SAN DIEGO — As the San Diego State Aztecs enter their 100th football season with the new Snapdragon Stadium, we take a look back at all the home stadiums they played in over the years.
When San Diego State first started playing football, their home games were at Balboa Stadium which was built in 1914 for the Panama California Exposition. Seven years later, in 1921, San Diego State's football team, then referred to as the “Professors” or “Wampus Cats” played their first games.
Aztecs became the official school mascot for the team in 1925. After 15 years in Balboa Stadium, San Diego State became the first school in the Cal State system to build a football stadium on campus.
Aztec Bowl was christened in 1936, it would play host to San Diego State football games for the next 30 years. Among the successful seasons on campus, the 1937 team went 7-1, winning a second straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship. Later in the 60s, players like Don Horn, Haven Moses and Gary Garrison would cut their college teeth before playing in the NFL.
It would also see the first six years of Don Coryell’s Hall of Fame tenure as head coach on Montezuma Mesa, initially built to hold 7,500 fans Aztec Bowl eventually expanded to over 12,500 capacity.
But in 1967, the team moved into San Diego stadium, a brand-new facility that could hold more than 52,000 fans for a football game. This stadium would see Coryell’s Aztecs win a second and third straight DII National Championship in 1967 and 1968.
WATCH RELATED: Raw footage from April 3, 1967 when the stadium was about 70% complete
Quarterback Dennis Shaw would lead the Aztecs into the DI era in 1969. The stadium played host to the likes of future NFL MVP Brian Sipe, Todd Santos, who graduated as the most prolific passer in NCAA history, Marshall Faulk, who went on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, and Donnel Pumphrey, who like Santos, graduated as the most prolific player at his position in NCAA history.
WATCH RELATED: San Diego State College Aztecs Football vs University of Texas Arlington Rebels 1968
The stadium was also home to a heartbreaking loss in the 1986 Holiday Bowl, the Aztecs' lone appearance in a bowl game that was created to give SDSU a bowl game to play in. It was BYU that became the early Holiday Bowl regular, but in a fine bit of irony, in the final Aztec game ever played at the stadium in 2019, the Aztecs were victorious, beating BYU in a fitting goodbye to San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
RELATED: News 8 Throwback: Memories from the stadium once known as Jack Murphy, Qualcomm, and San Diego Stadium
The Aztecs spent the next two years playing home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson as they waited for the home of their dreams to be built. The games in Carson were highlighted by a triple-overtime victory over Utah, a team that went on to win the PAC 12 Championship before losing to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
And now a new era begins for the Aztecs on September 3, 2022 at Snapdragon Stadium.
The reason that is the 100th season in 102 years is that in 1943 and 1944, the team did not play due to WWII.
WATCH RELATED: Aerial views of San Diego State's newly finished Snapdragon Stadium