SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers are encouraging fans to carpool and arrive early for Thursday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium, where a 5:20 p.m. kickoff will coincide with rush-hour traffic.
The stadium parking lot will open five hours before the kickoff for fans with pre-purchased parking permits and four hours early for the general public. The parking lot is expected to be filled and closed “well before kickoff,” according to a team official.
The Metropolitan Transit System will run an extra trolley on the Green Line through Mission Valley beginning at 12:45 p.m. Increased service will continue after the game as long as needed, according to the MTS.
The North County Transit District will have an extra northbound Coaster train leave the Old Town Transit Center 75 minutes after the game ends.
The Chargers are asking fans to bring nonperishable food items to the game. The fan dropping off the most food will receive a signed 50th anniversary football. The donated food will be turned over to the San Diego Food Bank.
The game will be the Chargers’ Salute to Service Game, featuring special in-stadium recognition and tributes to servicemen and women. Charger players will wear special decals on their helmets saluting the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.
“Salute to Service” will be painted in the back of each end zone and on banners in the stadium, goal-post wraps, end zone pylons, game gloves and game balls.
Before the game, special presentations will be made to Wounded Warriors and a presentation from the Chargers and the financial services company USAA will be made to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The NFL will donate $100 point for every point scored in the game and the other 31 NFL teams’ Salute to Service games to the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project.
The total donation for the 32 games is expected to be between $400,000 and $500,000.
The game will be televised live in the San Diego area on KFMB-TV Channel 8 and the NFL Network thanks to USAA, Panera Bread, Ashford University, KFMB- TV, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House and Donovan’s Prime Seafood guaranteeing the purchase of enough tickets to lift the local television blackout.
Tickets purchased through the partnership will be donated to area military bases and military hospitals through the Armed Services YMCA.
Youngsters associated with San Diego area Boys & Girls Clubs will also have a chance to attend the game.
Tickets remain on sale for fans interested in attending the game at chargers.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
In connection with the game, King-Chavez Community High School in Centre City will be competing with Nashua Elementary School in Kansas City, Mo., to receive full funding for their youth health and fitness project.
King-Chavez is seeking sports equipment, particularly balls, to teach students about teamwork, sportsmanship and problem-solving skills through sports.
The school receiving the most votes will be funded 100 percent by NFL Play 60, the league’s campaign to encourage children to be active for 60 minutes a day in an attempt to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity. The runner-up will receive 50 percent funding.
The projects from both schools will be featured on nflrush.com.
Votes can be cast on nflrush.com/choose/week4 until 11:59 p.m.