San Diego Chargers fans have a reputation for apathy towards their team, which most openly lament or shrug off. That makes this all the more surprising:
Since 2011, about 24 fans have been arrested at each Chargers home game, most in the NFL. That not only outpaces stadiums with more famously rambunctious crowds – Philadelphia arrests three fans per game, Oakland arrests 17 – but it dwarves the results at the league’s “safest” stadiums. Seattle, Chicago and Tampa Bay average less than one arrest per game over the last four years.
I was surprised to read that San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, leads the league in arrests per game. I’ve been to plenty of Chargers home games and never witnessed any sort of bedlam. This season’s game against the Raiders seemed downright collegiate to me.
An explanation for this stat that will readily occur to any Chargers fan, but maybe not to anybody else, is that San Diego is notorious for its lack of support team support, and Chargers home games draw a significant number of visiting fans. According to most reports the aforementioned Raiders game drew approximately 75% Oakland fans — I was there, and I’d say it was more like 90%. Are arrests higher when the majority of fans are visitors? Could be. Or maybe our police force is just the best in the league, with the highest success rate at rounding up offenders? Unlikely, but that’s one way to spin it. Or perhaps San Diego fans just have a lot of aggression to get out. At least we’re number one at something.