Empty Seats at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Home of the Los Angeles Rams

There were high expectations when the Los Angeles Rams returned to Los Angeles, California in 2016. Not since 1994 had the city of Los Angeles had a professional football team after the Rams originally fled for St. Louis and the Raiders fled for Oakland. Seven games into the 2017 NFL season and it’s beginning to look like the National Football League could flop in Los Angeles once again. The Los Angeles Rams are currently drawing 26,000 fewer fans to their home games than they did in 2016; the largest attendance decline in the NFL since 1993.

There are multiple factors that have led to this sharp decline in attendance for Rams home games. For starters, Los Angeles was home to only one NFL team last season. The Los Angeles Chargers are in their inaugural season in Los Angeles after relocating from San Diego. The ongoing national anthem protests are also turning fans off from attending games. Just yesterday, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley blamed the Los Angeles traffic as the culprit for the Rams terrible attendance numbers this season. Although the Los Angeles traffic is among the country’s worst, it likely wouldn’t stop fans from showing up to NFL games when teams play only 8 home games each season. Currently, the Rams are 27th in NFL attendance while the Los Angeles Chargers are dead last. The Chargers are currently struggling to fill the Stubhub Center, a 27,000 seat soccer stadium in Carson, California.

There was also a ton of hoopla and excitement during the Rams first season back in Los Angeles. That excitement was bound to end at some point; no matter how good or bad the Los Angeles Rams performed on field. The Rams’ attendance numbers also had plenty of room to fall; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum holds just over 93,000 fans. Although Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is only a temporary home stadium for the Rams, it is currently the largest stadium in the National Football League.

Empty Seats at the Stubhub Center, Home of the Los Angeles Chargers

There have also been rumors swirling that the Los Angeles Chargers organization are considering moving back to San Diego. While there could be some truth to those rumors, San Diego offers no suitable home stadium for the Chargers. The city was unable to secure the funding needed to construct a new stadium for the team. Both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, however, will move into the NFL’s first $2 billion stadium in 2020. By that time, residents of Los Angeles could very well warm up to both the Rams and Chargers.

 

Reference:

FiveThirtyEight.com

 

 

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