SDtoday City Guide Play Banner

Your guide to sports teams in San Diego

From the San Diego Padres to the San Diego Gulls, we’re sharing details of San Diego’s sports teams.

SD San Diego Padres Petco Park

Take me out to the ballgame, Padres.

Photo via Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres

Table of Contents

Whether you’re a sports fanatic — or just look good in Padres brown and gold — when it comes to sports, San Diego has no shortage of teams to support. Our city is home to some of the most loyal fans in the country — in fact, Padres devotees even call themselves the Friar Faithful.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about San Diego sports, so whether you’re already a devoted San Diego sports fan or you’re new to the area, we hope it can serve as a valuable resource.

San Diego Padres hats

Gear for each day. Which Padres color combo are you proudly sporting these days?

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

⚾ San Diego Padres | Est. 1969

Let’s go, San Diego. The Padres made their major league debut on April 8, 1969, at San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley in front of 23,370 fans. Today, they play at Petco Park in downtown’s “ballpark district” — 26 blocks bordered by Market Street, Harbor Drive, and Imperial Avenue. Over the years, many influential players have made their mark on the club, but the late, great Tony Gwynn — aka “Mr. Padre” — holds a special place in the hearts of locals.

Where they play: Petco Park

Mascot: The Swinging Friar

Team colors: Brown and gold

  • The Padres have sported many colors over the decades before circling back to traditional brown and gold. Orange was added onto uniforms from 1980-1990, blue and orange were the colors from 1991-2003, blue and sand from 2004-2015, and blue and white from 2016-2019.
  • In 2022, the Padres partnered with Nike for their colorful “City Connect” uniforms — mint green, hot pink, yellow, and white — meant to match the sunsets of the city and San Diego’s binational connection to Mexico and Baja California.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • 1984: Won their first ever National League Championship Series (NLCS) pennant, and advanced to the World Series against the Detroit Tigers; the Tigers wound up champs.
  • 1994: Tony Gwynn famously batted .394, the closest anyone has come to hitting .400 since Ted Williams.
  • 1996: An unforgettable season led the Padres to the National League Division Series (NLDS), but they were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • 1998: In a true underdog story, the Padres beat the Atlanta Braves to win the NLCS, advancing for their second time ever to the World Series, this time against the New York Yankees. The Yankees ultimately won the championship.
  • 2005: Advanced to the National League Division Series (NLDS), but fell to the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • 2006: Advanced to the NLDS — the first back-to-back trips to the postseason in franchise history — but fell, once again, to St. Louis.
  • 2020: Advanced to the NLDS for the first time in 14 years, but fell to the LA Dodgers.
  • 2022: Won the NLDS — you know, against the rival LA Dodgers on that historic, rainy, October night at Petco Park (we’re not crying, you’re crying). They advanced to the NLCS, but ultimately lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 2023: Despite a disappointing season on the field, the stands were filled with loyal fans. By mid-September 2023, the Padres had welcomed 3,029,009 fans to Petco Park for the season, breaking their single-season attendance record previously set in 2004.

📅 Sneak a peek at the Padres’ 2024 season schedule.

SDSU Snapdragon Stadium

Snapdragon Stadium, home of SDSU Aztecs Football.

Photo via Christy Radecic, SDSU Athletics

🏈 San Diego State Aztecs Football | Est. 1921

SDSU football has been going down for 100+ years, with the team playing in several stadiums — from Balboa Stadium and Aztec Bowl, to San Diego Stadium and now, Snapdragon Stadium. The team has been coached by some of the best in the game, including the late great Don Coryell (1961-1972), who later went on to coach the San Diego Chargers and was posthumously enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023. Coryell won four conference titles at SDSU, and Hall of Fame coaches Joe Gibbs and John Madden served as his assistant coaches.

Where they play: Snapdragon Stadium

  • Max capacity: 35,000
  • After years of construction and anticipation, the Aztecs’ new home debuted on Sept. 3, 2022, at the Mission Valley site that once housed San Diego Stadium — which, over the years, morphed into Jack Murphy Stadium (aka “The Murph”), Qualcomm Stadium (aka “The Q”), and SDCCU Stadium.
  • The venue is designed to also serve as a hub for other sporting events and major concerts.

Mascot: Aztec Warrior, as the “Spirit Leader”

  • SDSU’s mascot has long been a topic of debate. In 2018, SDSU President Sally Roush appointed an Aztec Identity Task Force that ultimately recommended the university keep the Aztec moniker. In a letter, Roush said the Aztec Warrior would be kept “as a Spirit Leader, not a mascot,” with a more respectful portrayal to Aztec culture.
  • In May 2021, the SDSU Senate resurfaced talks about the Aztec Warrior, calling for a new mascot to replace it altogether. Aztec Identity continues to be a hot topic.

Team colors: Scarlet red, black, and white

  • The SDSU Athletics logo features a red “S” intertwined with a black “D,” with an arrow piercing both letters.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Over 12 seasons under Head Coach Don Coryell, SDSU had a record 104 wins, 19 losses, and two ties.
  • 1966-1968: With Coryell at the helm, the team won three NCAA national championships at the Division II level.
  • 1969: Won the Pasadena Bowl against Boston University.
  • 1986: Won the Western Athletic Conference championship against Brigham Young University, clinching their only Holiday Bowl berth. SDSU lost the Holiday Bowl by just one point, 39-38, to the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
  • The Aztecs have played in 20 postseason bowl gameslosing 10 and winning 10 — with their most recent win in the 2021 Frisco Bowl against University of Texas at San Antonio.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

SD San Diego Gulls

The San Diego Gulls play at Pechanga Arena in the Midway District.

Photo via San Diego Gulls

🏒 San Diego Gulls | Est. 2015

The current San Diego Gulls — part of the American Hockey League (AHL) — are the latest in a long history of hockey teams to rep America’s Finest City. Past teams include the San Diego Skyhawks (1944-1950) and the San Diego Gulls in the Western Hockey League (1966-2006) — which had a similar mascot named Sandy Gull and a sidekick named Baby Gull. Today’s iteration of the AHL Gulls came together after the Anaheim Ducks bought the Norfolk Admirals, renaming the team and relocating them to San Diego.

Where they play: Pechanga Arena San Diego

Mascot: Gulliver

  • Gulliver was revealed in front of 8,500 fans at HockeyFest on Feb. 22, 2015.

Team colors: Black, orange, blue, white

  • Blue is a nod to the ocean, while orange ties the team back to its parent team, the Anaheim Ducks.
  • The team’s current colors are similar to the hues used over 50+ years of Gulls history — a link to the past and future of the team.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • 2015-2016 and 2016-2017: Earned second standing in the AHL’s Western Conference Pacific Division.
  • 2017-2018 and 2018-2019: Led the AHL in attendance — averaging 9,000+ fans per game both seasons.
  • 2020: Won the AHL’s Outstanding Fan Experience Award for ticket sales, community service, and fan experience at home games.
  • 2022: For the fourth time in club history, the Gulls clinched a spot in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs, but the Chicago Wolves were ultimately crowned champions.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

SD San Diego Wave FC

San Diego Wave FC had a heck of an inaugural season, that’s for sure.

Photo via Jared Martinez/San Diego Wave FC

⚽ San Diego Wave FC | Est. 2022

San Diego Wave FC — a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) expansion team — joined the local soccer scene as the first women’s pro soccer team in our city since 2003. The Wave is chock-full of powerhouse players, including two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, US international and World Cup winner Abby Dahlkemper, 2022 NWSL Rookie of the Year and Defender of the Year Naomi Girma, and US Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, Jaedyn Shaw.

Where they play: Snapdragon Stadium

  • Max capacity: 35,000
  • The team’s first-ever game at Snapdragon Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022, made quite the mark: The team broke the NWSL’s single-game record for attendance, selling out their debut game at the brand-new venue.
  • Before moving to Snapdragon Stadium, the Wave debuted its inaugural season at USD’s Torero Stadium.

Mascot: No mascot, but peep the Wave’s colorful team crest featuring a wave.

Team colors: Pink, two tones of blue, orange, white

  • According to the team, the colors of its crest represent the horizon, “celebrating the beauty, fun, and vibrant culture of the city and its people.”
  • Shop for merch.
SD San Diego Wave FC 2023 Shield Award

San Diego Wave FC earned the best record of the regular NWSL 2023 season, winning the league’s Shield award after their game at Snapdragon Stadium on Oct. 15, 2023.

Major accomplishments:

  • 2022: Clinched a playoff berth, becoming the first and only expansion team in NWSL history to make the playoffs in its inaugural season.
  • With 15 goals and two assists in 17 games, Alex Morgan won the 2022 NWSL Golden Boot — finishing as the league’s top scorer in the regular season.
  • Head Coach Casey Stoney was named NWSL Coach of the Year in 2022.
  • Centerback Naomi Girma scored two end-of-the-year honors in 2022 — the only NWSL player to do so in a rookie season.
  • 2023: Clinched their second playoff berth, becoming the first NWSL team of the 2023 season to secure their postseason spot.
  • 2023: Won the 2023 NWSL Shield, awarded to the club with the best record at the conclusion of the regular season. Alex Morgan led the season with seven goals and four assists.
  • 2023: The Wave were called to host the NWSL Championship at Snapdragon Stadium.

📅 Sneak a peek at the team’s upcoming season — the 2024 home opener is set for Saturday, March 23.

⚽ San Diego Sockers | Est. 1978

The San Diego Sockers are a pro indoor soccer team that plays in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). The team’s current iteration debuted in 2009, but the history of the Sockers dates back to 1978. Over the decades, the team has been part of many leagues — NASL, MISL, MSL, PASL, and now the MASL. US Soccer legend Landon Donovan played for the Sockers in 2018-2019.

Where they play: Pechanga Arena San Diego

  • Max capacity: 12,920 for indoor soccer.
  • The Sockers Squad is often seen connecting with fans at the venue on game days.

Mascot: Sunny the San Diego Socker

  • The mascot — with a face, arms, and legs resembling a soccer ball — debuted on Sept. 16, 2016.
  • Sunny’s favorite food is pizza and one of his favorite movies is “The Big Green.”

Team colors: Blue, yellow, white

  • Home game kits are blue and yellow, while away kits are primarily white, with blue and yellow accents.
  • The team’s crest features the San Diego Skyline with the Coronado Bridge and the year the club was established — ‘78. The newest version of the crest features 16 stars, one for each of the club’s 16 championships.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • The team holds the record for the longest winning streak in US professional soccer history, with 48 games won between Dec. 29, 2010, and Jan. 27, 2013.
  • The team has won 16 professional indoor championships — if you combine the franchises over the decades.
  • Between the 1980s and 1990s, the Sockers snagged 10 championships and four more from 2009-2012.
  • 2021 and 2022: Won back-to-back MASL championships, bringing home the Ron Newman Cup.
  • 2022-2023: Won two major MASL honors — Coach Phil Salvagio was named Major Arena Soccer League Coach of the Year and Boris Pardo was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the second season in a row.
  • 2023: The team made it to the MASL Western Conference Finals, but ultimately fell to the Chihuahua Savage.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

SD San Diego Legion

The San Diego Legion’s rugby season runs February-June.

🏉 San Diego Legion | Est. 2017

The team — with its mission to “make the sport of rugby as beloved here as it is globally” — is part of Major League Rugby. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legion temporarily moved its home games to Las Vegas, but soon returned to San Diego. The team is led by rugby legend Ma’a Nonu — compared to being the David Beckham of the rugby world. Team Captain Blair Cowan is another force.

Where they play: Snapdragon Stadium

  • Snapdragon Stadium announced the Legion would also play at the venue, starting the team’s 2023 season. The Legion will return to the venue for their 2024 season — March-June 2024.

Mascot: The Cohort

  • Dubbed the “supporter group” for the team, which likes to dress up in warrior-style gear — shields, armor, headpieces, swords and all.

Team colors: Black, red and white

  • The kits for home games are mostly black, while the away game kits are mostly white.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

📅 Sneak a peek at the team’s upcoming season.

🥍 San Diego Seals | Est. 2017

The San Diego Seals are a box lacrosse team that joined the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in the 2018-2019 season. Box lacrosse is played indoors — inside an ice hockey rink, but on green dieter turf carpet laid over the hockey ice. Each game has four, 15-minute quarters and potential for sudden-victory overtime. The National Lacrosse League ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports — behind the NBA and NHL. According to the team, the Seals name is both a nod to local marine life and US Navy SEALs who “help keep us safe and protect our freedom.”

Where they play: Pechanga Arena San Diego

  • Max capacity: 12,920 for lacrosse
  • The team’s season typically runs December-April.

Mascot: Salty the Seal

  • The Seals describe Salty as the ultimate San Diegan: “The one who will never be traded, never leave as a free agent, will never bolt in the middle of the night, and will never retire.”
  • His hometown is La Jolla Cove, his favorite food is sushi (hold the rice), and his favorite song is “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours).”

Team colors: Purple, black, gold, gray

  • During their 2018 debut, the team said the purple hue pays homage to the horizon of the Pacific Ocean at dusk and the purple flag of the Iroqois peoples.
  • The Seals logo — a seal with a “tenacious, yet welcoming face” — includes a gold crown, which the team says, “Matches the color of the spectacular array of sunshine that graces America’s Finest City on a daily basis.”
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • 2019: Clinched a spot in the first round of the NLL playoffs; finished second in the West Division.
  • 2020: Finished third in the West Division.
  • 2022-2023: The Seals became regular-season West Conference Champions and made it to the playoffs, but ultimately lost their shot at making Conference Finals.

📅 See the team’s schedule — the 2024 home opener is set for Saturday, March 16.

SD San Diego Strike Force

San Diego Strike Force joined the Indoor Football League in 2019.

🏈 San Diego Strike Force | Est. 2018

The San Diego Strike Force are part of the Indoor Football League (IFL), a pro league that’s been around since 2008. The team was introduced to the city in 2018 (you know, two years after the Chargers bolted) and made their debut in March 2019. They took a hiatus in 2021 due to lasting impacts from the pandemic.

What’s indoor football, you say? Well, there are touchdowns and 15-minute quarters, but the twists and terminology make IFL games different from NFL games.

Where they play: Pechanga Arena San Diego

  • Max capacity: ~12,000 for indoor football games.

Mascot: Junior the Shark

  • The mascot’s name is an homage to the late great Junior Seau; the team has a partnership with the Mary Seau CTE Foundation.

Team colors: “Flight Suit Green,” “Stealth Black,” yellow, and white — the color scheme is giving major military-inspired energy.

  • According to the team, their logo and brand are “an homage to the brave men and women who have and currently serve in our armed forces.”
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • In June 2022, the team crushed the Bay Area Panthers 66-26, recording their biggest victory in team history.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

SD MLS San Diego

We’re an MLS city now, SD.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

San Diego FC | Est. 2023, set to start playing in 2025

After years of speculation, Major League Soccer confirmed its expansion into San Diego in May 2023. SDtoday was there for the big announcement at Snapdragon Stadium, where the team will play starting in February 2025.

In October 2023, the team unveiled its official name — San Diego FC — colors, and crest. In November 2023, San Diego FC broke ground on its $150 million training campus that will rise on a 28-acre site on the Sycuan Reservation in El Cajon. The site will also house a Right to Dream residential youth development academy dedicated to training, educating, and empowering youth players.

Where they’ll play: Snapdragon Stadium

  • Max capacity: 35,000

Mascot: TBD

Team colors: Azul (blue) and chrome

  • Blue represents “the seamless union of water and sky,” while chrome represents the team’s “spirit of innovation.”
  • The team’s crest — aka “The Flow” — is a soccer ball-shaped symbol featuring 18 lines “woven into one,” a nod of the 18 cities that proudly make up San Diego County. The design also embodies the team’s four virtues: gratitude; proud, not loud; diversity; and a state of flow.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • TBD — we can’t wait to see what’s in store as SD becomes a full-fledged soccer city.

📅 San Diego FC’s schedule is forthcoming; season ticket memberships are on sale.

SD San Diego Mojo sports teams CG

Servin’ Mojo: San Diego’s Pro Volleyball Federation club will debut in February 2024.

Photo via San Diego Mojo

🏐 San Diego Mojo | February 2024

The San Diego Mojo were introduced in November 2023 — the Pro Volleyball Federation’s (PVF) first-ever West Coast team. The team is owned by Olympic gold medalist and international volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings, and led by head coach and three-time Olympian Tayyiba Haneef-Park and assistant coach Deitre Collins-Parker.

The team kicked off its inaugural season on Feb. 1, 2024, with an away match at the Atlanta Vibe. Their home opener is Feb. 23, 2024, at Viejas Arena.

Where they’ll play: Viejas Arena

  • Max capacity: ~12,000+

Mascot: TBD — but the osprey is everywhere.

Team colors:

  • Navy blue, light blue, yellow, white
  • The Mojo’s logo features an osprey’s head because like the bird, the team is “fueled by relentless hearts and determined desire to not only survive, but to thrive.”
  • The team said the osprey is an “emblem of inspiration” and represents the players’ “efforts to pursue their dreams.”
  • “With this new horizon, the Mojo’s aspirations and ambitions soar as high as the osprey in pursuit of their passions without limitations,” the team said in November 2023.

Major accomplishments:

  • The San Diego Mojo are one of only seven teams to participate in the league’s inaugural 2024 season — we can’t wait to see what they accomplish.

📅 The team will play nine home matches in 2024 — check out the schedule.

Check out our other Guides
Explore these dog-friendly places in San Diego that span from places to eat, drink, shop, exercise, swim, and stay the night.
Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or science fan, these 28 museums in San Diego have it all.
Dining in San Diego is always a fresh experience with new restaurants popping up all the time — and more on the way.
All of these writers have ties to America’s Finest City.
Dig into San Diego’s must-try pizza shops including unexpected combos, fancy offerings, and gluten-free options
Prepare for winter in San Diego, California, with these seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks.
This list includes everything from helping the hungry and mentoring local youth to helping animals and cleaning up local beaches.
From historic hideaways to beachfront gems, San Diego is full of special places to stay that offer guests a break from traditional motels and hotels.
There’s a whole lot of jolly to be had — check out our guide to fun, festive events in San Diego this holiday and winter season.
The slow-stewed dish is well-represented in our city.
SDtoday Phone
Good news for San Diego.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.