The San Diego Chargers, who have blacked out fans six times in the past two seasons, have decided not to take advantage of the league’s new blackout policy that would allow them to set the attendance threshold at 85% capacity.
“We’re in one of the oldest stadiums in the league, and don’t have opportunities that other teams have to increase revenue with things like a bigger naming rights deal or digital signage,” executive vice president and CEO A.G. Spanos said, according to the North County Times. “We rely heavily on ticket sales as a primary revenue stream. This market has shown an ability to sell out games over the last 10 years, and we need to take advantage of that.
“It might be different if the policy was flexible, but it’s not.”
Keep in mind that the stadium the Chargers play in was fully financed by the public and that they are currently waging a public relations campaign to get the public to pay for a new stadium (…or else they’ll move to LA). And remember that Chargers owner Spanos is the 375th richest American, worth $1.1 billion. He bought the Chargers for $74 million in 1984 and the team is now valued at $920 million.
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But rather than ensure that all the loyal San Diego Charger fans who are too poor or physically unable to attend games can see them on television, Spanos is going to try to extract every last dollar he can from them. Which, of course, is pointless, BECAUSE BLACKOUTS DON’T WORK.
As for the other teams — and all 32 teams will need to set their own individual blackout policies ahead of the season and stick to that number all season — none have indicated what they intend to do. But hopefully they don’t intend to subject their fans to unethical, counterproductive and ultimately futile blackouts.