In recent years, the Chargers routinely sent out emails warning of potential blackouts and identifying the number of non-premium tickets that remain to be sold. This year, they’re taking a different approach.
There have been no emails regarding the looming blackout of “White Hot Sunday” against the Titans, and the Chargers have not specified the number of tickets remaining. Instead, a team spokesman said only that the number is somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000, via Scott Bair of the North County Times.
The reasons for the sudden shift in P.R. strategy aren’t clear. Maybe the Chargers have no intention of buying up the unsold tickets at 34 cents on the dollars, even though the Chargers chose not to reduce their minimum ticket obligation. If the media doesn’t know the specific number of tickets that remain, there will be no way to calculate with any precision what it would have cost the Chargers to lift the blackout. Maybe the Chargers plan to write the check, and they simply don’t want to create false urgency for fans to buy tickets when, in the end, the tickets will be bought by the team and/or its sponsors.
Or maybe the Chargers are just fed up with scrambling to fill the stadium. Which could mean that the Chargers will be at the front of the line to relocate to a new one in L.A.
When Commissioner Roger Goodell hinted earlier this year at the possibility of a team moving to Los Angeles as soon as 2013, we explained that the only team that could comply with the league’s relocation policy so quickly is the Chargers. With a pair of mayoral candidates who aren’t thrilled about kicking in public money for a new stadium in San Diego, the Chargers could indeed be thinking seriously about taking decisive action — and there’s a chance that the new P.R. approach to unsold tickets flows from an unspoken (for now) desire to load up the truck and move to Beverly.