Picture Courtesy the San Diego Historical Society
Built in 1914, Balboa Stadium was located behind San Diego High School and was the Chargers home from 1961-66. A high school field with concrete slab seats, Balboa Stadium witnessed the Chargers glory years and hosted the 1961, 1963, and 1965 American Football League championship games, as well as the 1961, 1962, and 1963 All-Star contests. In their six seasons here, head coach Sid Gillman's club finished with combined record of 28-12-2, winning four Western Division titles and one league crown. In 1967, the team left Balboa for new San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley, where the club's glory slowed and the titles stopped.
The Rozelle mystery photo is Balboa Stadium. I don't know what year the photo was taken but I can tell you it was pre 1961. A second level was added in 1961 for the AFL San Diego Chargers when they moved from Los Angeles to San Diego. The second level brought the seating capacity to 34,500. My dad and I had Charger season tickets at Balboa Stadium from 1962 until the Chargers last year there, 1966. I remember the seating was concrete slabs. The Chargers moved to what was originally called San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley for the 1967 season. The second tier has since been removed from Balboa Stadium. I've included a photo from sometime in the last couple of years -- Don Rogers '69
I taught Physical Education at the Old Grey Castle. I did my student teaching there and then was hired the next September. I knew Mrs. Keeyes. I coached the Girls' Track team and we practiced on the track at Balboa Stadium. I helped organize the All-City Girls Track Meet. I'm not sure of the year, but sometime between 1968-1973. I have many wonderful memories of the stadium and of San Diego High School -- Brenda Smith Clark '63
Balboa Stadium. Lots of fond memories. There were the modifieds, racing around the track on Saturday evening. Of course the football carnivals. I was in charge of setting up the sound system for the cheer group. I think I may still have some field passes. Then there was the Beatles concert. I was too poor to pay the tariff to the concert, so a group of us climbed the stairs and ladder from inside the Russ auditorium to the top of the fly loft and gathered on the roof. The Russ is the tallest building in the lower left of the picture. I participated in several shows there. One of them "110 in the Shade", a musical version of the "Rain Maker". I was the technical director. One of my tasks was to create real rain. The other task was to protect the wood floor. We had the run of the theater. We had a great time. Lots of stories about the Friday the 13th show, and closing show pranks. Fun Days!! -- Pat Chambers '60
My dad, his brother and cousin had Charger tickets at Balboa Stadium from day one. I of course watched the Colts play and saw the Beatles there. My mom, Hazel Keeyes, was the registrar in the Grey Castle from the mid '50s to the early '70s when she transferred to Clairemont High School. There really were secret tunnels running all over under the castle. What a shame it was ever destroyed. It was truly a beautiful work of art. I worked the summer school attendance office the year I graduated -- Kathy Keeyes Antus '68
I saw the Beatles there in 1965. My sisters dragged me there. Too much screaming! I also saw the Dave Clark Five on a different night. Billy Graham Crusade was there too. They never should have torn it down. They tore down Russ Auditorium nearby because of "earthquake safety", but the demolition company got in over their heads. It took twice as long to tear it down because it was so well built -- George Fish '71
The picture of the old balboa stadium brings back many fond memories. I played my first football game for San Diego High their in the fall of 1944 in front of 20,000+ spectators. We had a great football team that year -- Dick Jackson, SDHS 1945; Crawford Opening Staff 1957; Crawford Principal 1972-75; Still enjoying retirement 2009 (PS -- John Fry's math teacher at Crawford; John Fry's principal at Hale JHS 1968-72)