Chargers Offer New Ticket “Policy”

Team hints at ways to keep ticket holders from selling to fans from other teams

NBC7’s Derek Togerson looks at the Chargers trying to sell tickets in Los Angeles in this commentary

Throughout the process of moving to Los Angeles the Chargers earned the reputation that they just don’t “get it.”

The franchise came across as being tone deaf when it comes to things like dealing with the fans that supported them for five and a half decades; or making a marketing splash with a rebrand and a logo that was not designed in a preschool finger painting class; or basic common sense. You know; things you would expect a multibillion dollar business would be conscious of.

But the Bolts have bungled things at every turn so why would anyone expect the way they try to sell tickets to be any different?

This week the Chargers sent a letter to fans they hope will be buying tickets to their games at the StubHub center in Carson. In it are your typical bits of propaganda touting the “intimate and exclusive capacity,” which is really a way of saying the place we’re playing in for the next two years is small.

Then you get to one particular part and really kind of have to do a double-take. Here’s the direct quote from the letter:

“The Chargers reserve the right to enforce a policy that all season tickets should be used primarily by Season Ticket Members and their personal guests.”

What that means is the Chargers are going to try and make people who buy season tickets use all their tickets (of which they can purchase a maximum of four because of the “intimate and exclusive capacity”) for themselves and not sell them to fans of other teams.

This, of course, tells us that the Chargers are TERRIFIED that they will be playing in front of an “intimate and exclusive” crowd that consists of basically none of their own fans. This is one of the very few things that the Chargers leadership has gotten right.

If the Bolts don’t try and keep fans from other teams from getting their hands on tickets then pretty much every game at the “intimate and exclusive” Center they’re calling a temporary home is going to be a road game like the one they played at Qualcomm Stadium against the Raiders in December when the Q turned in to South Oakland.

However did they think this one all the way through? (Hint: probably not)

How would you enforce such a policy? They could go high-tech on the product by printing each season ticket holder’s face on the physical ticket. But that takes more money and, well … Dean Spanos.

More likely they would have to check the ID of all the people entering with tickets to make sure it matches the name on the ticket. But that is going to require more staff at the gates (again, $$$) and add a whole lot of time to the process of getting in to the facility, even if it is a “intimate and exclusive capacity” that will not have the massive crowds of most NFL games.

If there’s another more efficient and effective way I can’t think of it right now. Also it doesn't answer the question of who the season ticket holder's guests can be. Can someone who buys four seats sell three of them to Raiders fans and then escort them to the stadium, get them in and go watch the game at a bar?

I’d be shocked if the Chargers have even thought about this aspect of the policy they intend to develop yet so it might never even come to fruition.

Of course there is one more thing about this that shows how little the Chargers think about the peripheral elements of a situation or what it might lead to. The irony here is StubHub … the company that has its name on the stadium where the Chargers will be playing … specializes in 2nd-hand ticket sales and the Chargers are trying to outlaw the sale of 2nd-hand tickets.

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves, especially when the Chargers are involved.

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