July 15, 2021
Press Releases & News

SDSU’s Aztec Stadium Tops Out, Remains on Track for 2022 Grand Opening

SAN DIEGO, CA – The landscape at San Diego State University (SDSU) Mission Valley is rapidly evolving as construction progresses on the new state-of-the-art Aztec Stadium. Earlier today, Clark Construction Group joined SDSU leaders, city officials, and distinguished guests to celebrate topping out the multi-use stadium – one of San Diego’s most highly-anticipated projects. The topping out ceremony marks the completion of structural steel operations – a significant milestone achieved just 11 months after construction efforts began on site.  

Designed as a hub for sports and entertainment, the new 35,000-capacity venue will provide a state-of-the-art home field for Aztec Football, as well as support professional and collegiate soccer, NCAA championship games, concerts, and other cultural events. The facility, which is designed to meet LEED® Gold certification, is a part of the first phase of SDSU Mission Valley, a vibrant, mixed-use, medium-density development that is transit-oriented, and expands the university’s educational, research, entrepreneurial, and technology transfer programs. SDSU Mission Valley will also include retail, housing, and the development of community parks and open space; it is projected to provide educational opportunities for up to 15,000 additional students and expand the university’s economic impact by an estimated $3 billion per year.

Clark Construction is leading design and construction efforts on the multi-purpose venue and nearby community river park, as well as performing site infrastructure improvements. Gensler Sports is the stadium project architect.

30,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured to support the 2,500 steel beams that shape the Aztec Stadium

“This is a thrilling milestone for the entire Aztec Stadium team,” said Albert Valdivia, Clark’s vice president in charge of construction operations for the project. “Despite an unprecedented year, our team and partners have risen to the challenge and moved stadium construction forward. Today’s ceremony is an opportunity to recognize the men and women helping us build for their dedication to their craft and to advancing this project safely during such an extraordinary time.”

During the project-wide celebration, craft workers and event attendees were treated to a special program involving SDSU President Adela de la Torre and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. To conclude the occasion, ironworkers set the last of the venue’s 2,500 steel beams in place atop the stadium’s scoreboard.

The Clark team celebrates the last steel beam being set at Aztec Stadium

Among the largest active construction projects in San Diego County, the stadium and related Mission Valley sitework are playing an important role in the region’s economic recovery. On average, 300 craft workers – representing 15 different trade partners – are working on site daily and collectively putting in place nearly $8 million of work per month. Combined, the stadium, park, and site infrastructure projects are projected to provide jobs for nearly 6,500 construction workers. In aggregate, local firms have been awarded $250 million in construction contracts, including 35 San Diego-based businesses. Additionally, six percent of contracts have been awarded to certified veteran-owned companies.

Once complete, the year-round sports and entertainment complex is projected to host more than 300 events annually. The facility will showcase luxury suites, loge boxes, and club and priority seating, and boasts clean sightlines to ensure patrons have premium views from any location within the stadium. Moreover, the venue’s wide-open concourses are designed to create connectivity to the field. Signature design elements, such as the venue’s concourse level “neighborhoods”, designed to reflect the city’s diverse communities, and unique standing-room-only “piers” that jut out over stadium seating and conjure a coastal vibe, all combine to create a venue that is authentically San Diego.

Construction workers, project stakeholders, and event attendees signed the last steel beam before it was hoisted into place

“This is the culmination of four-plus years of work to get to this point, a stadium for San Diego State and the community. The athletic department, and the University as a whole, are excited that we have made it to this point and we are really looking forward to September 3 of next year,” said John David Wicker, director of intercollegiate athletics for SDSU. “For anyone that has driven by Mission Valley in the last couple of weeks they have seen the stadium come out of the ground as the steel structure has gone in for the upper decks on both sides. Kudos to all the volunteers out there, the community members, our alumni, but also the architects, the general contractor, all our various consultants and folks on campus that have worked hard to get us where we are today.”

Aztec Stadium is on schedule to debut during the Aztec Football season opener against the University of Arizona Wildcats in September 2022.