Fans urged to arrive early for Chargers preseason opener

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Chargers are urging fans to arrive at least two hours early for Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys and allow plenty of time to enter Qualcomm Stadium because long lines are likely due to enhanced screening at the gates.

The Metropolitan Transit System will increase the number of pre- and post-game Green Line trains, which now provide direct service to Qualcomm Stadium from downtown and Santee. Increased service will begin at 3:10 p.m. between Old Town and Qualcomm Stadium for the 7 p.m. game.

Extra Green Line Service will operate in both directions after the game as needed.

Fans taking trains are strongly encouraged to travel early as the MTS expects trains will be crowded or at capacity after 5 p.m. Passengers attempting to board trains after 5 p.m. should expect delays as trains reach capacity at stations closest to Qualcomm Stadium.

Fans can avoid Trolley ticket lines and speed up the boarding process by purchasing and storing Trolley passes on their smartphones at any time before arriving at transit stations by using MTS’ free mobile ticket app, mTicket. Multiple mTickets can be purchased on one smartphone, assisting families traveling together.

mTicket holders can bypass lines for Trolley service after the game through the mTicket express lane on the west side of the ramp.

Qualcomm Stadium’s parking lot will open at 3 p.m. It is expected to reach capacity and close almost an hour before kickoff.

Although enough tickets have been sold to allow the game to be televised live in the San Diego area, a limited number of tickets remain available, including Club seats, some of the best seats in the stadium.

Chargers coach Mike McCoy views tonight’s game as “a great opportunity for a lot of people to show what they’ve learned” in training camp.

McCoy declined Wednesday to say how long his starters would play. Starters generally play one or two series in the opening preseason game throughout the NFL.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has said he will not play as he continues to recover from off-season back surgery. Brandon Weeden is expected to start at quarterback for the Cowboys.

Several changes will be in effect on the field and sidelines.

The ball will be spotted at the 15-yard line for extra point attempts, instead of the two-yard line, during the first two weeks of preseason play to gather information regarding possible future changes to make those plays more competitive and exciting for fans. No changes will be made for the 2014 season, according to the NFL.

Five extra point kicks were missed during the 2013 season and 18 over the past three seasons.

All three kicks from the longer distance in Sunday’s NFL/Hall of Fame Game were made.

The ball will continue to be spotted at the two-yard line for two-point conversion attempts during the experiment.

The uprights will extend to 35 feet above the crossbar, five more than the past, to help officials make definitive rulings on field goal attempts that previously crossed above the top of the uprights.

The referee will be able to consult with NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino during replay reviews. The recovery of a loose ball in the field of play will be reviewable with instant replay, including fumbles, backward passes and kicks.

All seven game officials will be able to communicate with each other via wireless microphones.

Teams will be able to deliver pre- and post-snap photos to coaches and players on the sidelines and in the coaching booth via tablet computers.

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