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Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's definite: Game's on Sunday at Qualcomm

By Kevin Acee

11:01 a.m. October 26, 2007

A week of uncertainty has come to a close, as the Chargers have learned they will play their home game Sunday – actually at home.

They will play the Houston Texans at 1:05 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium, according to a press release from the city.

The wildfires that tortured San Diegans this week forced the Chargers to flee Tuesday to Arizona, where they will hold their third-and-final practice at the Cardinals' complex in Tempe this afternoon.

On Thursday, Mayor Jerry Sanders cleared Qualcomm Stadium as site of the game. While all indications were the game would be there, the Chargers still did not confirm that on Thursday night.

The mayor said the team remained concerned about air quality and police and fire support. A mayoral spokesman said Thursday the city “would be ready” with that support by Sunday.

Also, all remaining evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium were to be transferred to other shelters.

While some in San Diego expressed concerns about playing a game so soon after a tragedy, many have clamored for the game to be at Qualcomm because it would be a positive diversion.

I think thats very important for us,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “We want to look at it like that. Anytime you can entertain people, its always going to take their minds off of whats going on. Even for three or four hours, if you can entertain them, theyre going to take their mind off of whatever is going on in their world. Thats what we want to do.

“People in the county are going through a tough time ... To play a game, hopefully back there, hopefully that can lift people's spirits. Because this is gong to be something the county is going to have to deal with for a long time.”

Asked Thursday about a game at Qualcomm helping people feel better, Sanders said, “I think the city ought to feel real good about the way it's responded to this crisis already. And I think a lot of people in the city and county of San Diego have done an incredible job working together to house and feed and do a lot of things. I certainly think a football game would be nice, but I don't know that that's the only thing people are focused on at this point.”

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