Palomar College breaks ground on football, softball stadiums


Palomar College officials take part in a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 18, for the San Marcos community college’s first football stadium since its founding in 1946. A new softball stadium will also be built. (Palomar College photo)

North Coast Current

By this time next year, Palomar College’s football team will likely be able to host its first home games in the San Marcos community college’s history upon the completion of a new stadium, which officials celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

More than 100 people attended the event for a facility that will include both the football stadium and a new softball stadium.

“This project is going to take our athletics here at the college to the next level,” Palomar Superintendent/President Star Rivera-Lacey said in a college news release. “I am excited for our students, our employees, and our community. I can’t wait to see these stadiums in action and share these incredible facilities with all of you and the generations of Palomar College athletes to come.”

Construction is expected to take a year, with an unveiling expected in time for Comets football home games in fall 2023. The new venue will seat more than 3,500 spectators. The team has played on local high school fields since the college’s founding in 1946.

The softball stadium is expected to have 207 seats, college officials said. The new facility will also include a press box four stories above the field.

“In building these stadiums, we are honoring a legacy of excellence by two of our cornerstone programs — football and softball,” Palomar Athletic Director Daniel Lynds said in the news release. “For both of these programs, this is a day they have long dreamed of.”

Funding for the project comes from the $694 million Proposition M bond program, which was approved by Palomar Community College District voters in 2006. The funding has resulted in significant modernization and improvements across the district, from the main campus in San Marcos to satellite locations in Escondido, Fallbrook and Rancho Bernardo.

“For our 140 or so football and softball players who are continuing to improve their skills and live out their dreams, these stadiums will be truly impactful,” Lynds said. “The state-of-the-art training facilities will help them become their best possible athletic selves; the new playing surfaces will help prevent injury and prolong their careers; and the high-tech video equipment in each facility will provide a platform from which they can evaluate their progress and be seen by four-year institutions that increasingly rely on videos in their recruiting.”

The project is the first of two phases of improvements, college officials said. The second phase will include a state-of-the-art athletics field house among other amenities.

“It’s a thrill to see the start of this project,” Governing Board Vice President Roberto Rodriguez said in the college’s announcement. “This meaningful work does not just happen — it takes a small army of administrators, faculty and staff, who have spent an incredible number of hours determining all of the facets necessary to ensure a project this size meets the needs of the college today and in the future.”

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