Chargers Addressed L.A. Move Last Week; Opposing Fans Still Filling StubHub Center
A Chargers contingent not including Chair Dean Spanos at last week's NFL owners' meetings "stood up and addressed the entire ownership" about their move to L.A., saying that "a lot is being made of our situation," according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSN. La Canfora said, "Obviously, the optics aren't great, but in terms of the business of football situation, because of the high price point of what they’re charging at StubHub, and because they've sold out a pretty high proportion -- even (if) people aren’t showing or they’re reselling for pennies on the dollar in the secondhand market -- those seats still went into the Chargers’ coffers." The team is saying that "their projections at Qualcomm versus what they have now is also a wash" (“That Other Pregame Show,” CBSSN, 10/22). Sources said that while the StubHub model "can keep the team afloat for a few years," real problems will "set in without a larger base of fans to fill the new stadium, and especially if it is seen as the less-attractive option to the Rams." La Canfora noted when that stadium is complete, Spanos "will have to compete for sponsorships and suites with the Rams, and he will also have to begin making annual payments of $65M a year to the other owners as part of relocation fee." That is when the economics "could begin to seriously work against him without big gains -- on field and off -- in the next few years" (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/22).
VISITOR'S PARADISE: In L.A., Sam Farmer notes at yesterday's Broncos-Chargers game at StubHub Center, "large swaths" of the crowd were "attired in powder … orange." StubHub Center was "basically a sea-level version of Mile High, where it would be generous to the home team to say the crowd was 50/50 Broncos and Chargers fans." The Chargers "had to score a couple of touchdowns to quiet the home crowd." Farmer: "That’s not going away." Yesterday was also the "first time the Chargers won at StubHub" (L.A. TIMES, 10/23). In California, Jim Alexander notes attendance for the game was 25,388. The crowd was "at least 60-40 Broncos fans," as the Chargers "played what almost certainly felt like their seventh of 16 road games" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/23). In San Diego, Kevin Acee notes the Chargers have "won three straight games" and are "finally actually fighting for L.A." Chargers LB Melvin Ingram said, "We're trying to put a statement out. We're here to play. We're here to stay." LB Chris McCain said of playing at StubHub Center, "You look up and see a lot of fans of the other team. You love it, because you make them quiet" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/23).
BUILDING A BASE: In L.A., Vincent Bonsignore writes there were "real, live -- and in this case really loud -- Los Angeles Chargers fans standing and cheering as the final seconds ticked off the clock in an impressive win" yesterday. That might be a "shock considering the narrative that’s being pushed out there" about how "no one is going to Chargers games and that, of the fans that do show up, the overwhelming majority come to see the opposing team." There are an "incredible amount of visiting-team fans making their way out to StubHub Center this year," and the Chargers "have a fight on their hand" to build an L.A. fan base. But it is "overstating it to say a good number of Chargers fans aren’t represented, too." It "might be 50-50 or 40-60, but there is support for the new local team" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/23). ESPN.com's Eric Williams noted StubHub Center "for the most part is full at game time." But a "good number of tickets sold on the secondary market are being purchased by opposing fans." That is "the problem in terms of perception nationally." Opposing fans "showing up for Chargers games is nothing new." However, "when 15,000 opposing fans showed up at San Diego's 70,000-seat stadium, their presence wasn't felt as much as when 15,000 fill the seats in the 27,000-seat StubHub Center" (ESPN.com, 10/21).