The NFL made a huge mistake.
The League made a concerted effort to get not one, but two teams to Los Angeles.
Now the NFL is learning a harsh lesson about the second largest media market in the country.
Los Angeles doesn’t deeply care about the NFL. The city was teamless for over 20 years, and the NFL still grew into the dominant brand in America.
Angelenos hate traffic and bad sports teams. Both of those factors are stifling the popularity of the Rams and Chargers.
From Sporting News:
The Rams opened the 2017 season with a dominant 46-9 win over the Colts, but there weren’t many at the L.A. Coliseum to see it.
Fans watching the game on television most definitely noticed.
@EmptySeatsPics NFL fever in Los Angeles…. catch it!
The Rams announced a paid attendance of 60,128 in the 93,000-seat stadium. Though 30,000 empty seats will make any large stadium feel cavernous, there were far more than 30,000 empty seats.
The best way to draw fans to any stadium is to put a winning product on the field and Sunday’s impressive victory was a step in the right direction.
The Chargers haven’t yet had their regular season opener, but if the preseason is any indication, they could be in for a world of hurt.
From Yahoo! Sports:
There are an estimated 18 million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Los Angeles Chargers can’t get 27,000 of them to come out and watch their team this preseason.
The Chargers’ first preseason game drew 21,054 people. The second preseason game, on Sunday night, drew 21,197. Sure, it’s preseason…But every relocated team gets a first-year buzz, even for exhibition games. Not the Chargers.
There were many reasons this move never made sense. Terrible attendance in a small soccer stadium in Carson, California, doesn’t make it seem any better. Capacity in the stadium is about 27,000 and the Chargers aren’t hitting 80 percent of that so far.
Wasnt sure if there would be less people than the 21, 054 that showed up for Chargers Carson debut, but yes.
There are reasons to believe this is no problem at all. People in Southern California have better things to do than watch preseason football. The Los Angeles Times reported in March that all season tickets had been sold out. Tickets for regular-season games at the StubHub Center aren’t going cheap on StubHub, so the secondary market indicates some interest in games that count.
Still, this is the first time a professional sports team has moved to a city that didn’t seem to want it. They’re playing in by far the smallest home stadium the NFL has used during the Super Bowl era, before they move in as the Los Angeles Rams‘ tenants in Inglewood. It’s less than half the size of any other NFL stadium, and the Chargers still aren’t filling it. That the Chargers aren’t even pulling in bigger crowds than Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, when the novelty for any Chargers game should be fresh, isn’t a good sign.
If we’re still seeing shots of a three-quarters full stadium for regular-season games, it will be really concerning.
Give the Chargers the benefit of the doubt for now, and chalk it up to preseason and unused tickets for games that don’t count. But two preseason games in, it’s not like the people of Los Angeles are warmly welcoming their new NFL team.
Most of the ardent NFL fans in Los Angeles follow other teams.
The Rams and Chargers better get their acts together fast, otherwise, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get people in Los Angeles to care about local professional football again.