Snapdragon Stadium will host its first concert this fall with a double-header by Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz and Jimmy Buffett will perform this fall at the first-ever concert at Mission Valley’s Snapdragon Stadium.
(Justin Bettman photo)

Capacity is expected to be around 26,000 for the October concert at the new venue, which is designed to offer an ‘intimate stadium experience’


Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz will perform this fall at the first-ever concert at Mission Valley’s Snapdragon Stadium, the new home of the San Diego State University Aztecs football team and The Wave FC women’s soccer team.

The stadium officially opens with a Sept. 3 season-opening game between the Aztecs and the University of Arizona that will be televised by CBS.

For the record:

4:06 p.m. June 21, 2022The San Diego State University Aztecs’ 2022 season-opening football game at Snapdragon Stadium will take place Sept. 3, not Sept. 6, as this article originally indicated.

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The Oct. 22 concert is a newly added date to Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band’s “Life on the Flip Side” 2022 tour. It was originally scheduled to conclude with an Oct. 15 show at the MGM Garden Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

SDSU owns Snapdragon Stadium, which occupies the site previously known as SDCCU Stadium — and, prior to that, as Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium and San Diego Stadium. Snapdragon, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, announced a $45 million, 15-year deal for naming rights to the new Mission Valley venue in December.

Division of Qualcomm will be title sponsor in $45 million deal with Aztecs that goes beyond stadium naming rights

Concert-industry leader Live Nation is producing the Buffett/Mraz concert. Snapdragon Stadium is managed and operated by the Los Angeles-based Oak View Group, also known as OVG.

Artist's rendering of Snapdragon Stadium
This artist’s rendering shows what Snapdragon Stadium will look like when concerts are held there.
(Courtesy OVG360)

‘Intimate stadium experience’

SDSU, Live Nation and OVG share high hopes that live-music events will be a vital component at the new stadium. With a concert capacity of up to 26,000 — 9,000 less than the 35,000 it can accommodate for football games — the venue is designed to provide an “intimate stadium experience” for music fans.

“We really see this enhancing the San Diego market, in a significant way, by providing artists and fans a new way to experience live music,” said Live Nation California Regional Manager Rich Best.

“I think it will be a game-changer for sure,” said Snapdragon Stadium General Manager Adam Millar. An SDSU alum, he is the former general manager of both Toyota Arena in Ontario and City National Grove in Anaheim. Millar previously had top management positions in Los Angeles at The Greek Theatre, Staples Center and The Forum.

“Snapdragon is smaller than many stadiums,” he noted. “So, it puts people closer to the stage and the sightlines from every seat are, basically, perfect. The technology we are using is the best at any college stadium in the nation. And Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz are the ideal artists to open this venue.”

DEL MAR — Jimmy Buffett was right in his easy-going element Friday night at KAABOO Del Mar, where he drew an overflow crowd to his headlining set on the Sunset Cliffs Stage.

Best predicted Live Nation will produce between six and 10 concerts next year at Snapdragon Stadium, which is also open to other promoters to book. He regards the new venue as a perfect complement to Chula Vista’s nearly 20,000-capacity North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, which is owned and operated by Live Nation, and SDSU’s 12,414-capacity Viejas Arena, which is exclusively booked by Live Nation.

Buffett performed multiple times at the Chula Vista venue between 1998, when it was known as Coors Amphitheatre, and 2017, when it was known as Mattress Firm Amphitheatre. The veteran performer’s concert at Snapdragon Stadium should help to put the new Mission Valley site on the map for major concert tours.

“We think Snapdragon is a welcome addition,” Best said, speaking Monday from Los Angeles.

“San Diego is a growth market for Live Nation. Snapdragon fits in very nicely for us between our Chula Vista amphitheater and Petco Park, where we’re doing a lot of shows this summer, including Red Hot Chili Peppers and Def Leppard.

“We don’t see ourselves doing fewer shows in San Diego at the amphitheater, Petco Park, Viejas Arena or the other venues there. So, we really see Snapdragon enhancing the market.”

Tickets for the Oct. 22 concert by Buffett and Mraz go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. June 24 at Several pre-sales will take place on the same website starting at 10 a.m. June 23.

Ticket prices range from $50.50 to $200.50 each, plus service fees. Up to 8,500 seats on the field will be available for the concert.

Assuming the Oct. 22 show sells out quickly — a safe bet, given Buffett’s long popularity here — could a second date be added?

“We’re just looking at this as one show,” Live Nation’s Best said.