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Bengals-Chargers becomes first blackout of the 2013 season

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Beating the Chiefs in thrilling fashion didn’t move the needle at the San Diego box office.

With the Chargers returning home after winning at Arrowhead Stadium, not enough fans have purchased tickets to lift the blackout of Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Never mind the fact that the Chargers remain in the playoff hunt, or that the Bengals are 7-4.  The game hasn’t been sold out, so it will be blacked out in Southern California.  The Chargers made the announcement on Thursday afternoon.

More than 5,300 non-premium tickets remain available for purchase.  The Chargers have not opted to reduce the minimum sales obligation, which would have permitted the game to be televised locally despite the 5,300 unsold tickets.  Likewise, the Chargers and/or their sponsors have decided not to buy the remaining seats at 34 cents on the dollar in this specific case.  (Earlier this year, ESPN cobbled together the cash to avoid the first Monday night blackout since 1999 when the Colts came to town.)

The Chargers have played only four regular-season home games.  After Sunday, three remain.

It’s the first game of the 2013 season to be blacked out, after 12 weeks of having every contest televised in the corresponding local market.

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58 Responses to “Bengals-Chargers becomes first blackout of the 2013 season”
  1. thegregwitul says: Nov 28, 2013 5:06 PM

    All these jokes about Florida teams moving to Los Angeles when the answer is right there in state: Los Angeles Chargers.

  2. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 28, 2013 5:07 PM

    The Steelers’ greatness is well-documented. No one has accomplished what we have since the birth of the Super Bowl era. We have just been blessed to have some of the best men on the planet, not just football, leading our franchise.

    This is a first-class organization. Go down the list: we have the best players, ownership, front office, coaching staff, training facilities, trainers, PR reps, stadium, stadium security, waters boys, on and on.

    Notice how when another franchise tried to emulate our approach, they fail entirely. We are truly one of a kind and that’s because we are the very best in the business. We really seem to be from a different breed. It is almost as if Steelers are born into their role, that they find their way here by fate.

    Tonight is just another practice for us, a practice along The March® towards the ultimate goal: 7 rings. The 10-2 run continues, The March® continues. No one believed us, but now you will be forced to submit to our prestige.

    So, here we go Steelers; here we go. Let us continue our Stroll towards the pinnacle.

    Glory, glory steelelujah

  3. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 28, 2013 5:08 PM

    God bless the Steelers.

  4. jbaxt says: Nov 28, 2013 5:08 PM

    If they had a fan base they might gain a couple more wins a year, just with a tougher home field. Marty Schottenhiemer left them cursed after they fired him for going 14-2.

  5. cjnunes426 says: Nov 28, 2013 5:11 PM

    Have you seen the attendance to Laker games lately? LA would be the same as San Diego. The Chargers are fine in San Diego.

    None of you would spend over 60 bucks per for nosebleeds in that stadium either.

  6. jpash42 says: Nov 28, 2013 5:22 PM

    That’s pathetic!

  7. packerfaninsandiego says: Nov 28, 2013 5:34 PM

    I made a $100 bet with a fellow worker that the Chargers would not sell out against the Bengals. Pay up fairweather fan!!!

  8. bolted4life says: Nov 28, 2013 5:37 PM

    If Qualcomm (70,000) had the same seating capacity of the Raiders O.Co Stadium (53,000) it would always be sold out.

    Just saying.

    The blackout policy for the Chargers is outdated and dumb. They still outsell half the NFL stadiums, yet deemed the “first blackout of 2013″.

    No matter, I be there Lower View 24 =)

  9. icanspeel says: Nov 28, 2013 5:41 PM

    It’s funny cause people act like no one goes to the games… but in reality still will be close to 60,000 people there.. just not a sell out.

  10. chinahand11 says: Nov 28, 2013 5:41 PM

    The Chargers are having an existential crisis and the Steeler guys check in on this site to sing the war songs and praises of their fave franchise. Sigh.

    It is true, though, that winning puts the fannies in the seats. Chargers are just getting unhinged this year from Norv and AJ “I’m smarter than you” Smith. Sorry to slur you two, but you really napalmed this team over the years.

  11. afcdomination says: Nov 28, 2013 5:45 PM

    to be fair, that stadium is just a dump. it is not fun to tailgate there, at all. the seats are bad, the whole structure is really old.

    this is unfortunate but something must be done. Obviously the ideal situation is a huge piece of land downtown appears out of nowhere with no environmental issues of any kind. which won’t happen, so they either have to move to Chula Vista(bigger dump) Oceanside(middle of nothing), or go to LA

    its hard to believe that they could do worse in LA. people point to laker attendance. look at clipper attendance. people actually want to go to staples, no one wanted to go to the sports arena. same city, same situation.

  12. wwwmattcom says: Nov 28, 2013 5:47 PM

    Go Buffalo!

  13. steelers88 says: Nov 28, 2013 5:49 PM

    Wow I know there is a lot to due in San diego but this is ridiculous. Hello Chargers fans you do know your team is still in playoff contention. Maybe you could actually show up and back them up for once.

  14. lilpuppy says: Nov 28, 2013 5:58 PM

    it appears that SoCal just not that into pro football

  15. lilpuppy says: Nov 28, 2013 6:00 PM

    afcdomination says:
    Nov 28, 2013 5:45 PM

    to be fair, that stadium is just a dump. it is not fun to tailgate there, at all. the seats are bad, the whole structure is really old.
    ——————————————————–

    sorry but with a foot of snow and temperatures below freezing here I believe tailgating there would be quite enjoyable ;)

  16. 6ball says: Nov 28, 2013 6:14 PM

    .
    @steelersarea5-6team

    Two facts

    1. The Patriots put up a double nickel (55) on your alleged defense. That is the most points allowed in the NFL this season.

    2. The Patriots quit scoring out of mercy. They easily could have reached 70

    .

  17. dickshotdogs says: Nov 28, 2013 6:16 PM

    I really don’t like this. I’m a Patriots fan and I have enjoyed watching the Chargers more than any other team this year. They are playing their azzes off and I want to see them play football in January. Step up Charger fans!

  18. frank booth says: Nov 28, 2013 6:17 PM

    steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 28, 2013 5:07 PM

    The Steelers’ greatness is well-documented. No one has accomplished what we have since the birth of the Super Bowl era. We have just been blessed to have some of the best men on the planet, not just football, leading our franchise.

    This is a first-class organization. Go down the list: we have the best players, ownership, front office, coaching staff, training facilities, trainers, PR reps, stadium, stadium security, waters boys, on and on.
    ==================================
    That’s a shame- gross underachievement. With having the best of everything at their disposal, they can still muster only 2 SB victories out of the last 20 years. As you describe them, they should win nearly every year, and with little trouble.

    Dallas and NE have 3 SB wins each, while GB, Denver, Baltimore, and the Giants each have 2 over the past 20 years. Clearly, the work ethic shown by these teams exceeds that of the Steelers, who have the best of everything but don’t know how to use it. There is nothing worse than untapped potential.

  19. bmoreravens1012013 says: Nov 28, 2013 6:17 PM

    Lol…..absolutely pathetic. I live in Baltimore and this black out stuff is foreign to us …Every time I hear or read about it , it boggles the mind. I’m not blaming those who can’t afford to go but want to go. I blame the city as a whole from management on down.

  20. seaeagle707 says: Nov 28, 2013 6:19 PM

    It makes you wonder. Packers, Jets, Giants, Bills, etc., are not having stellar years and play in refrigerators, and they have no problems selling tickets. The Bolts play in a relative paradise, where the coldest thing for miles is the beer, and they can’t fill the seats?!?

    The obvious answer? Enlarge the servicemen’s discount and appeal to the naval bases. Get ‘em out of those airplanes and off those ships and into the seats.

  21. joetoronto says: Nov 28, 2013 6:19 PM

    The weather’s too nice, the stadium sucks, the prices are too high, SMH.

    Just move baby.

  22. chargersdiehard says: Nov 28, 2013 6:23 PM

    Nobody wants to spend that kinda money to see Ginger Palmer get sacked all say.

  23. mrpeary3189 says: Nov 28, 2013 6:25 PM

    San Diego doesn’t deserve a football team. Time to pack em up and move them to LA

  24. natelan says: Nov 28, 2013 6:30 PM

    1) There are 71,294 seats at Qualcomm.

    2) There are probably just as many potholes in the parking lot as there are seats in the stadium. The stadium is in Mission Valley, which severely floods during every rain season and destroys every parking spot.

    3) The Chargers are a perennial disappointment who haven’t EARNED 71,000 weekly fans.

    4) The Spanos family and the Chargers fans are in a standoff with one another, each expecting the other to finance a replacement venue.

    5) San Diego has it’s fair share of football fans, but they are not all CHARGERS fans. San Diego is a business Mecca, a HUGELY military town (Camps Pendleton and Miramar) and a general overall paradise that outsiders flock to. When opposing team’s fans attend games, you are mixing thousands of drunks with opposing allegiances which causes violence. It’s nothing like those frozen tundra cities like Green Bay, where everyone is a 5th generation Cheesehead and the entire stadium pulls together.

    The moral: Chargers fans could be better fans to the Chargers, and the Chargers organization could treat their fans better, but even then, filling a crumbling, 60’s-era concrete slab, with 71,000 blue and yellow shirts is just never going to happen.

  25. blackbug99 says: Nov 28, 2013 6:31 PM

    icanspeel says:
    It’s funny cause people act like no one goes to the games… but in reality still will be close to 60,000 people there.. just not a sell out.

    I have to agree. Getting even 50K people to a one day event is awesome. The NFL, like Nascar, overbuilt their capacity and sold the rights to broadcast on those numbers. They didn’t build a place for families; They built for maximum $$$.
    If you want people in the stands….lower the ticket price. You won’t get laughed at on TV for the crowd size….and you’ll sell more in-stadium stuff. And make a non-drinking area where a Dad can take a kid to make a new fan. In the digital age there’s no reason to take a family to a game.

  26. dankpuffalot says: Nov 28, 2013 6:36 PM

    Just when you think it’s impossible for a Steelers fan to be a bigger tool, we have the guy that writes the most out of touch diatribe ever inside a story that had nothing to do with “his” team.

  27. ridnaway says: Nov 28, 2013 6:39 PM

    Maybe Charger fans find it too painful to watch Andy Dalton throw pick sixes too.

  28. orivar says: Nov 28, 2013 7:00 PM

    Why do people keep suggesting a football team in LA? That experiment was tried already and it failed.

  29. raiders85 says: Nov 28, 2013 7:08 PM

    The most fair weather fans on the planet shame ESPN can’t bail them out again

  30. PCa Survivor says: Nov 28, 2013 7:09 PM

    to be fair, that stadium is just a dump. it is not fun to tailgate there, at all. the seats are bad, the whole structure is really old.
    ——————————————————–

    As a visiting Steelers fan twice I’ve attended games at Qualcomm. It may be one of the best places for visiting fans starting with one of the friendliest fan bases. Although we didn’t come to tailgate and were wearing Steelers jerseys, we were invited by Chargers fans to join them. In short we had a good time and it was worth our entertainment dollar (one win and one loss).

    And as a 25-year Steeler season ticket holder I am embarrassed by the posts of steelersaregodsteam beginning with his screen name. He does not speak for the city of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Steelers, or Steelers Nation.

  31. cincyfredo says: Nov 28, 2013 7:24 PM

    Last weeks Carolina at Miami game on TV showed the stadium was about 60% full. No way did that game sellout. I was surprised the network kept giving us shots of the empty stands.

  32. jayniner says: Nov 28, 2013 7:29 PM

    Based on what’s going on with the Redskins, it’s only a matter of time before they change the word “Blackout” because someone takes offense to it….

  33. lawdog2060 says: Nov 28, 2013 7:43 PM

    Its going to be 75 degrees with a head high nw swell running. And we’re tired of a mediocre team. Nonetheless, we’re about to be the first team to win the SB with four consecutive blackouts to end the season. GO BOLTS!!

  34. junglerat524 says: Nov 28, 2013 7:44 PM

    There will be more empty seats by halftime.

  35. phinfan says: Nov 28, 2013 7:53 PM

    More teams are experiencing lack of sales… Its becoming apparent owners need to lower sales

  36. treesloth16 says: Nov 28, 2013 7:59 PM

    Previous posters have it right: crappy stadium, expensive parking, food, beer, etc. Not to mention alot of us detest the Spanos family and their stupid decisions. I haven’t been back in a while, for good reason.

  37. powpow042 says: Nov 28, 2013 8:32 PM

    Why can’t the Spanos family do what 90% of the owners in the NFL do…drop the threshold to 85%. Oh that’s right….GREED. This is absolutely stupid. San Diego has GREAT fans…this isn’t on them.

  38. razzlejag says: Nov 28, 2013 8:36 PM

    The comment that Qualcomm is 71,00 seats vs Oakland’s 53,000 seats suggests an easy solution- follow Jacksonville’s lead and use tarps to reduce the size of the stadium to 60-62,000 to avoid blackouts.

    Contrary to the national opinion, the issue in Jax is not attendance (they outdrew the Steeler last year), it’s the size of the stadium. The tarps reduced the capacity to 67,000 and there hasn’t been a blackout in years.

    The Chargers should do the same.

  39. nomoreseasontix says: Nov 28, 2013 9:00 PM

    Without a blackout rule, blackouts would be impossible.

  40. darkneptune73 says: Nov 28, 2013 9:01 PM

    Was it because of Black Friday?

  41. the8man says: Nov 28, 2013 9:20 PM

    The documented capacity for football is 70,561.

    It’s absurd that they black it out even if the sold tickets number around 65,000. That’s just stupid greed.

  42. sdbolts says: Nov 28, 2013 9:34 PM

    I am a long time Chargers season ticket holder. I agree with a lot of what people have written in these comments — the price of the tickets for what you get is out of line. I have friends who go on a road game or two a year. The same ticket that costs $50 in New Orleans costs $100 here. If a mom and dad want to go to a game with their two kids it’ll cost $400 for tickets plus $25 for parking plus at least anther $75-$150 for food and souvenirs. For that price you could take your kids to Disneyland. Despite a sometimes crappy team, always crappy owners, and sometimes crappy management (e.g. A.J. Smith) and no Super Bowls, some of us will not give up. Go Bolts!

  43. pcoisma says: Nov 28, 2013 9:40 PM

    So LA you want a NFL team huh? You are a better Bogie man than an actual destination. Keep believing LA, do not let ratings and your turn out prove anything..

  44. bobsnygiants says: Nov 28, 2013 9:58 PM

    I’m NY GIANT fan , and they should support there team

  45. pemory says: Nov 28, 2013 10:07 PM

    This is really sad, but it’s somewhat a product of a stand-off between ownership and the community. The Chargers aren’t a great team, but they are entertaining. Still, the fans, for the most part, detest the ownership so they stay-away. Reminds me a bit of the situation in Arizona when I lived there in the 90s: the Cards often fielded bad teams, but when they were decent fans still stayed-away from the ballpark because of the owner. The Spanos family should either sell or move the club. Everybody loses in the current situation, especially when you consider the 1963 AFL Championship team is being honored at the game (and locals won’t be able to see it unless they buy a ticket).

  46. gsomatt says: Nov 28, 2013 10:42 PM

    Proving that moving a franchise to LA is a dumb idea. This is a great match up and they can’t get people to drive an hour south for it?

    Fickle La… doesn’t deserve a team.

  47. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 28, 2013 10:59 PM

    Glad we don’t hear this kind of talk about the Jags. Jeez. Sell your game out already.

  48. whodeybacker says: Nov 29, 2013 12:04 AM

    Dang as a Bengals fan I am apprehsive of this game . Th I mbs down to charger fans.. Hoping im wrong but im predicting a loss.

  49. Simon says: Nov 29, 2013 1:01 AM

    Playoff contender. Black out. Fraud fans.

  50. boltbacker says: Nov 29, 2013 4:12 AM

    There have been many other NFL games that were not truly sold out this year. Some of these stadiums have ha far more than 5000 tickets unsold. The difference is that the owner in SD decided not to go with the 85% rule that other owners have, and he is too cheap to buy the remaining tickets. Now, fans from Miami, Oakland, Jacksonville, etc can feel proud because they haven’t been blacked out and another team has.

  51. gibbskins9 says: Nov 29, 2013 7:36 AM

    It’s 2013 the black out crap for all sports must stop

  52. kayakattack says: Nov 29, 2013 8:37 AM

    Meanwhile in Jacksonville…..

  53. gallopinggilmore says: Nov 29, 2013 11:20 AM

    I probably wouldn’t be at the game either if I lived in San Diego.

  54. raiderapologist says: Nov 29, 2013 3:57 PM

    bolted4life says: Nov 28, 2013 5:37 PM

    If Qualcomm (70,000) had the same seating capacity of the Raiders O.Co Stadium (53,000) it would always be sold out.

    Just saying.
    ———-
    If Oakland (400,000) had San Diego’s population (1.3M) they would probably sell out a 70,000 seat venue every time.

    Just saying.

  55. dasmol says: Nov 30, 2013 5:23 PM

    Nobody moves TO Oakland. Much of San Diego’s 1.5 are transplants and fans of other teams.

    Potholes or not, San Diego has awesome tailgating.

    See you in J4

  56. rohlo says: Nov 30, 2013 6:14 PM

    makign a big deal of this balckout if stupid.
    first off the average nfl stadium holds about 65,000 people.quallcomm stadium in san diego holds over 71,000 people. so basically the chargers have sold enough tickets for the nfl average. there will be about 66,000 fans at the game vs the bengals sunday. people need to stop acting like the chargers and san diego are only having 40,000 people show up or something..the chargers consistently have 65-67,000 people per game.. the blackout thing is blown way out of proportion. and NO we dont have tarps on our stadium seats like they do in jacksonville and oakland… i seem to rememebr when the raiders played in LA they never were on tv becuase the colliseum held over 100,000 people and it never sold out..

    the nfl should have a threshold of atleast 65,000 tickets need to be sold across the board to lift a blackout. the chargers and fans are punished because their stadium has a higher capacity.. when in fact the chargers are right in line with the leaue average of attendance.. the chagrers fanbase sold out games 7-8 years tsraight from the mid 2000’s to just a few years ago. ownership needs to do its part as well and adopt the 85% rule and stop being greedy. it will help offset that quallcomm stadium holds more people than the nfl average stadium.

  57. rohlo says: Nov 30, 2013 6:16 PM

    raiderapologist says:
    Nov 29, 2013 3:57 PM
    bolted4life says: Nov 28, 2013 5:37 PM

    If Qualcomm (70,000) had the same seating capacity of the Raiders O.Co Stadium (53,000) it would always be sold out.

    Just saying.
    ———-
    If Oakland (400,000) had San Diego’s population (1.3M) they would probably sell out a 70,000 seat venue every time.

    Just saying.

    ——————-

    thats a lame post..the raiders fanbase is suppose to one of the biggest in the world and it isnt just in the oakland area .. they draw from everywhere ,so that is not a valid reason for the raiders having to tarp their stadium and using the 85 % rule.. san diego is a transplant city with lots and lots of fans of other teams…

  58. morganwick says: Dec 1, 2013 5:46 PM

    I wonder how many people in the San Diego and LA area actually like the blackout and being able to see Broncos-Chiefs?

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