When the Colts visit the Chargers on Monday night, eyeballs will be glued to flat screens from sea to shining sea.
Except in the place where the sea seems to shine a bit more brightly.
According to U-T San Diego, a blackout is “very likely.” To lift the blackout, the Chargers must sell (or buy at 34 cents on the dollar) 9,000 non-premium tickets by 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
It would be the first local blackout of a Monday Night Football game since the final week of the 1999 season, when the Falcons hosted the 49ers.
Tight end Antonio Gates isn’t impressed by the lack of support.
“It’s unfortunate,” Gates told U-T San Diego. “You want to think that you have true fans. . . . It’s crazy that it’s hard to sell out a Monday night game.”
The Chargers have opted not to take advantage of the rule allowing games to be televised if as few as 85 percent of the tickets are sold. The team apparently wants to encourage folks to fill the stadium.
“It gives you a little bit of motivation when fans come out and cheer for you and it’s a full house,” Gates said. “We like to call it that 12th man on the field. If that’s not the case, we’ve still got to go play the football game. We hope we can get enough ticket sales for people to cheer us on.”
On Monday night, 9,000 short of a full house will be cheering while the empty seats just sit there, bemused.