Sunday was the first game in Los Angeles for the newly relocated Chargers, and although the franchise is looking forward, the fans it left behind in San Diego are not quite ready to move on.
Last week, San Diegans raised $10,000 for a series of anti-Chargers, anti-NFL billboards around StubHub Center, and on Sunday, someone in an airplane flew over the stadium with a banner that read, “Worst owner in sports? Dean Spanos pay your rent.”
— James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) September 17, 2017
Here’s a video of the flyover:
There's a plane flying over the first Chargers game in LA calling Dean Spanos the worst owner in sports pic.twitter.com/Uao8t2pbnu
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) September 17, 2017
Spanos, of course, is the Chargers owner, who moved the team after the citizens of San Diego voted against a tax hike that would have paid for a $1.8 billion new stadium. He is not a popular man in San Diego and is apparently not much more beloved in Los Angeles.
Dean Spanos was shown on the big screen at StubHub Center and was booed.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 17, 2017
Probably not the reaction Spanos imagined getting in his new city.
But more damning for Spanos and the Chargers than the anger from old Chargers fans is the apparent apathy from would-be new Chargers fans. With the Rams also in L.A. and sports fans in the area loaded with alternative ways to spend their Sundays, the Chargers are having a tough time filling even the 27,000-seat StubHub Center.
— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) September 17, 2017
— Ross Batchelor (@rossbatchelor9) September 17, 2017
Looks to be a 50/50 fan base from my vantage point. Maybe 55/45 Fins fans. You can decide for yourself. pic.twitter.com/Mu3EhNcPp2
— Judson Richards (@Judson1360) September 17, 2017
Announced attendance for the game was 25,381, which is both an embarrassing figure (even in a small stadium) and difficult to believe based on the photographic evidence.
Today's attendance: 25,381
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) September 17, 2017
One city hates the Chargers for leaving, the other city doesn’t care that they have arrived. Maybe that “worst owner in sports” banner wasn’t so far off.