Dan Fouts didn’t mince words when talking about his former team and the stadium the Chargers will call home for the next three seasons.
“It is embarrassing, I think, for both the Chargers and the National Football League, to be playing in a 27,000-seat stadium,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said Monday in an interview with KNX-AM (1070).
The StubHub Center in Carson is a soccer stadium, home of the Galaxy. The Chargers are playing there until the Inglewood stadium they will share with the Rams — with an expected capacity of 70,240 — is ready for action in 2020.
Some have been singing the praises of the intimate setting, saying that it offers a unique NFL viewing experience. Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote of the team’s Aug. 19 home game against New Orleans: “It appeared the Chargers and Saints were playing on an HD flat-screen TV, only it was real.”
Plaschke went on to say, “You could see every gesture, feel every hit, sense every motion, hear every kick. The pregame fireworks smoke fills your face. The officials’ whistles buzz your ears. You don’t need replays. You don’t need binoculars.”
But Fouts, who works as a team-employed broadcaster for the Chargers during the preseason, doesn’t seem to share that enthusiasm. Maybe that’s because during his 15-year career, spent entirely with the Chargers, the team drew a home crowd of less than 27,000 only three times — and all of those games were during a 2-12 season in 1975.
It also doesn’t help matters that the Chargers were unable to fill the StubHub Center to capacity for either of their two preseason games.
“The Chargers’ first game ever, when they beat the New York Titans in a preseason game, in the Coliseum, it drew 27,000,” Fouts said during Monday’s radio interview.
Maybe Fouts is just grumpy because he’s down on the Chargers’ move out of San Diego in general.
“Both the city and the ownership are to blame for where the Chargers are right now,” he said. “They couldn’t get together on a deal for a new stadium for over 15 years, so both sides have to share in the responsibility.”