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California’s Breakup with the NFL

Nitro : 10/10/2017 5:13 pm
Interesting piece from WSJ, think I found a non-paywall version. If not you can usually copy the title of the article into facebook search and access it that way (use to be able to via goolge) Anyways, salient portion:

Quote:
There was a time when raising doubts about professional football here would be unthinkable. For much of the last half century or so, California has been a football paradise.

The Chargers were an AFL powerhouse that became one of the NFL’s most iconic teams with their powder-blue jerseys. The 49ers spent two decades in the 1980s and 1990s as the league’s model franchise. And the Raiders—with legendary coach John Madden, late owner Al Davis and notoriously fanatical supporters dressed in silver and black—are as much part of football lore as pigskin and the forward pass.

The same isn’t exactly true today. The 49ers have ceded Bay Area primacy to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The average ticket price on the secondary market for 49ers home games has dropped 32.5% since they moved to Levi’s Stadium in 2014, according to Jesse Lawrence, founder of TicketIQ, a search engine that aggregates ticket listings.

Since last year, Rams’ prices have dropped 10%. On the other end of the spectrum, because the StubHub Center is so small, Chargers tickets on the secondary market cost 70% more than they did a year ago when the team played in San Diego.

While the Chargers and Rams face the challenge of breaking into a new city, the entrenched 49ers’ questions are different. Their stadium, which opened in 2014, has been criticized for its location in Santa Clara, which can be a nightmare for fans to reach, and its design, which leaves fans on the sunny side of the stadium with extremely hot seats.

All of this to watch a team that is 2-19 since the start of the 2016 season. The 49ers have been working with an architecture firm for more than a year to study potential improvements to Levi’s Stadium, which includes options to give fans relief from the heat.

The Chargers and Rams, on the other hand, still have a few years until they move into the $2.6 billion home they plan to share in Inglewood, Calif., where the NFL hopes to take hold with a premier venue in one of the country’s biggest markets.

Los Angeles has always been somewhat of an enigma for the NFL. The league became richer than ever over the past two decades without a team in the country’s second-biggest city.

Then after 21 years in St. Louis, the Rams repatriated to L.A. last season. The early returns were positive. Playing in the city’s famous Coliseum, they averaged 84,457 fans in their first season. But they also went 4-12.

This year, attendance has cratered. Through the Rams’ first three home games, they have averaged just 59,162 fans per game—which leaves a vast emptiness in the NFL’s largest stadium, which can hold more than 93,000.

As Los Angeles sports fans mulled if they were ready to accept one NFL team, the Chargers quickly packed up, moved north and gave the city a second. Some fans in San Diego were upset because they thought the city offered the team enough money for a new stadium there, and others were simply puzzled.

Indeed, the welcome for the Chargers has been short of a group hug. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Rams fan, said in a recent radio interview that the city will “embrace any team that comes” and is “certainly happy to have the Chargers.” But he added that L.A. “could have been happy with just [the Rams] too.”

All of this has prompted questions about whether the team would actually consider moving back to San Diego. For now, that has been quashed, with the team noting they have already committed tens of millions to their facilities in the L.A. area. “There are no discussions of returning to San Diego from the league or at the club,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said last week.





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The biggest winners in all of this are the cities of San Diego  
jlukes : 10/10/2017 5:20 pm : link
and Oakland, as they no longer have to devote hundreds and millions of taxpayer dollars to help a billionaires build a new stadium
LA has always been a college football town  
njm : 10/10/2017 5:23 pm : link
Even in the days of the Fearsome Foursome USC and UCLA were the top attraction.
The Rams look like they're trending up  
Ten Ton Hammer : 10/10/2017 5:29 pm : link
The chargers are the ones who appear to be SOL.
I think the 9ers thing is overblown  
BH28 : 10/10/2017 5:46 pm : link
Every team deals with sun and heat at an open roof stadium, including MetLife. I've been to both and dealt with the sun, it's no worse at one location as opposed to the other.

No one goes to the games because the team is terrible. Let's see how many people go to giants games this December.

In my opinion, the Santa Clara location is superior to Candlestick as far as being able to get to the game. You can take mass transit from SF, Oak, or SJ direct to the stadium. Also more options to get out of there than there was Candlestick.

There's about as much enthusiasm for the NFL in Los Angeles  
81_Great_Dane : 10/10/2017 6:29 pm : link
as there is for the WNBA in New York.

Seriously, nobody cares. Nobody's against having the teams here, but as they say, the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. The Rams and Chargers owners need to contemplate the vast indifference of L.A. fans. (Apologies to Warren Zevon.)
RE: The biggest winners in all of this are the cities of San Diego  
djm : 10/10/2017 7:39 pm : link
In comment 13641857 jlukes said:
Quote:
and Oakland, as they no longer have to devote hundreds and millions of taxpayer dollars to help a billionaires build a new stadium


Tell that to the die hard fans that live there
Dean Spanos made a huge mistake leaving  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 10/10/2017 7:42 pm : link
San Diego.
RE: Dean Spanos made a huge mistake leaving  
81_Great_Dane : 10/10/2017 7:52 pm : link
In comment 13642001 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Quote:
San Diego.
Not that hard for the Chargers to go back. I don't know the terms of their deal to play at the new Inglewood complex, but if they really, really want to go back, they could, just the way the Raiders went back to Oakland after L.A..

The Rams are pretty much committed, for better or worse.

The Raiders would have been an instant hit here. The NFL has managed to screw this up about every way possible. I bet there are more Raider fans in the L.A. area than Ram and Charger fans combined.
I guess I'm in the minority  
bluepepper : 10/10/2017 8:10 pm : link
but I think both LA teams will be fine in the long run. A lot of people live in the LA area. Yeah, duh, but sometimes people overlook the obvious. Lots of people, lots of money. Football is popular there like everywhere in this country. Get in the new stadium, win some games and the tickets will sell. Hell, as the article says the Rams averaged 84K last year with a crappy team and a crappy stadium.

The difference in LA compared to a new market like Vegas or Portland is that the initial enthusiasm isn't the same. But the potential is so much greater. If you own a franchise like this you have to think long term and long term LA over StL is a no-brainer. LA with a stadium probably better than San Diego without although SD with a stadium would have been best.
RE: RE: Dean Spanos made a huge mistake leaving  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 10/10/2017 8:12 pm : link
In comment 13642014 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
In comment 13642001 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:


Quote:


San Diego.

Not that hard for the Chargers to go back. I don't know the terms of their deal to play at the new Inglewood complex, but if they really, really want to go back, they could, just the way the Raiders went back to Oakland after L.A..

The Rams are pretty much committed, for better or worse.

The Raiders would have been an instant hit here. The NFL has managed to screw this up about every way possible. I bet there are more Raider fans in the L.A. area than Ram and Charger fans combined.


I hope they do. I was in San Diego last December visiting a buddy who is a big Bolts fan & the community definitely didn't want to lose them. There'd be some hard feelings initially, but that would probably soon pass.
RE: RE: Dean Spanos made a huge mistake leaving  
Paulie Walnuts : 10/11/2017 2:40 am : link
In comment 13642014 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
In comment 13642001 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:


Quote:


San Diego.

Not that hard for the Chargers to go back. I don't know the terms of their deal to play at the new Inglewood complex, but if they really, really want to go back, they could, just the way the Raiders went back to Oakland after L.A..

The Rams are pretty much committed, for better or worse.

The Raiders would have been an instant hit here. The NFL has managed to screw this up about every way possible. I bet there are more Raider fans in the L.A. area than Ram and Charger fans combined.


I bet there are more Raider fans in the L.A. area than Ram and Charger fans combined. you are 100% right

I was a on a plane out of Oakland to Ontario (LA) yesterday morning and it was full of LA Raider fans, guys with raiders Tats, etc..
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