COSTA MESA – Keenan Allen’s guess about a 50-50 crowd between Chargers fans and Raiders fans at Sophie Stadium on Monday night was probably wishful thinking.
The Las Vegas Raiders have a strong fan base in Los Angeles. He called the city home in the 1980s and early ’90s, with coach Tom Flores sprinting to the side and Marcus Allen driving back to create dynamic plays on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ground.
Several Southern California Raiders fans will be in attendance on Monday, just as they were at Sophie Stadium in August to take out Rams fans for a preseason game.
Allen, the Chargers’ star wide receiver, probably knew this was a bold prediction for an equally divided crowd, but perhaps Allen was prompting Chargers fans to participate and not sell their tickets on the secondary market.
“It will probably be 50-50, but it’s not good for the raider game,” Allen said. “They travel well, but we’re winning. Obviously, we got 10 (Justin Herbert). I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the building.”
Allen was promoting his 2–1 team, a signature road win against the Kansas City Chiefs. If that wasn’t enticing enough, Herbert has been a needed quarterback with his MVP-level performances to start his second season.
Allen and many of his Chargers teammates are accustomed to using silent reckoning in home games. Last season, the Chargers didn’t have to worry about this for their first season at Sophie Stadium, as fans were not allowed into games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chargers don’t want to return to home-field losses and are encouraging fans to support their young star quarterback and perhaps the rise of a team with new head coach Brandon Staley.
Asking for a 50-50 split might have felt like the minimum for Allen, but that’s about as good as it could be against Raiders’ ardent fans.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was reported by Charles Woodson to expect a home-game setting for a road matchup against the Chargers during his rookie season.
The Hall of Fame cornerback wasn’t lying to Carr in 2014. Carr covered several sections in silver and black when the Chargers played in San Diego, and the same was the case with Carson when the Chargers had home games from 2017 to 2019.
“Whether it was at that football stadium in Los Angeles or at Qualcomm (stadium) in San Diego, it was another home game,” Carr said this week. “As you always saw it as another home game. No disrespect, it’s just a fact. The way you practiced, the way you met, it felt like a home game and I sincerely hope that Raider Nation takes over the majority of the stadium again. ”
Carr is assuming Raiders fans will be out in full force for the team’s first regular season game at Sophie Stadium with fans. But this coming Monday night may not be a one-sided split.
The Dallas Cowboys are also known for their traveling fan base, but Allen said the crowd split was still felt when the Cowboys played the Chargers at Sophie Stadium in Week 2.
The stands were likely to have a high number of Cowboys fans, but many sections were covered in powder blue and sunshine gold, a surprise to many of the Chargers.
At one point in the first half, Cowboys fans were heard chanting “Defense” when Herbert and his offense were on the field. But as the Chargers rallied back, the Cowboys’ cheers subsided.
“I thought it was beautiful too,” Allen said of the crowd against the Cowboys. “I thought it was a lot of Chargers fans. We felt the love for sure.”
Several Chargers fans were also in attendance for the season opener in Washington. The rear sides of the Chargers’ sidelines were covered in powder blue.
But it may be more tempting for Chargers fans to travel to Road Games for a quick vacation, which can be paid for by selling home game tickets at top prices in the secondary market.
The Raiders could also see huge numbers of fans from the opposing teams at their home games as people enjoy a trip to Las Vegas.
Raiders coach John Gruden said, “I welcome Raider Nation to the field there (at Sophie Stadium).” “Some of those Dolphins fans broke into our stadium last week. Maybe Raider Nation can do a stand down in LA. We’re looking forward to seeing the fans, obviously. It’s going to be a great game as always. Great rivalry.” ”
The Chargers have made progress with building a fan base in Los Angeles, but the situation for the Raiders playing in their home away from home is different.
“Hopefully, they’re not letting Raiders fans in,” Carr said. “But if they let him in, I’m pretty sure it will be another home game for us.”
Keenan Allen said he expects the crowd to be 50-50 #Charger And #raiders Fans at Sophie Stadium on Monday night said: “They travel well, but we’re winning. Obviously, we got 10 (Herbert). I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the building.” #LVvsLAC
— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) October 1, 2021