Cord Cutter NFL Alternative – Go to the Game

(Along with my  side-rant about buying tickets online.)

Hey NFL sports fan. Looking for a way to justify cord cutting? How about this one:  Use the money you save to attend the games live. Let’s crunch the numbers. I’ll use my market, San Diego, as the test case.

The cost of a cable channel lineup here in San Diego,  is about $100 per month. That’s $1200 per year I’m going to put toward purchasing actual tickets in Qualcomm stadium.

I’ll skip the pre-season and count 8 home games this year, starting with the home opener on Sep 16 against Tennessee. So my budget, assuming I’m willing to apply it entirely to this passion, is $1200/8 = $150 per game.

Starting at the website, which takes me to the ticketmaster site I see Chargers divide their tickets into Club section vs Non-Club. Club starts at $189 per seat so that’s not an option.

But Non-Club is not so bad. I see four ticket prices,  $54, $68, $79, and $98. I notice also that there are ” delivery and processing fees” attached to these varying from $7.50 to to $9.00.

Now here is one of my best ticket purchasing tips:  Go to the ticket counter!  Why?

First off, the website is horrendous. The process consists of selecting your desired section, number of seats and price and hitting the “Find Tickets”  button. You will then be greeted by the most difficult “Captcha” challenge you’ve ever  seen. I usually refresh 3 or 4 times until I get one I think I can decipher:

Actual "Captcha" challenge from









Now if you do manage to make it past this point the usual response is:

Sorry, no exact matches were found, but other tickets may still be available on

After going through this for an hour or so  my wife suggested we take a drive down to the ticket office. The hardest part about that was finding the best way in and out of the empty stadium (many of the gates were blocked off). But once we got there it couldn’t be easier. There was only one guy in front of me so the wait was about 5 minutes.  When it was my turn I told the attendant I’d like 6 tickets around Lower View 23 and guess what? He finds them almost instantly. Even better he hands me actual  paper tickets, and zero fees!

Qualcomm Sadium courtesy Google Maps







So all told I’m out of pocket $79. But my budget was $150.  That extra $71 will help pay for a lot of hot dogs and beer Go Chargers!

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2 Responses to Cord Cutter NFL Alternative – Go to the Game

  1. kcmmrl says:


    I want to see all games…


    If you just wanted your local games, just use an antenna.

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