July 26, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) during training camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Tonight, as a way to boost fan excitement for the upcoming season and drive sales of season tickets, the San Diego Chargers will be holding an open practice at Qualcomm Stadium.
Stadium gates will open at 6pm, but practice will not kick off until 7:15pm. If you show up early, prepare to have someone try and pitch you the idea of buying a seat for 4, 6 or all 8 of the team's 2012 home games. Ticket prices start at $48 per game.
The open practices at Qualcomm are always preferable to visiting Chargers Park for training camp, in my opinion. The seats are better (more support than the metal bleaches at Chargers Park), the view is better, there's plenty of room to stretch out, there's tons more parking, it's easier to find your friends and they're usually serving beer (at stadium prices).
The players also seem to enjoy getting onto the home turf for the first time since last season. Not to mention, since these stadium practices are usually at night (like tonight's) or on a weekend (like FanFest), the crowds are bigger than the ones seen for afternoon practices on Murphy Canyon Road. That means that when a big play is made, you can actually hear quite a cheer. In years past, guys like Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates have gotten a few of them during these practices.
I will not be attending tonight due to a prior engagement, but I highly recommend going if you don't have anything better to do. Take some pictures, if you can, and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I plan on trying to do something with them tomorrow if I get enough of them.