Site of three Super Bowls creates haunting image as it’s destroyed

USA TODAY Sports

The folks at FOX 5 in San Diego recently captured a photo of the in-process demolition of the former home of the Chargers.

The stadium, which in the years before it became profitable to sell the rights was named for Jack Murphy, hosted three Super Bowls: XXII (won by Washington), XXXII (won by Denver), and XXXVII (won by Tampa Bay).

The photo shows the seats in the west end zone, via Troy Hirsch of FOX 5.

The Chargers played at the venue from 1967 through January 1, 2017. It was built in part due to the efforts of Murphy, a sportswriter who lobbied aggressively for a stadium for the Chargers and, as of 1969, baseball’s San Diego Padres.

The stadium was named for Murphy in 1981, after his death. Qualcomm purchased the naming rights in 1997.

The inability of the Chargers to finagle an adequate replacement for he facility triggered the 2018 move to L.A. Whether the NFL puts a team in San Diego in the future is unknown. Presumably, the project would have to be privately funded, like the new stadium in Inglewood shared by the Rams and Chargers.

31 responses to “Site of three Super Bowls creates haunting image as it’s destroyed

  1. California taxpayers are reluctant to subsidize pro sports teams. No welfare for billionaires. If they think there is a market for their product, put up their own money. The Rams, 49ers, Chargers, Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Dodgers,Angels, Giants, Kings…all play in privately financed stadiums.

  2. I’ve seen a couple of games there and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.Another perk was plenty of parking surrounding the stadium.The bad side is I saw those gomes in the 70s and I thought SD was way too crowded back then.Now if you drive there heading to the airport at 0300 in the morning you think hey it’s not so bad here.

  3. The Chargers belong in San Diego. If you can’t make it work in San Diego, you shouldn’t own a team.

  4. I hate stadium subsidies but in this day and age if you want to keep an NFL team you have to pony up and San Diego clearly didn’t want their NFL team bad enough.

  5. Haunting image? Seriously? Stadiums outlive their usefulness on a regular basis.

  6. Anyone with a football IQ knows the most haunting memory in that stadium is Troy Brown stripping Marlon Mcree

  7. I hate stadium subsidies but in this day and age if you want to keep an NFL team you have to pony up and San Diego clearly didn’t want their NFL team bad enough.
    ———

    Every current NFL city should tell the League to take a hike if they ask for money.

    Spanos is useless and just suckling on the NFLs teet.

    If his partners had any sense, they would cut him out like the cancer that he is.

  8. The inability of the Chargers to finagle an adequate replacement for he facility triggered the 2018 move to L.A.
    ————–
    More like the inability of Spanos to successfully bilk the citizens of San Diego into paying for a new stadium. The idea that stadiums “pay for themselves” is a joke.

  9. It’s sad, I’ll forever remember Lance Alworth, Dickie Post, Earl Faison and of course John Had!

  10. “Every current NFL city should tell the League to take a hike if they ask for money”

    yea and then you will have a 8 team league with only teams from big cities, you could kiss your small cities goodbye.

  11. yea and then you will have a 8 team league with only teams from big cities, you could kiss your small cities goodbye.
    ———

    $9.5 billion in shared NFL revenue for 2019. Billion. With a B.

    If any NFL city gives the League money, they are absolute FOOLS.

  12. Jack Murphy Stadium was a great sight for football. That 1980/81 AFC Championship game loss to the Raiders still stings.

  13. Yep, the House of Pain is on its’ way out. Pain as in pain for the home fans. Some good memories certainly but way more painful ones. If the Chargers had won one Super Bowl in SD, just one, they’d have had their new stadium years ago and would still be there. Too many missed chances.

  14. It was always kind of a cheap stadium with the seats too far away from the field on the sides, but the end zone seats looked great.

    Kinda sad these older places have to go.

  15. oldgrouch says:
    March 6, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    California taxpayers are reluctant to subsidize pro sports teams. No welfare for billionaires. If they think there is a market for their product, put up their own money. The Rams, 49ers, Chargers, Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Dodgers,Angels, Giants, Kings…all play in privately financed stadiums.

    —————-

    Levi Stadium was built by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. The city borrowed 850 million dollars to built Levi Stadium. It absolutely was not paid for/privately funded by the Debartolo/York families.

  16. Live in San Diego, but a long time Rams fan. Miss the Chargers. But there is so much to love about living here, most fans have moved on.

  17. phobos57 says:
    March 6, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    …If the Chargers had won one Super Bowl in SD, just one, they’d have had their new stadium years ago and would still be there. Too many missed chances.
    ___________________________________

    When you fire the coach after a 14-2 season, there’s more to the problem than just missed chances.

  18. More like the inability of Spanos to successfully bilk the citizens of San Diego into paying for a new stadium. The idea that stadiums “pay for themselves” is a joke.
    ————
    $9.5 billion in shared NFL revenue for 2019. Billion. With a B.

    If any NFL city gives the League money, they are absolute FOOLS.
    —————————
    Okay…… take $200mil (rough salary cap) multiplied by the state income tax ($400k+ bracket), times 25 years. That’s the starting point for what a state loses when a team moves to another state.

  19. I liked the Murph. There was no reason why the Chargers had to leave. They play 10 games a year there. And while the Aztecs also played 6 to 7 games, that’s not enough to spend $2 billion to build a stadium. The problem was/is Spanos. Cheapest owner ever (Don Sterling was right there with him). The weather in the fall and winter is beautiful. It’s a great sports city. They weren’t going to get a downtown stadium like the Padres did because of the number of games. They could have played there another 20 years and invested to build a stadium at a later date.

  20. I watch in horror of Washington first quarter and to see Doug Williams came from a knee twist and scored 35 unanswer points in the 2nd quarter was a thing of beauty,,,I thought that after rushing for a still record 204 yards Timmy(who) Smith in that game was gonna be our back of the future but he had the fastest burnout of any player in NFL history

  21. The money for Levi stadium the 49ers play in is not taxpayers money. The citizens are not responsible for the loans, the partnership of private sources is. The taxpayers will not be left holding the bag for defaults.

  22. I lived within walking distance of there in 1999. It was week 2 and the Colts were in town. I went to the 7-11 on San Diego Mission Road for some reason, and someone in the parking lot offered me a ticket for $10, claiming it was near field level on the 50 yard line. The game had already started, and I didn’t believe him, but I bought it and walked over.

    The scalper wasn’t lying. That ended up being one of Peyton Manning’s breakout games. He torched them for 400 yards, about half to Marvin Harrison alone. Great memory.

  23. The Chargers should never have been allowed to leave San Diego. Yea they needed a new stadium but renting from the Rams they still don’t have a new stadium. What a joke that they are in LA. The NFL needs to somehow correct this. Get them out of LA and if not SD try another big city. Just not LA.

  24. Fried Toast says:
    March 6, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    When you fire the coach after a 14-2 season, there’s more to the problem than just missed chances.
    —————————————————————————————————
    And yet Schottenheimer’s replacement actually won some playoff games, including sending favored Indy/Manning packing twice and even played in a conference championship game.

  25. ruffrcr says:
    March 6, 2021 at 10:44 pm
    The Chargers should never have been allowed to leave San Diego. Yea they needed a new stadium but renting from the Rams they still don’t have a new stadium. What a joke that they are in LA. The NFL needs to somehow correct this. Get them out of LA and if not SD try another big city. Just not LA.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    No way to force the Chargers to stay. Al Davis winning lawsuit over Raiders move kind of forces the NFL to mostly move as they see fit. Spanos price for staying was a publicly financed stadium which he was not going to get. The vote was well under half for it when a two-thirds majority was needed. Given the number of public ally funded NFL stadiums, the fact that the Padres got a lot of public funding for a new stadium, and the fact that the Spanos are among the poorer NFL owners, who can blame them? Unfortunately, it did make the move inevitable.

  26. So many memories of this place. A fair number of Padres games. A game where my high school (Hilltop) won the C.I.F. (County) baseball championship, a year or two after I graduated. A thrilling Chargers Broncos contest in the magical ’94 season (Super Bowl run) where Natrone Means was tackled in the upper body by a Denver secondary man, with Means kin of shrugging his shoulders, and the defender flying backwards 5 yards to hit the turf, and Means continuing his run down field.

    I saw a few Chargers games in the 90’s and 200’s when you could still get tickets reasonably; in a December ’95 game, Andre Coleman started the 2nd half by running a kickoff back all the way, 100 yards, to score. I had a field level seat and he ran past me down the sideline as I relaxed in the sunshine and ate a hot dog.

    I took my young son to a game circa 2010, and ANTONIO GATES DID HIS KELLEN WINSLOW IMITATION, catching 10 passes. My son and I got featured in a story in the game program about “interesting” fans. Although I grew up in San Diego, professional considerations sent me to Las Vegas, and I would drive down to San Diego for Chargers games.

    This is not to slight the Aztecs games I went to when Coryell was the coach. Much fun drinking Ramos Gin Fizzes in the stands (I was about 10, but courtesy of my older sister, hung out with college students). I saw no Chargers games when Coryell was coach; college in Northern California; quietly rooted for Chargers in heart of Raiders territory. Surely you all remember September, 1980, when John Jefferson took the ball away from Lester Hayes, landed at the 2 yard line, and Hayes not touching him while he was on the ground, ROLLED ON THE GRASS INTO THE END ZONE, for a 30-24 Chargers win.

    The stadium was utilitarian; the architectural style was Brutalist (that is a school of architecture); it was no one’s idea of a luxury facility. But damn I had fun there! In the aforementioned Chargers vs. Broncos game of ’94, I kep yelling, “Elway! Die, you gravy sucking pig!” (the “gravy sucking pig” remark was stolen from an old Steve Martin comedy routine). While I was in the Men’s room, at the urinal, the guy next to me said, “What is your problem with Elway?” I replied, “I’ve been hating that guy since college!” “Oh? Where did you go to college?” Because I was tall, beefy, and in jeans and a T-shirt, I think he expected me to say, “Fresno City College,” or the like. “University of California at Berkeley,” I replied. “Oh,” he said, and left. Cal and Stanford (where Elway played) have had a sports rivalry going back over 100 years. I think my interrogator relied on the assumption of his superior education to educate me about civility; the “U.C. Berkeley” reply took the wind out of his sails.

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