#boltsohard|Monday, February 18, 2019
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Dark day in San Diego: Chargers game blacked out 

The Chargers weren’t the only ones blocked off the air locally.  The Oakland Raiders also suffered from the regulations instated last week. Eleven teams are predicted to be threatened by blackouts depending on their success, including Cincinnati, Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City and Arizona.

Qualcomm Stadium was able to sell several tickets after the 72-hour deadline passed.  The lack of immediate ticket sales doesn’t necessarily mean there is a shortage of fans.  Several lower-income fans felt disappointed after finding out they could not watch the game.

Kevin Nguyen, a San Diego State University student, said he wants to attend Chargers games, but does not have the money.

“It made me feel like San Diego and the NFL don’t care about the fans who can’t make it to the game or afford tickets to the game,” Nguyen said.  “If ticket prices changed and became more affordable I would go to the games.”

Jeremy Gregory of San Diego felt strongly enough about the issue that he decided to start a Facebook group titled “1,000,000 Strong Against the NFL’s Blackout Policy” to raise the awareness of upset fans.

“The group was created to express to the NFL and to people around Facebook that see this group, that with this rule in place, we can no longer enjoy that three hours to kick back and watch our local team,”  Gregory said. “It’s about the outrage that NFL fans in low-end markets have towards this rule.”

Players continue to fight on despite the lack of ticket purchases.  When asked in a press conference Thursday how he felt about his first home game in the NFL being blacked out, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews said it was not going to affect his performance.

“It sucks, but I’m going to still go out there and play the same,” Matthews said. “You know I’m going to go out there and play as hard as I can and try and help the team win.”

Fans were able to view a replay of the game on NFL.com at midnight on Sunday.  Several fans were able to get around the blackout by viewing the game on various live internet streams being posted by households able to view the game on their televisions.  Others relied on Gamecast viewings on ESPN.com. The rest were forced to listen to the radio, or use friends to keep them informed.

Nguyen said he did not like having to rely on a random stream to watch the game.

“It felt like the game was less exciting because it was on a small screen and the quality was poor,” Nguyen said. “I feel like I shouldn’t have to go Google how to watch a San Diego Chargers game when I live in San Diego.”



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