What's Next For The Most Iconic Concert Venue in San Diego?


The San Diego Sports Arena has so many memories in our hearts and minds. What will happen to it? Who will manage it? Who knows what the outcome will be but what I do know is that it holds a very special place in my heart.

The latest news is that the City of San Diego is looking for bidders from qualified firms and interested parties to redevelop, maintain, and manage the property. The City announced today that qualified proposals are due by 5pm Thursday June 4th.

For San Diego locals and natives like me, the San Diego Sports Arena is everything. Who doesn't drive on the 8 west freeway and look south before the freeway ends and catch a glimpse of the San Diego Sports Arena? You quickly flash back to a time when the Sports Arena was one of 3 venues where you would see concerts in San Diego. There was a time when it was just the Sports Arena, SDSU Open Air, and the Bachannal in Kearny Mesa. It was long before a venue was named for its' sponsor.

ALMOST FAMOUS, the movie: That movie could be about anyone that grew up in San Diego that went to concerts in the 1970's and 1980's. It's so cool when you see the ramp down to the Sports Arena in the movie. We often wondered what happens through those doors to the backstage area.

Want to hear a cool Sports Arena story? I sneak backstage to see HEART. I'm 17 years old. I think I carried a trashcan backstage. All of a sudden, Nancy Wilson appears and she's walking towards me. She's holding a poodle in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. She smiles at me. She knows I'm a kid. She sticks her cheek out for me to kiss her and I do. I kissed Nancy Wilson of Heart backstage at the San Diego Sports Arena.

I saw Bob Dylan there. I saw Cheap Trick, I saw Kenny Rogers and Dottie West to Black Sabbath. Much of who we are in San Diego has the Sports Arena and it's memories in our blood. Yes, I said Kenny Rogers and Dottie West.

When you think of the Sports Arena back in the day, you have to think of TOWER RECORDS. That's where we all met before the concert and that was our landmark if you got lost due to indulging in recreational refreshments and such.

The one thing for sure is that the San Diego Sports Arena is an iconic venue. From Kobey's Swap Meet to the San Diego Rockets to the San Diego Gulls and the San Diego Sockers and San Diego Conquistadors. Lots of memories for longtime San Diegans.

Here are a few concerts that were recorded at the San Diego Sports Arena.

Thumbnail photo by Getty Images. Sports Arena photo courtesy of Ernie Hahn.

The Sports Arena Today. Photo Courtesy of Ernie Hahn.

Bob Seger LIVE from the San Diego Sports Arena 1978

Audio of The Rolling Stones at the San Diego Sports Arena 1969

Paul and Linda McCartney arrive in San Diego in 1976 to play the San Diego Sports Arena

CREAM (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce) live from the Sports Arena 1968

STAR 94.1 · Star 94.1 - More Variety From The 90's To Now

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