Remember that immediately irrelevant thing I wrote last week about stadium options? Sadly, we’re now in a post-Chargers world in San Diego and that conversation has to begin in earnest (as AKH covered).
Like most everyone I’m a bit stunned by all of this. I’m a lifelong, third-generation Chargers fan who is sad to lose our team. But pleased as punch to lose the Spanos family! I guess that puts me in good company because San Diego State has to be feeling similarly today. Check out this U-T article about SDSU’s experience as Qualcomm Stadium’s lesser tenant trying to deal with the Chargers.
As we talked about last week, Qualcomm Stadium is a dump. San Diego State attempted to do the following to make it less of a dump:
- Upgrade video boards
- Upgrade advertising boards
- Improve wireless access
The Chargers didn’t want any part of it. It’s clear now that their plan all along was to make the stadium look as awful as possible and let everybody else do their work for them. Clearly, that plan worked spectacularly.
Before that U-T piece was published, a few tweets that caught our eyes:
Sonny is, of course, the designer of the awesome Aztec Calendar helmets the team wears now. All of this got us thinking about how things might be different at Qualcomm Stadium with the Aztecs as the primary tenant.
Here are a few possibilities:
- As already stated, those end zones can finally lose the generic ’80s “SAN DIEGO” font and be painted with the San Diego State name, Aztecs colors and a proper Aztecs logo at midfield. Doesn’t that sound tremendous?
- Or how about some bullshit design/theme like they have over at UNLV? Let’s go full-on tacky basketball court and make the WHOLE FIELD an Aztec calendar! The possibilities are endless! And tacky? Whatever, doesn’t matter. It’s our hot field and we can do what we want. (editor’s note: No.)
- It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. While the overwhelming color of the Q is Eastern Bloc iron fist gray, there are some areas of the concourse and interior befouled by blue. Give them a splash of red and black immediately.
- The banner possibilities are exciting. You know that healthcare ad banner featuring Philip Rivers that used to (probably still does) grace the outside? I think this photo might make for a good replacement. And what about all those NFL team logo banners that the Chargers hung from the light ring, the ones that looked like they had the same graphic designer as the game Scattergories? Maybe retire some legendary Aztec numbers (9, 19, 28 and 34 would be a good place to start) and hoist them up there. Same with championship banners. You can even make banners for our MWC rivals that can double as ads for local credit unions!
- BoltVision? Actually, let’s keep that name. The Chargers deserve their legacy including those severely outdated screens.
- We’ll surely see Aztecs signage replace Chargers signage around the building. Likewise, we’ll see advertising from sponsors courted by SDSU. Based on Viejas Arena, I’m going to assume that means Bay Alarm somewhere. Not too exciting for fans, but exciting for the program generating some more revenue.
- New amenities! How about a Keg ‘N’ Bottle? Wings-N-Things? Woodstock’s? A luxury suite for Kabeer Thirty, now that suites are suddenly available? The possibilities are endless.
What it comes down to is that San Diego State football has an opportunity it really hasn’t had before. Like training wheels for moving into their own building in a few years. It’s a good opportunity for fans, the school and the student-athletes to feel like it’s THEIR home, and for putting the school’s best face forward on television.
Is it possible to see a few of those general stadium upgrades discussed in the U-T in the meantime? With the lease being up in 2018, and an MLS timetable looking like a San Diego expansion club could enter the league in 2020, it seems unlikely any significant money will be plowed into the place. Think red and black paint, maybe some improved signage, and Katy Perry’s “California Girls” blasting out of the shrillest giant speakers ever created.
Got ideas to prettify the old brutalist edifice, now-exclusive home of your San Diego State Aztecs? Leave a comment, tweet us at @kabeerthirty, poke and prod us on the facebook, or just go outside and scream at the heavens.