Really? REALLY??

The Chargers have attendance issues . . . that has been the talking point for the last week after San Diego barely was able to lift the blackout last Sunday and the fact that this upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins will be blacked out in San Diego County. It seems that the talking heads like to condemn San Diego because of attendance issues and that this is just another reason why the Bolts should relocate to Los Angeles. This leaves me to ask this question: REALLY?!?

Is the media is really going to rip into Charger fans because of the NFL’s draconian blackout policy? The Chargers had 3 home games blacked out last season . . . let’s take a look at those three games. The first was against the Jacksonville Jaguars directly after a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, the announced attendance was 62,691. The second was against the Arizona Cardinals with an announced attendance of 62,189 and the third was against the Tennessee Titans with an announced attendance of 59,260. At this point, you should be asking yourself, how is this possible that the Chargers had any of those games blacked out in San Diego County while St. Louis had every game on TV despite having an average announced attendance of 52,922? Stadium capacity? Qualcomm Stadium holds 70,561 fans while the warehouse Edward Jones Dome hold 66,965. No, the difference between the two is still too large . . . ownership and the front office? You betcha! I don’t know how the St. Louis front office has convinced the NFL to air its games, but I think we all know that San Diego isn’t pulling the same tricks. The Chargers average attendance in 2010 was 65,530 . . . that is 12,608 more tickets sold on average than the St. Louis franchise. Again, IT’S THE CHARGERS WITH THE ATTENDANCE PROBLEM?!? The Chargers lowest announced attendance figure (a game that was blacked out in San Diego) of 59,260 was still better than St. Louis’s HIGHEST announced attendance figure last year of 55,669 (against the in-state rival Chiefs). Again, every St. Louis home game last year was on television locally and there were 3 blackouts in San Diego . . . clearly using blackouts as an indicator of fan support is foolish at best and if sports journalists want to look at attendance, they should look at the ACTUAL numbers. That is all, my rant is over.

—Andy Hogan


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