The Chargers will get to play home games at the brand-new SoFi stadium in 2020, and Austin Ekeler feels some type of way about it.
Is there a team more deserving to play in a brand-new stadium in 2020 than the Los Angeles Chargers? Let’s recap the last few years, shall we?
The Chargers move to Los Angeles, breaking hearts of all their fans back in San Diego. In their second season following the move, the Chargers go 12-4 and make it to the Divisional Round only to lose to Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Last season, the team went just 5-11 while enduring a holdout situation from former Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and playing in front of roughly half the amount of fans at a normal NFL stadium.
The Chargers had crowds of around 25,000 people for each home game they played at Dignity Health Sports Park in 2019, which served as a temporary home. To put that in perspective, most of the teams they played during away games held an attendance well over 60,000 people — and over 70,000 a couple of times.
Finally, after a miserable 2019 campaign played in a home away from home, the Chargers, along with the rest of the NFL, had to figure out how to navigate their way through the coronavirus pandemic.
Oh, and amidst that pandemic? They lost long-time face of the franchise Philip Rivers along with his former starting running back, Gordon.
Yeah, I’d say it’s been a heck of a few years for the Chargers. But, alas, they are set to open up play at the new SoFi Stadium, which features the largest video scoreboard in all of professional sports. Two of the biggest names to grace that screen in 2020 will be Gordon’s replacement, Austin Ekeler and Rivers’ replacement, rookie Justin Herbert.
Let’s just say that, after a tour of the new digs, Ekeler was fairly impressed.
The stadium itself is breath-taking. It’s futuristic, modern and all-around simply beautiful. But, let’s get back to that scoreboard for a minute.
The video scoreboard in SoFi Stadium is 360 feet long and weighs 2.2 million pounds, while boasting 4K video on dual sides. Seeing that in my new home would be enough to get me to say some emotional things, too.
Near the end of the video, Ekeler is seen saying that this stadium is one of the most amazing structures he’s ever stepped foot in, and follows it up by stating:
"“Makes me wanna play here forever man”"
On behalf of Chargers fans all over the globe, I would assume most would be thrilled to see Ekeler play his entire career here. He’s been a humble, hard-working guy who came into a situation where he was a backup, yet worked his tail off to earn well-deserved touches behind Gordon.
With Gordon’s holdout a year ago, Ekeler stepped up and claimed the starting role as if it was already his own. Finishing with over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and nearly 1,000 of those through the air, Ekeler cemented himself as a do-it-all starting running back.
Entering his fourth season in the league, Ekeler looks to build off his best season yet, only now he has a firm grasp on the no. 1 job.