By Keith D. King

Last Sunday, the Chargers played their first game as the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The team had yet to be received well by the Los Angeles fan base, and it remained to be seen whether or not San Diego fans would be willing to make the two hour drive to watch their beloved team play.

Though it was just a preseason game, it was intriguing to see what the atmosphere and attendance would be like. The StubHub Center is usually features smaller events like boxing matches, track meets, and it is also home to the Major League Soccer team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. By comparison, Qualcomm Stadium has the ability to hold over 70,000 people versus the 27,000 that StubHub can hold.

It seems like the Chargers would be able to fill the stadium easily, right? Well not exactly. A little over 21,000 fans turned out to the small stadium the Chargers organization likes to refer to as “intimate”. It’s safe to say that the Chargers Public Relations team will have their work cut out for them.

Over the last six months, the organization has handled their move from San Diego to LA poorly. This manifested into poor attendance at a stadium that could be filled by an exhibition tennis match.

First there was the move in general. One that took the Bolts away from their fans and the city that supported them for over 50 years. Then it was that horrible new logo that had to be dumped due to its backlash. Then it was the current running slogan of “Fight for LA”. Fight for LA? Really? A franchise moving across two counties should not choose to alienate those counties in order to gain a fan base that will never fully embrace you. Keep in mind, Los Angeles is predominantly a Raiders town. A more fan friendly, and respectful slogan would be “Fight for Southern California “, seeing as to you still need to win back your fans in San Diego in the process of making your home in Los Angeles.

Then there was the game. The Chargers first unit looked impressive against the Seattle Seahawks driving down the field and scoring quite easily. Philip Rivers went 5-6 for 56 yards and a touchdown to Antonio Gates. The defense took a hit with starting middle linebacker Denzel Perryman going down with an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The Chargers went on to lose 48-17.

A bright side for the Chargers is that if healthy, they will have one of their most talented teams in recent years. As far as their quest to keep their San Diego fan base while winning the LA market, they will have to do just that. Win. They’re scheduled to move into their state of the art stadium in 2020, so these next 3 season will be pivotal for the organization going forward.

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