Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (formerly Cox Arena), located on the San Diego State University (SDSU) campus in San Diego, California, is the home of the San Diego State Aztecs men's basketball and women's basketball teams. Viejas Arena opened its doors to the campus and community in July 1997 and seats 12,414 for basketball and up to 12,845 for concerts. The facility also hosts SDSU's commencement ceremonies. Previously, the Aztecs played at Peterson Gymnasium also on the SDSU campus. However, the men's basketball team played most of their home games at the San Diego Sports Arena prior to Viejas Arena's construction.
Steve Fisher Court
Viejas Arena, 2013
|Former names||Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl (1997–2009)|
|Location||5500 Canyon Crest Drive|
San Diego, California 92115
|Public transit||SDSU Transit Center|
|Owner||San Diego State University|
|Operator||San Diego State University|
Associated Students of SDSU
12,845 (center stage concerts)
12,200 (end stage concerts)
|Broke ground||March 27, 1995|
|Opened||July 24, 1997|
|Construction cost||$29 million|
($45.3 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Sink Combs Dethlefs|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Blake Construction Co., Inc|
|San Diego State Aztecs (NCAA) (1997–present)|
San Diego Shockwave (NIFL) (2007)
Viejas Arena was built on the site of the old Aztec Bowl football stadium (a Works Progress Administration project) on the SDSU campus, and the university (or its affiliated corporation) still owns the arena. It was originally named Cox Arena after Cox Communications, which owns one of the local cable television systems in the greater San Diego regional area, and which paid fees to become the arena's corporate sponsor. The arena was renamed to Viejas Arena under a 10-year naming rights agreement announced March 17, 2009. The naming rights agreement with the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians went into effect July 1 and will pay the university about $6 million over the next 10 years. On October 29, 2015, the basketball court was named Steve Fisher Court after men's basketball head coach Steve Fisher.
Viejas Arena hosted the men's NCAA basketball tournament first and second rounds in 2001, 2006, 2014, and 2018. In the 2006 tourney, the first-round games were delayed and the building evacuated due to a bomb-sniffing dog picking up scents of a potentially dangerous substance. These fears were unfounded, however, and play went on as scheduled. Because of its status as SDSU's home court, the Aztecs were not allowed to open the tournament at home (under "pod system" rules).
Viejas Arena is also used as a large concert venue where major acts perform, including Britney Spears, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Janet Jackson, A Day to Remember, Linkin Park, Muse, Metallica, KISS, Van Halen, Green Day, Gorillaz, Rise Against, Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, Daniel Taylor, Lady Gaga, One Direction, Florence and the Machine, Fleetwood Mac, Miranda Lambert and Drake. The arena is often used as an alternative to the much larger Pechanga Arena across town. The arena was also the host of filming Megadeth's live DVD Blood in the Water: Live in San Diego. Lady Gaga performed at Viejas Arena on her artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball Tour, on June 2, 2014.
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