Are the Fans the Problem or the Owners?

The National Football League has a policy. Games, which are not sold out, are not shown on Local TV. This is to encourage (punish) local residents to go to their home games (and not stay home to watch the game and all its accompanying advertising.)

It doesn’t seem like they will deviate from this. Not in the event of the worst recession in recent memory. Not in the face of massive job loss, thousands of local home foreclosures, and dismal employment outlook.

When I hear people blame the fans, I scratch my head.

Their argument is usually along the lines of-

1) The weather is too nice in San Diego. There’s an array of other things to do on a Sunday afternoon.

2) Too many people who live here are originally from other places. They keep their home team and don’t adopt the chargers.

3) The fans here suck.

I would certainly agree with number one. The rest ring hollow to me.

I recognize that professional football is a business. If people aren’t buying your product it seems shortsighted to blame the end consumer. When Starbucks’s business dropped off, they didn’t label the coffee drinkers as soft or undedicated. They introduced new specials and cut prices.

If most other cities aren’t facing the blackout, it seems like the Chargers ownership, not the team, have failed to adequately build their customer base.

The people who own the Chargers are quite wealthy by any standard. How hard would it be for the Spanos family to “buy” a few thousand tickets and give them away to teachers, cops, kids, etc? Or how about giving them to some military men and women? San Diego is a military town and we are fighting 2 concurrent wars. The news and accompanying photo ops would generate some good will and positive brand awareness.

To me, the blackout issue is between owners of the San Diego Chargers and the NFL. Not the fans and the Chargers team.

One Response to “Are the Fans the Problem or the Owners?”

  1. Fred says:

    I’m so angry I’m going to swing a cactus. It’s just not right. Things will never change with the wealthy owners and the NFL. The fans take it in the shorts once again. The NFL has been so gracious as to give a 24 hour extension for teams to sell out. Give me a break. You should send your post to the letters to the editor of the Union Trib. so others can share it.

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