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Volume 20 No. 42
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Chargers spark upgrades to StubHub Center

With the Los Angeles Chargers set to join the L.A. Galaxy at AEG’s StubHub Center later this year, the three will be investing in several improvements to the stadium. The upgrades will include a new 20-by-52-foot video board on the south side of the stadium, new LED ribbon boards, 3,200 tip-up seats replacing bleacher rows, and upgrades to about 1,500 midfield club seats and the stadium’s 43 suites.

AEG CEO and President Dan Beckerman would not disclose how much the improvements will cost but said the Chargers worked alongside AEG and the Galaxy on the efforts. AEG owns both the Galaxy and StubHub Center.

Since 2013, improvements to the StubHub Center have totaled more than $35 million, including the new projects. In 2014, AEG and the Galaxy announced $15 million in improvements to the facility, including another new video board and improved locker rooms and training facilities. The $150 million venue opened in 2003.

Upgrades to the stadium’s 43 suites are among the improvements in the works.

The Chargers will begin playing at the facility in the fall. Beckerman said that affected the timing of the initiative’s launch but that AEG is continually considering fan experience improvements for venues that it owns.

Construction on the upgrades will begin soon, he said, and will not affect Galaxy games. The improvements will be phased in over the course of the coming MLS season.

Galaxy President Chris Klein said the updates should provide the team with additional revenue opportunities once they are completed through more sales and price increases. The Galaxy has more than 10,500 season-ticket holders.

When the Chargers move into the StubHub Center for the coming NFL season, it will mark the first time an NFL team has played in an MLS soccer-specific stadium. The team, which earlier this year left San Diego after 56 seasons there, has agreed to play in the StubHub Center for the next two seasons before moving into a new permanent home. The 30,000-seat stadium will be by far the smallest in the NFL.

Klein said his only concerns about the NFL’s arrival was how it would affect the Galaxy’s schedule and the integrity of the field, since the NFL and MLS schedules have considerable overlap.

The MLS schedule was already planned when the Chargers announced their decision, so the first point will not be an issue. The Galaxy is working with the Chargers and the NFL to ensure the field stays in shape for soccer. The Galaxy’s final home game is Oct. 15, and MLS playoffs typically run into the first week of December.

Beckerman said that the unique relationship between the Chargers and StubHub Center should bring both the stadium and the Galaxy more attention as well as a new audience.

“It really opens the door to a whole new fan base and a community that we haven’t reached before,” he said. “I have tremendous confidence in the venue and experience at StubHub Center, and I think when people experience a game there they’ll want to come back again and again.”