Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Torero Stadium 5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110
Year Opened: 1961
Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego is home to the university’s football team. USD is located near Mission Bay in northern San Diego, not far from the Pacific Ocean. The venue opened in 1961 and seats 6,000 fans – the field is named after Walter J. Zable, a local businessman and philanthropist.
Food & Beverage 4
Torero Stadium offers a great mix of concessions items for $3 to $12 including Spam musubi, manapua, veggie rolls, Hawaiian bowls, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, popcorn, kettle corn, Kona ice, and tacos, as well as fresh-squeezed lemonade, as well as $2 bottled waters and canned sodas. These items are all available on the concourse above the stadium, but there is also a concession stand inside Jenny Craig Pavilion, located on the same concourse, that is open during football games (the same building which has the bathrooms). There is also another concessions stand on the home side for fans sitting over there who don’t want to walk back to the concourse during the game.
The stand in the lobby of Jenny Craig Pavilion offers some of the same items as on the concourse, but has some additional items as well – hot dogs (including vegan ones), pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, chips, candy, ice cream, and churros. These items range from $4 for the smaller items to $10 for the vegan dog. The stand also offers bottled water, soda, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, beer, wine, and seltzer – alcohol starts at $8, but the non-alcoholic drinks are $4 to $5.
The setting is beautiful for San Diego football – great beach weather accompanies the action on the gridiron. There is a videoboard for replays as well as a cheerleading squad to help keep fans engaged. There is also a small tunnel which the players use to enter the field.
The home side grandstands have fold-down chairback seats, while the seats in the end zone and on the visitor’s side have metal benches – strangely the “home side” is on the opposite side from the main concourse, but that side does have slightly more shade (although admittedly, not much).
Torero Stadium and the university are located in a mostly residential area, with only a few gas stations and local restaurants within walking distance along Linda Vista Road. The school’s basketball/volleyball venue is right next to the football stadium – in fact they share a courtyard. One great Mexican restaurant nearby is Taco Bomb, just up the street from the university; Taco Bomb is very authentic and definitely worth stopping by if you have a chance.
There is an aquarium on UDS’s campus, which is also worth a visit, but the big attraction in the area is Mission Bay and all its beach and water-themed attractions, including SeaWorld San Diego, and there are about a million hotels along I-8 to accommodate all the visitors to this area. There are also plenty of other restaurants and attractions closer to San Diego proper if you want to drive 15-20 minutes south (longer with traffic).
Not too many fans show up for San Diego football games, so the facility seems pretty empty – in fact you will see quite a few visiting fans depending on the game (for some games there are more visiting fans than Toreros fans). Interestingly enough, however, there is a small tailgating scene high on the hill above the stadium – you can see these fans grilling out and having a grand old time, all without actually needing to buy a ticket to enter the stadium and watch the game.
Traffic is not as bad as it seems like it should be, given the proximity to SeaWorld. There is free parking down the hill from the stadium on weekends, and fans can easily move back and forth between the different sides of the field during the game. There are bathrooms inside Jenny Craig Pavilion, on the concourse next to the visiting side.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to Toreros football games are around $25 plus tax. The free parking helps, though, and concessions prices seem reasonable especially given this venue is in pricey San Diego/California – some items are especially inexpensive, such as the bottled water and sodas. While the action on the field may not have a lot of pomp and ceremony besides the game itself, the weather certainly can’t be beat – not that you need an excuse to visit San Diego, but a football game at USD would be a good one.
There is a team gear stand inside Jenny Craig Pavilion, which sells items for multiple USD sports. You can also sit wherever you want for the football game, no matter what tickets you have. There is also a cool fountain and giant inflatable football on the concourse, adding a fun atmosphere, as well as a giant inflatable USD chair you can sit in and/or take a selfie.