The Best Cheap Qualcomm Stadium Parking Alternatives

Qualcomm Stadium parking, unlike others, does not require a pre-paid pass. You can pull up and pay for a space a few hours before game time (outer ring only). The prices range from reasonable ($20 for the non-alcohol section, $25 for general) to ridiculous (VIP Preferred, Sideline, & Tailgate Zone spaces are $75).

If you must drive, there are several alternatives:

  • Mission City Corporate Center - this is the only outside parking within walking distance and at $30, the most expensive (still, it beats $75)
  • Mission Valley Marriott - just 15 bucks here, but it's also nearly 2 miles from Chargers Stadium. There is a light rail trolley station nearby to shuttle over.
  • Town & Country Resort - also $15. It's about 4 miles from the stadium, so ditto about using the trolley which is about a half a mile from the hotel.
  • San Diego State University - the rates vary according to the time of year and lot location, but this might be the cheapest option. I read somewhere that visitor parking is $1 an hour, but I can't confirm it. There's a trolley depot right on campus.
  • And the winner is… the Hazard Center, because you can't beat free. That's right - free parking for all on the lower level of this mall - just don't get there at the last minute.

Be forewarned - unless you plan on arriving early (think at least 2 hours) and staying late, "Paradise City" can quickly become Nightmare City as the congestion can be unbearable - it's one of the reasons that the San Diego Trolley is such a popular alternative to Qualcomm Stadium parking.

Though it too can get extremely crowded, the trolley runs regularly & often and a one-way fare is only about $2.50. Using the trolley to join a tailgate party? No sweat - after all, this is the West coast It's not an uncommon site to see people lugging full coolers to the game. Try pulling that off in New York City.

Are you already considering toting a grill on the trolley as well? Now that would be quite a feat. I wouldn't try it with a conventional grill but it would be a San Diego breeze with an EZ Grill.

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