A fan holds a sign during the game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium
Recently, the Chargers were reported as trying to woo rival fans to come to games in San Diego with promises of ticket discounts. It apparently has gotten so difficult to get fans to show up at games, Chargers sales reps are taking the ‘by any means necessary' approach to ticket sales.
In this case, it was a Chiefs blogger who the team contacted. The email offered him-- one Patrick Allen from Chiefs blog Arrowhead Addict-- and as many as 14 of his friends to take advantage of discount tickets ($10 off per ticket) to come to see their team play in San Diego.
The plan backfired (as one would expect) and Mr. Allen decided to put together a blog post about it. And it spread like wildfire, making national headlines.
If it had worked, Broncos fans would most likely have been next. But I would not have expected to receive any such email. They know they don't need to make any offers to Raider fans
When the Raiders come to town, the Chargers have no issues selling out the stadium. Raider fans flock to Qualcomm every year for the game. The stadium is equal parts Silver and Black as it is Blue and Yellow. But those colors are secondary. The primary color here is green. And there just hasn't been enough blue and yellow in the stands to make that green.
A few more Chiefs fans would add some red into the mix but their money is just as green as Chargers fans or anyone other fan's money for that matter.
Right now, however, the red is in the face of Chargers team president AG Spanos. This incident and the media firestorm has become a source of serious embarrassment for the Chargers organization and Spanos.
"It's disappointing because we've been so aggressive this year with trying to sell to new Chargers fans." Spanos told the San Diego Union Tribune. "We hired 18 new people. We're launching a season-ticket holder referral program, where season-ticket holders are going to be able to get rewards if they refer a new Chargers season-ticket holder customer.
"We've been very aggressive. We're trying our best to pack the stadium with Chargers fans. This article, it hurt."
Being aggressive in attempts to fill their stadium is something with which the Raiders have become quite familiar in recent years. They sold out all their games last season but it took a great deal of effort on the part of the organization to get it done. It was accomplished in large part due to a great many two-for-one sales. Prior to last season, local blackouts were commonplace.
Chargers games have been blacked out locally six times over the past two seasons due to not selling out by the deadline. But Spanos insists the email that was sent out was not to help fill the stadium. He also claims it was an isolated incident.
"This was an overeager sales rep, I would say, who was selling groups," Spanos said. "He acted on his own without checking with his manager. We have sold to visiting fan groups in the past. We don't proactively solicit them for new business. That's not a standard practice of the Chargers."
I would think that kind of blunder won't be happening again. Then again, the Chargers keep bringing back Norv Turner so perhaps I am giving them too much credit.