Tuesday, February 8, 2011
San Diego State University officials today publicly thanked the city of San Diego for cleanup efforts at flood-ravaged Qualcomm Stadium before December's Poinsettia Bowl college football game.
SDSU President Stephen Weber called it a "Herculean" effort to make Qualcomm Stadium ready just 24 hours before the contest, and noted that Hercules only had to clear a stable.
The Aztecs were preparing to play in their first bowl game in 12 seasons when a series of storms caused water from the rain-swollen San Diego River to pour over its banks and onto adjacent stadium property the day before the Dec. 23 contest against the U.S. Naval Academy.
Aztecs head football coach Rocky Long said when he saw pictures of the flooding the day before the game, he figured the game would be canceled.
"I want to thank everyone involved," said Long, who was the Aztecs defensive coordinator at the time, and was promoted last month. "I don't know who was in charge but whoever it was knew what he was doing."
About 1.5 million gallons of water was pumped off the playing field in an all-night effort that left the grass in reasonable playing condition.
Long noted that SDSU was the faster team, so if the field was muddy, the Midshipmen would have had an advantage. The Aztecs won 35-14.
Weber presented Mayor Jerry Sanders and City Councilman Kevin Faulconer -- who was running the meeting in place of ill council President Tony Young -- with a Poinsettia Bowl football autographed by himself and Long.