Snapdragon Stadium is an outdoor stadium. It is not covered with tarps or canopies, it does not have a roof. It was built in central San Diego, a city that gets more than its fair share of sun: roughly seven out of ten days in San Diego are sunny.

The unveiling of Snapdragon Stadium was met with almost universal praise for bringing contemporary stadium facilities with panoramic vistas to the San Diego community. However a conspicuous challenge for fans quickly revealed itself: the limited availability of shadIf you are coming to Snapdragon on a sunny day, come prepared. Read up for strategies for comfortable spectating without shade.

Sun/Shade Map

In the summer, the sun is directly overhead throughout the day. As it passes over and behind the west side of the stadium, fans with seating in the west side sections of the stands will be shaded as well the end zones. In the end zones, shade will begin moving from west to east. Sections on the east side will remain in the sun, with, in some cases, the setting sun directly in the eyes of fans on the east side.
Sun + Shade Seating Chart at Snapdragon Stadium

Sun and Shade Dynamics

  • The east side of the stadium is exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day.
  • Sections in the west side experience shade in the afternoon due to the north-south orientation.
  • End zones also fall under partial shade coverage, but with compromised viewing quality.
  • Fans’ enjoyment is tempered by uneven exposure to sun and shade.
  • Concourse and other public areas offer minimal escape opportunities with little relief to the masses.

Challenges and Concerns

  • The glaring lack of shade raises concerns, especially during sweltering weather conditions.
  • A notable incident in September 2022, when over a dozen attendees suffered heat-related illnesses during a game.
  • The absense of canopies, more on that below

Why Are There No Canopies?

Cost is a major reason shade canopies were not part of the original design, at an estimate of $50 million to $100 million. It has been written that the stadium was designed with columns to incorporate canopies in the future, which would shelter fans from the sun and elements and maximize noise on the field. Some speculated this upgrade would coincide with the establishment of a MLS team in San Diego, which is set to kick off in 2025. However there are no plans in the works to add canopies to Snapdragon Stadium at this time.

In The News: Can San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium be a success without canopies for shade? Many critics questioned if the new stadium would be successful if people will actively avoid it whenever it gets hot. Read more…

Strategies for Comfortable Spectating

  • Choosing Seats Wisely: Opt for west side seating or end zones to avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Personal Sun Protection: Bring essentials like sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to shield against UV rays.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated by consuming water throughout the event.
  • Seeking Shade: Take breaks in shaded areas within the stadium to cool off.
  • Apparel Choices: Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to mitigate heat absorption.
  • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Avoid these substances, as they can exacerbate dehydration.
  • Awareness and Action: If discomfort arises, relocate to a cooler area or seek medical assistance promptly.
Snapdragon Stadium’s allure is undeniable. However, the issue of limited shade poses a considerable challenge, particularly during the region’s extended periods of sunny, hot weather. Fans are advised to make strategic seating choices, prioritize personal sun protection, and adopt prudent measures to stay cool and comfortable throughout their stadium experience. As the stadium continues to host increasingly important sporting events, these insights will assist fans in maximizing their enjoyment while minimizing the impact of sun exposure.

Sunset Times

It can be helpful to know when the sun is setting in San Diego. Here are two sites that will give you specific timetable of when the sun rises and sets based on the zip code (92108) and the date of your event at Snapdragon: TimeandDate and SunriseSunsetTime

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Make the most of your time at San Diego's Snapdragon Stadium. This independently operated and reader-supported guide is not affiliated with Snapdragon, SDSU or any organizations. Affiliate partners help us keep the site running, at no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase through some of the links on our site. Please contact us with website questions.

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Snapdragon Stadium is located at:
2101 Stadium Way, San Diego, CA 92108

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