Fans cannot attend Los Angeles Rams or Los Angeles Chargers games for now.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the “Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and SoFi Stadium announced that Rams and Chargers games will be held without fans in attendance until further notice.” 2020 is the first season the Chargers and the Rams will be co-occupants of brand-new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Fans will have to wait to watch them play at their new venue.
How many people will this impact planning to attend Rams, Chargers games?
The NFL decided to re-enter the Los Angeles media market a few years back. The Rams relocated from St. Louis in 2016, having played the last four seasons as the second tenant at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the Pac-12’s USC Trojans. The Chargers moved up from San Diego a year later, playing as the second tenant at Dignity Health Sports Park to the MLS’ LA Galaxy.
Though both franchises used to play in Los Angeles before, the most popular team in the City of Angels has long been the Silver and Black. Even with stadium issues off their own, the Raiders have relocated for the third time in their history, leaving the Bay Area for a second time to become the Las Vegas Raiders. They too will have a brand-new stadium this year in Allegiant Stadium.
While it does technically help that the Pac-12 and the Mountain West aren’t playing college football this fall, not being able to have fans in attendance at Chargers or Rams home games won’t aid either club trying to capture a fanbase in a distracted media market. The Rams went to the Super Bowl two years ago, so they have so momentum. The Chargers have none whatsoever.
Though the Chargers have played essentially 16 road games a year for the last three seasons, it’s a shame they can’t even get a couple thousand people to watch what should be a halfway decent Bolts team play at SoFi for the time being. The Rams might be trending down, but they should have an opportunity to contend for a Wild Card spot in the deep NFC West this season.
Without fans, it will be incredibly challenging for either team to build allegiances in Los Angeles.