Just over a month after it was reported that city foes San Diego and San Diego State were working towards an agreement that would result in a game to be played at Petco Park, the schools announced Friday that it is now official. The two teams will play December 5 at the home of the San Diego Padres, with tipoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m. local time.
“We are excited for the opportunity to bring a basketball game to Petco Park and can’t wait to see the configuration for the event,” San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said in the release. “It should make for a great event in one of the most beautiful parks in the country. To have this event with USD is a natural. These two teams playing in this venue should be a great attraction in the city, county, state and around the country.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of this distinctive game,” new San Diego head coach Lamont Smith said. “To be able to play a successful program, like San Diego State, on a neutral floor is an opportunity to never pass up. Combine that with the continuation of the city series in Petco Park, and we’ve created a fantastic atmosphere for both teams and fan bases to experience in December. The San Diego Padres and Petco Park have been more than gracious to partner with us to use their tremendous venue for the San Diego Championship.”
This will be the first neutral site meeting between the two programs since 1992, and it also starts a new five-year deal in the series. The game will return to campus sites during the 2016-17 season, with San Diego State hosting that game at Viejas Arena.
San Diego State has prior experience playing a game outdoors, as they fell to Syracuse in November 2012 in a game played on the USS Midway at the Navy Pier in San Diego. Wind and Syracuse’s 2-3 zone had a major impact on the Aztecs offensively, as they shot 17-for-63 from the field, 1-for-18 from three and 14-for-33 from the foul line.