Sports Teams of San Diego
San Diego is home to one major professional team—Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, who play at Petco Park.
From 1961 to the 2016 season, the team hosted a National Football League franchise, the San Diego Chargers. In 2017, they moved back to Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Chargers.
In two separate stints, the National Basketball Association had a franchise in San Diego, the San Diego Rockets from 1967 to 1971 and the San Diego Clippers from 1978 to 1984. The franchises moved to Houston and Los Angeles respectively.
From 1972 to 1975, San Diego was home to an American Basketball Association team. First named the Conquistadors (a.k.a. “The Q’s” by fans) the name was changed to the San Diego Sails for the 1975–76 season, but the team folded before completing that campaign.
In 2017 the San Diego 1904 FC club was organized as a proposed American professional Division II soccer team. The club’s founders include several major-league soccer players. They intend to build a soccer stadium in Oceanside, approximately 40 miles north of downtown San Diego, and will play at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium in the meantime. The team was originally announced to make its debut in the North American Soccer League in 2018. However, due to the cancellation of the 2018 NASL season, the expansion team is negotiating an agreement to join the United Soccer League in 2019.
San Diego hosts three NCAA universities: San Diego State University; University of California, San Diego; and University of San Diego. NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs men’s and women’s basketball games are played at Viejas Arena. Other prominent Aztec sports include college football, as well as soccer, basketball and volleyball. The San Diego State Aztecs (MWC) and the San Diego Toreros (WCC) are NCAA Division I teams. The UCSD Tritons are members of NCAA Division II, but they have begun the process of transitioning to Division I as members of the Big West Conference.
San Diego has hosted several sports events. Three NFL Super Bowl championships have been held at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium. Two of college football’s annual bowl games are also held at the Stadium: The Holiday Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl. Parts of the World Baseball Classic were played at Petco Park in 2006 and 2009.
San Diego County Credit Union (abbreviated SDCCU) Stadium also hosts international soccer games and supercross events. Soccer, American football, and track and field are also played in Balboa Stadium, the city’s first stadium, constructed in 1914.
Rugby union is a developing sport in the city. The San Diego Breakers played at Torero Stadium in the only PRO Rugby season before the league folded. The USA Sevens, a major international rugby event, was held there from 2007 through 2009. San Diego is represented by Old Mission Beach Athletic Club RFC, the former home club of USA Rugby’s former Captain Todd Clever. San Diego participated in the Western American National Rugby League between 2011 and 2013.
The San Diego Surf of the American Basketball Association is located in the city. The annual Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament (formerly the Buick Invitational) on the PGA Tour occurs at Torrey Pines Golf Course. This course was also the site of the 2008 U.S. Open Golf Championship. The San Diego Yacht Club hosted the America’s Cup yacht races three times during the period 1988 to 1995. The amateur beach sport Over-the-line was invented in San Diego, and the annual world Over-the-line championships are held at Mission Bay every year.