LA Football Take 2: Will it succeed?

soxhop411

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As many pundits (and people here) have said, having one NFL team in LA is fine. Two is just doomed to fail.
Bryan Fischer‏Verified account @BryanDFischer 29m29 minutes ago
LA attendance: Chargers - 25,381 Rams - 56,612 NFL combined - 81,993 USC v. Texas - 84,714

(BTW this is "announced" attendance. It's tickets sold, not people through the turnstiles) so the actual number is much lower.)

Until/unless the Rams and the chargers start to play like competent "contenders" Their popularity here in LA will be stagnant. And If it were not for the Rams building a Billion+ Dollar stadium it wouldn't have shocked me to see one (or both?) of the teams have the same fate as the last team(s) to call LA their home.

Seriously. People here in LA really don't care about these teams and their mediocracy (and if they did care about any "local" team it was the raiders). USC is the "king" of football here. The NFL thought Football fans in a city without a football team for two decades ( 1995 to 2015) would just "root" for a team because its their "local" team. Thats really not how this works in sports (especially in LA) LA was without a "local" football team for so long that people took up rooting for other teams (be it the team their parents rooted and passed on to them or took up rooting for another team). Nobody has any long held connections to these teams. And it won't just take one "good" season to win the hearts of LA over. Its going to take prolonged seasons of Playoff success before you see every angeleno wearing that teams jersey.

(sorry for the rant)
 

Zedia

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The Raiders would do just fine out here. The Rams might have a shot if they have some success when they move into the new stadium (the Coliseum's a pain in the ass and not great for viewing football). Absolutely nobody gives a fuck about the Chargers. That was a major misstep by the league.
 

h8mfy

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The ratings will be interesting, and though I doubt it will be publicly available, it might be illustrative to see whether there are more Sunday Ticket subscriptions in the LA market. Before the Rams we usually got the best national games and I could see a lot of the Pats or Giants (I know, it is a long story) and I looked forward to checking out the506 each week to see what games I'd get. Now I don't bother and don't watch the local broadcasts, relying on streaming Sunday Ticket, because I just don't care about either "new" team and I'm thus not contributing to the local affiliates' share.
 

RGREELEY33

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I think the fact that both of these teams have sucked for awhile and they are playing in dilapidated and non-NFL ready stadiums is more the issue than LA fans not wanting to support them.

There are plenty of legacy Rams fans that were happy that they came back, but that isn't going to translate into people in the Coliseum until the product is legitimate. LA is notoriously a fair-weather fan place because there is so much else to do (and traffic), so I don't think this year's awful showing is proof positive of anything yet.

When 2020 comes around with a billion dollar stadium near the water with all sorts of shops and restaurants and hopefully better teams by then -- if they are still getting 40,000 fans to games, then it will have failed. I think, long term, it was a very wise play for the NFL to be back in LA and that two teams should be very sustainable (as do the Krafts). Let's give it some time before we call it a "giant misstep" by the league -- we saw what the Clippers sold for 2 years ago -- purely because they are in LA.
 

Spacemans Bong

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No one has longheld connections in LA to the Rams? Come on.

The Rams will be fine with a competitive team. People act like the Raiders would have been a slam dunk, but the Raiders didn't draw shit when they were actually in LA. People rave about what a draw USC is, but their attendance wildly flucuates in the Coliseum as well, it's just from a higher level than the Rams. It's not a good place to watch football and it's hard to sell season tickets because everybody knows you can walk up and get one for just about any game you want.

The Chargers are the one I wonder about. The Chargers aren't playing in a dilapidated stadium whatsoever. Carson isn't even 15 years old. They're just a team no one asked for.
 

Winger 03

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So the Chargers pull 25K is a place that seats 30K (or something like that...) 83% which is kind of respectable I guess. With most stadium experiences awful relative to HD tv's etc, wouldn't it be a wise move to be in a small stadium? Tickets represent a pretty small percentage of overall revenue.
 

Super Nomario

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So the Chargers pull 25K is a place that seats 30K (or something like that...) 83% which is kind of respectable I guess. With most stadium experiences awful relative to HD tv's etc, wouldn't it be a wise move to be in a small stadium? Tickets represent a pretty small percentage of overall revenue.
83% for the season opener, though, in their first outing in a new city. Is the stadium going to be even half-filled in a couple months?
 

Gunfighter 09

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The cheapest ticket on Seat Geek for the Raiders - Chargers game on December 31st is $304. The next most expensive game is the Broncos game for $249, and then nothing over $200. There are a ton of Raider fans in LA, certainly more than either of the other teams, the NFL just got the LA moves wrong.

People act like the Raiders would have been a slam dunk, but the Raiders didn't draw shit when they were actually in LA.
The Raiders drew more raw numbers in LA than they did on their second trip to Oakland, averaging over 56K during their time in LA and just under 54 since coming back to Oakland. They were trying to sell 90k+ ticket in the LA Coliseum when the place was located in the epicenter of an area where there were deadly riots right before they left, and Al never gave a shit about the fan experience or marketing, so yes, they had challenges.

But comparing the 1994 NFL attendance to today's numbers is just foolishly failing to correct for era. If Mike Stanton was any good he would be hitting homers like Sammy Sosa, right? In 1994 (which predates both Sunday Ticket and mass market fantasy football) the NFL only had 10 (of 28) teams draw more than 1 million fans home & away. Last year 31 teams drew more than 1 million fans home and away and the San Diego Chargers drew 998K. Football is much, much more popular now than it was in 1994.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2016/attendance.htm
 

The Needler

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So the Chargers pull 25K is a place that seats 30K (or something like that...) 83% which is kind of respectable I guess. With most stadium experiences awful relative to HD tv's etc, wouldn't it be a wise move to be in a small stadium? Tickets represent a pretty small percentage of overall revenue.
No, they represent a pretty significant percentage of overall revenue. Teams got $244 million from the league (TV deals, league sponsorships, etc,). The rest comes from local revenue, which is of course mostly ticket sales.
 

singaporesoxfan

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Spacemans Bong

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The Raiders drew more raw numbers in LA than they did on their second trip to Oakland, averaging over 56K during their time in LA and just under 54 since coming back to Oakland. They were trying to sell 90k+ ticket in the LA Coliseum when the place was located in the epicenter of an area where there were deadly riots right before they left, and Al never gave a shit about the fan experience or marketing, so yes, they had challenges.

But comparing the 1994 NFL attendance to today's numbers is just foolishly failing to correct for era. If Mike Stanton was any good he would be hitting homers like Sammy Sosa, right? In 1994 (which predates both Sunday Ticket and mass market fantasy football) the NFL only had 10 (of 28) teams draw more than 1 million fans home & away. Last year 31 teams drew more than 1 million fans home and away and the San Diego Chargers drew 998K. Football is much, much more popular now than it was in 1994.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2016/attendance.htm
I looked up the numbers on Wikipedia and while shit is an overstatement, the Raiders certainly didn't draw amazingly well even for the times. Average NFL attendance was between 59-62,000 for the entire time the Raiders played in LA and only in 84-85-86 did they break that. In their 13 years in LA, they only drew over 60,000 for a game something like 33 times. That's for a team that won the Super Bowl and four division titles. They made the playoffs more times in LA than they did in the 22 years they've been in Oakland. That they barely outdrew the Raiders in Oakland isn't a testament to LA, considering the slack of the LA Coliseum in getting in huge crowds on the rare occaision.

I get that pro football outside San Francisco and a few other markets was way more of a walk-up affair then, and Al didn't market very well. It's a crappy stadium and it's way too big. Those issues still exist for the Rams in 2017.

But the LA Raider support has been mythologized into something that wasn't there. I think it's fair to say that it isn't a slam dunk, which I'd define as the Raiders selling out their games under the rules the Rams are using in the Coliseum: limiting ticket sales to 70,000.
 

The Needler

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These are 2013 numbers, but going by the Packers' revenue that year, local revenue makes up 42% of an NFL team's revenue.

https://www.cnbc.com/2014/09/04/how-the-nfl-makes-the-most-money-of-any-pro-sport.html
Yes. The Packers were closer to 45% local last year.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/nfl-teams-split-record-7-8-billion-in-2016-up-10-percent

And of course some teams, including the Cowboys and Patriots, do much better. It's true than NFL teams can be profitable even without strong local revenue, but it certainly matters.
 

Winger 03

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I stand corrected (that is what is great about this site - how quickly the facts surface). I was always under the impression that owners make a ton on TV and the rest is incidental. So the question is will either ever be successful in LA no matter what the stadium situation is?


Yes. The Packers were closer to 45% local last year.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/nfl-teams-split-record-7-8-billion-in-2016-up-10-percent

And of course some teams, including the Cowboys and Patriots, do much better. It's true than NFL teams can be profitable even without strong local revenue, but it certainly matters.
 

Tony C

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...

But the LA Raider support has been mythologized into something that wasn't there. I think it's fair to say that it isn't a slam dunk, which I'd define as the Raiders selling out their games under the rules the Rams are using in the Coliseum: limiting ticket sales to 70,000.
I was in L.A. back in the day and remember going to games with attendance much like what was there for the Rams yesterday, so you're not wrong. But I do think you are wrong regarding the larger point: the Raiders have by far the largest, most dedicated, and most L.A.-identified fanbase. The NFL absolutely blew the L.A. market by being arrogant and stupid (sound familiar?). There should only have been one team to move to L.A. and it should have been the Raiders, the only of the 3 teams with a significant local fan base. I'll guarantee you this: about as many Raider fans from L.A. will travel to Vegas for a game than the total that showed up in the dinky field the Chargers play in.

My own impression -- and this is pure speculation, admittedly -- is that there were 2 reasons for not doing the obvious and giving the L.A. market to the team with the biggest L.A. fan base: 1) Stick it to the Davises. 2) The Raiders also have the most Mexican fan base and maybe I'm just paranoid but to me it stinks of racism -- the anon quotes about how gangbanger Raiders fans were and that those were not the "type" of fans the NFL wants struck me as code.

In any case, paranoid speculation? Perhaps....but in any case, the NFL and Roger are getting their comeuppance. I think the Rams and Chargers will remain low in public consciousness, especially the Chargers. The Charger fan base in L.A. is (was?) people from San Diego, so anecdotally they feel just like most San Diegans do about the Chargers -- pissed off. I think they die a slow death. (At a minimum they should have named themselves something like the SoCal Chargers and made an attempt to still represent San Diego ...).

The Rams might become sort of the equivalent of the Clippers -- if they do well they'll sell enough tickets, but I don't see them ever taking deep root. The NFL is in decline in general. Now was not the time to just assume "if we move they will come." Much less moving two teams over the one team with significant local roots, egregiously insulting the fans of that team.
 

Spacemans Bong

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I was in L.A. back in the day and remember going to games with attendance much like what was there for the Rams yesterday, so you're not wrong. But I do think you are wrong regarding the larger point: the Raiders have by far the largest, most dedicated, and most L.A.-identified fanbase. The NFL absolutely blew the L.A. market by being arrogant and stupid (sound familiar?). There should only have been one team to move to L.A. and it should have been the Raiders, the only of the 3 teams with a significant local fan base. I'll guarantee you this: about as many Raider fans from L.A. will travel to Vegas for a game than the total that showed up in the dinky field the Chargers play in.

My own impression -- and this is pure speculation, admittedly -- is that there were 2 reasons for not doing the obvious and giving the L.A. market to the team with the biggest L.A. fan base: 1) Stick it to the Davises. 2) The Raiders also have the most Mexican fan base and maybe I'm just paranoid but to me it stinks of racism -- the anon quotes about how gangbanger Raiders fans were and that those were not the "type" of fans the NFL wants struck me as code.

In any case, paranoid speculation? Perhaps....but in any case, the NFL and Roger are getting their comeuppance. I think the Rams and Chargers will remain low in public consciousness, especially the Chargers. The Charger fan base in L.A. is (was?) people from San Diego, so anecdotally they feel just like most San Diegans do about the Chargers -- pissed off. I think they die a slow death. (At a minimum they should have named themselves something like the SoCal Chargers and made an attempt to still represent San Diego ...).

The Rams might become sort of the equivalent of the Clippers -- if they do well they'll sell enough tickets, but I don't see them ever taking deep root. The NFL is in decline in general. Now was not the time to just assume "if we move they will come." Much less moving two teams over the one team with significant local roots, egregiously insulting the fans of that team.
The Rams have no significant LA fan base? Maybe I've met SoxFanInCali one too many times, but I find that hard to believe. They're the only team that has a legitimately long history in Los Angeles. There's not enough old school Angelenos/Orange County/Inland Empire people who have Merlin Olsen and Roman Gabriel posters in their garage to keep the Rams afloat?

I agree with your reasons the NFL blocked the Raiders from going to LA. The racist stuff about gangbangers is particularly distasteful. I've heard that actually black became popular because it wasn't red or blue, and therefore was a safe color to wear. The same way you see a lot of kids in the inner city wearing white.

I think the Chargers return to San Diego before too long. I think the Rams will be fine.
 
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Tony C

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There's definitely some...my barber, for example! I guess the key word there was "significant"...and that my barber is easily 70 years old. :) How about we compromise on "significant among the age 60+ cohort"?

Moving the Chargers back to San Diego would make sense, though not sure of terms of their lease etc..
 

Gunfighter 09

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I would think the NFL would compensate Mark Davis to trade spots with Spanos before they would try to force Spanos back to San Diego.
 

Hoya81

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I would think the NFL would compensate Mark Davis to trade spots with Spanos before they would try to force Spanos back to San Diego.
So Raiders in LA and Chargers in Vegas? Given Goodell’s weakened position and overall ineptness, I don’t think the league could pull off the delicate set of negotiations such a deal would require.
 
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ElUno20

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Out of towners don't get it but going from anywhere except the south bay to Carson is not ideal. It's a pain. "LA" is really spread out.
 

Gunfighter 09

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So Raiders in LA and Chargers in Vegas? Given Goodell’s weakened position and overall ineptness, I don’t think the league could pull off the delicate set of negotiations such a deal would require.

I don't either, I just think it is more likely than Spanos going back to San Diego with zero negotiating leverage. Neither are going to come anywhere close to happening.
 

soxhop411

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This is embarrassing. The freaking galaxy fill out the stadium more than the chargers
 

soxhop411

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Another chargers game another game where the opposing team fans outnumber the home team.

NFL really thought we could support 2 NFL teams? How stupid are they?
 

djbayko

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Were they expecting people to pick up fandom of a foreign team when a team with LA roots just moved back last season?

Were they expecting people to drive to Carson City for that privilege?

Were they expecting Chargers fans to travel all the way from San Diego en mass?

This was entirely predictable.
 

soxhop411

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Were they expecting people to pick up fandom of a foreign team when a team with LA roots just moved back last season?

Were they expecting people to drive to Carson City for that privilege?

Were they expecting Chargers fans to travel all the way from San Diego en mass?

This was entirely predictable.
Predictable for everyone but the people at NFL HQ
 

soxhop411

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At some point the NFL is going to have to wake up from their delusions and see that LA cannot sustain 2 NFL teams and ship one of them of to some other place where they will feel "wanted"
 

E5 Yaz

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The best thing about the Rams's start is that it reminds us once again that Mike Martz is an idiot
 

Hoya81

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At some point the NFL is going to have to wake up from their delusions and see that LA cannot sustain 2 NFL teams and ship one of them of to some other place where they will feel "wanted"
I think LA can handle two teams, but dumping two teams in the market back to back was short sighted.
If McVay turns out to be the real deal and can turn Goff into a effective NFL starter, then the Rams have a good shot at making it work in LA.

I almost think they should have left the Chargers history/logos dormant and treated them like an expansion team for a fresh start.
 

h8mfy

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For the second week in a row, the Chargers are airing on one of the lesser local channels - this week, on KCAL9, a second CBS outlet (last week they were on KCOP13, a different Fox affiliate). I don't recall other than pre-season or maybe some of the old NFL-net Thursday local broadcasts, the NFL local games not being aired on the primary CBS or Fox affiliate, until this year. This may be a quirk of the schedule and NFL broadcast rules, but it is not helping ratings to have the Chargers on unfamiliar channels.

Here's an article and quote (added the bold):

http://awfulannouncing.com/nfl/chargers-fifth-watched-game-los-angeles-weekend.html

"This isn’t a one week fluke either, but likely to be a trend that we will see throughout the season. NFL fans in Los Angeles have had two decades of watching the best and biggest games every week and not having to be tied down by a local market franchise. This was always going to be the concern with teams coming to Los Angeles. The market just doesn’t want to support an NFL team of their own, let alone two teams."

Elsewhere, I saw it corrected that the London game outdrew the Chargers, so it may not be as bad as presented, but still.

At least fewer people saw the tarps covering the unsold seats at StubHub.
 

bsj

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Why in the fuck did they insist on putting 2 teams in a market before they even knew if it could support 1? How many times do they need to watch football fail in this metro?
 

uncannymanny

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Out of towners don't get it but going from anywhere except the south bay to Carson is not ideal. It's a pain. "LA" is really spread out.
Haha yeah, I’m surprised the Chargers have drawn that well out there honestly. Carson is damn near Long Beach. Awful drive, not great public transit options to get there.
 

NickEsasky

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Why in the fuck did they insist on putting 2 teams in a market before they even knew if it could support 1? How many times do they need to watch football fail in this metro?
Because the NFL is gonna NFL.
 

Tony C

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Because some data genius did a power point on market size and wealth, with no sense of the particularities of the L.A. market?

I actually think 2 teams might have a chance of succeeding if it was Rams/Raiders. Debatable, anyway.

If so, then the question is why didn't they take the Raiders:

Because they were intent on screwing over Davis/the Raiders?

Because NFL owners are accept racist assumptions about the right "type" of fan base?

By the way, don't forget that while we can all mock the NFL, Spanos/the Chargers were in a great position to know exactly what awaited them -- they could easily have made the play for Vegas or for whatever other sucker cities are out there. There is sweet justice in a team screwing over their home city only to screw themselves over.
 

soxhop411

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YEESh even though the rams have one of the better records in the NFL, Fox had to do this:

If you live in Los Angeles and can convincingly portray a Los Angeles Rams fan, you’re in luck: FOX is looking for people with exactly your unique and rare skill set to pretend to be Rams fans during Sunday’s Rams home game. Set in a fictional world where anyone in Los Angeles gives a shit about the Rams or Chargers, your character will dress in highly stylized Rams “fan” attire, and lose a harrowing team spirit competition against an overwhelming horde of actual Eagles fans.
Casting directors are now casting actors, models, and talent to work on Sunday, December 10th in Los Angeles, California.

Producers are seeking the following types:

  • We’re looking for LA’s biggest NFL fans to be a part of #NFLSunday’s Los Angeles Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pre Game Show!
    Calling all LA Rams fans!
To audition for a role in the upcoming NFL Sunday pre-game show, check out the casting call breakdown below.
This is the saddest shit I’ve ever seen. There’s a link in this Project Casting notice that allows you to “request” tickets; when you click it, you are redirected via Facebook to a simple webpage distributing free tickets to this Sunday’s Rams-Eagles game. Moving two teams to Los Angeles was a wonderful idea.
https://deadspin.com/fox-is-seeking-los-angeles-area-actors-who-can-pretend-1821152419?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow
 

dynomite

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Sorry if I'm bumping the wrong thread, but on a Patriots bye week I've been reading a little more about the LA Chargers and their future in (well, near) the City of Angels. I think it's fascinating that there is currently a professional sports franchise playing effectively in a neutral field, nominally associated with a city that continues to be relatively indifferent to their presence. It's nice that the White Sox finally have some company. (I jest)

Still, the whole situation seems like a mess, with no easy answer. Staying in LA seems like the most likely outcome, but almost two years in -- and in the midst of a 12-win season, tied for best in the AFC -- they still do not seem to be gaining real traction in the community. Moving back to San Diego is fraught with financial and legal problems.

So what say you, SoSH?

Some additional info:

Here's a tweet by Seth Wickersham at ESPN that generated some chatter this fall:

A major discussion topic among NFL owners/executives at this week's league meetings is the Chargers' viability in LA. PSL sales have been a struggle and team is expected to revise its Inglewood revenue goals sharply to a more realistic number: $400m to around $150m, per sources

Here's a good article summarizing the issues by a former SB Nation Chargers writer: https://unpluggdwithngl.com/amid-reports-of-the-team-moving-back-to-san-diego-what-can-the-nfl-do-about-the-chargers-4e93559ec2cf

He goes through a number of relevant issues:

- Why is it so complicated for the Chargers to just go back to San Diego? ("The Spanos family is paying about $640 million in relocation fees over 10 years, beginning with their 1st season in Inglewood. If they were to move back to San Diego, how much of that do they have to pay?" )
- What about a new stadium deal in San Diego? (Even if they got one -- and that's a huge "if" -- it would take 3-4 years to open -- that's a long time for them to be homeless)
- Can the NFL force the Spanos family to sell? (Maybe, but other owners probably wouldn't want to do that, and anyway that would not really solve some of the longer term issues)

And here's a fun article from Deadspin from a writer who attended a game earlier this year and saw no evidence that the region is embracing the Chargers: https://deadspin.com/can-los-angeles-ever-love-the-chargers-1830571076

“It’s a tricky experiment for the league,” Farmer told me. “The question is, if the Chargers win the Super Bowl, would that tilt the scales in their favor? I don’t know that you could say that. The Angels have won the World Series and the Ducks have won a Stanley Cup, and people don’t pay a whole lot of attention to either of those teams.”