SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A final farewell was held for San Diego's longtime stadium in Mission Valley, as crews brought down the last major piece of the landmark on Monday.
Crews were set to demolish the final light tower and upper bowl area of the former SDCCU Stadium — formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium, and San Diego Stadium. The section is the last major piece of the stadium that can be seen by drivers from the Interstate 8 and I-15 freeways.
Bringing down the section will mark the last major demolition of the stadium, which began just late last year.
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Gina Jacobs, associate vice president of Mission Valley development for San Diego State, said Monday's construction marks the end of an era.
"This is the last bit of the stadium that is coming down today," Jacobs said. "It's a milestone for, obviously, San Diego. It's a new era, we have Aztec Stadium being built in the foreground ... so obviously, this is the end of one era and start of a new era."
Jacobs says the majority of the pieces being torn down at the stadium will be broken up on-site and reused for fill and road base throughout the site's various projects. Some other materials are being reclaimed by demolition contractors, Jacobs said.
She added that the stadium wasn't imploded due to strict air quality control regulations in California.
The stadium's plaza level will continue to be broken up over the next few months, according to San Diego State University. The university, which purchased the land after the passage of Measure G in November 2018, says it is still on track to complete Aztec Stadium by Fall 2022.
According to SDSU, demolition of the stadium will open up that area of the land to develop its planned Innovation District, housing, and a hotel on the site. Construction of the surrounding infrastructure around the stadium and River Park are set to be completed in 2023, the university says.
The university has a live webcam of its stadium's progress on its website here.
"It was called a multi-purpose stadium, and it really was a multi-purpose stadium, from the Chargers and Padres to soccer and Aztec football. It was also used for concerts and special events. It's the kind of place that can't be duplicated for what it meant for the area for more than half a century," said Kirk Kenney, a longtime sports writer for the San Diego Union Tribune."