OCEANSIDE — The Pier Amphitheater and Beach Community Center were dedicated to the late Junior Seau during the Samoan Cultural Celebration on July 7.
Seau grew up in Oceanside and is remembered as a beloved hometown hero. After success in high school and college sports he starred as a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers for 13 seasons and later played for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
He established the Junior Seau Foundation, which has awarded more than $4 million to youth programs and individual youth scholarships.
The dedication celebrated renaming the Pier Amphitheater and Beach Community Center the Junior Seau Amphitheater and Junior Seau Community Center.
As part of the dedication, a 3-foot-by-6-foot monument with Seau’s name on it was unveiled in the plaza area between the amphitheater and community center.
Mayor Jim Wood was one of the speakers at the dedication.
“He is a real icon for the community,” Wood said. “A lot of youth really looked up to him and the Junior Seau Foundation. He came from the back side of Oceanside and made it. He is known as an icon internationally.”
Wood said Seau’s name would also be put on the amphitheater in the near future.
The Seau family selected dedication of the amphitheater and community center to honor Junior Seau after they reviewed numerous suggested locations. The family said Seau had a strong connection to the beach area. Seau enjoyed surfing and held weekend workout sessions with youth next to the amphitheater. He is Samoan and took part in the annual Samoan Cultural Celebration held at the amphitheater.
During the dedication, Seau’s suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot was not discussed.
“The only way I can look at it is the positive he has done outweighs the negative,” Wood said. “We will remember him and what he did for the community.”
Following the dedication the cultural celebration continued with song and dance performances.