LA Chargers News

Los Angeles Chargers: A fan’s perspective of the Bolts’ new stadium

8 Oct 2000: A close up view of a helmet of the San Diego Chargers taken on the field during the game against the Denver Broncos at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 21-7.Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
8 Oct 2000: A close up view of a helmet of the San Diego Chargers taken on the field during the game against the Denver Broncos at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 21-7.Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
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The Los Angeles Chargers held a joint practice with the Rams on Saturday. I went to the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. to see the practice open only to season ticket holders. Here’s my experience in the Bolts’ new home:

Driving there:

Some usual 405 North traffic, but nothing too bad. But it’s a non-game, season ticket member event, so I’m not sure how that will play out on Sundays. But being an Orange County guy, a 35 minute drive to the stadium sure beats the two hour drive I had to Qualcomm. Certainly, the only positive of the move thus far.

Parking:

It looks like most regular-season single-game parking passes on the StubHub website range from around $30-$60. The cheapest non-tailgating pass for all eight home games puts you around $400. At Qualcomm, my dad and I used to park at the Hazard Center Station and take the line in, mainly because the parking was free.

At StubHub Center, we parked in Lot 10 (says the traffic control employee) and that put us close to the Southwest entrance, where the early 100’s sections seem to be.

Venue:

The last time I was here, I got to see Linkin Park perform (rest in peace, Chester). The venue was built differently for a concert, so this is my first true sports experience here.

This is going to be a fun season.

The “worst” seats in the house are about as good as what would be middle seats in the old stadium.

There seems to be more excitement in this stadium. Despite being a smaller venue than Qualcomm, it feels more energized. It seemed to offer more space with more activity outside the stands, which was great to see. The ‘Q’ felt like concrete and a field, but StubHub felt more inviting and more game-oriented.

I can’t wait for Aug. 13 (the Chargers’ first preseason game at home).

Jumbotron:

Bigger board for sure, I just wish they had screens on each side of the 50-yard line.

View from the stands:

My seats are in Section 103 Row J in the left corner of the south end zone. These were more expensive than my previous seats at Qualcomm, which were at Plaza 20 Row 17, for reference. I prefer the end zone view to a seat at the 50-yard line, mainly because I like to watch the flow of the play and how the players are moving. These spots are in the shade, at least as of 3:30 p.m. when we were allowed in.

For the special practice, I sat on the front row of the stands hoping to get an autograph. It’s great to be so close to the field (we were only a foot or so higher than the players), but it actually makes it harder to see the end result of a play. Being so low, it’s hard to make out how far the ball advanced. My seats in Row J didn’t have this problem, and it gave us just enough elevation to see the field well.

Food: 

I had a game hot dog. Felt like a game hot dog, smelled like a game hot dog and tasted like a game hot dog.

Good thing I didn’t step in it.

Team Stores:

As of right now, there are two team stores and one tented store somewhere, according to one store employee. There’s one by the southwest entrance and another on the side of where Dominguez Hills is.

They’re a bit smaller than the one I remember at Qualcomm, and they lack a lot of Chargers gear. I specifically went looking for one of the white autographed footballs, which they did not have; I ended up with a hat. For some reason, the team store is not accepting the season ticket member 15 percent discount card, and according to the cashier, that is an indefinite decision.

Bonus Points:

  • After the practice, fans gathered at the end zone watching and listening to press conferences, and it was neat to see players, coaches and the media so close.
  • During aforementioned press conferences, players would go around signing autographs. But we had to watch as multiple superstars stuck to one corner of the field and signed far away from us. Being about 20 yards from the locker room entrance, we were hoping to at least have one star come out to see us. Wasn’t happening. But as everything started to wind down, some guy in a gray shirt walked right below us, unnoticed by every fan. He was ready to enter the press conference next, and he somehow sneaked past dozens of unaware fans. Long story short, I’ve got a hat signed by Philip Rivers, who looked up to sign a couple of surprised fans who finally recognized him.

Favorite player on my favorite team signs my gear? Yeah, it was a good day in L.A.

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