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Tony Gwynn Stadium

San Diego, CA

Home of the San Diego State Aztecs

3.6

N/A

Tony Gwynn Stadium (map it)
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92115


San Diego State Aztecs website

Tony Gwynn Stadium website

Year Opened: 1997

Capacity: 3,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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State-Ment Baseball

Few programs have the name recognition that fans will find at San Diego State.  Kevin Kennedy, Bud Black, Tony Gwynn, Mark Grace, Stephen Strasburg: all names that are relevant from broadcasting to manager to hall-of-famer.

The San Diego State baseball program is a favorite for coveted baseball recruits, due to the program’s success, the beautiful San Diego weather, and a manager that has more than a “fair-share” of success in baseball.

The current home of the Aztecs was funded largely by John Moores, the former owner of the San Diego Padres.  It was decided that the stadium would be named Tony Gwynn Stadium to honor the former Aztec baseball AND basketball standout.

The stadium opened in 1997 at a cost of $4 million.  The field is named Charlie Smith Field, honoring the former head coach of the program.

3.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

In the grandstand, fans will find their traditional options including the hot dog ($4), nachos ($6), chili cheese nachos ($7), chili cheese bread bowl ($4), PB & J sandwich ($3), chicken Caesar wrap ($5), pulled pork sandwich ($5), pretzel ($4), peanuts ($4), churros ($2), buttered popcorn ($5), kettlecorn ($5), and finally, frozen lemonade or ice cream ($3).

There are also some temporary stands including Hunter Steak House. Options here include a tri-tip sandwich ($8), chicken sandwich ($7), hot link grinder ($7), cheeseburger or veggie burger ($5), potato salad ($2), ranch style beans ($2), and sautéed mushrooms ($2). A Cold Stone Creamery stand is also on-site, offering ice cream options for $5. The beverage options include soda (small $3, large $4, souvenir $5), Gatorade ($3), bottled water ($3), or hot drinks ($3).

Atmosphere    4

Fans visiting Tony Gwynn Stadium will definitely enjoy the experience, largely because of the atmosphere.

As fans walk to the stadium, many other campus events are frequently occurring just outside of the ballpark, including lacrosse or a football practice. This can't help but get fans excited about the upcoming collegiate sporting event.

Being located in San Diego, fans can often expect a beautiful day for baseball and great views of the mountainside beyond the outfield fence.

Just like the football program, the game starts up with the Guns & Roses song "Welcome to the Jungle," which has an equally exciting building effect.

The success of the manager, the program, the fans (mentioned below), and one of the best stadiums in college baseball all combine to create one great experience for anyone who attends.

Neighborhood    3

Depending on the day of a visit, different options may be available to fans. Certain food vendors are available on campus, but may be limited to when school is in session. Aligning with traditional college fast food, the surrounding area includes a Chipotle, Domino's, Jack in the Box, and others.

The area does however include additional sit-down options including La Casita Mexican Grill, Senor Pancho Fresh Mexican, California Kebab, the 4.0 Deli, Effin's Pub & Grill, Living Room Café & Bistro, and Buddies Burger.

If fans are willing to travel a few minutes to downtown, the options will be seemingly limitless as the historic Gaslamp district offers all types of food and beverage.

Fans    4

The Aztecs do seem to have one of the better fanbases in Southern California as they frequently fill the stands at opposing schools when the team is on the road.

Many successful players have come through the Aztec baseball program, leading to continued success over the years. This has allowed the team to build a passionate following that frequently fill the stands.

Access    3

Fans that are familiar with attending the San Diego Charger games will have no problem finding the SDSU campus as it is just a few minutes away from Qualcomm Stadium.

There is a parking garage just a few steps away from the baseball stadium, but has an annoying parking policy of $1 per hour. Of course, fans do not know the exact duration of the game and are hopefully guessing on the conservative side. It seems utilizing a flat rate on gameday would be more enjoyable for fans.

Inside the stadium, the restrooms seem a bit aged for such a nice facility, but nothing that provides a significant inconvenience. The men's room had eight stations inside.

Return on Investment    5

The biggest surprise may be in the form of the ticketing policies. All tickets on gameday are "General Admission" and cost only $6. There is no assigned seating in the venue, so fans can sit where they please. Some fans may capitalize on this and allow themselves to get vantage points of many different spots in the stadium.

Concessions and parking are reasonably priced, providing a great all around investment.

Extras    3

Unfortunately the reviewer missed possibly the biggest extra during the gameday. Tony Gwynn Stadium does offer the Stephen and Mary Birch Baseball Museum, however when I tried the door on gameday, it was locked. Hopefully fans will have better success on another day and can use this link to get some views of the inside of the museum.

Behind the grandstand, fans will find plaques honoring Tony Gwynn, Jim Dietz, and Charlie Smith. Also nearby is a very large NCAA baseball, signifying Tony Gwynn Stadium as a location for the NCAA playoffs. The detail of the baseball is very impressive and provides a great photo opportunity.

In right field, fans will see the program's Wall of Fame, which now has many members across all panels. Despite all of these names, the program only has two retired numbers, shown just below the Wall of Fame. These numbers include Jim Deitz (4) and Stephen Strasburg (37).

Final Thoughts

San Diego certainly has some fantastic baseball venues. Tony Gwynn Stadium certainly remains on par with the likes of PETCO Park and Fowler Park.

Many positives are outlined above, and to think fans can get in the door for just $6 is rather amazing. If you're a baseball fan, this is a value that cannot be beat!

Follow Drew's travels through Southern California on Twitter @Big10Drew.

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Local Food & Drink

La Casita Mexican Grill  (map it!)

5157 College Ave

San Diego, CA 92115

(619) 583-9011

http://www.lacasitamexicangrill.webs.com/

California Kebob  (map it!)

5157 College Ave

San Diego, CA 92115

(619) 582-5222

http://www.cali-kebab.com/

Living Room Cafe & Bistro  (map it!)

5900 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, CA 92115

(619) 286-8434

http://www.livingroomcafe.com/

Effin's Pub & Grill  (map it!)

6164 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, CA 92115

(619) 229-9800

http://www.yelp.com/biz/effins-pub-and-grill-san-diego

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