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Chargers offer "cheapest ticket" in NFL this year

Expert blames "negative sentiment" around the franchise

TicketIQ is a ticket search engine that provides ticket-buying options from different markets, including the National Football League games.

This morning (September 8), the founder and chief executive of the company, Jesse Lawrence, appeared on the business channel, CNBC, and gave his outlook for ticket prices in the NFL this year, based on statistics to date.

After listing the most expensive games this year, he was asked about the cheapest ticket this season. He said it was the Chargers. Prices in secondary and primary markets are down 25 percent this year, he said. He cited the "negative sentiment" about the Chargers franchise. "There is a lot of uncertainty" about the Chargers' future in San Diego, said Lawrence.

He was asked if the Los Angeles Rams games will take attendance away from San Diego. He didn't think that would be a big factor in the expected San Diego decline.

The priciest ticket will be the first game in which Tom Brady returns in a game at the home of the New England Patriots. That is going for more than $800. Two of the three priciest games are ones in which Brady returns. (Brady is suspended for early games because of an alleged caper called "Deflategate.")

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TicketIQ is a ticket search engine that provides ticket-buying options from different markets, including the National Football League games.

This morning (September 8), the founder and chief executive of the company, Jesse Lawrence, appeared on the business channel, CNBC, and gave his outlook for ticket prices in the NFL this year, based on statistics to date.

After listing the most expensive games this year, he was asked about the cheapest ticket this season. He said it was the Chargers. Prices in secondary and primary markets are down 25 percent this year, he said. He cited the "negative sentiment" about the Chargers franchise. "There is a lot of uncertainty" about the Chargers' future in San Diego, said Lawrence.

He was asked if the Los Angeles Rams games will take attendance away from San Diego. He didn't think that would be a big factor in the expected San Diego decline.

The priciest ticket will be the first game in which Tom Brady returns in a game at the home of the New England Patriots. That is going for more than $800. Two of the three priciest games are ones in which Brady returns. (Brady is suspended for early games because of an alleged caper called "Deflategate.")

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Comments
24

Could the dismal win-loss record of the Chargers in recent seasons have caused "negative sentiment?" Or all the high pressure and bullying antics of Spanos, Fabiani and the gang? The fact that they can sell tickets at all is testimony to the foolish fans. But on the margins, it sounds as if the public is not happy.

Sept. 8, 2016

Visduh: Lawrence mentioned the "negative sentiment" about the Chargers. I would think this includes the team spending a year trying to get to L.A., and then suddenly making the outrageous claim that it wanted to stay in San Diego all along; the fumbling handling of the situation by Spanos, Maas, and Fabiani; arrogantly urning down the city's offer for a Mission Valley subsidy; the team's poor record on the field over the years; management's blatant lies (the team has actually been trying to get to L.A. since the late 1990s); the naming of Spanos's two sons to top administrative jobs, possibly guaranteeing more poor field performance, and dozens of other factors.

Despite all this, mainstream media have slanted news toward the team, on the conventional theory that it must not lose sports page advertising. However, the credibility it loses may offset the ad dollars it believes it will gain. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 8, 2016

I think you both have it right. The Chargers have more or less always sucked and as long as Spanos is in charge will likely always suck. He sure as heck burned a ton of bridges and any goodwill their couple "good" seasons brought them. I find my days much more enjoyable now that I no longer watch their games (which is harder and harder given the blackout rules). I for one hope they do leave SD. Bring in a team that actually may have a chance of willing a SuperBowl one day!

Sept. 8, 2016

DeJa: San Diego is the 17th largest market in the nation. There are 32 teams in the league. Logically, San Diego should be at least an average home for an NFL team.

But the team doesn't do that well in attendance or income. There are so many other things that can provide entertainment for nothing, or for very little. This will take some analysis. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 8, 2016

Don: If the Chargers are the 17th largest market in the nation, they do pretty well for themselves, at 15th in income (according to Forbes), and 19th in attendance (according to ESPN--but only 22nd in available seats filled at 94.6%).

Sept. 9, 2016

aardvark: There is one statistic you quoted that is fairly reliable: attendance. I don't think 19th is good for the 17th largest metro area, but there are a lot of variables in that ranking. Forbes's income figures are the best we have because the league isn't talking, but I would say that is a shaky number for all 32 teams. The 22nd figure for for available seats is probably a reliable figure. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Don: Not arguing--just throwing those numbers out there. And I am by no means defending the Chargers.

Sept. 9, 2016

aardvark; I am not arguing with you, either. There are a plethora of numbers that can be used in evaluating a team's financial performance. The most important number -- yearly profits -- are not given out. If the public knew how much the billionaire owners rake in each year, there would be rebellion when a team demands a subsidy. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Buying votes. Also look for some big wins (aka fixing) and the promise of a superbowl if San Diegans vote to have their pockets picked for a new stadium.

Sept. 8, 2016

You can bet that one would be guaranteed. But only one.

Sept. 9, 2016

aardvark: I assume you are alluding to future Super Bowls. There would be few, because so many teams have built new stadiums or rehabbed their old ones in the last ten years that there there is a long line of teams promised Super Bowls. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Don: One will always be guaranteed, especially to an area like San Diego. But like I said, just one. After all, Super Bowls are just so lucrative to the host cities. Allegedly.

Sept. 9, 2016

aardvark: I will repeat a statement I have made before. The NFL will tell cities that they will rake in $600 million or so from hosting a Super Bowl. If you want the truth -- or verisimilitude -- divide the NFL's number by 10. So $60 million might be closer to reality. When the NFL says $300 million will be the take, figure it will be $30 million at maximum. Some very good economists figure that the host city normally LOSES money. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Flapper: There has been fixing throughout the league's history, but most of it his been point-shaving, not throwing games. (The information here is shaky, too.It is anecdotal.)

The Chargers' Super Bowl host promises are dubious indeed. There are so many new and rehabbed stadiums that have been promised Super Bowls that the game would come to San Diego only a few times. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Flapper: I doubt there will be game-fixing to give the Chargers a better chance at the ballot box. It is my understanding that the big gambling money would rather have unfixed games. There is plenty of money to be made in honest games. And the big gambling operations have tremendous power in the NFL.

However, I have good information that there was fixing of a Big Ten game a few years back, so you can't dismiss the possibility. NFL players make too much money these days to be swayed by a fixer as opposed to, say, college basketball games.

The fixing I would be concerned about is in the voting. I guess we would call that cyber-voting. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Don: Which Big 10 game are you referring to? That's a serious accusation. And now, I am really curious.

Sept. 9, 2016

aardvark: Since I got it from a retired vice president of this university, I should dance around this one. The bribers were Chicago mobsters. The university involved was the Big Ten university closest to Chicago. The team was losing something like 21-0 with very little time left. But the university was on the opponent's five- (or thereabouts) yard line. A touchdown would mean the point spread would be punctured. So the running back fumbled and the score remained 21-0. I don't think the incident got any press coverage at the time.

Closer to home, you can read about the recent basketball fixing at USD. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Don: Fair enough. Remember, it's not whether you win or lose--it's whether you cover the spread.

Sept. 9, 2016

aardvark: That is a perceptive observation. In many respects, gambling is a major supporter of the NFL. The league will pretend it wants little to do with gambling, but such statements are uttered with a wink. TV is now close to the most important factor, but gambling is right up there. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Don: Even though the NFL would never admit it, I think the gambling aspect was the reason the NFL changed the release day of the weekly injury reports from Thursday to Wednesday some years ago. They also fine teams heavily for inaccurate info on those injury reports--you don't want Vegas to set a point spread based on incorrect info on an injury report.

Sept. 9, 2016

Jeff Madruga: I agree that Spanos ass-kicking would be quite effective. Here's something to ponder: suppose by some miracle or judge-fixing that the Chargers got their stadium. Would they fill it with fans if there is that much enmity toward the team and its owners and executives? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Mr. Bauder - Firstly, thanks again for your continuing solid and clear evaluations of financial fast shuffles by shady administrators and their mentors. Re: the Spanos Clan Clown Car - As a native San Diegan and Charger fan since their first day here, I can sadly assure you that the enmity toward the owners here have made it impossible for me or any members of my extended family to ever attend a Charger game again, even if they were free and played on Fiesta Island. The NFL needs to step in and remove the Spanos cancer from their ranks, or die along with them. It's that simple; and the whole Spanos clan must move to Carson.

Sept. 9, 2016

jimaddog: The Chargers have already failed at getting to Carson. Would it be sufficient to send them back to Stockton? (The family has been there for decades. The Spanos company is based there.) Dean Spanos is not there now, however. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

Mike Murphy: Right you are."You get what you pay for" does not apply to the NFL. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2016

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