Officially out of San Diego, the Los Angeles Chargers’ first two games in their new home didn’t draw inspiring crowds.
Two weeks into the preseason, the Chargers have drawn announced crowds of 21,000 to the Stub Hub Center, their temporary home that houses a maximum of 27,000 people.
Stub Hub Center was designed for the MLS team the Los Angeles Galaxy, meaning the crowds at the preseason games have looked even bigger because of the smaller stadium. In a regular NFL stadium, many of which can accommodate 60,000 fans, the attendance would look pretty meager.
Here’s a look at the crowd in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks:
And some photos from Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints:
Now, the photo above is clearly from introductions, when fans are still arriving. But a fan photo from near halftime shows the crowd never really grew.
According to the LA Times, the Chargers’ lowest attendance in San Diego last season was 52,000 for the home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Their preseason games in 2016 draw crowds of 46,000 and 47,000.
There are factors worth considering — any team in a new market may struggle with attendance initially, and it’s only preseason. Likewise, if the team gets off to a hot start, tickets may become a hotter commodity.
The opposite is worth considering, too, however. If the team continues its losing ways after posting a 5-11 season in 2106, there will be fewer people clamoring for tickets. Many people questioned the wisdom of leaving San Diego for Los Angeles, a market not starved for a football team that had only recently inherited another football team last season in the Rams. Adding a second team to Los Angeles — even if the Chargers originally heralded from LA — might not have been necessary.
Time will tell if a competitive Chargers team will draw enough fans to fill out the 27,000 seats in Stub Hub Center, but from the early returns, the Chargers may rank among the worst teams in attendance this season.
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