• secretary@saesd.org

Snapdragon Stadium

An Insider's View

Brother Frank "Smokey" Gaines



After retiring as a Senior Bridge Engineer / Deputy City Engineer for the City of San Diego in 2019, Frank Gaines was approached by a colleague to join the firm that had been awarded the role of Inspector of Record for the Snapdragon Stadium project. In this role, Frank and his teammates are responsible for representing SDSU. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the 35,000-capacity Stadium will be the home of Aztec Football.


Being on-site working alongside the primary contractors, Frank has had an insider's view of the Stadium as it has risen from the ashes of the old Stadium.


If you look at the pictures below, it looks like they haven't completed installing the chairs in the stadium. They have, and the red seats are intermixed with various greystone-colored seats. This creates a pixelized mosaic that presents the illusion the stadium is full, even with empty seats.


Frank says it is coming down to the wire but will be ready for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 19 and the Aztec scrimmage on August 20. It's been a challenge, and welcome an exciting project.


The Aztecs will kick off their 100th season of football on September 3 when they face the visiting Wildcats from the University of Arizona. The game will be aired nationally on CBS.


The work inside the Stadium has been completed. SDSU looks at the scrimmage as a chance to work the kinks out with a near-game capacity crowd. The Stadium should be accessible via MTS Trolley for the scrimmage and permanently on September 3.