ESPN Had To Buy Chargers Tickets So ‘Monday Night Football’ Wouldn’t Be Blacked Out Locally

  • Eric Goldschein

chargers fans

It may be hard to imagine that this is possible, but it’s true: The Chargers narrowly avoided a blackout last night when they hosted the Colts on “Monday Night Football.” It would have been the first “MNF” that local audiences couldn’t see since 1999, when everyone in Atlanta had something better to do that Monday than watch the Falcons.

Best of all, it was ESPN — which broadcasts “MNF” and is some sort of Worldwide Leader in sports — that led the charge in buying the 9,000 tickets needed to lift the blackout. Also involved: two restaurants that are partially owned by Chargers president Dean Spanos.

From ESPN:

A day after applying for and receiving a 24-hour extension to try and sell nearly 9,000 tickets, the team announced on Saturday that a group of local sponsors, along with ESPN, guaranteed the purchase of enough tickets to lift the local television blackout for Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium.

“ESPN is pleased to have avoided the blackout and we are happy to work with local military and charitable organizations in San Diego to distribute a portion of the tickets to individuals and families who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend the game,” said Doug White, ESPN’s senior director of programming and acquisitions.

Hey, if some people received these tickets who couldn’t have afforded the game otherwise, that’s fantastic. But 9,000 tickets, for a primetime game, against a good team, this early in the season? Either these tickets are way too expensive (and even the Giants, who suck and have the most expensive tickets in the league, sell enough to broadcast their games) or San Diego doesn’t deserve a football team.

C’mon, San Diego. You’ve already been to SeaWorld and seen the pandas at the zoo. Why not buy some Chargers tickets and see a team that’s at .500 and has beaten some decent opponents?

Photo via Getty