The LA Chargers have a reputation for not having a supportive fanbase.
The LA Chargers have been the butt of many jokes in the last few years since moving to Los Angeles. Not only was the team playing in a soccer stadium, but Dignity Health Sports Park was often filled to the brim with fans of the opposing team.
As a member of the Chargers fanbase and as someone who connects with so many Charger fans on a daily basis, I know the support is there. There were some outside factors that I think contributed to that.
Yes, the Chargers did lose a lot of fans by moving from San Diego from Los Angeles, that is undeniable. But even if the team did not outright lose certain fans, they definitely lost a portion of the fanbase that would come to games. I have close family friends in San Diego who still support the team but refuse to see them play in LA.
Another, and bigger, factor was the costs of tickets. The secondary market for Chargers tickets the last few seasons has been utterly ridiculous. Because of the smaller venue, there was less supply but the same amount of demand, thus leading to inflated ticket prices.
There were games against teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers where the cheapest ticket to get in would be $300. Now, if you are a Steeler fan in Southern California, you rarely get to see them play in person and you are going to pay that premium. If you are a Charger fan, and know that is the case, why spend more to sit with Steeler fans?
Southern California is a diverse place for football and a lot of people from other parts of the country where communities are so uniform on who they support don’t realize that. And unfortunately for the Bolts, that narrative is not going to escape them in their fist game at SoFi Stadium.
LA Chargers first game at SoFi: Preseason Week 1 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Of course. Of course, the LA Chargers have to play America’s Team in the first preseason game of the year. This game means absolutely nothing for the Chargers during the season, but if this game happens, assumingly with fans, then that fan narrative is going to look really bad.
The NFL could have been smarter in scheduling this game — why not schedule it in Dallas? This game is going to have at least 75 percent Cowboy fans. There are a lot of Cowboy fans in Southern California and they are going to show up and take over SoFi in the Chargers’ first game there, which is an awful look for the team and the league.
The Rams have been playing the Cowboys in the preseason the last several years and every single time there are more Cowboy fans than Ram fans. Heck, in the Rams’ first season back in LA in 2016, the team broke the all-time preseason attendance record with 89,140 fans against the Cowboys.
Sure, part of the excitement was that the Rams were back in LA, but considering that they averaged 15,000 fewer fans per game that season and only filled 89.8 percent of the Coliseum, we can attribute it to the Cowboy fans.
The stars are going to take over the Charger bolts in the first preseason game of the year and it is going to look more like Jerry’s World than SoFi Stadium.
And four weeks later, it is going to happen again when Cowboy fans show up yet again in the season opener against the Rams. Sure, it’ll look good on TV in both of those games for the stadium to be full, but it is going to be a bad look for the LA Chargers and the LA Rams.