The Los Angeles Chargers
The Stadium- Overall Grade: A+ – Wow, I was blown away when I entered ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center). Never having been in the arena, it really has the acoustics of a concert venue. Even in the World Series, Dodger Stadium never got quite as loud as ROKiT Field.
From the loud music to the raucous crowd tailgating out front to the cannon (yes they have a cannon), it really got rocking in an open-air stadium that only holds around 25,000 fans. Even with half the spectator mass, it has the feel of a real football field of 90,000 fans. But by having less seats, the Chargers have the added bonus of offering fans a plethora of places to sit, all with amazingly close proximities to the field.
It’s hard to do this, but the edge in terms of Stadium goes to the Chargers over the Dodgers.
Fan Experience- Overall Grade: B+ – The fan experience at a Chargers game is awesome. From smoke machines and a cannon to amazing hype videos to an amazing performer playing the trumpet for the National Anthem, God Bless America, and the classic “da na na na na na… Chaaarge!!!”, the Chargers have it all.
One thing they lack is a solid in-stadium host. But to make up for it, in favor of bad highlight videos and bad entertainment you find at Dodger Stadium, the Chargers have got a tee-shirt cannon, dance crews, and yeah A TEE SHIRT CANNON. Would that be so hard to implement at a Dodger game? All they need is a trumpet player up there with the organ and a few stadium employees to shoot and chuck tee shirts up into the loge.
Once again, it’s hard to do this, but the edge in terms of fan experience goes to the Chargers over the Dodgers. Thankfully, that’s the last time I’ll be writing that in this article.
Fan Excitement- Overall Grade: B+ – I love football fans, it is official. Even with only 25,000 in attendance, they got it really loud for every single play, from a second down three-yard run to kickoff to a broken tackle touchdown for 60+ yards.
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Unlike Dodger games, the mundane middle innings were replaced by fans opining for their team to reach the first down marker. The only time the boo birds took flight was during reviews, which do happen more frequently than they do at Dodger games.
The thing that makes the fan excitement worse at Charger games than at Dodger games is that the Chargers don’t draw a lot of home fans. Colts fans flocked all over the stadium, and even got very loud “De-Fense” chants going so loud they drowned out any home crowd cheers.
As long as the Dodgers keep the road team from traveling well enough to fill half the stadium, the Dodgers should maintain this edge.
Player Talent – Overall Grade: B – Player talent is another Chargers shortcoming in comparison to the Dodgers. While the team has an endearing mix of aging stars in Keenan Allen and Philip Rivers, they don’t have much in the way of an MVP-caliber star a la Cody Bellinger or Clayton Kershaw.
On defense, the only player garnering cheers upon his PA announcement was Joey Bosa.
So once again, the edge goes to the Dodgers, helping them split this faux thought experiment “series” with their cross-town competition from the NFL the Chargers.
All in all, you can’t really go wrong seeing an LA sporting event, but the Dodgers have a special edge thanks to their current crop of stars and homegrown fan-favorites, along with a deeper fan base and connection to the city.