snapdragon Stadium.

“This project is a testament that construction is a team sport,” said Albert Valdivia, Clark’s vice president in charge of construction operations for the project. “With everyone working toward the goal of winning together, we were able to deliver a high-quality venue on time, on budget for SDSU and the greater San Diego community.”

The stadium is a product of a two-year intensive construction effort. To make way for the new venue, Clark demolished Qualcomm Stadium, the former home of the San Diego Chargers. Crews erected the structure using a combination of cast-in-place concrete, precast concrete, and steel. To shape the stadium, crews raised the site nearly 30 feet and erected 2,500 steel beams.

“We appreciate all the hard work to get Snapdragon Stadium complete in time for our first game against Arizona,” said J.D. Wicker, director of intercollegiate athletics at SDSU. “We are looking forward to fans coming to a stadium that they can be proud of – a stadium that is authentic to San Diego. We feel we’ve created an unmatched experience in collegiate athletics, and in all events that come to the stadium.”

Snapdragon Stadium will make its official debut during the Aztec Football season opener against the University of Arizona Wildcats on September 3.

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