SB Nation’s Alex Kirshner dug into the rulebook and pointed out that it was almost certainly not, which gives me hope that the refs did what I have always wanted them to do in situations like this: know something is illegal but allow it to stand mostly because it was really fucking cool.
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Every sport: Adopt this bylaw to your rulebook. If something nuts happens, ref gets to decide that, for this one time at least, you know what, we’re just gonna let this fly. Call it the You Know What We’re Just Gonna Let This Fly Bylaw. Don’t trust the refs? Let the commissioner call down and make the ruling. I don’t care. We’ll let the lawyers work that out.
Fewer fans also means much less waiting in line for concessions or restrooms. That’s always a hassle at a large stadium, having to time a bathroom, food or beer run. It will be easier at StubHub Center. For example, Katie Pandolfo, StubHub’s general manager, said that while most NFL stadiums have a ratio of about 120 fans to each concession stand, we tried to get even lower than that. We’re at 112 to one.
The Rams have recognized the perils of too many fans, especially since they play in the aging Coliseum. The team will sell only 70,000 tickets for games this year, down 10,000 from 2016. Shorter lines and a better fan experience were the reasons cited for the move.
Despite what Spanos said about sports stadiums downsizing, there’s no way NFL teams want to play in 27,000-seat stadiums; too much revenue is being left on the table, even if ticket prices are high. Fewer fans means less money made on parking, concessions and merchandise. In 2020, the Chargers will move into the new stadium they will share with the Rams and the capacity there will be 70,000.
The Chargers are playing at a tiny stadium out of necessity, but this will turn out to be a plus for fans.