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Jeff Clem

A small Chargers stadium brings simplistic vibes and unique atmosphere to NFL games during the 2018 season. Sophomore Kyle Clem attends a Los Angeles Chargers preseason game vs. the New Orleans Saints, Aug. 25.

Stubhub Center provides unique twist on typical football game

After several losing seasons of disappointment and heartbreak, the Chargers needed a fresh start with a new audience. They chose to leave San Diego for a new beginning in the City of Los Angeles. After this move, I knew I wanted to find a way to view a game at this new location.

However, after moving to LA, the Chargers organization needed to find a temporary home during the build of their new multi-billion dollar stadium. Stubhub Center got chosen as the team’s interim home. The original intention came as the home for the LA Galaxy. Due to this, it only holds 27,000 people compared to the 70,000 fans experienced in San Diego.

My first impression as I walked inside this stadium before the Chargers and Saints took the field, Aug. 25, was live rock and roll music blaring through the speakers. The aromas of alcohol floating through the air, different sales people attempting to grab our attention to sell us merchandise and various photo-op stations set up accompanied the entrance.

After wandering around a bit, we already found countless ways to spend money. This merchandising aspect of the sports industry forms the majority of an NFL team’s profit. From overpriced food to pink Chargers unicorns, marketing strategies come as elaborate plans to lure spectators into overpaying for everyday goods.

Around the edge of the field, a ring of big, smelly fans already gathered to watch the players warm up. My dad and I found a spot between them where we could see the field. From here, I saw players like Joey Bosa, Casey Hayward and Keenan Allen warming up.

The tickets to this game only cost about $50 each since this game happened during the preseason. Soon, the seats around ours started to fill up and a large man with his son sat down in the seats right in front of us. The leg room here became so restricted that every once in a while, his head bumped my leg.

Soon, the national anthem began and the fireworks boomed with each shot. The Saints received the ball first and within two plays, the Chargers held them to third down and five. On this play, Drew Brees chose to throw deep. The Chargers first round pick, safety Derwin James ran in and intercepted the ball. This play made the crowd go wild cheering.

Kyle Clem | The Feather Online

While the Chargers used to play in Qualcomm Stadium holding 70,000 people, they now play in Stubhub Center that only holds 27,000 people.

After this, the game became dominated by the Saints offense. During this time, cries of “Who Dat!” surrounded the stadium. The Saints won the game, 36-7. The score held no meaning, however, since this took place during the preseason and carried little impact heading into the regular season.

After the loss, my dad and I needed to use the restroom, but we knew a likelihood occurred that the stadium floors usually came coated in urine and the smell of the overflowing toilets marinated into an appalling scent. We walked in anyway and within seconds, these fears turned into a reality. Despite these sights and smells, I really needed to use the restroom.

Even though the opening of Stubhub Center came in 2003, the old school amenities for viewing a game still relate to today’s viewers. However, in these last 15 years, state of the art stadiums like Levi’s Stadium bring new features to the football game that never existed before. These features never came to Stubhub Center, but the chance to get up close with the action creates a different experience for fans that no longer exists today. In the future I hope to travel to see Levi’s Stadium in person to see how this stadium compares to the Stubhub Center experience

For more columns, read COLUMN: Freshman journalist encourages students to join campus publication. For more articles, read Campus student body anticipates first home football game.

Kyle Clem can be reached via Twitter: @KyleClem5 and via email:

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