FanDuel - WFBC

January 10, 2007

Chargers shut out Pats fans: The San Diego Chargers have restricted the sale of tickets to Southern California residents only. The Bears are reportedly employing the same tactics for their game against Seattle. Bad sportsmanship or cunning strategem?

posted by Venicemenace to football at 02:44 PM - 65 comments

Good news for the scalpers, I suppose. But otherwise stupid.

posted by fabulon7 at 02:47 PM on January 10

Yes. Funnily enough, the Patriots are embroiled in a lawsuit against StubHub, which is now one of the few resources the team's fans can use to get tickets to Sunday's game.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:51 PM on January 10

Wow. That's incredibly cheezy. Doesn't the home crowd have enough of an advantage when it comes to getting tickets?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:02 PM on January 10

i don't think that the home team in a playoff game have ever suffered from a lack of support, so it seems like unnecessary. to prevent a true fan from being able to watch their team live simply because they don't cheer the way you want them to seems completely legal and morally corrupt.

posted by dfleming at 03:20 PM on January 10

While this does seem kind of silly, it's worth noting that (a) it's not illegal, and (b) we're only really talking about a handful of tickets. It seems silly to me not because it engenders bad will or won't make a difference in the composition of the crowd, but because it shuts out Chargers fans outside of SoCal, as the Bears policy shuts out Bears fans outside of IL and NW Indiana. In a way, this is no different than the Red Sox setting aside certain tickets for card-carrying members of Red Sox Nation only.

posted by holden at 03:31 PM on January 10

What's really stupid about it is that there are so many transplants from New England here that the ban won't really mean much. We have entire bars in this town devoted to the concept of being from Boston. But, that's just how San Diego is -- lots of people move here from elsewhere, typically northern tier midwestern and northeastern states. When the Padres play the Cubs, it's often like being at a road game.

posted by LionIndex at 03:31 PM on January 10

but because it shuts out Chargers fans outside of SoCal Hahahahaha!!!! Both of them?

posted by LionIndex at 03:33 PM on January 10

The Chargers have employed some clever ticketing policies in the past. To limit the number of Raider Fans from coming down from Oakland they have put the Raider games into a 3-game package and required that all 3 games be purchased. To think that limiting ticket sales to Southern Californians ensures a Charger Crowd may be false. There seems to be loads of fans for other teams in Southern California. At the Steelers Game in San Diego this year the Steelers Fans and their yellow jerseys were very well represented. Besides the weather in San Diego on Sunday is predicted to be just average...Sunny and 65 degrees.

posted by Termite at 03:36 PM on January 10

I actually like the idea. It's an innovative use of more than just the guys on the field to create a competitive advantage. Anything that helps! (It ain't about fair. It's about using all the tools at your disposal to win.) On the other hand, if they wanted to really restrict the opponents' followers, they should just hire political-event security experts. They're really good at keeping the uninvited out ;-) I recall something like this happening during the Buffalo-Dallas Stanley Cup playoffs. The Mark Hotel (?) in Buffalo was undergoing construction when Dallas was visiting town and its players were staying there. Supposedly there were all sorts of late-night distractions, drilling, and other noisiness which led to complaints by some guys on the visiting team. Love it.

posted by diastematic at 03:48 PM on January 10

It's an innovative use of more than just the guys on the field to create a competitive advantage. What's so innovative about it? It's weenie, that's what it is.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:52 PM on January 10

Sounds like bulletin board material in Patriots' locker room to me!!!

posted by Howard_T at 03:59 PM on January 10

In the end, limiting ticket sales to SOCAL fans will not make a difference. The game will be won by the team that is prepared best and executes best. PRO teams have learned how to deal with crowd noise over the years.

posted by Cave_Man at 04:01 PM on January 10

I don't mind local sales policies that make it harder for road fans to pack your stadium. I've always hated how Steelers fans seem to outnumber Jags fans when they visit Jacksonville. Though part of the blame lies with us for not supporting the local team in great enough number, the Jags don't have to make it easy for them to show us up.

posted by rcade at 04:05 PM on January 10

The game will be won by the team that is prepared best and executes best. Ya Think?

posted by Termite at 04:16 PM on January 10

Unsportsman-like Conduct,... 15 yards,...First down.

posted by OneLbRibEye at 04:24 PM on January 10

Seems like a non-story. As someone said on deadspin, if your stadium isn't sold out for a playoff game, you deserve to have the other team pack your stadium. Who has tickets available to a playoff game? This isn't the Superbowl where the tickets are split between each side.

posted by yerfatma at 05:12 PM on January 10

Being from Chicago and being a huge Bears fan, one would think that I would have no problem with this. In fact, I DO. I think this is terrible sportsmanship and tries to tell fans of the opposing city that they are not welcome in our city. I believe that this is certainly not a way to keep a game fair or friendly. This is a poor decision on both the Chargers as well as the Bears, but look for this to become the norm all around sports. Who knows, it may just be what ends sports as We know them. Good Luck To All The Teams as well As The Fans Who Cheer Them.

posted by melcarek69 at 05:46 PM on January 10

It seems to me that if you have to alter your ticket policy, then you really don't have confidence in your product (team). If they are scared, just come out and say they are scared.

posted by urall cloolis at 05:47 PM on January 10

It doesn't matter who buys the tickets at the box office,they are just gonna rape the people who couldn't buy them anyway.I just wonder how is it that non-fans are always the first ones to buy the tickets?patriot fans aren't getting screwed buy the chargers.they are going to get screwed by the ebay,stub hub,ticket scalping sons of bitches who are always able to get tickets first.

posted by mars1 at 06:15 PM on January 10

As a neutral, I am surprised the NFL allows this to go on. I would think they would make it fair for all teams lest a war breaks out in which every team only sells tickets locally possibly hurting sales in the process.

posted by Ricardo at 06:16 PM on January 10

I know having home field is an advantage but this is a little extreme. Doesn't a little in the crowd joking and arguing between rival fans make the experience whole. I'm not a Patriots fan but don't you think they are too good and too well coached to get thrown off by this.

posted by twill9620 at 06:36 PM on January 10

Speaking of ticket sales, who decides who gets to buy Super Bowl tickets? Do the season ticket holders from each represented team get a chance to buy tickets?

posted by danjel at 06:57 PM on January 10

Yes. I'm almost positive that there is a lottery for season ticket holders, and winners recieve the oppurtunity to purchase tickets.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:33 PM on January 10

rcade, the Jaguars have to make $$$ to continue being in Jacksonville. They'll take what they can get. I think more than "part" of the blame lies with the Jag fans. KC never has to worry about opposing teams coming to arrowhead, outside of scalpers. This is b/c they're sold out YEARS ahead of time. if only they could merit that excitement come January.

posted by brainofdtrain at 08:01 PM on January 10

I see nothing wrong with the policy. Everyone is focusing on the effect the policy has on visiting fans and ignoring the effect on home fans. This policy gives local fans a greater chance to go to a playoff game. There were only 1000 tickets that were put on sale. This policy would upset me if they didn't sell out immediately, but since they sold out "within minutes," I respect the team for not ignoring their fans. My favorite example of playoff tickets being sold is when the Cubs qualified for a one-game tie-breaker a few years ago, and the tickets were sold only at Wrigley Field with no prior announcement. People flooded out of local bars to get in line.

posted by Aardhart at 08:17 PM on January 10

Meh. It's about on par with a 100k football offering 2500 to the visiting team in the upper-bleachers where they can't make a difference.

posted by jmd82 at 08:18 PM on January 10

May be San Diego should treat Illegals the same way they treat thier fellow Americans,and make sure they have legal documentation.How ever you put it,it's classless.But i just look at the source.

posted by nafsfeihc at 09:11 PM on January 10

Bad sportsmanship I mean an away game why don't those fans just get on the opposing team's website and buy tickets despite tank johnson's history where not that bad in Chicago I don't know about san diego what poor sportsmanship

posted by luther70 at 09:27 PM on January 10

This policy gives local fans a greater chance to go to a playoff game. There were only 1000 tickets that were put on sale. This policy would upset me if they didn't sell out immediately, but since they sold out "within minutes," I respect the team for not ignoring their fans. That's a reason I could have accepted, and respected, but it wasn't exactly the reason put forth by SD management. From the article: Bill Johnston , a Chargers spokesman, said about 1,000 tickets went on sale Monday and sold within minutes. "Our goal has always been to fill our stadium with Charger fans and supporters of the team. This also helps give our team the best home-field advantage possible," he said. So, I repeat: cheezy and weenie.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:32 PM on January 10

lbb -- I gotta say that the first sentence of Johnston's statement could be read consistent with the rationale of giving local fans a greater chance of going to a game. The "also" in the second sentence seems to suggest that the home field advantage is a secondary or additional motivation/rationale. To all the others claiming that this is bad sportsmanship, since when do businesses exhibit sportsmanship? I don't know if that's the right concept/construct for something that isn't taking place between players on the field.

posted by holden at 10:33 PM on January 10

The game will be won by the team that is prepared best and executes best. John Madden is on here?

posted by igottheblues at 01:13 AM on January 11

Ah well, I see it as a hedge against the typically great weather in San Diego....gotta make sure the stands are full!! Let's see, Tom Brady is gonna be bothered by crowd noise and 'LA' Rivers is gonna just light those nasty Patriots up.....This is beginning to sound like 'Marty Ball' to me....course the Bolts have had a couple weeks off, so they are probably rusty.....all things should equal out!

posted by brbcca at 01:43 AM on January 11

To limit the number of Raider Fans from coming down from Oakland they have put the Raider games into a 3-game package and required that all 3 games be purchased. Yeah, but Raider fans are usually armed, so I understand limiting their numbers.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:46 AM on January 11

No wonder the faiders can't sell-out.

posted by nafsfeihc at 07:48 AM on January 11

It is pretty disappointing that the Chargers can rattle off ten st8 wins, get the number one seed and a bye, but can't sell out their stadium in advance. I'm sure if a Pats fan is willing to fly across the continent to see this weekends upset, this silly little policy wont stop them from getting to the game. As they say, 'money talks and AJ Smith bullsheite walks'. OTOH any policy designed to keep R8r fans in securely in their mother's basement in jOakland and not burning up your local McDonalds is a good thing.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 09:21 AM on January 11

A number of people on this thread have chided the Chargers and Bears for not selling out in advance. I'm not sure what the specific situations are here, but teams often, for a variety of reasons, hold back a number of tickets to be sold in closer proximity to game time. In the case of both teams, it sounds like tickets were released just this week, suggesting that this is not a case where they have been on sale since playoff tickets first went on sale but the team just couldn't sell them.

posted by holden at 09:50 AM on January 11

"...I am surprised the NFL allows this to go on" Why wouldn't they? The No Fun League shouldn't have a say into what a team decides to do in their own home turf, especially during the playoffs. If the home team decided to keep the opposing fan(s) out to have an overall advantage as far as crowd noise is concerned, good for them. I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and live in the Tri-State area but when the Cowboys come to play the Eagles, does anyone honestly think that I'm going to the Linc wearing any Cowboys paraphernalia? These are the same fans that pelted Santa Claus with snowballs and the last thing I want, is to go to a game and feel threatened by some drunken fan(s) that feel empowered by taunting another fan. Trust, I've seen the worst in Eagles fans and when your surrounded by those green-wearing, pack of wolves' in their home stadium, what do you think your going to do? The Eagles organization don't ever need to restrict ticket sales to Cowboy fans since we already know what the deal is before we decide to go to a game, which is why I watch the game from the comfort of my own home.

posted by BornIcon at 09:53 AM on January 11

This sort of thing goes on SEC NCAA football season time to to time, I doubt all the time. I just remember a big to-do over the number of tickets alloted to Alabama fans (who travel in great numbers of caravans of motor homes that some Universities can nott accomodate parking for). By Arkansas this year. Its not like Talladega MotorSpeedway where there is an infield to stuff them in. But I digress. This is not the first time ticket restictions to away teams has happened, and I boubt UofA is the only team this has happened too. Its just the excusse of too many Motor Homes I find lame.

posted by Folkways at 10:04 AM on January 11

Yeah, but Raider fans are usually armed, so I understand limiting their numbers. TBH, If you are joking I have to tell you that this is true. I recall a Rams-Raiders Preseason game at then Anaheim Stadium in the early 90's that I took my then 2 young daughters to see. After being sprayed with thrown beer cups and language I did not want to be subjected to we left right after halftime. On our way out I passed an usher I know who told me that there had been at least 15 fights and 2 stabbings. He said that if he could leave thet he would. A preseason game!

posted by Termite at 11:22 AM on January 11

I think the chargers worked hard for home field advantage and the city should be able to do whatever they want. If the Patriot fans dont like it then they can try a little harder next year for home field advantage.

posted by krispyincali at 12:51 PM on January 11

Blame it on the Steelers for having such a huge fan base. They are at every game no matter where they play.

posted by dbt302 at 01:05 PM on January 11

I think the chargers worked hard for home field advantage and the city should be able to do whatever they want. Except "the city" isn't doing anything. Nice try, though.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:32 PM on January 11

Sounds like the Chargers aren't too confident that their team can prevail and need all the help they can get....I can understand that. But with the League MVP, the sack leader and 5 guys on the All-pro team(not to mention Pro-bowl)why are they so scared??? Oh, that's right.....3 things: Rivers will choke, Shotinthefooter will choke and they are playing the PATRIOTS!!! Good luck SoCal....you'll need it!

posted by BOBO at 01:36 PM on January 11

Hi Bobo and krispyincali, welcome to Sportsfilter. Check out our guidelines. I am positive there is some info there about the rules of the road here at SpoFi that you'll both find useful. Thanks and, again, welcome!

posted by jerseygirl at 01:38 PM on January 11

Maybe the Chargers realized they do need all the help they can get when they realized that they have the lowest ratings for STRENGTH of SCHEDULE and STRENGTH of VICTORY of any of the AFC teams remaining.

posted by BOBO at 01:38 PM on January 11

It is pretty disappointing that the Chargers can rattle off ten st8 wins, get the number one seed and a bye, but can't sell out their stadium in advance. I'm sure if a Pats fan is willing to fly across the continent to see this weekends upset, this silly little policy wont stop them from getting to the game. As they say, 'money talks and AJ Smith bullsheite walks'. OTOH any policy designed to keep R8r fans in securely in their mother's basement in jOakland and not burning up your local McDonalds is a good thing. posted by r8rh8r27 at 9:21 AM CST on January 11 Hi r8rh8r27, welcome to Sportsfilter. Check out our guidelines. We use full words and discourage text/AOL speak and abbreviations. There's a lot of good info at that site, check it out! Thanks and, again, welcome to SpoFi!

posted by jerseygirl at 01:42 PM on January 11

Wow, I wish my beloved Bengals had that policy. I could have saved that $300 in airfare I've spent over the last sixteen years flying back for home playoff games. Although, I can see why the Bolts might want to limit the number of Massholes at the game. Is there any way I can exclude them from watching the game at my bar, too?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:46 PM on January 11

What do you mean by strength of victory bobo? As for Strength of schedule, thats just false.... try checking your facts first.

posted by krispyincali at 02:57 PM on January 11

The only reason Alabama fans show up all over in their motorhomes is because they have not seen any good football at Alabama since Bear Bryant retired!

posted by muggsy at 03:22 PM on January 11

What Alabama fans and their travel habits have to do with this thread, I have no idea. Last I checked, Alabama doesn't have a professional football team. Well, not any more, anyway.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:27 PM on January 11

They've evidentally found a way to keep Patriot fans out of the stadium for the playoff game. Now all the Chargers have to do is find a way to keep their crunch-time-choking head coach out of there, too. It would be like Marty to gag and come up with a game plan that gives LT too few carries, no receptions, and a early playoff exit.

posted by dyams at 07:12 PM on January 11

TBH, you missed a couple. The Birmingham Bolts of the XFL, and the Birmingham Barracudas of the CFL.

posted by tommytrump at 09:32 PM on January 11

tommy, you obviously have no loyalty to Cliff "Snowball" Stoudt, or you'd never even bring up those other wannabes. Of course, there are also the Birgmingham Ruffians.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:44 AM on January 12

Some guy I have not heard from since October called me right after the Jets game. The bastard just wanted to brag that the Pats beat the Jets. So now I have zero sympathy for Patriot fans. That's right, they are all guilty by association. May none of them find a seat in San Diego. For the confidence pool's sake though, I still want New England to win.

posted by MrFrisby at 08:00 AM on January 12

the Jaguars have to make $$$ to continue being in Jacksonville. They'll take what they can get. I think more than "part" of the blame lies with the Jag fans. You're blaming us for not having more neighbors. Jacksonville only has 1.3 million people, even though the city's the largest in the U.S. in terms of size. Selling out an NFL venue with what may be the smallest population in the league is never going to be easy.

posted by rcade at 08:16 AM on January 12

TBH, these Ruffians you speak of, were they named for a broken down race horse? If so, is there any truth to the rumour that they may be renamed the Birmingham Barbaros?

posted by tommytrump at 08:59 AM on January 12

Selling out an NFL venue with what may be the smallest population in the league is never going to be easy. Buffalo must have gotten a lot bigger recently. Or the Census Bureau started counting snowmen. (Not that it affects your point one bit, just being an asshole)

posted by yerfatma at 11:17 AM on January 12

This list shows the populations of U.S. cities, which shows just how far down Buffalo is on the list when trying to fill a stadium with close to a 80,000 seat capacity. Buffalo did fail to sell out the final three games of their schedule this season, though the fans they did pull in would have well-past filled most other stadiums in the league. Buffalo's number 66 on the list. With regards to Jacksonville, the population is listed at 782,623. Buffalo chips in with a population of 279,745. Wow.

posted by dyams at 12:43 PM on January 12

Well, Buffalo does also draw from the Rochester area. And the kind folks at Wegman's used to buy up tickets to avoid TV blackouts. Between the two metro areas, there are probably a million potential ticket buyers, but it's got to be between Breen Bay and Buffalo for smallest NFL market.

posted by yerfatma at 12:49 PM on January 12

You can also look at the markets in terms of metropolitan areas (Jacksonville -- 42nd, Buffalo-Niagara -- 47th, Green Bay -- 154) or size of media market (Buffalo-Niagara -- 49th, Jacksonville -- 50th, Green Bay/Appleton -- 69th).

posted by holden at 01:24 PM on January 12

I think that is the better measure; I believe it's the one the NFL uses because Buffalo used to always bitch the Rochester/Gennesse Valley area shouldn't count against them. Or for them. Whichever's correct.

posted by yerfatma at 02:12 PM on January 12

Holden's comment about the size of the media market leads me to this comment. Of the 12 teams in the playoffs this year, all but New Orleans (54) are ranked in the top 50 TV markets. The only other "smaller market" teams are KC (31), San Diego (27), Indianapolis (25), and Baltimore (24). The other 7 are all ranked in the top 15. To be specific the rankings are: 1. New York (Jets and Giants) 3. Chicago 4. Philadelphia 6. Dallas/Fort Worth 7. Boston & New Hampshire (Patriots) 14. Seattle Of the lower ranked TV market teams, Baltimore will probably draw viewers from the Washington, DC, market; San Diego from the Los Angeles market; and New Orleans from the various markets along the Gulf Coast, deep South, and Houston. This raises the question in my mind about the influence of media market size on a team's on-the-field success. The salary cap and the draft are supposed to be the great leveling influences, and would seem to eliminate market size (and thus, financial health) as a factor in a team's talent level. The evidence above tends to say otherwise.

posted by Howard_T at 05:06 PM on January 12

The salary cap and the draft are supposed to be the great leveling influences, and would seem to eliminate market size (and thus, financial health) as a factor in a team's talent level. Salary cap, to some extent. Draft, probably not. Unless there's some sort of guarantee the players taken by teams are absolutely going to produce, it ends up setting teams further back. A few years back when the Buffalo Bills had one of the top picks and used it on offensive lineman Mike Williams; that single move has set the team back a long, long way.

posted by dyams at 10:45 AM on January 13

Draft, probably not. Dyams, the intent of the draft is obvious, but I agree that its implementation by some teams has been much better than by others. This is not due to the way that the draft is designed, but rather due to the ineptitude of some teams. My premise is that money available in the larger markets is a factor in the quality of a team. One way in which this may be manifested is in the quality of a team's scouting staff.

posted by Howard_T at 03:25 PM on January 13

Dyams, the intent of the draft is obvious, but I agree that its implementation by some teams has been much better than by others. This is not due to the way that the draft is designed, but rather due to the ineptitude of some teams. My premise is that money available in the larger markets is a factor in the quality of a team. One way in which this may be manifested is in the quality of a team's scouting staff. I gotta agree with Howard. By your logic dyams, you could also say that the salary cap is not an equalizer because some teams sign players to bad contracts that decrease cap flexibility and cripple the team for years to come. The draft and the salary cap are both equalizers that level the playing field, but some teams use them or operate under them poorly and handicap themselves in the process.

posted by holden at 03:36 PM on January 13

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