San Diego's warm, mild, year-round climate may make football purists cringe (and may hurt the team's chances in cold-weather road games) but there is one huge benefit - perfect tailgating weather. Qualcomm Stadium, affectionately known as the Jack to old-time Chargers fans, is located in beautiful Mission Valley, right near the intersection of several major freeways. It even has its own Trolley stop.
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium
Chargers All Time Record: 392-185-11
Last Championship: 1963
Tailgating Times: Gates open four hours for those paying cash, five hours for those with pre-paid passes. You can tailgate up to two hours after the game ends as well.
Fire and Grill Rules: Charcoal and gas grills are allowed at Qualcomm Stadium. Please dispose in designated areas.
Tailgating Prohibited Areas: Permitted within the confined of a single parking spot.
Alcoholic Beverages: Permitted, but, no glass bottles, drinking glasses, glass cups, glass jars, glass bowls. If you bring in glass, you will be ticketed. No kegs allowed either without a permit.
Tips: Here are some quick tips for best enjoying your Tailgating experience. Be sure to look at the links below for more detailed information.
1 - Get there early . According to the team's official website, gates open four hours prior to kickoff for vehicles paying with cash on the day of the game, and five hours prior to kickoff for RVs, buses and season ticket holders with pre-paid parking passes. If you're going with a group, make sure that at least one person has a pre-paid pass, so you can get the best spot.
Inside tip - Don't let a straggler make everyone in your party late. If anyone is running behind, have them meet you at the stadium by taking a Trolley. There is free parking at nearly all suburban Trolley stations, including some just a few stops from Qualcomm - a great way of avoiding traffic. See the San Diego County Transit Site for more information.
2 - If you forget something, don't despair. Mission Valley is the center of shopping in San Diego. The tailgater's paradise, Costco, is located literally across the street from the stadium, and there you can stock up on everything you need - drinks, meat, buns, and more, all at great prices. It's even walking distance, though it's probably better to go before and cart everything in your car. For smaller needs, there is a Food4Less, Ralph's, and a Target all within ten minutes drive of the stadium.
3 - Bring your sunscreen. Just remember, you'll be in the sun for nearly the entire day. Skin color doesn't matter, even if you never get sunburned, wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the future potential of skin cancer.
3 - No glass, period. The same rules that apply to bonfires in San Diego's beaches apply here at Qualcomm. Bring paper glasses, aluminum beer bottles, and plastic bottles of condiments. Glass is a hazard not only to cars, but also to children and pedestrians. Remember, this is a city where most people wear sandals on a day to day basis, including to football games. No one wants glass on their feet. Be mindful of them when preparing.
4 - Clean up and Recycle. Remember, tailgating is a privilege, not a right. Leave no mess and don't ruin it for others coming after you. San Diego is one of America's greenest cities, and there are recycling boxes throughout the parking lot and also inside Qualcomm Stadium. Play your part in helping make the game have as little negative impact on the environment as possible.
Here's to a great football season, and hopefully, a winning record and a return to the playoffs. Hope to see you tailgating alongside me at a Chargers home game soon!
- Sports & Recreation
- San Diego
- Qualcomm Stadium