The Sycuan Piers at Snapdragon Stadium Honor San Diego’s Marinas

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20220824 Dig 4395 Mas
Photos by Christy Radecic Photography courtesy of Gensler

20220824 Dig 4359 MasAmong cities from which to draw architectural inspiration, few rise above idyllic San Diego. Before Snapdragon Stadium opened in August 2022, stakeholders desired something in its design that would speak to the San Diego landscape and lifestyle. The Sycuan Piers quite literally stand out as a signature response. Situated atop the 35,000-capacity seating bowl in one corner of the stadium, The Piers offer three levels of premium views and amenities during San Diego State University football games, San Diego Wave FC women’s soccer matches, concerts, truck rallies and other entertainment events. The top deck, accessible from two exterior stairs and an elevator tower, offers a canopied bar and bar seating on a “pier” cantilevered 40 feet over the fixed seating below. Borrowing cues from San Diego’s rich marina history, the bar area subtly suggests wood planking in its flooring design and on the underside of the bar canopy. “Athletic director J.D. Wicker asked us to do something that was uniquely San Diego, and we felt like the piers of San Diego, if you think of everything from Imperial Beach all the way from La Jolla, they really capture the character of each of those communities. We wanted to honor that somehow,” says Steve Chung, design director and principal at Gensler, adding, “Oftentimes, upper concourse seats in a corner like this are hard to sell. This is kind of undervalued real estate, if you will, speaking from the stadium perspective. We wanted to do something that would really generate some interest and excitement, and that was uniquely of the city. We wanted to take this traditionally underutilized area and put a great experience there. Make it a destination. It’s the type of place that people are going to want to associate with because people are having a good time up there.”

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