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Players Excited for Saturday's FanFest
One of the players’ favorite annual training camp events is less than 24 hours away as FanFest is set to take place Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.
“FanFest is always great,” said Philip Rivers. “It’s always exciting. We understand our fans are passionate and they want to win like we do. We’ve always had great turnouts there. I know the fans are as excited about the football season as we are. We get out there Saturday and hopefully get them a little fired up and excited, give them a little taste of what we’re going to put on the field here on Thursday night, which will be here before we know it. Thank goodness. It’s been a lull in the sports world in my opinion this last month or so.”
Rivers’ longtime teammate Nick Hardwick is also a fan of FanFest and expressed how important it is to see the stadium packed with Bolts fans.
“It’s always nice getting back in the stadium,” said the Chargers veteran center. “It’s always like a nice little welcome back party. As many people as we can get out there to make us feel special and wanted, I love it. The fan support so far this season has been great. You can feel there’s a real energy in the city and people are excited to rally around us.”
On the other side of the ball, Donald Butler is another player who is eagerly anticipating the event.
“It’s a great time,” he said. “I love it. I get to interact with some of the kids, some of the fans. I’m looking forward to it.”
Presented by Bud Light, FanFest allows fans to watch new Head Coach Mike McCoy and numerous Chargers including Dwight Freeney, Derek Cox, D.J. Fluker and Manti Te’o take the field at their home stadium for the very first time. Parking and admission are free and the parking lot will open at 9:00 a.m. with the stadium gates opening at 10 a.m. The morning will begin with the debut performance of the 2013 Charger Girls, followed by a full-pads practice from 11-1 p.m. From 10-11 a.m, fans can meet some notable Chargers alums on the plaza concourse, including Hank Bauer, Rolf Benirschke, Willie Buchanon. John Carney, Luis Castillo, Jacques Cesaire, Kris Dielman, Burt Grossman, Pete Shaw, Billy Ray Smith, Doug Wilkerson and Jamal Williams.
Still, the highlight for many is the opportunity to watch the Chargers go through an intense full-pads practice. McCoy is hoping for a tremendous turnout, similar to the way fans have flocked to Chargers Park thus far during open practice dates.
“We are really looking forward to it,” he said. “We’re looking for great fan support, very similar to what we’ve had out here. Obviously we’ve got to get as many people out there as we can to really see what we’re going to do. And we’ll have a great practice for everybody to watch.”
Stay tuned to Chargers.com before, during and after FanFest for complete coverage of your favorite team.