Several corporate sponsors — including local CBS station KFMB-TV — bought up the remaining tickets for tonight’s San Diego Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs game, ensuring fans in Southern California will see the game. The tickets will be donated to military and youth charities.
Why these corporate sponsors had to step up and buy these tickets instead of themselves pressuring Chargers owner A.G. Spanos to buy up the remaining tickets is beyond us. It’s especially absurd that — yet again — a local broadcaster is being forced to buy up tickets but yet the National Association of Broadcasters continues to support the blackout policy. (Read our open letter to them here.)
The Chargers tried to entice fans into buying tickets for this weekend’s game by offering them the chance to buy tickets to the upcoming Denver Broncos game. Hard to believe that fans didn’t jump at the chance for the right to buy tickets to a game they can buy tickets for eventually anyway.
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 Alex 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. He could easily write a check to cover the remaining tickets (at the special owner rate of 34 cents on the dollar).
It continues to amaze us that despite the overwhelming evidence that blackouts don’t work, NFL owners insist on blacking out their fans (many of whom are disabled and elderly), thus decreasing overall interest in the team.