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Thousands of fans celebrate first gameday at Snapdragon Stadium

After years of excitement and anticipation, the opening day at San Diego State University's Snapdragon Stadium is finally here.

SAN DIEGO — After years of excitement and anticipation, the opening day at San Diego State University's Snapdragon Stadium is finally here.

"It's amazing being out here. It’s a long time coming. We're excited for the new stadium. It is a true home field advantage. Qualcomm didn’t cut it us for us San Diegans," laughs SDSU alum, Danny Wacker. 

It’s a sea of red white and black at Snapdragon stadium. Aztec fans started tailgating three hours before kickoff on Saturday. 

"There is no way I was going to miss the inaugural game at Snapdragon," said Wacker. 

SDSU alumni, and fans from across the country showed up for game day. Oh, and Arizona Wildcat fans showed up too!

Nine-year-old Charlie lives in San Diego, but he’s decked on in Arizona Wildcat gear. 

"My mom went to college in Arizona, so I'm rooting for Arizona. We had a rough year last year, this year will be better," said Charlie.

One very special fan is 94-year-old Ken Bonatus, the oldest living SDSU Aztec football player. He played quarterback and running back and was named an All American in 1945. His nickname is "Buns."

"Buns was a nickname I got when I was playing baseball. We put on sliding pads and when you put sliding pads on it puffs it up a little bit, so I got the name, 'Buns!," said Bonatus. 

Bonatus is a military veteran and he became widowed. Recently, he got married at 87 years old to his wife, Marion.

Football fans paid a pretty penny to sit inside the new $310 million stadium.

"We paid more than $212 each but it's worth it," said Chase and Daniel, SDSU alumni. "It is hot out here. We are staying hydrated."

Temperatures reached the upper 90’s, but that didn’t stop fans from rooting on the Aztecs. 

"Personally, I love the heat. It's another day in San Diego, who are we to complain about some sunshine. Aztecs for life; that’s what we're here for," said Wacker. 

WATCH RELATED: Touring Snapdragon Stadium with Aztecs Athletic Director JD Wicker (Sep. 2022).

    

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