The Los Angeles Chargers spent over half a century playing in San Diego before moving north to Los Angeles. Their 50-plus years in the beautiful city of San Diego cultivated a strong fanbase that many professional sports teams would love to have by their sides through thick and thin. So far, the Chargers have not found a similar fanbase in Los Angeles and the team’s ownership is finding the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.
Of course, owner Dean Spanos has found that the money is far greener on the other side as the Chargers have seen their valuation grow since moving to LA three seasons ago. However, Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the previously winless Denver Broncos was a new low in terms of the franchise’s existence in the City of Angels.
With the Chargers playing one of the worst teams in the NFL going into Week 5, few fans other than ones clad in orange showed up at Dignity Sports Health Park. So few Chargers fans were in attendance that it feels like the stadium, which was initially built to only to host soccer matches, has had more name changes in recent seasons than actual Chargers supporters last weekend.
Do not blame the stadium for the Chargers’ inability to draw fans, however. Surely, Spanos and the NFL will throw shade on the 26,000-seat venue, but the Chargers are attempting to cultivate a fanbase from a city they have no right to be located in. According to one writer’s account of Sunday’s home game versus Denver, fans could walk up to the Dignity Sports Health Park ticket window and buy multiple tickets just before kickoff. Why the hell you would pay $129 to see the LA Chargers play the Denver Broncos is anyone’s guess.
Los Angeles football fans, for the most part, do not want San Diego’s sloppy seconds as the LA Rams are the only true team local fans care about. The Chargers lack of fans at home games isn’t anything new. They have been dealing with issues since arriving in Los Angeles. Even though they were 12-4 in 2018 and won a playoff game, no one wants them.
So, how bad was Sunday’s attendance? By all reports there were more Broncos fans in the stands clad in orange than LA faithful. Even CBS’s announcers noted you could audibly ear Denver’s support chanting “defense” when the Chargers had the ball. If former Chargers fans back in San Diego wanted Spanos and the NFL to feel embarrassed, then they surely got what they wanted.
Media outlets have been reporting on LA’s disinterest in the Chargers since they moved to the city. Sports Illustrated labeled the Chargers as “Nobody’s Team” while The Ringer believes the franchise is an experiment to see if a team can survive without fans. If the NFL thought fans would come around then they were naive or just plain stupid or both.
What will be truly embarrassing for both Spanos and the NFL is when the Chargers move into SoFi Stadium next season. The 70,000-capacity venue will be nearly empty when the Chargers play home games. Remember those nearly spectator-less Los Angeles Express USFL games at the LA Coliseum? Well, the Chargers should get ready because that is their future.
As it was written when the Chargers moved north, LA. Doesn’t. Want. You. But don’t feel bad because this is what a league and franchise get for turning their backs on true fans over building a stadium.