While the Los Angeles Chargers’ plan to play in the StubHub Center with its 30,000-seat capacity is unusual, it is an interesting experiment. It has been decades since an NFL team played in a stadium that small.
As such, it won’t be cheap. The Chargers announced season-ticket prices, and they’re significantly more expensive than the Los Angeles Rams’ 2016 season tickets in the enormous Los Angeles Coliseum. The Chargers’ cheapest season tickets are $700 (the Rams offered $675, $585 and $360 plans) and the Chargers’ most expensive season tickets are $3,750. The Rams’ most expensive season tickets were $2,025 last year, in their first Los Angeles season. The Chargers have four tiers at $2,200 or more.
This is simple economics, supply and demand. The Rams have the largest stadium in the NFL and the Chargers have the smallest by far, at least until the two teams move into a huge Inglewood stadium in 2019. There’s good reason the Chargers are charging a lot more for their tickets. But it will be interesting to see how the Chargers do, especially since their games will be rather expensive.
The Chargers moving from San Diego to Los Angeles is a tough sell. Los Angeles already had a team in place. Presumably many San Diego fans won’t want to support an owner that just left them, and Los Angeles fans don’t seem to want the Chargers. The Chargers are the first team to relocate that hasn’t been warmly greeted by its new city, and now they’re going to have to sell expensive tickets.
The selling point is the uniqueness of the venue. There hasn’t been a regular NFL stadium this small since the Chicago Bears stopped playing at Wrigley Field after the 1970 season. And even Wrigley Field held about 45,000, 50 percent more than StubHub Center. The Chargers will sell the experience of seeing an NFL game in a cozy soccer stadium.
“Every seat at StubHub Center will feel close to the action and fans will be right there with us on every play,” Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos said in the team’s release. “Not many venues can make this claim and we expect to sell out quickly.”
The Chargers better sell out every game for two seasons, because it would be a really bad sign if they can’t fill a 30,000-seat stadium in their new home. Presumably that will happen, even at a high cost.
Although the Chargers’ temporary housing probably isn’t ideal for them, it is unlike anything we’ve seen in the NFL for many, many years. It should be a pretty fun experience for the fans who pay to get in.
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