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Chargers Fans Face Reality – TV Blackouts are Coming

This morning I did some research that although the results did not surprise me, they did disappointed me and will not sit well with many other fans of the San Diego Chargers this season. There are going to be local television blackouts this year.

I took a look at every home game for this upcoming year and the only game where tickets are no longer available is the game versus the Eagles on November 15th. I guess people are curious about the Michael Vick experiment. Every other game still had tickets available.

I was a little surprised that the game versus the Raiders was not sold out. It was only last year that if a Raider fan wanted to watch their team get beat by the Chargers they had to buy a multiple game package; they were unable to purchase tickets for just that single game.

I then went on StubHub to see if tickets were still available for this season – boy was there! Not including the Club Level, how about 46,890 tickets. There are a lot of season ticket holders out there that are trying to sell their seats for either the entire season or for single games. Back to the Raider game – there were 6,350 tickets available for the game, and that’s only on StubHub.

The rule that the NFL adopted 36 years ago states that the stadium has to be sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff. In today’s economy, that translates to TV blackouts, and not just in San Diego. Many teams are having trouble selling out their stadiums. The rule was brought up during this years owners meetings and the NFL decided to leave the rule in place.

So the reality is that people in southern California are going to be sitting at home on Sundays watching football, but the Chargers are not going to be the team they will see. Local fans hit hard by the economy, that cannot afford to go to the game, can’t even watch their favorite team and local businesses who have also been impacted cannot advertise to their local market.

Oh well, I guess I am going to have to accept the reality. Some Charger home games are going to be blacked out this year. I am a season ticket holder, so I will get to see the games, but for those fans that are not as fortunate, I guess it’s time to research other options – internet feeds, satellites, or maybe it’s time to just break out that old transistor radio.

As I am writing I see the news that Friday’s game vs. the 49ers has officially been blacked out – what a surprise…

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