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Quality of Life

SDSU Mission Valley river park is officially open

The SDSU Mission Valley development that includes Snapdragon Stadium, officially opened a 34-acre River Park on Wednesday. The park includes recreational fields, miles of walking and biking trails and a children’s play area.

Why it matters

In 2018, San Diego voters passed Measure G which authorized the city of San Diego to sell the Mission Valley site to SDSU to extend the campus. The plan, called the SDSU West Initiative, included 90 acres of parkland.

Before the ribbon cutting ceremony, Jamie LaBrake, a councilmember for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay nation gave an offering of tobacco that he said shows gratitude and is traditionally shared during accomplishments. The river park sits on Kumeyaay ancestral land.


“May we as a community walk hand and hand, side by side with the Kumeyaay people acknowledging the past, honoring the present and working towards a future that respects inherent connection between the Kumeyaay nation and this land, the San Diego River and the surrounding areas,” LaBrake said.   

San Diego State President Adela de la Torre said the park is a place for the community to come together.

“We as San Diegans need accessible, beautiful, green spaces and this is a space right in the city that everyone can come and join with their family members and friends," de la Torre said. "They can bring their furry friends and they can bring their children and they can bring their grandparents.” 

Closer look

Mission Hills Resident Yo Kitazawa said he and his daughter Amelie have been coming to the park for the last couple of months. Portions of the park first opened to the public in December.

“I mean you look around, there’s so many activities to do. The park is right there. There’s plenty to do,” Kitazawa said. "Having a toddler, we like that it’s clean. It’s safe. There’s a bathroom nearby, it’s close to everything. I’m glad there’s one like this around here.”   


Kitazawa said he grew up in San Diego and remembers Qualcomm Stadium and its large concrete parking lot.

“Now there’s this gorgeous park and I’m glad it’s here. I hope they build more things like this around town. We will go,” Kitazawa said.

Looking ahead

More park space is expected to open in late April.