A crowd of more than 60,000 is expected for the 92nd meeting between Navy and undefeated Notre Dame, the third-ranked team in the country.
"I think there's going to be even more heart there because you have people from Notre Dame who are all heart, from Indiana, who absolutely love to be able to support anything with Notre Dame-Navy," said Shannon Cyhan, a Notre Dame fan who lives in downtown San Diego.
The Chargers left for Los Angeles after the 2016 season and the stadium formerly known as Qualcomm has been used sparingly since. It has the occasional concert and is about half to three-quarters full for SDSU Aztecs football games and the Holiday Bowl.
Saturday's game, which will be nationally televised, will provide a respite from the politics engulfing the stadium.
On Nov. 6, voters could decide to redevelop the site into a west campus for San Diego State University, or a commercial district called SoccerCity. Both plans promise stadiums no more than half the size of SDCCU Stadium, which holds about 70,000.
"There's always good that comes with transition," Cyhan said. "You don't know what it's going to be but I'm hopeful that it will be something lovely."