The San Diego Chargers, a team linked to several rumors of a possible relocation to Los Angeles and a franchise which has failed to meet expectations in recent seasons committed a major error recently. In a move to try to sell tickets, the Chargers organization had to admit to sending out an email to Kansas City Chiefs fans to purchase tickets to the Chargers-Chiefs game in San Diego on November 1. To add insult to injury, Chiefs fans were offered a discount to purchase game tickets at Qualcomm Stadium.
What genius in the Chargers marketing department came up with this idea? Chargers faithful feel let down by the organization in recent years and to offer up discounted seats to a divisional opponent seems like a horrible idea. Why not offer up the idea to non-divisional foes where the rivalry doesn’t run as deep? Better yet, why not offer up discounts to Chargers fans to sit in their home stadium? Whoa, where did that idea come from?
This story was discovered by a fellow football blogger, Patrick Allen, who is the senior editor of the site Arrowhead Addict, a Chiefs website. He received an email from the Chargers front office invited Allen and 14 of his closest friends to attend a Chargers game with tickets discounted up to $10 dollars off face value.
The Chargers were in CYA mode by late last week with the A.G Spanos telling the Union-Tribune, “This was an overeager sales rep, I would say, who was selling groups. 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.”
The Chargers went immediately into damage control mode after this story broke and this move has infuriated the fan base. Why wouldn’t it? The fans think that the team has moved out productive players, not been aggressive enough in recent free agency and many fans were calling for head coach Norv Turner’s job after a second consecutive non-playoff season.
This has to go down as the boneheaded move of the year by an NFL front office this offseason. Judging from the comments about Chargers story the last year on thepigskinreport, the San Diego faithful are growing weary of the moves the franchise has made and want wholesale changes at both the head coach and general manager positions. This news does nothing to energize the base. For complete damage control, the Chargers should offer up the same deal offered to Chiefs fans on blocks of tickets to actual Chargers fans for the Week 17 game against the Oakland Raiders.