SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - This season the Chargers want to tackle fan rowdiness before it gets out of hand. On Wednesday, the team and San Diego police issued some new fan rules.
Thousands of fans are looking forward to this Sunday's home opener, but before they can get out those grills and pop up those tents, Chargers authorities are reminding fans of the rules and giving out some helpful tips -- including the fact that permit holders can get into the stadium parking lot as early as 8 a.m. on game day, and the general public is allowed in at 9 a.m.
"It makes for a little bit longer day, but come on down, enjoy the sunshine and get into the Chargers spirit. Don't wait till 12:30, 1 p.m. to get down there because we're expecting people to walk up on Sunday and you don't want to get caught up on that traffic on Friar's Road," Qualcomm Stadium Manager Mike McSweeney said.
New this year is an alcohol-free family section in the parking lot.
"I think it's a great idea. People can feel more comfortable bringing their kids to the games and having it be more family oriented as opposed to all of us crazy people who can get a little more wild," fan Rachel Anderson said.
But what hasn't changed is the smoking policy. There's no smoking allowed anywhere inside the stadium, and once you're in for the game, you're in.
"It's a municipal code, it's the law and we adhere to it," McSweeney said.
If you feel unsafe or want to report someone, you can still text security at 59629 with your problem, or call 911, although authorities say for the most part fans have been staying out of trouble.
But less trouble could be because less fans are coming to this Sunday's game.
"We're not optimistic the blackout will be lifted," Executive VP A.G. Spanos said.
Spanos says roughly 8,000 tickets are still available for this Sunday's game, and says all of the tickets would have to be sold by 1:15 p.m. Thursday to lift the blackout.
"I do not expect an extension from the NFL," Spanos said.