Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Naval Athletic Field, San Diego
(Navy Field)
Navy Field (lower right) in 1941
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History (1998)

Site Name: Navy Athletic Field (also known as Navy Field)

The Navy Athletic Field site is located in downtown San Diego, California. It is bordered to the north by Market Street, and to the south by Fifth Avenue. The site is currently occupied by the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Marriott Hotel and Marina, and the San Diego Convention Center.

Site History:
The Navy first acquired use of the field on 10 May 1935 when the City of San Diego issued a permit governing use of 18.4 acres of tidelands. On 1 July 1942 the property was leased by the Navy which added an additional ten acres of property. Total leasehold was 28.39 acres. The lease was terminated on 1 July 1981 for all but 0.96 acres when recreational facilities were constructed within the Naval Station. Lease of a United Services Building (USO) building situated on 0.96 acres remained in force. The USO building was razed earlier this year but disposal information regarding termination of the 0.96 acre lease was not available.

The Navy constructed a variety of semi-permanent improvements to the land. These included a wide variety of playing fields, concrete-surfaced playing courts, and associated structures, such as bleachers and lights. In addition, various permanent structures were built. These
included two gymnasiums, a locker and shower room, two ballrooms, a fifty-meter swimming pool, picnic arbors, a ships' service/convenience store, and various storage shelters. The property is now occupied by the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Marriott Hotel and Marina, and the San Diego Convention Center. No military improvements remain.
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History (1999)
The Navy acquired 18.4 acres by use permit on 10 May 1935, from the City of San Diego. On 1 July 1942 the Navy use of the property was re-negotiated into a lease arrangement and covered a total of 28.448 acres. Subsequent leases re-defined the total leasehold to 28.39 acres.

The site was used as an athletic field for the 11th Naval District. Improvements constructed by the Navy included softball, baseball, and football playing fields, two gymnasiums, tennis courts, volleyball courts, a fifty-meter indoor swimming pool, horseshoe pits, locker and shower rooms, a ships service/convenience store, picnic arbors with barbecue pits, various storage shelters, and two ballrooms. The site was heavily used for various recreational purposes by Navy personnel throughout its existence.

The property lease was terminated on 1 July 1981 relinguishing 27.43 acres. The remaining 0.96 acre was retained under lease for a United Services Organization (USO) building. A quitclaim deed was executed releasing the U.S. Government of liability regarding any future problems encountered on the 27.43 acre site. The site is currently occupied by the San Diego Convention Center, the Marriott Hotel and Marina, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and the southernmost portion of Seaport Village. The 0.96 acre parcel is no longer under lease with the U.S. Government but disposal information was not available. No military improvements remain on the site.
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Posted 21 May 2015
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Updated 8 February 2016