It's shaping up to be a big weekend for San Diego State University's football team.
The Aztecs host the #19 Stanford Cardinal Saturday night at the stadium formerly known as Qualcomm. The crowd is estimated to be larger than 50,000 as the Aztecs are off to a 2-0 start and the Pac-12 is sending one of their better teams south.
It's also the first opportunity for big-stage football since the San Diego community lost their NFL team.
In a San Diego Union-Tribune story, SDSU's executive associate AD Steve Schnall was quoted, "There’s definitely a lot of buzz coming into this game."
The LA Chargers, the team that left a community after 56 years of fan loyalty to follow the money to Los Angeles, will likely play before a crowd of no more than 25,000 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on Sunday. Forbes outlined the struggles the team is having in filling their new home.
For SDSU, it provides a golden opportunity to build their fan base.
A commercial that aired during that last Monday Night Football game that featured the LA Chargers vs. the Denver Broncos, illustrates the university's effort to win over wounded Chargers fans.
San Diego State is also developing site plans for a campus expansion and new stadium on the grounds where they will play Saturday night.
SDSU Athletic Director John Wicker said, "We’re looking at the right size stadium, that’s a multi-use stadium that’s right for college football but also has elements for soccer as well. We want a stadium that we have a partnership with someone on. The more events we can do in a stadium, the more successful San Diego State athletics is going to be."
With an expected crowd of about 50,000, the stadium would need to be larger than the current initiative to be put before voters in November 2018. That calls for a soccer stadium that would fit around 30,000 people.
For the community of San Diego, Saturday provides an opportunity to heal some football wounds, and look to the future with a promising collegiate program.