Despite the fact that it's only preseason, when teams move there's usually a certain buzz around a team's first game in a new stadium. The Los Angeles Chargers' move, however, has been controversial from the jump. For their preseason opener on Sunday night, 21,054 fans went to the StubHub Center (which has a capacity of 27,000) to see the Chargers get routed by the Seahawks. For comparison, the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS had 25,667 in attendance the previous night.
attendance announced at 21,054...#LAGalaxy had 25,667 last night. Galaxy wins— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) August 14, 2017
If an effort to continue attendance thread, lemme say #LAGalaxy sold out its 1st game (27,000) here in 2003 and averaged 21,983 in 1st year— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) August 14, 2017
Both figures, obviously, better than what Chargers got in their opener. It is a preseason game. But it's also the first in their LA return— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) August 14, 2017
#LAGalaxy averaging 22,415 this season despite having their worst season in a decade. That's also more than Chargers drew Sunday— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) August 14, 2017
In 1960, the Chargers had 27,778 attend their first preseason game in the LA Coliseum. They somehow did worse in 2017.— Change the Padres (@ChangeThePadres) August 14, 2017
The Chargers' welcome to L.A. has been significantly less than warm so far. Between them getting booed at the Staples Center in January and their new logo being mocked into the ground upon its unveiling, the Chargers will really need to work to get into the good graces of the city. Obviously it isn't impossible, and winning cures all, but it's no easy task in the vaunted AFC West. Perhaps the city will warm up to the Chargers in the near future, but with the Rams' move already being controversial, it shouldn't come as a surprise that fickle L.A. fans are wary of another team.
StubHub Center being a temporary home may also be a factor. Soccer games are played in football stadiums with some frequency, but the opposite is rarely true. The Chargers will be sharing a new palatial home with the Rams in Inglewood that is expected to be ready come 2020. It will have a capacity of 70,240. Hopefully the Chargers have a bigger following by then, because 20,000 people would look awfully lonely in that space.