The city of Los Angeles just cannot get enough of things that remind people of the Rams, apparently, as the San Diego Chargers announced they’re moving to L.A. as well. There’s one extra weird part:
The team’s eventual home will be a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif. set to open in 2019.
But while the team waits for the stadium costing more than $2 billion to be built, the Chargers will temporarily play its home games at StubHub Center — a tiny stadium built in 2003 for Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy — and it’s actually a great idea.
The 27,000 seat stadium will be expanded slightly to hold 30,000 for Chargers games — an impossibly small number for a league that hasn’t had a single team average fewer than 50,000 fans in the last five years.
The StubHub Center is fine. I’ve been there for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. There’s a hill and a Target. Herm Edwards said the views around the stadium are nice, so you know they’re nice.
The thing is: It’s small. It’ll be the smallest current NFL stadium by about 25,000 seats and about a third the size of JerryWorld, but that’s nothing.
- Of the 130 college football teams that are currently or soon to be at the FBS level, 102 have stadiums with bigger standard capacities than an NFL team will use for the next two seasons.
- Five FCS teams (the second level of Division I) also play in bigger stadiums, making it 107 total.
- Forty-seven college football teams’ stadiums are at least twice as big as the Chargers’ next home.
- Eleven are three times as big.
- Some Texas high school stadiums are about 20,000, but look out, now that they know an NFL team is briefly within range.
- The attendance record in an American football stadium, set by Michigan against Notre Dame in 2013, is 115,109, or about four times what the Chargers might bring in at some point.
- The record for any football game was this monstrosity’s 156,990 for Tennessee-Virginia Tech this season, and you probably could fit the entire StubHub Center on the surface here.
The Chargers will fill up their stadium, something they haven’t always done, and that certainly doesn’t go for all these college teams, several of which are just renting big buildings that are meant for bigger purposes. The Chargers should have a cool environment in this small building.
What I’m trying to express, though, is that it’s very small.