San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum


Location: Balboa Park (3 Miles Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 4:30PM

Cost: $8 ($4 for Kids ages 7-17 and $6 for Seniors)

Features: Nation’s Largest Sports Museum; Interactive Exhibits; Hall of Fame; Covers a Broad Range of Sports; Many one-of-a-kind Trophies on Display.

sports-museumSan Diego Sports Museum Highlights: San Diego provides the perfect environment for athletes. The mild weather, ocean, and mountainous topography provide a great place for year-round training. It attracts athletes from all over the world to the local U.S. Olympic Training Center, which is the only year-round Olympic Training Center in the country. The modern-day triathlon started in San Diego. And, to name just a few of San Diego’s Sports Hall of Fame members, you get a who’s who list of internationally recognized athletes, including Ted Williams, Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Bill Walton, Marcus Allen, Terrell Davis, Steve Scott, Gail Devers, Shannon MacMillan, Dennis Conner, and Tony Hawk. The San Diego Sports Museum encapsulates the stories of these athletes across a wide range of sports while also showcasing memorabilia from some of the most memorable sporting events in history.

Plan on spending an hour in the Sports Museum, but more if you are a sports junkie who wants to spend time looking at the exhibits for all types of sports. There are two floors of exhibit space and a third floor with plaques dedicated to members of the Hall of Fame.

What to Expect

Current Exhibitions – See championship trophies won by San Diegans. Recent exhibits have included the Heisman Trophy (four have been won by San Diegans), a Kentucky Derby Trophy, and an NBA MVP Trophy.

Large galleries are dedicated to San Diego Baseball and Football. They include interactive exhibits and display the history of sports in San Diego. You will see the full timeline and story behind football’s West Coast Offense, which originated in San Diego, as well as a number of videos highlighting the most memorable events in sport.

You will also see exhibits for swimming, fencing, surfing, rugby, skateboarding, and more. The list on the web site is not inclusive of all the sports covered at the Sports Museum. Additional sports covered include an exhibit on bass fishing with an explanation of why the largest bass are found in the southwest.

On the top floor, you will find tributes to over 100 members of San Diego’s Hall of Fame, all of whom were nationally or internationally recognized for their athletic achievements in a variety of sports.

San Diego Sports Hall of Fame – Check out the full list of athletes who are members of San Diego’s Breitbard Hall of Fame. You should also check out the link for Hall of Fame nominees, which includes notable San Diegans such as Michael Chang, Marshall Faulk, Eric Allen, and athletes from such sports as volleyball, sailing, soccer, and motor sports.

Special Events and Exhibits – The Sports Museum’s events page lists the latest in events and temporary exhibits.

Food – The Home Plate Bar & Grill is located at the entrance to the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum. It offers a wide selection of hot and cold sandwiches named after famous San Diego athletes. If you are looking for something more than what is offered in a cafe, Balboa Park’s Prado Restaurant is more of an upscale full service restaurant. You can read more about the food options on the Balboa Park web site.

No Smoking is allowed in or around the Sports Museum.

Information on Visiting the San Diego Sports Museum

Admission Prices: (Costs are Approximate)

  • Parking is Free
  • Standard Fee is $8; ($4 for Kids ages 7-17)
  • $6 for Seniors, Students, and Military with I.D.
  • General Admission is Free for San Diego County residents, Active Military & their families, and children under 17 on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
  • Passport to Balboa Park – Pay one low price for a Pass that will allow you one entry into each of thirteen participating Balboa Park Museums. You have seven days to use the Park Pass once you begin using it. For an additional fee, you can add a discounted San Diego Zoo Best Value ticket.  Also note, the Passport to Balboa Park Pass allows you to watch an IMAX movie at the Science Center. Passport to Balboa Park tickets can be purchased online or at participating attractions, except at the Zoo.

Directions from Google Maps to 2131 Pan American Plaza in San Diego, CA 92101

Parking – There is a parking lot in front of the Hall of Champions Sports Museum. However, this often fills up quickly, especially during the summer and on weekends, since it also shares the parking lot with the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the San Diego Automotive Museum, and the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater. There is a much larger parking lot behind the Sports Museum. After you turn onto President’s Way from Park Boulevard, make your first left turn to access this parking area.

If you don’t want to deal with parking hassles, especially during the summer and on weekends, go to the large parking lots on the opposite side of Park Boulevard. They are on Presidents Way on the east side of Park Boulevard, away from the museums. The Tram starts at the end of the driveway and circulates every 10 minutes from 8:30AM – 6PM daily with extended hours during the summer and special occasions. Get off at the first stop (Pan American Plaza northbound) and then cross the street to reach the Museum.

Traffic – Unless there is a major event at Balboa Park, which occurs a few times during the year, getting in and out of Balboa Park is relatively easy using Park Boulevard. If you approach Balboa Park using southbound SR-163, traffic occasionally backs up a little over a mile before reaching the Park Boulevard Exit, which is the same exit for the I-5 northbound. However, the delay will only take a few extra minutes. Likewise, if you are planning to get on SR-163 northbound after leaving the Sports Museum, plan on a short delay during the mid and late afternoon hours as a few entrance ramps merge together before reaching the highway. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)

Transit – Buses serving Balboa Park drop passengers off on Park Boulevard at the intersection with Presidents Way. You will have to walk about 200 yards to reach the Museum or you can catch the Free Balboa Park Tram. The Tram starts at the end of the driveway, on the east side of Presidents Way and circulates every 10 minutes. Get off the first stop (Pan American Plaza northbound) and walk about 80 yards to the Museum.  (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map, which includes Balboa Park, and information for the online Transit Planner.)

Balboa Park Map – The map shows a listing of all Balboa Park Museums, attractions, bus and tram stops, and places to eat. You should also print out the Balboa Park Tram Map from the City of San Diego. It is not as detailed but is helpful because it includes names on each of the buildings. With the other map, you need to use a map key to find the name of a building.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: *Top San Diego Museums*, Balboa Park, Beaches & Surfing, Fishing, Golf, Kids Attractions & Activities, Nostalgia & Western Frontier, Sports Attractions |

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