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Logjam to enter stadium frustrates Chargers' fans

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]


    By Matthew T. Hall
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    September 24, 2009



    MISSION VALLEY — Chuck Piro has been going to Chargers games for 30 years and never once missed a kickoff — until Sunday, when an unpublicized change in the team's admission policy delayed thousands of fans' entrance to the home opener.

    This year two gates at Qualcomm Stadium are being set aside exclusively for luxury-seat ticket holders, herding fans with tickets that cost up to $98 into nearby gates with no barricades or security to stop people from taking cuts. Fans call the new policy discriminatory because it pits about 8,000 luxury-seat holders against 60,000-or-so others who must walk farther and wait longer to get into the stadium at a time when it's a luxury just to buy a football ticket.

    “These guys are crying about not being able to sell out every game,” Piro said. “Make it enjoyable. Make it easy for us to go to the game.”
    When asked to discuss the issue, Chargers spokesman Bill Johnston issued a written statement that acknowledged there was a problem and noted the team's displeasure with “trying to move too many people through the gates in too short of a time period,” particularly at the four gates that sandwich the exclusive entrances.
    But it did not mention the gates for holders of higher-priced tickets.

    Johnston wrote that “efficient and brief” fan entrances must be balanced against “vital safety and security procedures” and added, “We have already implemented several subtle changes as well (as) enhanced communication efforts to help direct fans to the best entry points. We will continue to monitor the entrances as we do every game and make improvements as necessary.”
    Johnston did not respond to a subsequent request for an interview.

    Many fans complained to the Chargers this week via e-mail and phone calls, raising concerns about waits of up to an hour long, safety, and demanding improvements. One said he saw a fistfight after someone cut in line and said the crowds got so big that security guards let people in without patting them down.

    A map of Qualcomm Stadium on the Chargers' Web site shows there are 16 gates for fans. Eleven are available for use by all guests two hours before kickoff. Two — gates B and H — are open three hours before kickoff, exclusively for those with tickets to 113 luxury suites and 7,800 club seats. Three more are apparently closed.

    A list of frequently asked questions posted on the Chargers' site includes this one: “Why are the lines so long to get into the stadium?” The response makes no mention of the gates set aside for luxury-seat ticket holders.

    It says: “Increased security procedures, such as pat downs during Charger and SDSU games, have caused congestion at the entrance gates. All fans are encouraged to enter the stadium at least 1 hour prior to kickoff.”
    Some fans say that's an unreasonable request because they'd prefer to tailgate outside than have to pay for stadium food or drinks.

    “The Chargers are pinching pennies at the expense of their fans,” first-time season ticket holder Ryan Irmer said. “More gates need to be opened, more staff needs to be present, more barricades need to be put up.”
    The statement the Chargers released yesterday ended with the same pitch for fans to head in about an hour before kickoff. It said, “Bottom line, fans are reminded to start heading to the gates by 12 noon and have patience as they go through our security procedures. Those procedures are in place for their safety.”
    Not all fans are optimistic the team will resolve the issue by Sunday.

    Linda Tutor, whose parents became season ticket holders in 1963 and whose own family of four followed suit in 1986, said that when she and her 80-year-old mother complained, her mother was told to get to her seat an hour early and Tutor was told to walk around to a less-crowded side of the stadium.

    “That is their solution?” Tutor said. “It doesn't sound like they get it. I want the Q to be a sellout for our team, but I am afraid they are not going to listen.”
     
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  2. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    They better have this **** figured out by Dec 20th.

    I always leave the tailgate at 12:30, I don't want to have to leave even earlier.
     
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  3. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Last year when we came for the Chiefs game we got caught in the logjam. It was ridiculous.

    So this year we went in at about 11:45 to avoid any of that shiiit. I knew it was gonna be a mess. It was great to get to our seats, grab a beer, watch warmups, soak it all in.

    I wasn't going to travel all that way and miss kick off. We also had Plaza level seating, which was nice.

    Also, just my impression from visiting last year and sitting in View:
    It seems like you are treated like shiit if you sit anywhere above Plaza. Maybe I'm way off... but that's how it seems.
     
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  4. BOLT POWER

    BOLT POWER Well-Known Member

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    been stuck in the logjam before also, 45 minutes to get in byt everyone cut in line and the cops and elite seem to just look the other way sometime. either way open up some more turnstyles our only had 3 going so it pissed a lot of people off , they took a hour away from the tailgate and now they push us in earlier. thats part of the reason people are fed up. I guess if you have money and a motor home you get special treatment :tdown:
     
  5. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    When has this ever NOT been the case? :icon_shrug:
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I'd be pizzed if I missed the kick off. :icon_evil:
     
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  7. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I almost got into a fight, and when I called the security guy a POS he wanted to run away!
     
  8. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    I know I sound like a shill for the San Diego MTS, but the trolley is the only way to go.

    I haven't parked at Qualcomm for a Charger game since 2004.
     
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  9. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    with us Tailgaters we need to be able to go way back in time and have the Chargers allow us to be able to be at the game Tailgating the night before the game.

    Right now we have to cram in tailgating within a few hours. :tdown:

    Then if we would be able to Tailgate the night before there would be plenty of time to get into our seats without the Logjam. There would not be all that many people trying to cram in about an hour or less before the game starts.

    There is still people getting to their seats well after the game begins. The worst case was with me was Fans in front of me got to their seats during the last part of the 2nd QTR. This was during last years Turd game.
     
  10. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I always take the trolley.

    The trolley doesn't help when trying to get into the stadium before kick-off, though.
     
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  11. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    It was bad. I usually leave the tailgating around 12:45 and I completely missed the kickoff.
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I always drove to the games. My desert truck was ready to roll and the SDPD knew it, hell they gave preferential parking for free. They were cool dudes and they always got me out, a little kindness goes a long way's and their job isn't fun either.
     
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  13. G-ForceSage

    G-ForceSage BoltTalker

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    It's a mess no matter what if you cut it too close to game time.
     

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