Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts isn’t happy with the Los Angeles Chargers. That might be putting it mildly after hearing his interview on Monday with KNX 1070 News Radio.
“It is embarrassing, I think, for both the Chargers and the National Football League, to be playing in a 27,000-seat stadium,” Fouts said of the StubHub Center, the temporary home of the Chargers. “In fact, the Chargers’ first game ever, when they beat the New York Titans in a preseason game, in the Coliseum, it drew 27,000.”
The Chargers are currently playing in the stadium originally created for the Los Angeles Galaxy, a Major League Soccer team, while their $2 billion stadium is being built. Typical NFL stadium capacity runs around 65,000. That’s a considerable size gap from the 27,000 seats in the StubHub Center.
However, the stadium in itself doesn’t deserve the blame.
The Chargers had long been a franchise with steadily declining attendance before it sought refuge in another city. If there is anything to be embarrassed about, it’s the fact that the team hasn’t even been able to fill up the StubHub Center to full capacity so far in the preseason. Attendance at a Week 2 preseason game at home against the New Orleans Saints was 21,197, according to Los Angeles Times writer Mike DiGiovanna.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) August 21, 2017
If the Chargers ask nicely enough, maybe the city of San Diego will take them back.
They haven’t been able to fill stadiums because they can’t win football games. The last two years have been spent looking up to the rest of the AFC West, as they’ve failed to even compete in the division. A 4-12 record in 2015 and a 5-11 record in 2016 isn’t going to attract the masses in a big city like Los Angeles. Imagine 21,197 fans in a stadium built for 70,000-plus. Is playing at the StubHub Center really such a bad thing?
“Both the city and the ownership are to blame for where the Chargers are right now,” Fouts said. “They couldn’t get together on a deal for a new stadium for over 15 years, so both sides have to share in the responsibility.”
It would have been better for the city of San Diego and the Chargers franchise if they came together for a solution to keep the team in San Diego. That city was full of fans that still cared about the Chargers, even though they’ve stunk the last couple years.
Those thousands of faithful ticket buyers can now watch as a bigger market snubs its nose at the mediocre Chargers — a visual confirmation that they deserved better.