With a background in the Navy, commercial fishing and as a Merchant Mariner, I have met countless fans from pretty much every NFL team in my travels. While most have their own favorite team according to where they're from, pretty much all rank the Chargers
high on their likable teams list.
As I was flipping between channels yesterday between the Chargers and Raiders
games, two observations were pretty obvious.
1. There were a lot of Packers
fans at Qualcomm. I later found out that over 25,000 Packers fans attended.
2. I did not see one single Bronco fan at the Raiders game.
At first I was a bit disturbed about that, thinking about home field advantage. But then I took a closer look into the matters.
If you gaze a few rows behind the black hole in Oakland, you will see another Black hole, and that is the huge void in the crowd, and open seats. Inevitably by bullying opposing fans, Raiders fans cost their team and city millions of dollars every year.
The Chargers had a sell out game. Thanks in big part to Packers fans.
Then I did a little research. Of the three teams which could possibly go to play in Los Angeles in 2013
The Jaguars rank #32 in ticket sales, followed by the Raiders at number #31.Wait, what? What about the mighty Raider nation? Checked again, yep 31st. Then something donned on me.
The Chargers are no more likely to go to Los Angeles than 25,000 cheese heads are ready to fly to Oakland when the Packers play the Raiders! Good for the home team? Nope!
Im a guy who fly's in a couple times a year to root on the Chargers, and here is the itinerary.
Round trip flight to San Diego 500 dollars
Rental Car 200 Dollars
Game Tickets 200-400 dollars
Hotel 150 dollars/ night
Food 150 dollars plus
Throw in some sight seeing, and Sea World or the zoo, and I've just brought nearly 2000 dollars to the San Diego economy.
If you consider all the other out of state and opposing fans are doing something similar, its safe to say that the Chargers are boosting the local economy tremendously. In fact they just ranked in Forbes magazine as one of the top businesses in the NFL.
A huge part of that is because the Chargers fans are (by in large) classy and hospitable.
A trip to San Diego is a fun experience and the people are friendly.
I don't think I have to explain why neither Oakland or the Coliseum are desirable destinations for football fans. But if you do need visualization, just look it up on youtube. You will see that some Raiders fans make it just a brutal experience on any visiting teams fans. Consequently there are less and less visitors every year. Alas , the Raiders have hit rock bottom on attendance.
Many rival fans bad mouth the Raiders organization for than reason.
However, as a Charger fan, I am pretty happy, because inevitably it is "Raiders fans" that will keep the Chargers in San Diego.
Yeah, it won't be a big playoff run, a new stadium , pro bowl players or even a Superbowl. It is Raiders fans!
31 fan bases love to come to Qualcomm, and not one likes to go to Oakland. So if it comes to a vote, attendance polls, or simply financial reason, the Raiders will move from Oakland long before the Chargers will leave San Diego. So when Rex Ryan said " stay classy San Diego", there was actually some good merit to it. The Chargers are a classy team with classy fans in a classy city, and that's why they will stay put.
So if you go to Thursday night's game, buy a Raider fan a beer, thank them for stimulating the local economy and keeping the bolts in San Diego! But you better make it quick, sadly, beer sales at all Raider games end before
This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.