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Record Attendance for FanFest 2014

Posted Aug 2, 2014

A record-high 18,000 fans saw the team take the field for the first time this season.

The San Diego Chargers hosted FanFest 2014 on Saturday in front of a record-breaking 18,000 fans who filled Qualcomm Stadium cheering for their favorite team. 

Under cloudy skies with sporadic drizzle, fans of all ages got an up-close look as the 2014 Chargers practiced and prepared for their first preseason game on Thursday night. 

At the end of the scrimmage, Chargers players took to the stands to sign autographs and take photos with the fan base Head Coach Mike McCoy greatly appreciates.

“The fans did a great job last year during the last month of the season, playing at home, and finishing the season the way we did so there’s reason to be excited,” said McCoy.  “Now we’ve got to go out there and execute as a football team and give them a reason to come out here every Sunday and be a loud crowd.  We need them behind us.  There’s been great support all training camp long and we can’t thank them enough.”

Fans came from both near and far to watch the Bolts.  Mike and Natalie Carmichael drove down from San Francisco at midnight Saturday morning to make it down to the Q.  After getting home from work Friday night, the Carmichaels napped, took their dogs out and headed down the 101 to catch their first FanFest.

Why did these season ticket holders leave the City by the Bay to come to America’s Finest City?

“I’m looking to see this new team and what they’ve got this year,” said Mike.  “I’m hoping for a good year.  I think (the Chargers are) coming together as a team They’re not divided, they’re one.  I think McCoy and (Tom) Telesco have brought them together as a team.  Even the fans have come together.  Today is awesome.”

Even some younger fans like 14-year old Ricky Pion and 13-year old Ryan May couldn’t miss an opportunity to catch their favorite team in action, with a little something extra.

“We’re looking to see the Chargers and…the Charger Girls,” Pion said. 

Like McCoy’s appreciation for the fans, the fans greatly appreciate the team and the organization to put on an event like this.

While he was there to see the team practice before the first roster cut, Moreno Valley resident Carlos Alcala couldn’t help but take in the entire FanFest experience.

“I think it’s just sitting here…absorbing the atmosphere.  I also like how they bring the alumni back (and) you get to talk to them.  I think it’s a really fun experience the Chargers bring here every year.”

Chargers alumni were on hand to mingle with fans and reminisce about their playing days.  Former wide receiver Anthony Miller was drafted in 1988 and spent five seasons with the team.  Miller said being back on the field is something truly special.

“It’s fun.  You get to meet some of your ex-teammates and come out here and meet the fans again and just keep your name out there.”

You can take the player out of the game but you can never take the game out of the player.  Miller said another reason he came to FanFest today was to check out the members of this season’s wide receiver corps. 

“I’m looking to see if they’re going to be up to par,” he said. “I set a pretty high standard and I don’t know if they’ll be able to reach it, but they should be able to the way (Rivers) can throw the ball.”

Keenan Allen is one receiver Miller looked forward to seeing.  Allen played in his first FanFest experience last year but said taking part in this Chargers tradition is equally as exciting during his sophomore season. He credits the people the festival is named after as the reason it’s so very special.

“It was amazing,” he said.  “It’s always good to be around the fans (because) they keep the energy up.  They keep you going 110% and without them, there’s no us.”

 
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